Ever since four members of the City Council decided to change council meeting start times from 7 PM to 6 PM, citizens have spoken out against it. No citizens have spoken in support of it.
After hearing months of complaints, two council members requested to have changing it back to 7 PM brought back to the council for discussion. At last night’s meeting, the council had that discussion, minus the mayor and deputy mayor who were off in Chelan at a LEOFF conference.
Listening to the citizens, Council members Hansen and Knutsen were supportive of moving the time back to a more-citizen friendly time. Council members Boyle, Martineau, and Malloy were not as supportive.
In the end, Hansen, Knutsen, and Malloy voted in support of bringing it back as a resolution at the next council meeting. Boyle and Martineau voted against the motion.
So, let’s debunk the arguments for the 6 PM time.
Malloy said that he likes the 6 PM time because it is more convenient for the on-the-clock staff and students who attend the meetings because they have homework to do. Well, first, who comes first: staff or citizens? Second, how come students cannot do homework before the meeting? They get out anywhere between 2 and 2:30, meaning if you move the time back to 7 PM, they have 4 to 4.5 hours to do homework before!
Martineau said that she has seen an increase of attendance at council meetings, citing some League of Women Voter’s reports. Well, recently there have been some packed meetings but only for the proclamations and presentations. Then, those people leave, leaving mostly the same people who attend every meeting.
In fact, resident Steve Shores has been giving the council attendance updates. His numbers do not include staff or students, just citizens. The meetings have been averaging around 50 people per meeting, with 25-30% of them arriving late. Very clear facts that the current time does NOT work!
And, finally, once again NO ONE has supported it! A council members job is listen to the people and vote the way they tell them, not conjecture what people are thinking and vote selfishly for personal gain.
So, instead of a 7 PM time that works better for normal working people, the council will more than likely continue with this terrible time for nonsense reasons only they could believe.