Follow up to Council meeting Dec 2nd

Advance notice:  Gary Penway, Director of Community Development, during the Council inquiries portion of the meeting on December 2nd mentioned that the Density Bonus Report and the draft OCP would be coming to Council on either December 9th or the 15th (should be 16th).

When the Council meeting recessed for public inquiries on December 2nd, two members of the public were stopped from asking their questions.  One of our members queried the reason with the City Clerk, script of the back and forth:

From: Joan Peters
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2013 12:58 PM
To: Karla Graham
Subject: Question….

  During the Public Question Period at the end of last night’s meeting, 3 speakers were cut off by the Mayor because their questions were “about motions that had been carried”?  Could you please explain this exclusion?  As far as I can see, according to the recess instructions, the only exclusion is that questions must relate to an item on the evening’s agenda – which all 3 of the questions last night seem to be.   I’ve never seen this before and would like an explanation for future occasions.

    Thank you for your help in understanding.           JOAN PETERS

Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 9:14 AM
Subject: RE: Question….

Hello Ms. Peters – 

Thank you for your email.  As the questions related to motions on the agenda that had been passed and approved by Council, the Mayor did not entertain any further questions on the items and no further discussion was warranted.  Although the individuals who had questions or if they felt unclear on a matter would have been welcome to make inquiries of staff following the meeting to request clarification if they needed further information.

 Regards,

 Karla Graham, MMC

City Clerk
t: 604.990.4234 | e: kgraham@cnv.org

City of North Vancouver

Sent: Thursday, December 05, 2013 9:40 AM
Subject: Re: Question….
Thank you for the explanation.  I have spoken to several people and everyone feels this is a definite reversal in their understanding of the public question period.    The old adage holds true – If one person asks a  question, he asks for many others who have the same question.    … A private answer does not help  the  many others who do not hear it. —–
However, if the Mayor has decided to further cut the public out of the conversation, you must clarify the guidelines written in the agenda .
  Once again, thank you for your help.           JOAN PETERS
.

 

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One response to “Follow up to Council meeting Dec 2nd

  1. Why is clear, Council meeting are getting too long. The Mayor commented after the BIA motion that former Mayor Jack only allowed 3 questions during a Council members 5 minutes. Now long series of questions which only use up 10 or 20 seconds of the clock and start off long bureaucratic answers from staff. Surely members of Council can seek out answers from staff prior to the meeting?

    Nevertheless, policy is set by a vote of 7 members of staff – not by Imperial Edict of the Mayor. Tired Councillors did not raise of point of order and force the issue. It is their job to defend the rights of the citizens and Council itself when rules and being broken and even made up on the spot by the Mayor or senior staff.

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