Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Meeting Dates Motion Is Defeated

Council Opts For Status Quo

In what can only be described as a surprise move, the motion which would have changed council meeting dates and given more time to consider the agendas was defeated.

The well thought out motion by Councillor Kipp which would have seen council and the public have more time to review council agenda's and would have added about nine council meetings annually was defeated by this Council.

Some of the benefits ignored by three novice councillors was the meeting dates gained by meeting on Thursday and avoiding the Monday meetings lost due to statutory holidays. The other benefit is having more time to properly consider RDN business which now will continue to fall the day after a council meeting.

Under the current system the council or committee of the whole agenda is released late Thursday afternoon for the meeting on the following Monday. This means the public and council have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to do any research into matters being decided on the following Monday. Kipp's proposal would have seen the agenda's released on Friday for a meeting on the following Thursday. Obviously this would give Councillors more time to do their due diligence with the added advantage of freeing up some time on the weekend. It would also give more time to consider RDN business as well as under the present system, Council can have a council meeting on Monday, followed by an RDN meeting on Tuesday with only the weekend to properly prepare.

When you consider that some Councillors have full time jobs, and some councillors might even appreciate some free weekend time you have to wonder if under the current system they are really as prepared as they should be.

The only deal breaker for novice Councillors Thorpe and Yoachim as well as Councillor Brennan seemed to be the fact that SHAW cable would no longer be broadcasting city council meetings live.

The meetings would still however be streamed live on the city website and recorded and broadcast on Shaw at a later time.


allvoices

3 comments:

  1. BUT I have to say it was defeated for the right reasons with good intentions. Kudos to Mr Thorpe and Mr Yoakim who simply were concerned that the changes "could" affect or lessen some people's accessibility to watch the meetings on Shaw. I think this is a valid concern, however I also think that the issue of showing the meetings on TV is a small hurdle which could have been overcome by being more firm with Shaw. I am sure that Telus would have loved to be consulted as to how they could assist in this regard. So what was or is the rush? This Mtoion should be brought back for reconsideration and a direction given to staff to investigate how and at what cost broadcasting the council meetings could be "made" to happen.
    Cliff Marcil

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  2. My child's school recently allowed 10+ days to return a pizza lunch form and 5 days for a field trip form. Council gets 3 days from agenda to meeting. I'm glad I have more time to debate if my child wants pepperoni or cheese over these far less important issues.

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  3. This IS a hoodwink. Coun. Brennan could care less about having the few dozen council addicts like us watch the show live, on Memorex or better-yet not at all. Look no further than Brennan, the only one who voted NOT to go past 11pm and give the public a chance to ask questions during QP. And in the past she's said it's a board meeting and the public is there just to observe and not speak. You really think she cares about us?

    Reading between the lines, those voting to not move the council meeting to Thursday was more about letting staff continue to control council and push through their own agenda quickly without much scrutiny. In return the mayor receives staff help, and as for the newbies maybe they were lost, maybe they relied on what a veteran was alleging, or maybe they do not really care about the multi-million dollar decisions they have to make in a very small amount of time.

    A few dozen of us just watch the live meeting. Council is the one who needs a lot more time to make the the right decisions. They sure have not done that in the past in the small amount of time they have.

    Kevan Shaw

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