At the May 6 Committee of the Whole, council discussed the structure of council meetings, via the “Council Procedural Bylaw No. 728.” Once approved at the next regular meeting (and more modifications may occur), the following changes should take place.
They addressed the “Acting” role for mayor, in the case of an unexpected extended leave of the mayor. A “Deputy” mayor steps in for the short term.
A First Nation statement will be included in the Agenda, right after the call to order. Mayor Maja Tait would like to work with the T’Sou-ke Nation to discuss the exact item.
Delegations will be limited to two per meeting. Mayor Tait noted she can either listen well or read well, but delegations that demand both means she won’t be able to give them due attention. Council noted they preferred information in advance, so they can be prepared. Bateman would have preferred three. Tait noted that with extension requests, Council questions, a possible motion, debate and a vote, a delegation can go anywhere from five minutes to an hour. A better way to be timely is if the delegate presents substantial information to Council before hand to improve awareness and reduce the questions. Email is email@example.com
Counc. St-Pierre wanted it to be known that later you send in a document, especially if it’s going to be presented to Council as a Supplement, there’s an increasing likelihood that it won’t be read. Sooner is always better.
An individual Councillor’s (as well as the Mayor’s) speaking time is limited to five minutes at a Regular meeting, and 10 minutes at a Committee of the Whole. While Councillors are allowed to speak twice on a motion, their total speaking time on that motion is five minutes (Regular). It’s up to Councillors to start speaking succinctly.
Public hearings will be moved to the top of the agenda. Public hearings can also be scheduled for their own dates.
The Police and Fire Chief reports will be moved to the top of the Agenda.
Committees of the Whole (aka COW) meetings are typically held on the third Monday of every month, but can be held on call.
Committee members can miss three consecutive meetings. For Council members, it’s four consecutive meetings, as per the Community Charter. Mayor Tait was thinking about replacing Committee of the Whole with a separate Committee.
A report of the CAO can go at the top of the Agenda, likely after the delegations, police/fire, and public input.
Council will try adding a “consent agenda,” non-controversial items like Receipt of Committee Minutes, requests for proclamation, RCMP reports, correspondence and the like.
The process of sending correspondence needs to be better clarified. Some send them to individual Councillors, some send them to staff, some come in the mail. There’s no regulated, monitored funnel. Counc. Bateman and St-Pierre indicated that this would be a part of a Communications strategy.
An earlier distribution of the Agenda package (before 4pm on Thursdays before Monday meetings) to Councillors is not possible.
The mayor will continue with a short update at the beginning of the meeting.
When Public Speakers and Delegations request funding they can be deferred to the appropriate funding application period, instead of jumping the queue.
The mayor asked about the members of the Public providing their address. She noted that that is personal information. They could state where they live, as in Sooke or Juan de Fuca. Staff agreed, times are changing. Sometimes, it’s relevant when it comes to development. This will be discussed in greater detail by Council. Name and municipality will probably what will be asked for, going forward.
This will go forward to the next Regular meeting for first reading.