Last week's recommendations to council by the Board of Control included Item 7 (PDF):
Council chambers are in fact inhospitable to spectators, if not to councillors, but it's not poor sight-lines or acoustics that keep public attendance at council meetings down to a handful or two — "it being noted that at the public hearing associated with this matter there were no members of the public in attendance to speak to these matters" is not an uncommon record. The general disinterest of the public in live performances by council should also be read as a disinterest in spending their taxes to accommodate it — any money spent on council chambers is money spent on councillors' vanity. Taxes would be far better spent on updating the city's website to update council and committee minutes in a timely manner and available in a more accessible and convenient document format. But if they do go ahead with the inevitably over-priced upgrade — which they will — let's hope at least that they keep around the thousand-dollar "ergonomic and adjustable" chairs…
Postscript: Should we be surprised that the public doesn't bother to watch councillors hem and haw comprehensively over agenda items like this?
The "Council of Canadians" may be a witty epigram, but there can't be too many Canadians in its council if it has to resort to blind-siding them through a handful of politicians and their bylaws.