Questions for Consideration:
On April 23, 2018, a motion was made before the Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee (SPPC):
"Commencing December 2018, Council and Standing Committee Meetings shall, where possible, be scheduled during the day with arrangements made to accommodate Public Participation Meetings at appropriate times."
The motion was delayed, and the directive of the committee was to seek public input. The City Clerk was also directed to create two draft calendars - one for the current meeting dates/times, and one for the proposed meeting dates/times.
The motion, if successful, would impact the meeting times of City Council and the City's five Standing Committees: Civic Works, Community and Protective Services, Corporate Services, Planning and Environment, and Strategic Priorities and Policy.
If the motion is successful, Public Participation Meetings, a common component of Planning and Environment Committee Meetings, would be held at 6:30 p.m.
Points to consider:
- changing meeting times from 4:30 p.m. to meeting in the daytime (9:30 a.m./1:30 p.m.) would, if the motion succeeds, affect the incoming council, which takes office on December 1st.
- incoming council candidates may not be aware of this proposed change, and may have submitted their nominations based on the understanding that meetings of council and committees take place in the evening.
- being a member of city council is a part-time position.
- Public Participation Meetings already often go late into the evening. Delaying the start time to 6:30 p.m. could result in later meetings.
- day time meetings may prevent members of the public from attending.
- all past council and committee meetings are audio/video recorded and available on www.london.ca
- changing meeting times to during the day could impact staff availability and ability to address workload.
- holding meetings in the evening results in senior management having excessively long workdays, and city unionized staff being paid overtime for their attendance, when required.
- requiring senior management and staff to attend evening meetings could be a deterrent to recruiting talent.
- decision making may be affected when meetings go late into the night.