Public meetings to become more transparent
April 13, 2012 by Martin
A recent resolution penned by York Regional Councillor, Brenda Hogg, puts an end to invitation-only public meetings, a long-running practice where only certain people are officially informed of the location, time and place for public meetings that may affect them.
Councillor Hogg wants to make the public meeting process more open, and hopes to incite a greater number of residents from Vaughan to actively participate. She hopes that the residents will be encouraged to speak their mind at the public meetings so that Council can make an informed decision on planning matters, finance, infrastructure, transportation, health and community issues.
Prior to the resolution, there were few formal regulations or protocol to invite the public to meetings held by Council. The resolution will formalize the process so that a standard set of practices are implemented in every situation. Printing companies in Vaughan may be called upon to reproduce copies of Council agendas, notes, minutes, reports and documents, a further step in making the entire process open and above board.
Before the Hogg’s resolution, invitations typically were sent to residences within 120 m of the site in question, a Council-approved regulation for official public meetings, and copies of reports were available for viewing at the region’s headquarters in Newmarket. Now a detailed study of the meeting dates, locations, notification lists and staff attendants will be compiled and analyzed to determine how improvements can be made. The goal is to have a more transparent process for public meetings so that a greater degree of public participation is generated.