I have been asked by residents what the basic procedural differences are between a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting and a regular Council meeting. In my experience, Committee of the Whole differs as follows:
- Is chaired by designated Council members, not by the Mayor.
- Occurs every second week as a less formal procedure that includes a new seating arrangement where Council members sit together at a table on the floor of the Chamber.
- Encourages greater public participation in speaking to agenda items.
- Facilitates fuller and more open debate among Council members on specific agenda items.
- Provides opportunities for staff/public to share new information with Council and subsequently enables Council members time for “sober second thought” on agenda items before they are referred, for final approval, to a regular Council meeting.
If you have any other questions about Council procedure, please refer to the Municipal website or call Oak Bay Municipal administration at the main number, 250-598-3311. Thank you.