Mirroring a recent change made by a fellow South Okanagan community, Oliver’s mayor and council will meet less frequently beginning in June.
Regular council meetings in Oliver are set to commence every three weeks instead of every other week, joining Summerland as the second municipality in the region to make such a change since the 2022 election.
At its latest gathering on Jan. 23, Oliver council unanimously approved the abandonment of the current schedule — meeting on the second and fourth Monday of every month — in favour of adopting a pilot schedule of meeting every third Monday, starting in June.
Giving staff more time to write reports and in turn, the public additional days to provide feedback were included in the town’s scheduling amendment pitch.
“I think it’s worth a trial,” said Oliver mayor Martin Johansen. “It’s worthwhile seeing what the impact will be on staff and seeing if it is making life a little easier on development applications…there’s always an opportunity for us to have a special meeting if there’s something critical that needs to be dealt with.”
Although eventually voting in favour of the changes, Coun. Aimee Grice raised a pair of concerns over meeting at town hall every three weeks.
“I think one of them is for the public to be able to keep track of the meeting schedule,” Grice said. “Another, I worry about slowing the development process.”
The changes will be reviewed after six months and won’t take effect until after the town’s budget deliberations.
Oliver council will gather for its regular meetings 20 times in 2022, down from what would have been 22 times if not for the abandonment of the current schedule.
Summerland’s newly-elected council voted in November to reduce the frequency of council meetings, going from twice a month to every three weeks.