Penticton city council is moving their meetings to a new day and time — an adjustment to address the problem of meetings running late into the evening.
“In this scenario we would always start at 1 p.m., which would allow us to start the meeting and then, as needed, recess into committee of the whole for any delegations we had, allowing the public to come during the day and make presentations and then reconvene into the regular meeting to deal with minutes and staff reports and correspondence,” said corporate officer Dana Schmidt.
Coun. Judy Sentes was tentative about switching council’s schedule mid-term, but suggested that if they were to change the time, they should change the day of the week as well. Tuesday meetings, she said, would not only avoid the problem of shifting schedules on holiday weekends, but also give councillors more effective time to familiarize themselves with the agenda package, which is usually distributed Fridays.
“I only get to look at it on the weekend. If we move the meeting to Tuesday, I would then have Monday to contact staff or search out any clarification that I need,” said Sentes, adding that it might also suit working schedules better.
Coun. Helena Konanz said Tuesday meetings would also avoid conflict with the Okanagan Skaha School District board meetings on Mondays.
Council voted unanimously to adopt the change, which will now have to be written into policy. Schmidt said the change could take six weeks or more to process.
“A bylaw has to come to council twice before we can actually change it, then we have to advertise it as well,” said Schmidt.