Coun­cil con­sid­ers hold­ing later meet­ings

Northumberland Today - - NEWS - VA­LERIE MAC­DON­ALD vmac­don­ald@post­ twit­­mac­don­ald

GRAFTON — Al­nwick/ Haldimand coun­cil should look at chang­ing the start times of some meet­ings to later in the day, Coun­cil­lor Sherry Gib­son sug­gested at a re­cent coun­cil ses­sion.

She is among other Northum­ber­land County mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lors look­ing at ways to make it eas­ier for tax­pay­ers to at­tend meet­ings.

Cobourg, for ex­am­ple, is look­ing for pub­lic in­put about chang­ing the usual 7 p.m. coun­cil start time to 4 p.m.

Gib­son sug­gested a 3 p.m. start in­stead of the usual 12:30 p.m. for Al­nwick/Haldimand coun­cil­lors to con­sider.

There was some dis­cus­sion about mak­ing it around 5:30 p.m. and com­bin­ing some com­mit­tee of the whole and plan­ning mat­ters in one ses­sion.

This would be so “peo­ple don’t have to take a half day off” to at­tend their mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil meet­ing, Gib­son said.

“It’s im­por­tant to give it a trial.”

Coun­cil­lor Ray Benns said hold­ing later meet­ings in the past caused them to “run to 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.” and some had com­plained that this was just too late.

Al­nwick/Haldimand has a new coun­cil­lor since the de­par­ture of Ber­nadette Mur­ray, and Mayor John Lo­gel sug­gested that Coun­cil­lor Michael Filip (who was ab­sent at this meet­ing) would like to pro­vide some in­put into the dis­cus­sion.

“And staff can look at it to,” the mayor added.

An of­fi­cial no­tice of mo­tion is ex­pected this Thurs­day.

At the same time, Gib­son also sug­gested coun­cil look at es­tab­lish­ing a Facebook page as an­other way of im­prov­ing tax­payer ac­ces­si­bil­ity to coun­cil and town­ship mat­ters.

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