Windsor city council held more closed meetings last year, but for less time

Windsor city council held more closed meetings last year, but for less time

Windsor city councillors met more often behind closed doors last year than in 2015, but spent less time there and considered fewer items.

Councillors held 26 in-camera meetings in 2016, dealing with 77 items over a total time period of nine hours and 26 minutes.

In 2015, council held 23 in-camera meetings, dealing with 85 items over a period of 21 hours and 45 minutes.

During that same year, there were only two closed-door meeting lasting ten minutes. One clocked in at two minutes and another clocked in at four.

Council bucked that trend in 2016, wrapping up ten in-camera meetings in under ten minutes.

Major difference in time spent behind doors

In 2015, councillors held nine closed-door meetings lasting an hour or more, with the longest clocking in at two hours and fourteen minutes.

In 2016, there were two meetings that lasted 60 minutes. In terms of open council meetings, councillors were in chambers for a total of 65 hours and 34 minutes in 2016 compared to 90 hours and 33 minutes in 2015.

Those numbers add up to a significant difference in average time spent discussing matters in private over the two years. The average time spent behind closed doors for 2015 came in at roughly 57 minutes, while the statistics for 2016 tally up to less than half that, at 22 minutes.

None of the city's four standing committees spent time behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, the Huron Lodge Committee of Management spent 65 minutes in-camera during 2015 and 28 minutes in 2016. The Windsor Licensing Commission held private meetings for 19 minutes in 2015, but only 14 minutes last year.