With a new council and new snack bar, the tone of Littleton city council meetings has changed since Kyle Schlachter was sworn in last year. We talked about one major loss of power for the council members and the potential for a council chamber sleepover.
Q: Littleton is a bit unique in that I have actually been inside your council chamber in real life. Granted, it was before you were elected, so is the chocolate fountain next to the Skee-Ball machine still there?
A: It’s still there, yeah. We just hang out there all night. Actually, your appearance at Littleton city council was my introduction to City Council Chronicles.
Q: When I was giving public comment–which was promoting International City Hall Selfie Day–the clock underneath the mayor was alternately counting up time and counting down time. That was a bit distracting.
A: I think that was done on purpose. We had a professional in there, so we try to throw them off your game.
Q: I pinpointed the low moment from your council meetings when, on January 16, council repealed an ordinance that would’ve allowed you to be police officers for no pay. Before they made you turn in your badge and your gun, how close were you to solving all those cold case homicides?
A: We were very close, but unfortunately we had to pull the rug out from under ourselves. Actually, my wife sent me an email from the charter with that little mention of city council members being police officers. I followed up with the city attorney and he said, “yeah, that’s in there. We should probably get rid of that.” It was a little disappointing that I am no longer a “police officer.”
Q: Is there any rule in the charter as it pertains to the council meetings that you’ve now experienced that you would like to change or get rid of?
A: Not that I can think of. I do like the one change that I noticed: Mayor [Debbie] Brinkman added refreshments to the meetings. In previous councils, there were no refreshments. I find that very nice not only for us council members, but for the audience. I like to see people out there eating their cookies, spilling crumbs on the floor and everything.
Q: Is the food and drink for everyone, or is it to keep the council’s blood sugar up as you go into the second or third hour of a meeting?
A: It’s for everyone. There’s cookies and brownies and drinks for everyone to have. Gotta keep them happy so they don’t come over and attack us even more viciously than has happened.
Q: One of your regular commenters brought up the fact that Littleton used to allow 10-minute presentations by residents in the past. Why do you as a council not want a longer public comment?
A: It sounds like she would prefer a 20 or 30 minute comment, so I could pick up and move my family and go live in the council chambers and just have people come 24/7 and speak to me. That might be a better approach.
Q: You know, after the food and drink, a sleepover seems like the next logical step. I don’t think you’re making this less appealing to the citizens of Littleton, Kyle!
A: [laughs] There’s plenty of opportunities for the citizens to get in touch with council. Three minutes is plenty of time. Most people don’t use their full three minutes. I don’t think more time does anything.
Follow Council Member Kyle Schlachter on Twitter: @Kyle4Littleton