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Sebastopol council considers earlier meeting times

Patrick Slayter


The Sebastopol City Council is meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, but because meetings have been running so late, at least one council member thinks future meetings should be at 5 p.m., or maybe even 4 p.m.

“It is important we have enough time for the city to do its business; it is important for meetings to be of adequate length, but nobody does their best business when fatigue sets in,” said Councilman Patrick Slayter.

Four-hour council meetings are the norm for many city councils, but the Sebastopol City Council meetings sometimes run much longer.

Sometimes, discussion on the meatier, hot-button items such as SmartMeters or leaf blowers does not even begin until 9p.m. or after. That makes it difficult for some people who want to stay and comment, but can’t stay late.

“It’s fair to say by 10 or 11 o’clock, the public tends to leave,” said City Manager Jack Griffin. “People have to get up for work the next day. It is not limited to Sebastopol … the later at night you go, the less people remain in audience.”

The starting time for the Community Development Agency and the City Council has been 6 p.m. since the summer of 2009. Before that it was 7 p.m.

Slayter has asked the council consider start times of 4 or 5 p.m., with no discussion on new agenda items after 3 or 3½ hours and the meeting to run no longer than 5 or 5½ hours.

One Response to “Sebastopol council considers earlier meeting times”

  1. Jon Bixler says:

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    of sufficient interest to the public or a special audience to warrant press attention or coverage.