Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - The Rochester City Council holds its first meeting of the year Wednesday evening and will welcome new member Annalissa Johnson, who won the election for the 6th ward seat that had been held by Sandra Means, who decided not to run again.

One of the first items of business will be a vote on the 2017 salaries for the council and mayor.

The recommendation that is scheduled for a vote calls for a 2.75 percent increase. If approved, it would set the mayor’s salary at $35,582. The council president’s salary would rise to $26,215 and the other members would receive $20,515.

Also, new guidelines kick in for those who want to address the council during public hearings. Among the restrictions: each applicant will be allowed to present for 10 minutes to start the hearing and provided 5 minutes for rebuttal at the end of the hearing. All other speakers will be limited to 5 minutes each.

Speakers may only speak once during a given public hearing. Council members may ask questions of a person who has already spoken. Groups who have a similar view on the matter being heard are encouraged to designate a spokesperson.  And, the council will use a timer to manage speaker times.

The new guidelines were adopted as a result of longer and longer meetings the past few years, including a recent one that covered nine hours - ending at 4 a.m.

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