What difference does it make?

June 2, 2016   ·   0 Comments

APPROPRIATELY, BUDGET DISCUSSIONS by municipal councils always involve the full council membership, yet typically take place as committee meetings chaired by someone other than the mayor.

It isn’t clear to us why this has been the traditional way of proceeding. Mayor Jeremy Williams suggested it makes the format “less rigid,” but perhaps it’s because the job of presiding over the sessions is usually left to a council member with particular talent for it.

And that may also be the main reason Orangeville Council has decided to abolish its Finance and Administration Committee and have all budget discussions occur during regular Council sessions.

The unusual move follows two years in which  budget debates often deteriorated to the point where Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock likened them to a “gong show.” Rightly or wrongly, other councillors have put the blame on the chair both times, Councillor Nick Garisto, who was seldom content to sit back and let others lead the debate.

It will be interesting to see whether it will make much, or any, difference, to have the 2017 budget discussions presided over by the Mayor rather than his appointee.

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