City council schedule could be revamped
Meetings on three of every four weeks and a 6 p.m. start time are under consideration
City councillors could be about to change their Monday evening meeting schedules once again, nine months after the last change.
Meetings could start at 6 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, and they may operate on a fourweek cycle instead of the current three-week cycle.
If councillors adopt the change, it will take effect in 2019.
Under the current arrangement – adopted in January – councillors meet as the general committee on week one, take a break on week two and meet as city council on week three.
But the arrangement may need tweaking, according to a new staff report, because several special meetings called this year to deal with a surfeit of reports at general committee meetings.
On occasions when it appeared there would be too much business to cover in a single sitting, special meetings were called (allowing agenda items to be spread over two meetings, instead of one).
This led to a certain unpredictability for the public, states the staff report: some citizens were unsure when meetings were taking place.
That’s because there were 11 special meetings called – some on short notice, some on evenings when there was no regularly scheduled meeting.
The proposed new arrangement is a four-week cycle: on weeks one and two, general committee would meet. There would be no meeting on week three, and then on week four there would be a council meeting.
If there are five Mondays in a month, there would be no meeting on that fifth Monday.
The report also suggests changing the meeting start-time from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., following an online survey asking citizens whether they’d be more likely to watch a livestream or attend a meeting if it started a little later in the evening.
Councillors meet to discuss this and other items at 5:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.