There could very well be more video-conference Timmins council meetings in the future. What we won’t see is any councillor who can’t attend a meeting having someone else register a proxy vote on their behalf on any issue.
The matter came up at the September 22nd meeting. Clerk Steph Palmateer reported that the province is leaving either matter up to council.
He recommended against proxy votes, saying council is the most accountable, accessible and transparent form of government we have.
“To allow a member of council to predetermine how they’re going to vote on an issue prior to coming to a meeting and hearing the discussion on the topic just seems to fly in the face of those main fundamentals,” Palmateer suggested.
Mayor George Pirie agreed, noting that proxy votes are part of the corporate world, where a full understanding of any issue is present leading up to a vote.
“In a municipal setting where you need this debate, I don’t see how voting proxies work,” Pirie remarked, “so I support electronic meetings; voting proxies, I do not.”