Council to meet an hour earlier

The Oak Harbor City Council will now meet one hour earlier.

Council approved the amendment to the Oak Harbor Municipal Code based on feedback from a survey included in city utility bills last spring.

The response was low, according to Mayor Jim Slowik, but the 421 returned surveys included a lot of comments, he said. The results showed a slight preference for a 6 p.m. start in place of the former 7 p.m. meeting time.

The earlier start is a real advantage to city employees because it’ll save an hour of their time, he said.

However, several council members expressed concern over the time change.

Councilman Jim Palmer, who pulled the meeting time change from the consent agenda Tuesday for further discussion, was concerned that the public may not have had enough time to comment on the amendment and wondered how the new meeting time will be advertised.

City Administrator Paul Schmidt said public response was minimal.

“It’s been fairly quiet,” he said.

Councilman Jim Campbell said he was surprised that the time change appeared on the consent agenda, a list of items such as bills and excused absences that the council normally approves without discussion. He felt the amendment should have appeared as an action item.

“That seemed a little odd,” Campbell said. “ We haven’t done business that way in the past.”

The council ultimately approved the change unanimously. The next City Council meeting will take place Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.

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