by Shaun McLaughlin

A motion I brought to Council Tuesday May 8, to set up public meetings to explain options for a change in Council composition, didn’t go far. So many members had issues with the numbers of options to present (even though Council in March agreed to those options), and dates for open houses, and the number of open houses, that the motion never went to a vote.

Council will hold a special meeting on May 23 to discuss the public process. The result will likely be fewer options presented to the public, and open houses next fall instead of June as I wanted.

I am uncomfortable with delays from experience. For example, the discussion on sharing hydro revenues, which we started in May of 2011, took 15 months to reach a finale because of continuous delays and inability to find a consensus. If we are to have a change in Council in place for 2014, by law all decisions must be made by the end of December 2013. Council does not hold regular meetings in July. And August is a month of catch-up for July. So by the time we get back to this issue in September, as some councillors want, only 4 months will remain. If we hold public meetings in September, the results won’t be available until October. Then we need to debate what we intend to do and then draft a by-law. And October is a time when Council begins debating the 2014 budget. It would be easy for procedural delays to push the decision beyond December 31 and thus nullify any public input on Council composition.

Come to the special meeting at 6 PM May 23 to see your 11-person Council in action. Bring your own popcorn.