Castlegar city council is changing its meeting schedule — again.
Seven months after adopting a new format and schedule for committee of the whole and council meetings, councillors decided they didn’t like how the schedule was working.
Committee of the whole meetings were being held immediately prior to council meetings on the first Monday of the month beginning at 5:30 p.m. A regular council meeting was then held on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m.
The result was meetings that often lasted more than three hours.
The first step towards the changes happened in June 2018 when council decided to switch up its committee structure, moving away from individual committee meetings to committee of the whole meetings. Those meetings were being held on the first and third Mondays of the month at 1:30 p.m.
When the change to 5:30 p.m. committee of the whole meetings was made, one major concern of some on council was that the 1:30 p.m. time made it difficult for the public to attend, so council hoped more people would show up for the evening meetings.
That didn’t really happen with the switch to evening meetings. At most meetings there have only been about five people in attendance unless there was a special presentation by a local group — and those people frequently leave once their part of the meeting is completed.
Beginning in September, council will meet as the committee of the whole at 2:45 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month. Regular council meetings will then follow at 6 p.m. In camera meetings will be held in between the committee and council meetings.