Monday, April 11, 2016

A ghost session for City Council?

The Prince Rupert City Council met last Thursday afternoon, called together on short notice outside of the regular listings of sessions of the council calendar, not an unusual situation over the course of a year, but one that is of note because of the lack of any information on the nature of the day's conversations.

So far, the Special Regular Session appears to be more of an apparition than anything else, reduced for now to an asterisk of sorts, with no indication as to what, if anything, was decided during the course of the council discussion.

As we noted on the blog on Thursday, the notice of the Calling of the Special Regular Session first appeared on the City's website on Wednesday, notifying the public of the gathering of Council members for Thursday at five.

That notice offered up no indication that the call to Council was one closed to the public, or an in camera session, so it was a bit of a surprise to tune into the City website on Thursday and to find that the usual Live Broadcast of proceedings from Council did not stream live as it usually does.

Adding to the mystery of what took place during the course of those discussions, now four days later, there still has been no account of the meeting provided to the City's Video Archive page or YouTube portal.

The short notice session and what took place hasn't even rated a mention in the usual post Council snapshot of the City's Council Corner update, the listing of the points Council chooses to share with the public that is provided by the City through its website and other social media platforms.

According to the Agenda for that session, the main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the City's Budget planning for the year ahead, with a review and discussion of a proposed plan to increase property taxes by two percent to address the city's goals of asset planning.

Considering the interest that many in the community might have when it comes to what their June tax bill may look like, some form of public comment from the city should be provided for the public as to how that meeting progressed.

Beyond that, perhaps Council may also want to share with the public as to why the live broadcast of the Regular Council Meeting was not provided on Thursday afternoon, a live account of the proceedings that has been the norm for previous public gatherings of Council.

For a City Council that has often stated as goals the sharing of information and a process to seek out Community engagement when it comes to many of its plans and vision statements, the lack of information to this point as to what may, or may not have been accomplished at a public session is a little surprising.

It's an issue that Council may choose to clear up as part of their Regular Council Session for this evening. Though information on what's planned for that public session remains a bit of a mystery as well.

To this point of a Monday morning, on the day of the regularly scheduled Council session, the city has yet to publish its Agenda for tonight's council session.

Council's Regular Session is scheduled for 7PM.

More items about items from City Council can be found on our archive page.

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