Green Oak Township’s Planning Commission is working on revising its bylaws in an effort to increase clarity, comply with governing procedures, and avoid future litigation.

The Planning Commission met Thursday and discussed potential changes and improvements to the bylaws. Township officials say planning commission meetings have not been functioning in compliance with Roberts Rules, which is the governing Parliamentary Procedure for the meetings.

It was noted compliance has been lacking regarding the order in which certain meeting items are carried out and that commission members often engage in dialogue with residents during the public comment portion of the meeting. Officials say care and caution must be exercised to ensure accurate and lawful information is being communicated during these exchanges.

Township Clerk Michael Sedlak says one of the revisions to the Planning Commission’s bylaws will make it clear that commission members won’t respond to questions during the meeting. Sedlak says there have been contentious items that have come before the commission in the past and answering residents’ questions before fully researching the issue has resulted in litigation.

Sedlak says officials may change the order of meeting agendas to give the public more of an opportunity to speak. A new agenda item is also being introduced, which gives commission members a chance to respond to residents’ questions from previous meetings. Overall, Sedlak says the goal is to make township officials better at their job. (DK)