The new year brings new starting times for Sidney council.
Regular council meetings will now start at 6 p.m. as opposed to 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month (except for the months of July and August). Committee of the whole meetings will continue to start at 6 p.m. (except for the month of December, with only one meeting scheduled for July and August).
Council finalized the change in late November 2019 following consultation earlier in the year that showed support for the change with the proviso that an online survey conducted by the Town was not representative. By way of background, 23 out of 28 respondents favoured the earlier starting time.
Couns. Terri O’Keeffe and Scott Garnett opposed the change. Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith joined Couns. Sara Duncan,Barbara Fallot, Chad Rintoul and Peter Wainwright in favour of the change.
Fallot acknowledged opposition to council’s decision, but defended the change by saying that it won’t impact that many people.
“I think that people can and will adjust to the 6 p.m. starting time on this one,” she said as council adopted the relevant changes to Sidney’s procedure bylaw in late November.
Garnett used the occasion of council to restate his opposition.
“Even if it affects one person, I’m not in favour of moving it,” he said.
O’Keeffe, another critic of the pending change, had also pointed that it was council — not the public — driving the change.
Sidney’s council first regular council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 13.
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