The new year has begun and with it comes earlier start times for Boulder City’s City Council and Planning Commission meetings.
Starting Tuesday, Jan. 11, City Council meetings will begin at 5 p.m.
“The 5 p.m. start time for council meetings will provide greater access for the public to participate throughout the entire meeting,” said Tami McKay, city clerk. “In the end, we achieve more convenient access for public participation, which promotes transparency and accountability for local government.”
According to a city press release, council meetings had been starting at 7 p.m. for more than 40 years. In 2020, more than 15 meetings lasted past 10 p.m., making it hard for people to participate in public hearings and in the final public comment period. McKay also said flexible work schedules and technology allow more people to be available for a 5 p.m. start time.
“In light of flexible work options and advanced technologies, constituents can engage and be involved in the meetings through virtual meetings and video streaming, either by calling in during the public comment periods of the meetings or by submitting written public comments,” she said.
City Council unanimously approved the earlier time at its Nov. 9 meeting.
At that time Mayor Kiernan McManus said he thought this change was a “good” one even though he was hesitant about it because the 7 p.m. start time had “become a tradition.”
“I also see the burden it puts on city staff when we’re here until midnight or later and then they have to come in the next day at 7 in the morning to perform their day jobs,” he added. “I think this is a good change. It’s a compromise between what many of the other councils do when they meet … in the morning.”
Councilman James Howard Adams said he thought the 5 p.m. start time would benefit the community.
“I’ve heard from far more people that the meetings are too late and ‘I can’t be there until 10,’” he said on Nov. 9. “We’ve had a number of those meetings. I think five is a very reasonable time. Especially in our community, I think many people can make that.”
The Planning Commission will also be starting at 5 p.m. for its meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. Its first meeting will be Jan. 19.
Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.