Re: Ladysmith’s outgrown it’s city hall
You made some good points in your editorial about incidences where there have been overflow crowds at council meetings, including March 7, when council removed a number of items from the agenda to reduce the numbers in attendance so the crowd would be within the rated capacity of the room.
You say “if this was an isolated example it would be bad enough. But the cramped, stuffy conditions in council chambers at many meetings are not conducive to quality debate – the brain needs oxygen to function properly after all.”
What are you suggesting?
Deferring items on the agenda is not a normal occurrence. In fact this was the only instance I can recall in over 20 years of attending council meetings at city hall. Often the audience is made up of just a reporter from the Chronicle and myself.
Now that council is perusing the idea of live streaming meetings the need for a larger space is reduced even more.
This is not to say there won’t be issues on the agenda when large numbers of citizens could be expected to be in attendance for a meeting, resulting in overcapacity crowds – chambers capacity is rated for 35, but council and staff would account for at least 10 to 15 seats.
When these situations occur, it should not be hard for staff to schedule meetings to a larger facility, like the seniors centre or the Eagles Hall.
An option that council could look at would be holding it’s meetings at the seniors centre (a town-owned building), and renovating the existing council chambers into civic office space until the town can afford to construct a new city hall in the coming years.