Lake Council member to push for switch to evening meetings
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent April 7, 2013 11:41PM
Christine Cid. | File Photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 8, 2013 9:42AM
CROWN POINT — One member of the Lake County Council would like to see more public involvement in the regular monthly meetings and says changing the time from morning to evening may do the trick.
Lake County Councilwoman Christine Cid, D-East Chicago, said last week she would like her fellow councilmembers to consider changing the monthly regular county council meeting from 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month to the evening. She said the meetings could begin as early as 6 p.m., but a 6:30 or 7 p.m. start time would work as well.
“I think it’s important to allow a better opportunity for the public to attend,” Cid said.
Councilmembers have preferred the daytime meetings because staff from all of the county departments are available if questions arise regarding specific requests. However, those who attend the county council work sessions the first Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. are often excused from attending the regular meeting.
Staff concern about overtime could be addressed by changing employee schedules or offering comp time if they are required to attend an evening meeting.
Cid said before she was ready to introduce the measure she sent a letter to all of the judges, department heads and elected officials to see if they would be willing to work with a night meeting schedule and the response has been positive.
“I’m asking that we take a vote on that,” Cid said.
Councilman Dan Dernulc, R-Highland, said at the very least the council should consider night meetings when the ordinances concerning the 1.5 percent county option income tax package are considered.