Since the election last October, I have attended many councils, committee of the whole, community, and Regional District of Central Kootenay meetings in Nelson. These meetings are all open to the public, but the common thread of all these meetings is how few members of the public actually attend. During most of our meetings, we will see one or two members of the media and the public. We appreciate their attendance and their interest in the matters we address at our meetings, but I certainly hope there are many more people interested in what we are doing.
A few people have commented that the timing of council meetings may be an issue, which council has considered. For example, if council were to schedule meetings in the evenings, there would be additional expenses in staff remuneration for attending an evening meeting, or alternatively, there would be a need to reduce attending staff work hours during regular workdays to allow for the extra hours in the evening. This has an impact on taxpayers by either adding extra cost or reducing service levels during the day.
About a decade ago, council meetings were scheduled in the evenings and public attendance was not any higher than it is during the current meeting which commences at 4 pm. Council meetings are regularly scheduled for the second, third and fourth Tuesdays (with occasional exceptions).
The council agendas and meeting minutes are posted on the Town of Creston’s website at www.creston.ca. The information that council utilizes to make informed decisions is contained in the council agenda packages, although additional information and discussion between council and staff do occur at the meeting as part of the decision-making process. As a councillor, I go through each agenda package multiple times after the agenda is prepared, and I always find something in the agenda package that would be of interest of everyone that lives here.