Council chooses to meet 27% less next year

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Aerial shot City Hall (Dan Gray/SaultOnline.com)

Up to this point, City Council has met every two weeks for over a decade. Council salaries and the salary of the Mayor represent, in part, the amount of work that is involved in preparing for and attending all of these meetings.

Last night, Council was presented with an option of reducing their workload by voting in favour of meeting every third week, starting in 2022.

Right now, meeting every second week, with the exception of the summer months, amounts to approximately 23 meetings a year. Meeting every three weeks would mean that for two out of three years, there would be 17 meetings, while in the third year, there would be 18.

The reduction in meetings has multiple purposes, according to a report which was submitted to Council.

“A three-week meeting rotation allows staff more time to research and prepare comprehensive reports to Council, and notably, would enable staff to respond to postponements and urgent Council requests arising from a meeting at the next scheduled council meeting,” stated the motion.

“Currently, the short bi-weekly time frame forces these types of requests to be responded to on a 4 to 5 week minimum. It also allows members of Council more time between meetings to submit motions or notices of motion. Another advantage includes more frequent meetings during the summer months, which will provide more flexibility for developers in scheduling planning applications.”

Councillor Nero was concerned about the length of time this would put between meetings, noting that when he first was elected to Council, they met every week.

Councillor Scott asked about whether their pay should go down, because the workload drops due to fewer meetings.

That was met with a response from Mayor Provenzano. “Staff would not recommend to us to reduce our own compensation, [and] staff was asked to report back on [this] specific item, which was the meeting schedule,” replied Provenzano.  “If you wanted to have a consideration, Councillor Scott, about reducing the remuneration for a City Councillor, you know, you could certainly start that conversation. You can bring a motion, but it’s not something that staff is going to recommend to the City Council.”

In the end, the vote passed 7-3. Council will now meet every three weeks to attend to City business, with no associated pay decrease. At the end of next year, the new Council will be able to review the process and decide what to do moving forward from that point. 

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Mayor Pumpkinhead and his merry band of sycophants are a giant embarrassment to the city. They all need to go and start fresh with a mayor and council that does what the people that pays their wages want.

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  2. Meeting less does not mean that they will not end up staying longer at the meetings. I do think we need people in our city hall that need to find a way to bring people’s taxes down to help them afford to buy & keep your homes. This is very important in our town.

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