There was a debate at Burlington City Council this week about the amount of time that City Councilors are allowed to speak during Council meetings.
If you’ve ever attended a Hamilton Council meeting or watched on TV, you know that it’s not unusual for Councilors to speak 2, 3 or even 4 times on an issue, and they go on and on and on, more often than not, repeating themselves.
You should be aware that Councilors receive reports and agendas days before the meeting and have more than enough time to contact appropriate staff if they have any questions.
Some Councilors actually read the reports and do talk to staff about questions and concerns, but they still take up valuable time asking the same questions during the meeting.
Because they want you to see that they’re working hard !
It’s all theatre.
I worked with one guy on Council who used to highlight two agenda items at every televised meeting just so he could get camera time on Cable 14.
If we took the show biz and grandstanding out of those meetings, we’d get a lot more accomplished
Of course, whoever is chairing the meeting should control the gabfest, but that rarely happens .
By the way, the rule in Burlington Council is, Councilors speak once and only for five minutes.
We should be so lucky !