City committees that deal with planning, housing, and women's issues could soon be disbanded.
But those that address matters relating to heritage and agriculture would carry on, while the future of the public art committee is up in the air, according to the agenda for Monday's regular city council meeting.
In his inaugural speech in early December, Mayor Walter Gray said he would call for a review of all city committees, with a goal of making sure they were relevant and purposeful.
He specifically questioned the rationale for having the Advisory Planning Commission, a group of citizen volunteers who review development projects before they are advanced to council.
ìI believe there are considerable cost savings and valuable time savings for staff to be realized through the elimination of the Advisory Planning Commission,î Gray said Dec. 5.
ìThis would make for a faster approval process in getting applications to council and a public hearing,î he said. ìTime is money.î
Elimination of the commission will save about $45,000, according to the 2012 provisional budget, details of which will be considered Tuesday by council.
The commission will be replaced by a design review panel made up of professionals who will provide advice on the form and character of proposed buildings.
Also proposed for elimination is the Housing Committee and the Women and Community Advisory Committee.
ìThat doesn't mean the work previously done by these committees stops,î deputy city clerk Karen Needham said. ìIt means the work will be carried on in a different way.î
For example, Needham said, council and staff will work to accomplish goals set out in the recently-adopted Housing Strategy. And a new, monthly committee-of-the-whole meeting of council is proposed to specifically consider health, safety, and quality of life issues.
The fate of the city's public art committee, which oversees a budget of approximately $150,000 a year for new sculptures, will be determined after completion of a consultant's report in February.
No changes are recommended to the city's Accessibility Advisory Committee, which considers matters of concern to people with disabilities, the Agricultural Advisory Commission, or the Community Heritage Commission.