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City Council to consider holding fewer meetings

Councillors expected to vote Monday on whether to meet every three weeks instead of twice a month
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The Civic Centre is pictured in this aerial photo. Zack Trunzo/Village Media

Sault Ste. Marie City Council will be asked Monday to consider meeting triweekly instead of twice a month, starting Jan. 10, 2022.

"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," says Rachel Tyczinski, city clerk.

"Currently, the short biweekly timeframe forces these types of requests to be responded to on a four- to five-week minimum," Tyczinski says in a report prepared for Mayor Christian Provenzano and councillors.

"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."

Council is reviewing its meeting schedule at the request of Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Shoemaker and his Ward 1 counterpart Paul Christian.

"In 25 years since the current council schedule was established, the city and the entire world has changed dramatically," Shoemaker and Christian said in a council resolution that didn't specify whether they wanted fewer or more meetings, just a review to ensure the council schedule serves the current needs of the municipality.

Right now, City Council meets twice a month except during July, August and December.

"The current meeting schedule requires the workflow for a council report to begin within two days of the preceding meeting," Tyczinski says.

"This is to allow for approvals from supervisors, the chief financial officer and the chief administrative officer before the agenda review committee meets."

"The agenda review committee meeting is held the Tuesday prior to the council meeting. Similarly, there is a tight time frame for members of council to submit motions to the agenda review committee."

Later this year, councillors will consider a comprehensive delegation bylaw that's expected to reduce the number of routine matters on their agendas.

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.