Open discussion about releasing info from closed door meetings
Prince George, B.C.- Council for the City of Prince George has been wanting to seek ways to increase openness and transparency, and releasing information from closed meetings was one of the things that was up for discussion.
There was a motion before Council that would have changed the way information from closed meetings is made public, but the change could be expensive and work intensive.
While the Community Charter is specific about the kind of items that can be discussed behind closed doors, (basically labour, land or law) there is no process outlined for bringing those matters to the public in a routine manner.
The current practice has Council making decisions to authorize release of specific matters and how that information is released. That’s the way Councillor Albert Koehler would like it to stay, saying basically, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Councillor Terri McConnachie says before she became a Councillor she was always “suspect” of the openness and transparency, but her view is different now that she is a Councillor “I am part of an open and transparent Government”. She says there are some issues which need to be discussed in a closed meeting.
Councillor Frank Everitt supported leaving things as they are, saying there are things that need to be discussed in closed session because of legal issues and favours approving for public release when it is appropriate to do so.
Mayor Lyn Hall says he is comfortable with leaving things the way they are.
Councillor Garth Frizzell says while things are o.k. the way they are, “We can always improve” and was the lone dissenter on the vote to leave things the way they are.