PORT HAWKESBURY: Town councillors are considering the idea of providing more decision-making authority to their committee-of-the-whole (COW) meetings.

During the regular monthly town council meeting on January 7, councillors passed a motion to be able to vote on minor issues during COW meetings, rather than only at regular council meetings.

Council was advised by staff members it wouldn’t be possible unless they changed what the actual committee is.

The vote allows councillors to continue the discussion during the next committee meeting so they can decide whether they should begin the process of creating policy to allow the change during the COW, or to change the monthly meeting into a second regular town council session.

Following the meeting, Port Hawkesbury’s mayor, Brenda Chisholm-Beaton highlighted how she doesn’t want to lose the COW.

“My hope is that we don’t lose that essential function of committee-of-the-whole, because that really keeps our whole council grounded,” she said. “Maybe we can come up with some kind of a compromise so that we can still continue to information share via committee-of-the-whole.”

Chisholm-Beaton added she understands the urge to resolve minor issues quickly.