Summerfield Mayor-to-be BJ Barnes hasn’t even been sworn in yet, but he already has his plan for getting Summerfield Town Council meetings under control.
Barnes said this week that the town has never adopted Robert’s Rules of Order or any other method for running council meetings, but he added that’s about to change. He said that, when he is sworn in on Tuesday, Dec. 10, he will unveil a set of rules for conducting meetings that he expects to be put into effect.
“I’m going to lay out the way meetings are going to be run,” said Barnes, the newly elected mayor of Summerfield who served for nearly two and a half decades as the sheriff of Guilford County.
He said part of the problem is that there is no real guidance for meetings and, for years, the procedures at Town Council meetings have been pretty much made up as town officials went along.
Barnes said the rules will be designed to guide both councilmembers and members of the public and he added that attendees who refuse to adhere to meeting rules could find themselves not only in hot water but perhaps even under arrest.
In recent years, due to political tensions, meetings in Summerfield have gotten chaotic at times – due to everything from members of the audience refusing to yield the floor to councilmembers getting into physical altercations with each other.
The mayor of Summerfield does not get a vote on town matters unless there’s a tie vote by other councilmembers, however, Barnes said he had met with all but one of councilmembers and he anticipates support for the new rules.