Richland County Council unanimously passes proposal to record member votes

Richland County Council unanimously passes proposal to record member votes

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - For years, Richland County Council voted in a way that frustrated people like Helen Taylor-Bradley.

Until Tuesday, council members voted with quick "ayes" and "nays" with no raised hands. Many times, that made it impossible for anyone to tell how each council member voted.

"When they're taking these votes and they're not showing their hands, it starts you to wondering," Taylor-Bradley said. "What is the reason for this?"

Councilman Seth Rose's original motion to record all votes overwhelmingly failed two months ago. Since then, Rose says the public outcry intensified.

"Council received a lot of e-mails and there was a lot of media attention on this," Rose said, "and so, people rose up and here we are. We have positive change."

Council returned with a new proposal that won't cost anything. Clerks will not record how each council member votes on all votes after First Readings with the exception of procedural votes.

"I think it's the right move," Richland County Councilman Bill Malinowski said. "I felt it was the right move before. However, we had to look at it and see which way to go. Why incur to the taxpayers if it's not needed, and you can get a system in place that provides the exact same thing."

Rose, who said the new system isn't perfect since all votes won't be recorded, joined council in voting unanimously for the new rule that will take effect immediately.

The new system will also make it easier to look at meeting minutes to see how council members voted on most agenda items.

"Every council member will be put on the record when we're dealing with a $55 million general fund budget and millions of dollars more in hospitality tax. "

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