More town meetings could revert to evening sessions
Do you prefer it in the morning or in the evening?
That was the question posed to Niagara-on-the-Lake’s town councillors in a discussion Nov. 21 on when best to hold council meetings.
In the end, council decided to defer the decision until December.
Coun. Gary Burroughs noted after the new council was elected a year ago, the town started holding some meetings in the morning in an effort to save money on staff costs.
At about $5,000, town treasurer Kyle Freeborn said the savings were “fairly nominal.”
Staff presented two options to pick from for next year’s meeting schedule, including one with all meetings in the evening.
For the other, general sessions would start in the morning and planning meetings would start 5 p.m.
That is an hour earlier than the 6 p.m. start in the current schedule.
“That, of course, is to help address some of the lengthy planning meetings,” said town clerk Grant Bivol.
Some planning meetings have stretched for hours and led to complaints from residents. In some cases, people who had arranged to make presentations at planning committee just gave up and went home.
Burroughs suggested the town go with the evening schedule for next year.
Coun. Wendy Cheropita said residents appear to be confused by the current schedule.
“I think going back to the evening meetings might actually help some of that confusion.”
There also has been a drop in attendance for town councillors, she said.
Couns. Adriana Vizzari and Sandra O’Connor wanted to see details on council attendance to determine if it was in fact down.
Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa then suggested they defer the decision until those questions could be answered by staff.