Councillor Adriane Carr has submitted a motion for the October 8 meeting of Vancouver City Council directing city staff to present Council with suggestions on how to improve citizens’ access to speak to City Council. Her motion was prompted by the frustrations expressed by citizens as they waited for hours and days at City Hall last week, not knowing when their time to speak to Council about local area community plans would come up. The motion has been seconded by Councillor George Affleck.
Her motion is as follows:
1. Many citizens who come to speak to City Council on an item in a Standing Committee meeting or Public Hearing end up unnecessarily waiting many hours, sometimes for days in a row, which has led to citizens’ frustration and criticism of the processes enabling citizens to speak to Council;
2. The management of meeting agendas and schedules for hearing speakers impacts whether some citizens are able to speak to Council, especially as related to work schedules, transportation and childcare costs.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT staff investigate best practices, consult with the Mayor’s Engaged City Task Force, the City’s advisory committees and others, and report back to Council within two months with suggestions on how to improve citizens’ access to speak to City Council, including the possibility of allowing citizens to sign up for daytime or evening time periods, and the use of technology to alert speakers as to which number on the speakers’ list is being heard.