Mayor Horwath on Council Seating Arrangement

New faces in new places.

Hamilton’s city council seating is now arranged alphabetically, a break from the traditional seating by ward.

The change is more pronounced because 10 of the 16 council members are new this term of Councill.

Mayor Andrea Horwath says she wants councillors to get to know each other. She says it is based, in part, on the “assumption was that people who already are in these various wards side by side, somewhat know each other, or at least know their communities because they’re close by,” and alphabetical seating enables this.

Alphabetically, the new seating arrangement (by ward number) is 10-12-9-8-5-4-6-2-Mayor-15-3-7-14-11-13-1.

[Beattie, Cassar, Clark, Danko, Francis, Hwang, Jackson, Kroetsch, Mayor Horwath in the centre, McMeekin, Nann, Pauls, Spadafora, Tadeson, Alex Wilson, Maureen Wilson.]

The seating was part of the mayor’s early efforts to assist new councillors to “cross-pollinate, if you will, in terms of getting to know the city as a whole.”

In the first week, Council conducted a bus tour meeting travelling to each of the wards to look at areas of interest to each council meeting. That meeting was live-streamed using a smartphone.

The new seating arrangement is supported by councillors, with some already discussing randomizing the seating in the future to enable a different view during meetings. There have been no requests to return to the previous seating arrangement.

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Published: December 18, 2022
Last edited: December 18, 2022
Author: Joey Coleman
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