The Blue Mountains council is considering some changes to its meeting schedule.
Town Clerk Corrina Giles brought forward a report that proposed revisions to the current council and committee of the whole schedule and requested permission to set up a public meeting about the possible changes.
“Our meetings have been quite long,” noted Giles.
The proposed schedule would see the committee of the whole meetings split into two separate meetings: one for finance, administration and legal services and community services items and the second for planning and development services and operations items. These meetings would be held on Monday and Tuesday of week one beginning at 9 a.m. Week two would see no meetings. Week three would see a regular council meeting held on Tuesday beginning at 9 a.m.
Each month, a meeting would also be held at 9 a.m. on a Tuesday for council’s public meetings.
If the plan is approved by council, it will come into effect on January 1, 2023. The new council to be elected in October will also have an opportunity to make changes.
Members of council were generally supportive of suggested changes.
“I like the approach,” said Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon, who asked Giles if she had considered evening meetings or using Fridays as a meeting day.
Giles said when she started with the town in 2007, meetings began at 7 p.m. and would often last past midnight. She noted that in recent months, meetings have started at 9 a.m. and have gone past 4 p.m. most days.
“Keep in mind we’ll never get through a council meeting if they continue to be the same length as they are now,” Giles said in response to the suggestion of night meetings.
In addition, Giles said with council meetings being live-streamed on the internet it’s a benefit to the town to have them held during the day when all staff are at their desks and IT support is available.
“I’m confident with most of what we have here,” said Coun. Paula Hope. “I have never received any feedback from the public seeking evening meetings.”
Council approved moving forward with a public meeting to seek input on the proposed changes.
Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca