After several months of conversations and research and help from city staff, Castlegar city council has formulated a new policy to govern question period at council meetings.
A provision for a question period is included in the city’s bylaws, but does not include specific policies.
Since the spring of 2019, the mayor or whoever is presiding over the meeting has read a statement of guidelines, but some councillors thought a formal policy should be put into place.
The guidelines laid out in the new policy require that questions being asked deal with current agenda items, issues council is presently dealing with or issues of interest to the general public. Each person is only allowed one question, until everyone else has had an opportunity to speak. There is a maximum of three questions per person. Each question is limited to two minutes. The entire question period is limited to 15 minutes.
Council also reserves the right to defer responding to a question in order to obtain more information.
Questions regarding legal matters, confidential matters or matters from a closed public hearing will not be answered.
If someone still has more questions to ask after the official question period is over, council and staff will be available at the end of the meeting for further conversations.
The bylaw amending the policy is slated to go before council again in the coming weeks.
READ MORE: Missing Slocan City man found dead