Town managers encourage status quo for Council meeting schedule

Corrected to indicate discussion will occur at Committee of the Whole meeting Monday morning.

Osoyoos Council is being encouraged to let a new Council elected in October determine whether to move that body’s meetings to Monday evenings.

The recommendation comes in a report prepared by Janette Van Vianen, the Town’s Director of Corporate Services, that will be presented at Council’s regular Committee of the Whole Monday morning.

The move to evening meetings, Ms. Van Vianen suggests, would cost the Town “around $40,000 – $45,000” in staff costs.

“Using a scenario that Committee of the Whole meetings would be held at 4 p.m. with a one-our dinner break before the Regular open meeting and estimating that the regular open would go until 9 p.m. with possible special closed following or continuing right after to approximately 10 p.m. [I] would estimate total overtime for Directors of five hours each (the other half hour is for cleaning up and closing office after the meeting.),” she writes in the report.

That cost includes an additional 82.5 hours each for four of the Town’s five directors and its deputy corporate officer over 15 meetings, 20 additional hours for its Community Services director and Senior Planner and another six hours for its building inspector.

“Alternatively, directors can alter their work day but this may cause operational issues,” Ms Van Vianen notes.

She also noted the concern meetings might run late and could make “for long days for Council and staff.”

The move to an evening meeting would allow for more public attendance and may encourage “those working during the day to run for Council,” she suggested.

Administration has provided two options for Council:

  • That staff be directed to bring back an amendment to the Council Procedure Bylaw to move the Regular Open Council meetings from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM. To take effect on the first meeting in September.
  • That no action be taken at this time and that this matter be left for consideration by the next council.

The report follows a request from Council mid-January to prepare a report on the costs, challenges and opportunities of moving Council meetings to late afternoons or early evenings.


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