Life on city council

Ryan Donn


Monday council meetings

By Ryan Donn

A few years ago, I had a chat with Castanet about writing a few columns about life on city council. It's taken a couple years to get around to it, but it offers a glimpse into council life.

For this first column, I wanted to keep it simple and focus on some of the basics. We meet almost every Monday for the full day and then we meet every other Tuesday for public hearings.

By the end of this column, you'll know where we meet on Monday mornings and afternoons, where to find an agenda, and which file you should look at for the quickest and best summary of an agenda item.

On Mondays, we have two distinct meetings. The morning meeting is held in the Knox Mountain room (fourth floor of City Hall). It's often a more of a workshop, discussion, council vision, or staff's expert advice. The example I mention in the video is the agricultural plan.

We had a couple in-depth Monday a.m. workshops on various aspects of agriculture in Kelowna.

One may offer history and context as to how we got here, while the others offer a chance for staff to share their expected next steps and council to share their vision, opinions or concerns about where we are going.

Then, after public consultation and feedback, it comes to the main council chambers in the Monday afternoon meeting. It also went to a Tuesday public hearing, but I'll focus on public hearings in another article. 

So quick summary – Monday a.m. meetings deal with workshops, discussions, staff recommendations, councils initial feedback, etc.

I should note that on Monday mornings there is also an in-camera portion. The name is deceiving as it essentially means private. During these meetings topics would include “land, legal, personnel."

Here is the link to the agenda: https://www.kelowna.ca/city-hall/council/council-meetings-public-hearings

When you get there, click on the AM agenda. For Oct 30 item 3.1 is Feedback on the Legalization of marijuana.

If you click on that item and then look for the one called presentation, you will find a 10-page powerpoint that offers the most concise summary of this topic and what is being suggested, asked, etc. 

Most items on Mondays eventually end up on the news. For that item it was the day the agenda went live. The agenda is added online between noon and 3 p.m. on the Thursday afternoon before the council meeting. 

Most folks are aware of the afternoon council meeting location and can catch that on live video here on Castanet.

I'll be doing at least five or six of these columns over the coming months. If there are questions you would like to see answered from my perspective let me know.

Fire me an email with any suggested columns ideas to [email protected].

Next, I'll cover Tuesday evening meetings and public hearings.  

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Kelowna city councillor.


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