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Bylaw to address decorum at Summerland council meetings

Municipal staff will work to draft rules of decorum for council meetings
Municipal staff will work on a bylaw to establish rules of decorum at Summerland council meetings. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland’s council procedure bylaw will be amended with clear rules for decorum and conduct at council meetings.

At the Aug. 8 meeting, council directed staff to draft amendments to the procedure bylaw.

“Clear rules of conduct and decorum in council chambers fosters respectful and collaborative meeting processes,” corporate officer Kendra Kinsley said in a report to council.

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The rules of decorum are intended to ensure council meetings are conducted effectively, to allow members of the public to be heard in a fair, impartial and respectful manner and to ensure meetings are conducted in a way that is open to all viewpoints, yet free from distracting and intimidating behaviour.

In other municipalities, elements have been put in place to regulate behaviour at the meetings. These include refraining from disorderly and boisterous conduct, prohibiting the display of signs, placards, banners or other symbols having cellphones set to silent or vibrate, prohibiting people from speaking out from the gallery unless they are first recognized by the chair and other points of order.

“Where rules on decorum are not followed by an individual, it is within the authority of the chair to ask that individual to leave the meeting,” Kinsley said in her report to council.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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