Oak Bay officially approved a shift to earlier meeting times for the next council.
In a conversation started late last year, which included a fair bit of subsequent debate, council voted during the Feb. 14 meeting to adopt changes to its procedure bylaw.
Changes aim to streamline scheduling of in-camera meetings, provide more notice of an in-camera session and create earlier finish times for meetings, to lengthen the time between the end of one work day and start of the next for council, staff and the public.
Council was divided on the idea. Couns. Andrew Appleton, Cairine Green and Esther Paterson opposed, with concerns ranging from making a decision affecting the next council – municipal election day is Oct. 15 – to a lack of consultation into the time change and its potential limitations for the public.
Changes include starting meetings at 6 p.m., with closed meetings at 5:15. Regularly scheduled council continues to be the second and fourth Monday of each month, with exceptions being August, the month of a municipal election (October for 2022) and December. Committee of the whole meetings will also start at 6 p.m.
The changes took effect Feb. 28.
Council meets most Mondays. Find agenda and participation options online at oakbay.civicweb.net.
Editor’s note: This story was updated March 1 to reflect when the timing changes come into effect.
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