While on the surface it might seem like a time-saving step, Puslinch councillor Matthew Bulmer questioned the practice of councillors signing motions before officially arriving at the council table.
Bulmer asked on Dec. 3 if he was now required to go through the agenda to decide which motions he wants to support in advance.
He said, “we are actually having the meeting now by signing the motions. We are making motions and seconding them.”
Mayor Dennis Lever said if the motion doesn’t reach the table then “it never happened … and doesn’t become part of the record.”
Councillor Ken Roth asked “Do you want all these read to you?”
“If I am signing them, yes,” replied Bulmer, who is legally blind and has his agenda read to him via computer software.
“If I am making a motion to put something on the table I should know what it is.”
Bulmer said he considered signing the papers in advance pre-approving items for discussion, though he agreed bringing motions forward was different than actually voting on an item.
Roth said a councillor can still vote against any motion, even if it was previously signed.
Lever agreed councillors have the right during the meeting to state they do not wish to move or second an item.
Councillors Wayne Stokley and Susan Fielding agreed Bulmer should be aware of what he is signing, as did Lever.
Later, as Roth read the motions, Bulmer had little issue with what was being brought forward.
He later thanked council for addressing his questions.