Does One Daytime Council Meeting a Month Hamper Diversity on Everett City Council?

February 5, 2014

Everett, Everett Government

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Everett City Council

The council is considering going back to holding all meetings at night.

The Everett City Council tonight took up the issue of its meeting schedule. By ordinance, the city council meets each Wednesday evening at 6:30pm except for the 4th Wednesday of the month when they meet at 12:30pm. They’ve been doing that since 2010. A new ordinance has been introduced asking that the one daytime meeting be abolished and all meetings be held at night. This evening councilman Scott Murphy argued that the one daytime meeting a month was a good idea for senior citizens who wanted to address the council but who had difficulty getting out at night. Murphy also referenced swing shift workers who’s only chance to speak may be at the daytime meeting. Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher spoke out against the daytime meeting saying that it keeps otherwise qualified people from running for a seat on the city council. “There’s no way for example a teacher would be able to get one day off a month to attend a daytime council meeting,” said Stonecipher. She went on to say that Everett was the only city of its size in the region to have a daytime meeting. She also said she felt the meeting schedule made it hard to attract diverse candidates. Councilman Paul Roberts also spoke out against the daytime meeting noting in his experience as both a council member and a city staffer people were driven by their interest in what is on the agenda and not the time the meeting is being held. A public hearing with a final vote on the question has been set for February 19th at 6:30pm at the Everett City Council chambers.


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