Funny – it is not just about us

I was glad to read this perspective in the Guelph Mercury.

Seek value not volume in council meetings

We have had heavy agendas at meetings, we have had very light agendas at meetings and we have had no agendas at meetings – meaning several are cancelled during a year.

Reports flow from all service areas.  What we have lacked until now is a tool to forecast the reports coming forward to meetings so that we can better manage meeting schedules and agendas. And remember we are “doing business differently”! We are not  doing things just because we have done them that way FOREVER.

The City Clerk has introduced a new agenda forecasting tool.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Labelle and your team in the Office of the City Clerk.

I know there is interest in some current and prospective members of Council of moving to full-time employment as a Councillor.  There may be merit in doing this.  However, it shouldn’t be because we aren’t efficiently managing the volume of meetings.

Committee and Council meetings cost money.  There is a base cost to the City Clerk to prepare and distribute an agenda package regardless of how many reports it contains.  There is a cost to the staff who attend meetings just in case a Councillor decides to ask a question at a meeting.

We have introduced a number of efficiency measures to how we run our meetings.  For instance, the use of Consent Agendas means we extract only those reports that we need to discuss.  The remaining can be approved in one motion and all the staff associated with those reports can return to their work rather than wait out a meeting for no purpose at all.  Nice to see them but it wastes their time.  And we will continue to introduce efficiency measures to the work Council does so citizens get better outcomes, customesr get better service and taxpayer gets greater value for their money.

The new agenda forecasting tool is simply another example of this and a more efficient schedule is its outcome.

About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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