During the fall election campaign, the idea of an open question and answer session becoming part of the regular South Dundas council meeting agenda was a recurring topic of discussion.
The idea of adding such a ‘Q&A session’ to regular council agendas has not yet been brought to the table at a regular council meeting for discussion, but it looks like it may already be scrapped.
During a recent priority setting exercise for South Dundas council and staff, which took place February 6, at council chambers in the South Dundas Municipal Centre, in Morrisburg, the topic was briefly discussed.
Members of South Dundas council had earlier last week attended a two day council training session in Cornwall, where the topic was discussed.
According to South Dundas mayor Evonne Delegarde, all of those with expertise providing advice to the council members advised against open question and answer sessions at council meetings.
It was explained to council, that council meetings are meetings for council business, and even though they are open to the public, because they are council’s meetings, it should be up to council to bring issues into the council fold, not the public.
The public already has the ability to bring an issue to their council, by way of contacting an elected official whose phone numbers and email addresses are readily available, by writing a letter to council or by following the process to make a deputation to council.
Delegarde, added that she still thinks an annual town hall meeting for public input and feedback is an important exercise that she expects to continue in this term of council. Her hope was to hold one ‘as soon as possible’ but last week conceded the first town hall meeting of this council is not likely to happen until fall 2015.