New term bringing changes to council
Okotoks: Meetings to begin at 2:30 p.m. and live-streamed to public
Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 06:00 am
A new term will bring some changes to town council meetings in Okotoks.
Public meetings will now begin at 2:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month, an hour and a half later than the previous start time.
Okotoks CAO Elaine Vincent said the change was made largely to make council meetings a more effective use of council time.
“What we were finding was that we want to ensure the public has access to our meetings and the public absolutely has access to the public hearings,” said Vincent. “If we hold the public hearings at 7 p.m., we didn’t have enough business to keep us busy, so there were two to three hours there where council time wasn’t occupied.”
Condensing the time of the meeting will mean less down time when public hearings are scheduled, she said. Delegations will still be heard at 3 p.m..
The new time will be effective at the first council meeting of the next term, Oct. 30.
It will also be the first meeting to be live streamed. The video feed will be up and running for council’s first session, though Vincent said due to connection issues it may only be available after the meeting for the first while.
“We have struggled in our testing for that live-streaming to do there, and we ourselves may need to wait until that broadband upgrade is in place,” she said. “So worst-case scenario, there will be a video feed people can play after the fact. Best-case scenario, we will have both live-streaming and the replay feature available.”
She said videos will be live as soon as the broadband connection supports the feature.
For playback after the meeting, residents will be able to access video directly from the council agenda and pick and choose which portions they watch, she said.
“Say you were very interested in a topic on the council agenda, you can click on that topic and it will then pull up the written portion and the live feed, so you can just watch the portion you’re interested in,” said Vincent.
The new council was sworn into office Oct. 23.