City coun­cil sched­ule could be re­vamped

Meet­ings on three of ev­ery four weeks and a 6 p.m. start time are un­der con­sid­er­a­tion

The Peterborough Examiner - - Front Page - JOELLE KO­VACH Ex­am­iner Staff Writer joelle.ko­[email protected]­ter­bor­ough­

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.

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