Aberdeen City Council meetings to start at 6:30 p.m.

As the Bob Dylan song goes, “The times, they are a changin.’” The same is true for Aberdeen City Council meetings.

The new start time is changing. The switch could make things easier on everyone involved — from the council to the mayor, city staff and residents.

The city council meetings, still on the second, fourth and fifth Wednesday of each month, will be “streamlined” to eliminate a separate Committee of the Whole meeting, according to an email from Kati Kachman, Aberdeen City Council president.

“The changes are in an effort to be more efficient during our council meetings, and allow for an earlier start time so people who attend in-person can attend the meeting earlier in the evening,” Kachman said in the email. “Our meetings previously had duplicative agenda items, which will now be consolidated.”

There will also be an “ending time” of 8:30 p.m., unless there is a motion to extend.

While the separate Committee of the Whole meetings have been eliminated, Kachman said “all of the components of that meeting will be included in the regular council meeting.”

The time change to 6:30 p.m. is effective starting with the next city council meeting on Feb. 8.

The city council meetings will still take place inside the 3rd Floor Council Chambers at City Hall, according to the city’s notice about the time change. Aberdeen City Hall is located at 200 E. Market St.

The consolidated meeting will include a single public comment section early in the meeting, Kachman said.

“It will be earlier in the meeting so people making a public comment about an agenda item will be able to do so before an item is debated,” Kachman said.

The comment period will allow residents to comment on anything, including agenda items. There used to be two comment periods, one for agenda items only, and one for any issue, or point, a resident wanted to discuss.

“Again, this is beneficial as citizens often attend our meetings to provide feedback and currently have to wait until nearly all council business has been conducted before they can make a public comment,” Kachman said. “Additionally, we will be updating our agenda to include a consent agenda, which will streamline routine items into a single motion, again to improve efficiency during meetings.”

Councilor Debi Pieraccini, Ward 5 Position 10, proposed the change in meeting time, according to Kachman.

“I’m very supportive of the change,” Kachman said. “As I’ve worked through the ordinance change, I’ve only heard positive feedback from the council, staff, and community. I believe the new start time of our meetings allows for people who work during the day to still attend, while not going too late in the evening. It gives better guidance for start and end times, which helps our citizens have a clear understanding of when meetings take place and for how long. The new agenda and meeting format will support the efficiency gains we’re hoping to realize by changing this ordinance.”

For further information, residents should contact Ruth Clemens, city administrator for the city of Aberdeen. They can call her at 360-537-3233; correspond via U.S. Mail at 200 E. Market St., Aberdeen, WA 98520-5207, or via email at rclemens@aberdeenwa.gov.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com for future story ideas.