Councillor pushes for more agenda lead time

Coun. Eric Zhelka plans to seek a longer lead time for council agenda preparation in Oak Bay

Coun. Eric Zhelka plans to seek a longer lead time for council agenda preparation in Oak Bay.

He made a notice of motion last Monday, Oct. 24, to modify the procedure bylaw to allow for final agenda distribution three working days ahead of a meeting instead of the current one-day deadline.

“I’d like to see that for all public meetings,” Zhelka said. “The essence of the motion is to work to address many of the comments and concerns I’m hearing around the speed of change in Oak Bay.

“Council recently passed a number of initiatives to speed up some council and administrative procedures that will effectively approve (re)development faster.  We are also having more public meetings, such as those coming up on Fridays, due to our budget cycle restarting and the many initiatives that can be traced back to our new OCP.”

The motion, expected at the Nov. 14 council meeting, would ask that the procedure bylaw change to mirror those governing the Advisory Planning Commission, where the agenda package is provided to commission members at least three working days prior to the scheduled meeting date and posted to the district website.

“Both the public and I only get 24 hours to review all reports and plans and minutes … before we meet to discuss,” Zhelka said. “I believe this was barely acceptable when all public meetings were on Mondays and the weekend effectively stretched the time to three days. This is not a reasonable amount of time for notice nor for the material to be reviewed and comprehended when public meetings are on other days – as they have and are planned to be from now on.”

Agenda and meeting schedule are online at www.oakbay.ca under ‘municipal hall.’

Zhelka’s motion is expected to appear at the Nov. 14 council meeting, 7 p.m. at municipal hall, 2187 Oak Bay Ave.