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Kelowna councillor seeks change to council meeting schedule

Coun. Charlie Hodge at Kelowna city council chambers.
August 11, 2015 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - City councillor Charlie Hodge needs more homework time and wants to move council meetings to another day.

“This is what I get Friday morning in my agenda package,” Hodge says, brandishing a three-inch thick stack of reports. “I’m supposed to know all this by Monday morning or at least have an understanding of it so I can ask reasonably intelligent questions.”

An online version of the agenda package is available Thursday but Hodge prefers the paper version so he can make notes. The paper version isn't available until Friday morning.

Hodge says the current council schedule — regular Monday morning and afternoon meetings, plus public hearings every second Tuesday evening — leaves no time to read the agenda package and then ask questions of staff before the meeting.

He has no idea when the current schedule was adopted but says he thinks it’s a product of when Kelowna was run by the 'old boys club' who had plenty of time on their hands.

He would like to see the regular meetings moved to Tuesday morning and afternoon, allowing a full day on Monday to make enquiries of city staff. Hodge says he’s fine with leaving public hearings on Tuesday evenings or moving them to another day.

Hodge says he has had some interest from other councillors in making the change but none have put forth a notice of motion, something he intends to do next week. He concedes some councillors have framed their lives around the current schedule and may be reluctant to make an immediate change.

“We can make it effective next year or even next election if that works better for people.”

Hodge claims most major municipalties in B.C. hold regular council meetings on Tuesdays. Closer to home both Penticton and Vernon councils meet Monday afternoon while Lake Country and Peachland both meet Tuesday evening. West Kelowna alternates between afternoon and evening meetings on Tuesdays.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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