Revelstoke council is doing away with a number of standing committees and moving to a Committee of the Whole structure next month.
The move will change the way council does business. Previously, council had standing committees for administration, security, public works, economic development, planning, parks & recreation, and finance. Each one had two councillors, who met with the department head and other staff every month or so and discussed key items that might be coming to council.
Things like the revised zoning bylaw, financial results or park plans were among the many items that would be brought to committees for discussion before being brought to council for a vote.
The Committee of the Whole means those items will be brought to all of council the second Thursday of each month.
“This council decided through strategic planning they would like to all be involved in the preliminary discussion with respect to things coming forward to council,” explained Dawn Low, the City of Revelstoke’s corporate administrator.
Low said the discussions at the COTW meetings would be “high level.” They will start in October.
“It will probably help us through the budget, to go through that a little bit smoother,” she said.
Council has had a Committee of the Whole structure in the past. Often they were a chance for councillors to discuss upcoming items without the pressure of having to vote on motions.
The select committees of council like social development, youth, and environment are also under review.
“They will be reviewed as to their importance because some of them were created for specific reasons, to create a rapport or accomplish specific things, but they didn’t have sunset clauses and they’re kind of lingering,” said Low. “This council has found they’d like to be more productive.”
The city commissions, like those for heritage, planning and economic development, are also being looked at, however they are required by the Community Charter so they will be kept.
“They may be structured in a way that makes them more productive,” said Low, adding: “Not so much more productive, but so that what they’re doing is brought back to council so council can do something with it.”