Cobourg previews new council practices

By Cecilia Nasmith

Following the passage of the new Procedural Bylaw Feb. 4, the Town of Cobourg has issued a press release spotlighting important amendments that took effect.

The first is the change of meeting time. All committee-of-the-whole and regular council meetings as set out in the 2019 schedule released several weeks ago will begin at 6 p.m. instead of 4 p.m., beginning with the Feb. 19 committee-of-the-whole meeting. On occasions when public meetings or statutory planning meetings are required, these will begin at 5 p.m. (instead of 6 p.m.). Exceptions may be made when otherwise directed by resolution of council or when an emergency meeting is called. With 48 hours' advance notice, exceptions can also be made.

When matters are presented by a delegation, council may opt to refer the issue to staff for a report or a response, or perhaps to an advisory committee or local board for a response. In such cases, council will set a deadline within which the response or report will be returned to council.

Council will be trying something new by adding an open forum to each committee-of-the-whole meeting to allow individuals to address council to make informal enquiries or comment on matters of municipal business. Anyone wishing to take advantage of this opportunity must sign the Open Forum Register held by the clerk in advance. These presentations are limited to five minutes, and speakers must follow rules of conduct set out in section 39 of the bylaw.

To view the entire bylaw, visit