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Will legislature hold more night meetings?

PENN YAN—During a rare night meeting of the Yates County Legislature Feb. 10, legislators discussed the possibility of scheduling more night meetings. Legislator Donna Alexander noted there was not a huge attendance by the public at this meeting, asking if it would be possible to schedule one or two a year with one of those meetings scheduled in the summer. Legislator Douglas Paddock said possibly evening meetings every other month would be appropriate, but the legislature needs to change their rules of procedure first before that change could be made. The Government Operations committee has not discussed that topic as yet, but Legislature chairman Taylor Fitch said that will be ready at the next meeting.
Extensive discussion followed and legislator William Holgate said meeting at night “puts an undue burden on our employees. Every now and then would be appropriate.” Legislator Patrick Galvin said he has a day job and would like night meetings.
Legislator Tim Dennis shifted the discussion to committee system in county government, commenting, “Hours and hours go into committee meetings. There are two at night now.” Legislator Dan Banach added, “You get here at about 2:30 p.m. for a 3 p.m. committee meeting and leave about 8 p.m. To go to all night meetings of the legislature would take four nights. There would be problems with getting minutes out.” He said he would like three meetings a year to be at night. Legislator Steve Webster asked that night meetings be scheduled in good weather months, outlining the difficulty winter weather poses for people with handicaps. Legislator Robert Multer observed Human Services and Finance committees meet at night and it is rare for the public to attend.

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