Robert’s Rules of Order prohibited Frankfort City Commissioner Katrisha Waldridge from rescinding her vote on a conservation easement for Leslie Morris Park on Fort Hill on Monday.
Waldridge initially joined her fellow city commissioners in voting yes last month on a directive to prepare a nonbinding letter of intent to draft a conservation easement concerning Leslie Morris Park at Fort Hill with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy.
The motion passed unanimously; therefore, if Waldridge could rescind her vote, it would not change the final outcome of the vote.
During Monday’s city commission meeting, City Solicitor Laura Ross and Mayor Bill May explained that a vote can only be rescinded on the day of the vote before the meeting ends, according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Robert’s Rules of Order is a widely used guide to parliamentary procedure used by governing bodies in the U.S., including the Frankfort City Commission.
Waldridge explained she was not aware of that rule but is now. However, she was still allowed to explain why she regrets her vote and how she would vote differently today.
As she told The State Journal on Friday, Waldridge said she was not told the proposed easement would be for the entire park, including the trails.
“I want the record to show that my vote would have been different given the appropriate and full disclosure of what the commission itself was trying to move forward,” Waldridge said. “Leaving off acreage is huge. If you’re talking about a piece of land, acreage should be on there … . My heart is with the community on this. I do not want to do anything to Fort Hill that’s gonna keep us from ever coming back to bike trails up there.”
Waldridge said she believes she should be able to rescind her vote since she was not given complete information.
“If all the information had been given, I would have voted appropriately as everyone on this call and everyone watching knows,” Waldridge said.
According to Ashley Greathouse with the Bluegrass Land Conservancy, conservation easements can be used to ban certain activities from taking place on a property.
The easement, depending on how it is written, could make permanent a city commission vote last year to ban bicycles in Leslie Morris Park, which is city property. Without a conservation easement that prohibits bicycles, future city commissions could reverse the current ban.