Great news for Councillors, city staff and even reporters, The city is taking steps to try to get marathon meetings under control. The lengthy meetings become particularly frequent during budget time when public delegations can easily eat up several hours before anything else on the agenda can be considered.
Under a motion presented by Mayor Horwath and Ward Two Councillor Cameron Kroetsch, Council meetings will be capped at 8 hours. Further, there will be a 30-minute break after the five-hour mark which is what is required under the Employment Standards Act for staff, but had not been enforced in Hamilton at council meetings where staff attend.
The motion permits meeting times to be extended with a majority vote of councillors, but the five hour break would not be affected.
A Hamilton General Issues Committee meeting last Wednesday lasted just under 12 hours, which included a more than three hour in-camera session.