Bid for extra council agenda time fails

Oak Bay council rejects bid to increase lead time for council agenda deadline

Coun. Eric Zhelka

Why fix what isn’t broken seems to be consensus of council when it comes to meeting notice.

Coun. Eric Zhelka, concerned about too short notice for the public prior to council meetings, proposed a motion to amend the procedures bylaw to have the agenda for each meeting of council or committee ready and posted online and to council members at least 72 hours before the meeting.

The current bylaw stipulates a minimum 24 hour notice.

“What we have works well. … I’m comfortable getting the agenda Friday and having it for the weekend to read it,” said ,” said Coun. Hazel Braithwaite noting it’s likely enough time for residents as well. “The current model we have seems to strike a balance.”

Tara Ney agreed Friday to Monday seems to be enough.

“The issue for me does come up around the Friday meetings,” Ney said, of council’s recent handful of Friday morning meetings.

Staff noted they endeavour to have the agenda package of information available Monday for Friday.

Zhelka noted that last minute items, such as those added to the Nov. 14 meeting late that day, would continue.

Mayor Nils Jensen suggested while it’s a fair concern to ensure everyone has time to prepare, large issues generally come before council repeatedly.

“We often get complaints of not moving quicker,” he said. “I think by and large we have ample time to prepare.”

Council defeated the motion to alter the bylaw.

Visit www.oakbay.ca to find online agendas.

Council meets Monday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. in chambers at municipal hall, 2167 Oak Bay Ave.