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Council meetings pared down to 2 a month

By Randy Thoms Jun 19, 2023 | 12:09 AM

File photo Image: Randy Thoms

There will be fewer meetings for members of Fort Frances town council.

Council recently agreed to get their committee of the whole meetings and hold just two regular council meetings each month.

The change stems from a governance review that made a number of recommendations for council to consider, including reducing the number of meetings.

Traditionally, committee of the whole meetings fell prior to each regular meeting of council.

Councillor Steve Maki feels the change will make decision-making quicker and more efficient.

“If we have two council meetings and we get to a point on the topic where we need more time, then we simply can pass it down the road to the next council meeting, two weeks to address whatever issues are brought up at the current meeting. So I think it’s just more efficient, in my mind, to have two council meetings versus one of each,” says Maki.

Councillor Wendy Brunetta preferred having a committee of the whole and a regular council meeting each month.

“Just for the reason that I do find it beneficial to have some time between committee of the whole and council. I know at this point how we’re doing it now is that things will come to committee of the whole. And even though we have a council meeting immediately following our committee of the whole, those decisions typically are deferred until the following council meeting anyway. That does give us some opportunity to do more research on the issues before we vote on it, to perhaps speak to administration to get more information or speak to other resources,” says Brunetta.

Mayor Andrew Hallikas initially supported the same meeting schedule but later revised his preference for the two council meetings.

Council also agreed to do away with its executive council meetings.

A review of all of the advisory committees will take place to determine the purpose and effectiveness.

Those that remain will have new terms of reference.

The change in the meeting schedule is to take place in July.


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