Councilwoman Anna Piercy feels so strongly that residents should decide whether the city needs a Planning Commission, she is trying to put the issue on the November ballot.
The city is one of only three in the county without such a panel, having disbanded its 21-year-old Planning Commission in 1978 as a cost-cutting measure.
But Piercy's council colleagues this week criticized as premature her decision to begin circulating a voter petition. Council members in December said more study was needed on the planning commission question. Voters in 1990 rejected an advisory measure to create a planning commission.
"We were not near the point of making any decisions," Mayor Mary Ann Jones said. "It was premature to circumvent us and seek a vote."
Piercy responded that she left the December meeting with the feeling the council would leave residents out of the decision.
"I feel strongly this issue should be brought to the voters," said Piercy, who opposes a planning commission.