More In Camera Meetings than Council Meetings

How Council’s time is allotted

The Council Key Date Calendar shows the following information regarding Council’s primary meeting schedule for 2012; i.e. Council Meetings, Committee of the Whole Meetings and Public Hearings.  The breakdown looks like this:

  1. Council Meetings:   21 scheduled
  2. Committee of the Whole Meetings:   16 scheduled (to date one cancelled and two specials added)
  3. Public Hearings:  12 (to date one has been cancelled)

And then there are the secret In Camera meetings increasingly used by Council: 

The figure for 2012 has been extrapolated from the 11 In Camera meetings held thus far this year, a period of some 4.25 months.

In any event the number held in 2011 already exceeded that of Council Meetings.  What is going on behind those in camera doors that didn’t go on in previous years?  One may suspect that the 2006 Annual Municipal Report provides an answer to what happened in that year in the following:

“2006 Highlights

  • Hired a new General Manager of Corporate Services to respond to senior staff
  • succession planning needs.
  • Conducted various Council strategic planning sessions to determine strategic direction.
  • Achieved significant progress on the New Nanaimo Centre (NNC) initiative:
  • Nanaimo Ice Centre completed.
  • Construction of downtown parkade, new Council Chamber, community museum and conference centre under way.
  • Foundry site cleared.
  • Lot 50 prepared for transfer to Snuneymuxw First Nation.
  • Hotel efforts ongoing.”

What happened following the 2008 election that led to the rapid and continuous growth of secrecy at City Hall?  Any ideas?