Columbia, SC (WLTX) The voting procedures for Richland County Council meetings have changed. Now there will be a roll call vote for a majority of issues.
This is something that several council members believe is far overdue.
"This is a major step in the right direction and it's monumental," says Councilman Seth Rose who was pleased with the Tuesday night decision.
"Most all votes now will be roll call voted," says Councilman Rose. "That was the mission when I first sponsored the motion a while back and certainly there was a lot of public outcry when this didn't pass."
Back in May the council voted 9 to 2 against a roll call motion. At that time council was presented with options for an electronic voting system. Councilman Bill Malinowski says that electronic system wasn't necessary.
"It wasn't needed according to our clerks of council who said they can record the roll call vote just as quickly if not quicker by a show of hands than we would do with the electronic methods that were shown to us during the committee meeting at of course no additional expense," says Councilman Malinowski.
Previously council would only call for a roll call when there was a division between votes. Councilman Rose says this new decision allows for more transparency.
"When we're dealing with $55 million general fund budget and millions more in hospitality tax we need to have a security system in place to make sure there is accountability," says Councilman Rose.
For constituents like Helen Taylor-Bradley, she says in the past she didn't know what her councilman voted for. She just hopes council will stand by their decision.
"It still remains to be seen because we brought this issue up some weeks ago and they did a couple show of hand votes, but then they went back to their own selves doing it the same way," says Taylor-Bradley. "So I'll have to just see it to believe it."
The new roll call system applies for items on the consent agenda. Procedural items, like the approval of minutes or voting to adjourn the session will not be a part of the roll call vote.