The City Council has tentatively approved a plan to hold all of its weekly meetings in the evening. Most meetings are currently held during the day.
The proposal to begin meetings at 6:30 p.m. was introduced by Councilman Jeffrey A. Kellogg, who said that night meetings would increase citizen participation and allow people with more rigid daytime schedules a chance to serve on the council.
"When people come up to the podium, the thing we always hear is 'I took a day off work to be here,' " he said.
City Manager James C. Hankla said the switch would cost $56,000 a year in staff overtime, utilities and security.
Such a change would have been unlikely under the former council, Kellogg said, when morning meetings often stretched into the late fternoon and night meetings often ended in the early morning. But since new members and a new mayor joined the council in April, the meetings are smoother, he said.
The proposal passed Tuesday on a 7-1 vote. Councilwoman Doris Topsy-Elvord voted against it, saying that further study is needed. Councilman Thomas J. Clark was absent.