TRURO – Colchester County Council has tightened up some of the rules regarding public presentations, in an effort to help reduce the length of its meetings.
“I understand the concept,” said Councillor Christine Blair, during recent discussion on the issue, “… and after participating in some presentations that are an hour and a half, I can certainly appreciate the reasoning behind this.”
But Blair also argued that council should provide more flexibility than the 10 minutes of presentation time and five minutes of question time for councillors, which was proposed in the policy.
Other councillors agreed and they ultimately opted to provide some flexibility under certain circumstances.
Generally, however, presentations will be limited to 10 minutes and presenters will be required (except in more critical situations) to submit a “properly completed request form” to the CAO’s office at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which they want to appear before council.
“I think we have an open policy here about dealing with things and I think we have to have a structure in place but I think we have to have that flexibility that people can come in … (for very pressing issues),” Mayor Bob Taylor said.
As well, all requests for funding must be reviewed by staff and council will not respond to such requests made during a presentation.
The CAO will also be reviewing requests for upcoming meetings and whenever possible, presentations will be scheduled based on the order in which they are received.
In cases where more than three requests for presentations have been made, the CAO will determine which ones are to be heard at a given meeting. Considerations that will be taken into account under such circumstances include the nature of the presentation, whether the same topic has previously come before council, the number of times an individual has appeared on the same topic and the time-sensitivity of the subject in question.
The full policy can be obtained at the municipal offices on Queen Street.