AT THE COUNCIL TABLE: THE COUNCIL MEETING
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
This blog post is part of my series, Civic Citizens Series on Governance. It aims to help Grey Highlands residents learn how local government works.
This blog series includes the following posts:
This blog post explores the Council meeting and what happens to a Report.
In the previous post, I explored the public Agenda.
Below is a visual reminder of the process this blog series is exploring.
At the Council Table
Grey Highlands traditionally (well, for several years, anyway) has Council Meetings on every other Wednesday starting at 1 PM. Meetings can be less than four hours or into the wee hours of the next day (thankfully, there are not many of these my term).
At this point, (theoretically) Council have each read the report, done the research required, had any questions answered, and formulated an idea of what they would like to do. Additionally, the Council Member should be prepared to debate their preferred resolution.
And, then we debate!
Most issues are solved right there and then, for example, let's take the Scattering Garden
example. The suggested resolution on the Agenda was:
That Council receive staff report CLS.22.22; and
That Council direct staff to investigate scattering ground options and estimates throughout Grey Highlands Cemeteries and report back to Council.
Though done in one step, the first part of the Resolution is to receive the Report. This makes the Report part of the record.
The second part of this Resolution tells staff to go ahead and do the research into what it would take to have a scattering garden in Grey Highlands.
Often, the department liaison will move the motion. In this example, I did give a little preamble in support of the idea and mentioned a Cemetery Tour I attended with staff where the idea was floated.
The motion was seconded.
DID YOU KNOW? If you put a Motion "on the floor", you must vote in favour; however, this is not true if you second the Motion. Sometimes a Motion is seconded by a member simply because they would like to hear the arguments.
There was little debate on this issue, and it was quickly voted on and passed unanimously. The Chair then moves on to the next Agenda item.
However, some issues require longer discussion than others, and are referred to a Committee of the Whole (COW) or for public consultation.
In the next post, Your Feedback: Public Consultation, I explore just that.
You might also want to check out my Civic Citizens Series on Communication that starts with the post, Being a Good Civic Citizen: Staying in the Know.
DISCLAIMER The staff at The Municipality of Grey Highlands are experts in their respective fields. If something here is different than staff's advice, always follow staff's direction. And, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with what I got wrong.