Monday, November 9, 2015

Council looks to reduce number of public sessions by one for next year

As they prepare to celebrate their first full year in office, the members of City Council are already looking ahead and working on their plans for 2016, with some schedule planning it seems one of the first items on the to do list.

On that theme, if a schedule posted to the items for review notes for tonight's Council session is any indication, Council members will be looking to reduce their time in open public session next year, with a proposal to remove one of the two regular Council meetings for September seemingly in the works.

Should the schedule noted below, become the blue print for 2016, Council members will meet only once during the months of July, August, September and December.

A look at this years timetable shows that when December 7th rolls around (the final meeting of the year), Council will have met 21 times over the course of this year, if the schedule for next year is adopted, that commitment will be reduced to 20 occasions.

The full schedule as provided to Council's information package for November 4th.

Council also has two major out of town conventions pencilled in for the travel list for 2016 to this point, with notes on the North Central Local Government Association and UBCM gatherings also indicated as part of the Information package for tonight's Council session.

There has been no discussion in past public sessions of Council about the change in the number of meetings, nor does it appear on the agenda list for tonight's Council session as posted by the city last Friday.

It's interesting to review how the frequency of Council sessions has declined over the last few years, from the City's own Bylaws for frequency of Council sessions, and those lofty goals of public consultation, section 5.1 notes:

5.1 Commencing following the Inaugural Meeting of a new Council a regular meeting is to be held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

The Bylaws was amended as recently as 2013.

Whichever document you choose to review, it would seem that the original target of the past of twice a month meetings appears to have been more of a suggestion, than a declaration in recent years.

With the option of reducing the number of those required sessions, as per section 5.4 of those same Bylaws apparently something that will continue on with this latest Council.

You can find reviews of Council sessions through the year from our Council archive page.

For more items related to City Council see our Council Discussions archive page here.

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