A new policy to govern how St. Joseph City Commissioners issue proclamations is being considered by the body.

At their regular meeting this week, commissioners read a draft policy put together by City Manager John Hodgson that establishes how such proclamations in support of various causes or events can be issued. Hodgson told us what the new rules will be.

What the process does is it gives each commissioner an outside number of not more than 10 proclamations per year that they can issue, not more than two at a meeting, and it sets up a structure so that they have something to work with as they work with folks who are interested in a proclamation to bring something forward through staff to place it on a commission agenda,” Hodgson said.

A commissioner would also have to give a month’s notice before seeking a vote on a proclamation.

The city commission doesn’t often issue proclamations, but Hodgson said it started talking in June about having an orderly process for doing so. For example, suppose they issue a proclamation recognizing Pride Month or Mental Health Awareness Month?

Commissioner Michael Sarola said Monday he’s opposed to issuing proclamations, in general, because he thinks that could lead to controversy at some point. He suggested a commissioner simply state their support for a cause during their comments at a meeting. However, Sarola also supported the new policy because he says if commissioners are going to issue proclamations, there might as well be a written process for doing so.

The city commission sent the policy language back to Hodgson for some minor tweaks before it’s formally considered at their next meeting.