A new city hall committee, an initiative of Mayor Christian Provenzano intended to review how citizens are appointed to boards and committees, held its first meeting this afternoon.
First item of business was appointing the committee's chair.
The three committee members: Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Shoemaker, Ward 6 Councillor Ross Romano and City Clerk Malcolm White, looked at each other across the table.
"You want me to toss a coin?" White asked.
They didn't want to do that, although the irony of the moment wasn't lost on the committee and there was a bit of joking about how coin-tossing might be a darn good solution to picking board and committee members.
Instead, Matthew Shoemaker agreed to chair the thing.
Councillor Shoemaker said he had contacted a number of other municipalities, most of which indicated they make appointments at open meetings.
But Malcom White said it's not always that simple.
Some communities make their choices using what are essentially secret ballots at open meetings, an approach that Sault Ste. Marie is unlikely to favour, White said.
Councillor Romano served notice that he thinks a hybrid process might be preferable, especially when some candidates (persons with disabilities, for example) might be concerned about publicity too early in the selection process.
The new committee voted to have city staff poll comparable munipalities on their selection practices before another meeting next week.
The committee will also explore whether city council should make appointments or endorsements to share capital corporate boards or other private enterprises.
Mayor Provenzano asked that the committee be set up, pointing out that the Sault's appointments policy hasn't been updated since 1982 and doesn't ensure that appointments are made openly and transparently.
Malcolm White said that many municipalities are currently reviewing their selection practices.