McBride councillors lobby for more agenda review time

Lucille Green. / EVAN MATTHEWS

by EVAN MATTHEWS

Two McBride Councillors are working to have agendas available earlier in order to have more time to prepare for meetings.

Councillor Green put forward a motion to have agenda items available to members of Council by 4PM the Friday before each Council meeting. Currently the agendas are available just over a day earlier.

“I don’t believe that receiving the Agenda items in just over 24 hours in advance of the meeting is sufficient,” says Coun. Green.

“I think we have a duty to our community to be thoughtful about items that may affect the wellbeing of the community or individuals and organizations within the community,” – Councillor Lucille Green

“It is the responsibility of each council member to review each item on the Agenda and to be prepared to discuss each topic.”

In small communities such as McBride, Coun. Green says councillors often have other full-time jobs and evening commitments, leaving inadequate time to review agenda topics during the current 27-hour period between receiving the agenda and attending the meeting.

“I think we have a duty to our community to be thoughtful about items that may affect the wellbeing of the community or individuals and organizations within the community,” she says.

“Without a proper review before the meeting, improper decisions may be made in haste and without adequate discussion and debate between the Council members,” she says.

Coun. Green wasn’t the only councillor to put forward a motion on the topic.

Councillor Rick Thompson put forward a motion echoing Councillor Green’s remarks. / EVAN MATTHEWS

Councillor Thompson put forward a motion to amend the same Council Procedure Bylaw.

CAO Kelley Williams attached a comment to the agenda stating, “Bylaws are one of the most important pieces a Council works with. Rather than making piecemeal changes, I recommend Council review the entire bylaw to identify other areas.”

Ultimately, Coun. Green says Council decided to review the “Council Procedures Bylaw” for any other amendments, so changes to the bylaw could be made with one motion. Council chose to postpone the motion for amendments until all council members had sufficient time to review the existing bylaw in more detail, she says.

Amendments to the Council Procedure Bylaw need Council to go through three readings, public notice and final consideration and adoption before being implemented.