In the hopes of having staff remove themselves further from policy decisions that are the responsibility of the elected council, the way debate happens at City Hall is being altered.
CAO Sean Smith addressed the new procedure for council debate on agenda items.
“One of the things that we are really mindful of this that council has full control over policy decisions and that staff has responsibility for the operational decisions,” said Smith. “We see this as a natural move to help the meetings run smoother.”
“It clarifies that it’s the council that sits in the debate, not staff,” added Mayor Linda Brown. “That’s key.”
Smith outlined the new order of events;
- Item is introduced by the Mayor
- A staff report is provided
- Council asks all questions of staff
- A motion is presented to Council (At this point staff backs away)
- Council debates the motion (no more questions of staff at this point)
- A vote is held on the motion
Smith did say questions could still be asked of staff during the debate stage under certain circumstances.
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