Councillors decide to attend briefings remotely

Councillors may attend council briefings remotely when they are not confidential, the Council decided at its meeting on June 22.
A report showing the councillors’ attendance at council briefings was tabled earlier in the meeting.
The table included attendance figures for the three Gosford West ward councillors, who represent the Peninsula.
Cr Chris Holstein attended 60 of 78 available briefings and 11 of 12 “CEO Weekly Updates” on coronavirus measures.
Cr Richard Mehrtens attended 59 briefings and three Updates.
Cr Troy Marquart attended 20 briefings and no Updates.
The table showed that deputy mayor Cr Jane Smith had attended the most briefings of any councillor in the past two years (72) and all 12 Updates.
Cr Greg Best had attended the least briefings (17) and one Update.
Cr Smith argued that councillors needed a valid reason for not turning up to briefings in person but other councillors said dialing-in saved time.
Cr Jillian Hogan said Zoom meetings were a better use of time and Cr Doug VIncent said it saved two hours’ travelling time.
The CEO Weekly Covid-19 Updates were recorded, and councillors could access them later.
Councillors adopted a list of meeting dates for the rest of the year and decided the council meetings would continue to be held at Wyong when they were able to be held in public again.
Council had decided in February to meet only at Wyong because it had better facilities to cater for more public gallery members than the Gosford chambers.
No date has been set for face-to-face meetings but the Wyong council building foyer is being renovated and the building won’t be available for meetings until about September.
In the meantime, if council meetings are allowed to be held in council chambers without public attendance, they will be held at Gosford.

Central Coast Council agenda 2.2, 22 Jun 2020