By Kevin Werner • METROLAND WEST MEDIA GROUP
Hamilton politicians will continue to meet at 5 p.m. for their twice monthly council meetings.
Councillors confirmed the permanent time change at their Dec. 12 council meeting.
For the last year, politicians had been meeting at 5 p.m. as a pilot project, rather than the previous time of 7 p.m. The majority of politicians had accepted the new time, which allowed them to end meetings earlier.
Councillors began meeting at 5 p.m. in January 2012, for a six-month trial period. They extended the pilot program until the end of this year.
Initially, nine councillors supported the 5 p.m. start time, with some suggesting a 3 p.m. start would be even better. Five politicians wanted to keep the 7 p.m. time, while two were undecided.
Mountain councillor Terry Whitehead backed the 7 p.m. start because he wanted to spend more time with his family. But Stoney Creek councillor Maria Pearson said she has not received any complaints from her residents about the new time. She pointed out they can still see councillors at work, but on tape-delay.
Other councillors wanted to have the 7 p.m. start so residents could see council live on Cable 14 telecasts, and possibility contribute to the debate through social media.
When politicians held their council meetings at 7 p.m., it sometimes wouldn’t wrap up until 11 p.m. or midnight, depending on what items were on the meeting’s agenda.
Cable 14 will continue to broadcast the council meetings, but the proceedings will be televised starting at 7 p.m. The council meetings are streamed live through the city’s website, www.hamilton.ca.