Today, I had the honour of chairing a council meeting. Mayor Milobar had to travel to the coast for the first meeting of the new provincial / municipal RCMP contract committee and it is my month to be deputy Mayor. Every councillor takes a month and we all just cycle through the year as the Mayor's backup.
Chairing a council meeting as deputy Mayor is really different than participating when not chairing. Your concerns shift from asking questions and providing meaningful input to making sure all are given a chance to speak and that the meeting moves along in as timely manner as possible. It is a real balance to allow colleagues time to ask questions and speak to motions AND to make sure the meeting is conducted within a three to three and half hour time frame (that's usually the maximum before we all start to get really squirelly). It is pretty intense being in a council meeting, lots of meaty issues, cameras always rolling, media watching.
The actual Mayor does a much better job of chairing the meeting while also asking questions and providing meaningful input. Mayor Milobar has even more respect from me after today. Since being elected again in 2011, I've found Pete chairs a great meeting - but I really had no idea of all the stuff you need to juggle.
Looking forward to getting back to my regular seat next week and also really thankful for the experience and practice.