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Editorial: Carolina Beach Start Serving Breakfast At Council Meetings

Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council needs to consider holding two official meetings each month. I remember a time when Council held two meetings each month. A pre-agenda workshop meeting at 5PM one Wednesday of the month (usually the last Wednesday of the month) and then a regular monthly meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30PM.
The pre-agenda workshop meetings served a vital purpose. To allow the Council to sit down at the table in a less formal setting and ask questions about items on the agenda for the next regular meeting. The workshop meetings provided Council the opportunity to be educated on more complex agenda items and helped them, and the public, identify questions and whether there was a need for more information and research.
Those meetings also provided the public a better view of the upcoming  regular meeting agenda.
Last night Carolina Beach may as well have started serving a late night breakfast special because it didn’t end until sometime after midnight. I’ve heard it said that holding two meetings each month would almost double the workload of town employees. With all due respect, they get paid to work.
More importantly, in the past workshop meetings started at around 5PM and typically didn’t last more than two and a half to three hours.
They utilized those meetings to get prepared for the regular meeting the following month. It saved a lot of time by answering some questions ahead of time rather than waiting until the regular meeting and running up the clock until midnight or later.
New Hanover County holds two meetings a month and pre-agenda meetings. Particularly when there are long public hearings, spreading the agenda items over a couple of meetings would allow the public more opportunity to attend and participate if they knew they wouldn't have to sit in the room until the  next morning.