Hamilton City Council is embarrassing itself by holding unnecessary meetings during its traditional summer recess.
Council usually recesses meetings for three weeks in July and three weeks in August.
Yes, the time is used for vacations.
More importantly, it is used to catch up on administrative work, meetings with constituents, and prepare for fall council meetings.
This year, Council is interrupting the recess to hold one-off non-urgent meetings by video conference.
Take the July 5th Governance meeting.
“It is July the fifth today. I really resent the fact that I have to be here if there’s no point to this meeting,” declared Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko from his cottage.
Danko was not wrong. His timing wasn’t right.
The time to speak up was when the City Clerk called the meeting.
For the next 45 minutes, Council debated the pointlessness of the meeting, then held a pointless debate trying to define the word “majority” without actually defining “majority.”
[This clip of the “majority” definition debate captures the absurdity.]
Today, Monday, July 17, Council was recalled from recess for a CityHousing Hamilton shareholder meeting.
The purpose? Rubber stamping the 2022 annual report of the municipal housing agency.
Council struggled to make quorum.
Only half the councillors were present for the 2:00 p.m. start time.
Three were in the Council Chamber, five were attending by video conference, and the other eight not present.
An ninth councillor showed up at 2:11 p.m.
The meeting began despite Ward 11 Councillor Mark Tadeson taking a phone call with his video conference microphone muted.
Council repeatedly lost quorum during the 45 minute meeting.
The summer recess benefits more than just the members of Council.
Their political staff and the employees of the City who support Council need the time to take their vacations without missing important decisions or having their inboxes overflowing upon return.
Well performing organizations have vacation periods.
It is time for Hamilton City Council to sort themselves out.
Production Details v. 1.0.0 Published: July 17, 2023 Last edited: July 17, 2023 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version