Councillors vote to slash 10 advisory committees

The city’s finance and economic development committee and governance renewal sub-committee voted Thursday to cut the number of citizen advisory committees from 15 to five.

Comprised of between seven and 15 members, advisory committees provide input to council and staff on an array of municipal issues.

However, a recent governance review questioned their effectiveness, explaining that advisory committees often perform work outside of their mandate.

A city staff report states meetings are routinely cancelled because members fail to show up or there isn’t much on the agenda to cover. The report also states the restructuring will save the city $190,000.

Still, members of the existing committees appeared at city hall to voice their opposition to the new model.

The proposed model would see five new committees: the Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Community Services Advisory Committee, the Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee, the Arts, Culture, Heritage and Recreation Advisory Committee, and the French Language Services Advisory Committee.

A subcommittee and a “roundtable” would also be added: the Built Heritage Sub-Committee and the Seniors Roundtable – to replace the current Seniors Advisory Committee.

All the new committees would meet four times per year.

City council will vote on the proposal Sept. 12.