DES MOINES, Iowa — Monday night, the Des Moines City Council changed some of its own rules.

From now on, council members will not be able to make a motion unless they have the support of at least one other council member. The council approved the change on a 6-to-1 vote.

It’s an attempt to stop council members from slowing down meetings to discuss items that have no chance of engaging the whole council.

The decision led to an exchange between council members Connie Boesen and Indira Sheumaker.

“Outrage for these rule changes, this has not been well received. And I don’t think it would be smart for the council to move forward with it,” said Sheumaker.

“To me, the second is, I’ve never understood why we never had a second. Once I got re-elected, I proposed the rule change of adding a second, back in December. Hopefully, they would’ve gotten on the first meeting, they got on this meeting. It’s basic governance to have a second,” Boesen stated.

Sheumaker cast the only vote against the proposal.

Just minutes after the vote, council members used the rule to block Sheumaker from making a motion.

That isn’t the only change that has made it harder for council members and constituents to get their concerns in front of the council.

In 2020, the council started requiring its own members to get permission from the mayor and mayor pro tem before adding an item to the agenda. Last May, they restricted the number of constituents who can speak at meetings to 20. Each person is allotted two minutes. A month later, constituents wanting to make a change to the agenda were required to do so in writing. Prior to that, they could make a verbal request.