Brookhaven Town barred nonbinding resolutions during its first board meeting of the year, contending council members can find more effective ways to voice their opinions.
The move didn’t come without debate, as Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright objected to the board no longer being able to consider adopting nonbinding resolutions.
“It’s a disservice to us,” she told the board at last Thursday’s board meeting minutes before the measure was approved.
The general consensus among board members – with the exception of Cartright – was that such resolutions don’t reflect town business.
These resolutions turn board meetings “into debating arenas for social issues that have nothing to do with government. It’s not a debating society. If you feel strongly about an issue, draft a letter,” Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said at the meeting. “Draft a letter and circulate it.”
Nonbinding resolutions carry no legal weight but allow board members to voice their opinions on a variety of issues.
In the past, nonbinding resolutions have had bad intentions and were used to embarrass other town board members, said Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner, the longest tenured member of the board.
She added that she’s gotten better responses from writing letters on certain issues.