City council wants you … to give them feedback.
Specifically it wants to know if holding its Monday evening meetings at 5:30 rather than 7:30 p.m. is a good idea.
Mayor Bev Buckway thinks it is.
“I think we might get a different turnout,” she said, pointing out that people who rely on transit can’t attend because of the later start time.
It’s an idea that’s been floated before but never adopted.
“I’d like to see us give it a try and see if it makes a difference,” said Buckway at last week’s meeting.
If it doesn’t work, council can always change the time back, she added.
But not everyone is so receptive to the idea.
“Please keep the time at 7:30 p.m.,” said Riverdale resident Kristina Calhoun.
An earlier start time would make it difficult for people with young families to attend meetings, she said.
“Family time is dinner time,” said Calhoun. “As a gesture of accommodating family values and encouraging consistent participation, I ask you to keep the time the same.”
Two councillors, Ranj Pillai and Betty Irwin, sided with Calhoun.
The father of a five-year-old son, Pillai said he knows firsthand how difficult it can be to balance a busy schedule.
Even without young children, taking the time to eat a meal and relax is important, said Coun. Dave Stockdale.
“My wife made me a really nice supper tonight and I still had time to eat it and collect myself before my meeting,” he said. That’s something he wouldn’t have had the time for if the meeting had been held earlier.
The bylaw is up for first and second readings tonight. It’s scheduled to get a third reading ad final reading on Feb. 13.
Before that happens Coun. Kirk Cameron wants to hear what people think of the time change.
“I’m neutral on this one,” he said. “I’d like to hear more from the public.”
If the bylaw changes, the first 5:30 meeting would be Feb. 20.
Contact Josh Kerr at firstname.lastname@example.org