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Henderson Successfully Legislates Process @ City Council

(PHOTO: Councilmember Bill Henderson at the April 17, 2024 Rye City Council meeting.)
(PHOTO: Councilmember Bill Henderson at the April 17, 2024 Rye City Council meeting.)

The acrimony at Rye City Council is no longer news. But a new resolution, passed on Wednesday night and spelling out the process for conducting council meetings, is news. The passage is a victory for Councilmember Bill Henderson.

Tired of what Henderson and others saw as Mayor Josh Cohn’s roughshod method for legislating, the resolution spells out the procedure for council agenda setting, executive session and mayoral and council appointments. The spirit is to bring more transparency into the governance process.

The Mayor has strongly objected to the resolution, seeing it as a challenge to mayoral power. He delivered a speech at the March 6th council meeting on this objection to the move (see the video above).

Henderson was tired of items coming onto the agenda and appointments being made with little or zero notice from the Mayor before meetings. Fast forward to January when the Mayor lost his council majority control and Henderson had his opening. The resolution provides for clearer procedure for agenda items and appointments so both council and members of the public have more time to understand and act on various proposed actions versus actions being quickly codified before any discussion. Detractors (the Mayor and Souza) say it impunes mayoral power and that you cannot legislate civility.

The resolution passed five to one, with Councilmember Souza (a mayoral ally) voting no. Mayor Cohn was absent from the meeting.

Read the full resolution:  Resolution adopting rules for agenda setting and conducting business at Council meetings.

The video from last night’s council meeting:


  1. Dear MyRye:
    Regarding your April 18 article: “Henderson Successfully Legislates Process @City Council,” I want to make sure credit is given where credit is due. This new legislation designed to improve transparency, clarity of roles and processes at the City Council, was co-sponsored by Councilmember Josh Nathan who was very involved in the drafting of this legislation. We both worked closely with Councilmembers Sara Goddard, Keith Cunningham and Jamie Jensen, all of whom were consulted, provided extensive input and ultimately supported and voted for this legislation. This was a bipartisan bill and I would like to recognize and thank my fellow Councilmembers for their hard work, dedication and support.
    Best regards,
    Bill Henderson


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