Ever wonder how a by-law is created, or a new initiative comes to life? Here's a quick guide to how your Town Council works, and how you can get involved.
How It Works
Making a difference starts with someone noticing a problem or opportunity, and speaking up. This often takes the form of a report generated by town staff. These reports typically provide recommendations to be considered by the advisory committee most closely related to the matter at hand. (Though of course you can submit your own ideas and proposals to get the ball rolling.)
So what are the advisory committees? These include town councillors and other members of the community who meet regularly to discuss and debate issues – from the Police Advisory Board to the Heritage Advisory Committee. At these meetings, recommendations can be adopted, amended, defeated, or deferred. For many important issues, the advisory committees are the first step.
From there, the decisions of an advisory committee are compiled as a report, which is submitted to town council at their next meeting for final resolution. The Council is also responsible for making decisions on other municipal matters, such as passing by-laws and receiving presentations and delegations.
How to Get Involved
Yarmouth’s Town Council meets on the second Thursday of every month at 7:30PM in the Council Chambers at Town Hall, 400 Main Street. Everyone is welcome to attend. You can also watch our regular monthly Council meetings live on EastLink TV or view it online. (Archived sessions are also available.)
Beyond the regular Town Council meetings, all advisory committee and council meetings are open to the public (with a few exceptions). We post agendas and related reports for past and current council and committee meetings in our calendar. Generally, we try to post meeting agendas and reports on the Tuesday before a specific meeting.
You can speak to any issue that's before a committee for discussion – either by requesting a presentation, or joining in a public hearing, public participation meeting, or second reading of any by-law under consideration.