DOVER — Starting in September, City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.
The change in start time received unanimous approval during a council Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday.
Meetings currently begin at 7:30 p.m. each second and fourth Monday. The change will apply to all council meetings except the first one in May, which the city’s charter states must be held at 7:30, due to the mayor’s report on the state of the city during that gathering.
The change will begin at the Sept. 13 meeting.
A statement from absent Councilman Matthew Lindell, read by Councilwoman Tricia Arndt, said he preferred a start time of 7 but was not opposed to the 6:30 beginning.
He wrote that starting at 7 would allow more time between the end of the traditional workday and the 15-minute open forum held prior to each council meeting, as well as executive sessions.
Councilman Fred Neil said he “basically” supports the change. He also noted that there would be less time between the end of the workday and the start of meetings, which could be difficult for council members with full-time jobs.
In the end, Councilman Neil approved of the new start time, to keep meetings from going late into the night.
“My only concern is with my colleagues. Can you do this? Does it work for you?” he asked.
Councilman Ralph Taylor said he does work more traditional hours but that he still encouraged the change.
Council President Roy Sudler also voiced his support, saying the “earlier the better.”
The time alteration was suggested by Councilman Bill Hare.
Council also Tuesday approved the delivery of monthly reports by Mayor Robin Christiansen, Councilman Sudler and other members from regular City Council meetings to Committee of the Whole meetings (held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month).