At next Tuesday's regular meeting of Elliot Lake City Council, the city's seven council members will be asked to look at making a change to the committee system.
Elliot Lake CAO Daniel Gagnon will pitch the councillors to change the present standing committee system to a committee of the whole model.
In some communities, rather than holding two regular monthly council meetings as Elliot Lake does now, municipal governments alternate between a committee of the whole meeting and a regular council meeting.
However, Mr. Gagnon suggested a different approach with a trial period when staff and advisory committees could attempt to focus the agendas on themes similar to the former standing committees. That is, first Monday of the month committee of the whole meeting: Bylaw and Planning / Rec and Cultural matters - third Monday of the month committee of the whole meeting: Finance and Administration / Public Services / Economic Development matters.
"Council in the last term (prior to 2019) did a trial period of the committee of the whole in 2017. Since that time standing committees have been in place with similar challenges like lack of quorum, meetings cancelled and difficulties in scheduling which have been prevalent," Gagnon said. "The committee of the whole process can be viewed as more accountable and transparent, as all meetings are on Mondays and the public can more easily follow the process of governance."
"Work-life balance is improved (or at least is more straightforward) as staff and council can settle into the safe pattern that Mondays are taken up with council or committees. Advisory committees would continue to report to the committee of the whole Items from the staff or advisory committees can flow to the committee of the whole every two weeks (rather than wait for up to four weeks for a meeting that is often cancelled," Gagnon said in his report to council.
The issue is due to be discussed on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. one day after Elliot Lake Council would normally meet since Remembrance Day falls on Monday.