The maximum number delegations allowed to speak before a council meeting was the subject of debate a Lantzville Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.
District of Lantzville’s current procedure bylaw allows for only three delegations to address council during a regularly scheduled meeting. The bylaw also states that each delegation is granted a maximum of 10 minutes to speak, unless extended by two-thirds vote by council.
Councillors noted that they don’t often experience multiple delegations in a single meeting and discussed whether it was too restrictive.
Coun. Bob Colclough pointed out that as the bylaw stands, if four individuals want to speak to four separate items on the agenda, one delegation would be left out.
“There should be the ability to talk about any item on the agenda,” Colclough said.
Coun. Dot Neary preferred to stick with the current bylaw, saying three delegations with scheduled time frame of 10 minutes each would be enough and that council has the ability the amend the agenda and make accommodations when necessary.
Coun. Denise Haime suggested having no limit on the number of delegations.
“We don’t get overwhelmed with delegates. Traditionally, 90 to 95 per cent of the time it is a non-issue,” Haime said. “When I sat on the [Regional District of Nanaimo] we would have, like, 19 delegations in a night and they would just let everybody speak. It is their elected officials and it is an item on the agenda that they want to be heard on, so in my mind, we signed up for this gig and if we are here late, then we are here late.”
In the end, councillors agreed to eliminate the three delegations per council meeting.The procedure bylaw still needs to be approved during a regular council meeting.
Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime and councillors John Coulson and Mark Swain were not in attendance.