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Carolina Beach Council To Consider Shorter Meetings

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Following a late night April 9, meeting the Carolina Beach Town Council is considering a change to how they schedule meetings.
Mayor Bob Lewis explained Sunday, "In an effort to make our council meetings more effective and to reduce the length of time of each meeting I would like to change our scheduling. I would like to suggest that we have a council meeting the week before the regularly scheduled meeting."
Lewis explained, "This would be an advertised open meeting scheduled to last 1-2 hours. We could cover basic agenda items such as: non-profit requests for funding, committee presentations, approval of minutes, approval of the consent agenda, updates on various projects i.e. Nourishment, Dredging, Parking Management etc. This would act as a pre-agenda meeting with the effort of getting through a number of items prior to our normal meeting."
Lewis explained, "This would allow us to focus regularly scheduled monthly meetings on the larger issues at hand including Conditional Use Permits, public hearings,
new proposals for projects, budget review etc. I would
hope we could scale our regular meeting to something like 3-4 hours."
He explained, "We would be spending the same amount of time, but we would not feel pressured to move an item along too quickly and
I would feel as though our residents would not get so bored. I think the length of our meetings are keeping some away from even attending and are making our meetings less effective."
Councilman Tom Bridges explained via email to Lewis, "I fully support your recommendation. The County commissioners use the same
kind of format. Would our pre-agenda meeting meet in the afternoon like they do?"
Councilman Steve Shuttleworth agreed.
In recent months it has become common for the Council to push through meetings until around midnight and in some cases continue meetings to other dates because a meeting was running longer than expected and the public often left early.
Previous administrations in the early 2000's would hold a pre-agenda workshop meeting a couple of weeks prior to the regular meeting set for the second Tuesday of each month.
That was later eliminated leading to many late night meetings.