I would like to voice my support for Councillor Judson’s proposals to remove barriers to joining Council. The permanent option to meet virtually and holding meetings outside of work hours are reasonable changes we can make so it is feasible for employed people and/or people with children to be able to join Council.
Leaving this decision for a newly elected Council simply does not make sense; it is imperative that people know before they commit to a position that they will be able to attend meetings. Or they simply will not run. People cannot afford to get elected and just hope that it will work out and their career will not suffer for it.
These proposals are also crucial for any citizen who wants to participate in meetings, not just for elected officials. Once in-person meetings resume, there will be many demographics of people unable to join meetings on matters that directly affect them. It is essential that citizens have every opportunity to hear firsthand what is discussed during Council meetings, and the ability to call in or watch meetings on Zoom should be permanently available to us.
Agreeing with the concept of removing barriers is meaningless if those with the power to do so refuse to act.