HERE is one step to ensure open government. Councils should never allow motions without notice, except for emergencies and for trivial matters.
That sort of zero-notice decision making excludes the community and generally involves poor decision-making.
By insisting that councillors think ahead and write out their intended motions, the quality of the actual intention is improved.
By consulting with the staff and other members they can get the wording right and make sure that the proposed action makes good sense and is actually legal.
By publishing the notice of motion two weeks ahead of time, the community gets to hear about it and can make deputations to a council meeting.
Councillors also get time to think about the proposal and its implications.
Details of such motions could be clarified at the briefing sessions and workshops that precede each full council meeting.
There would be far less time debating the wording of on-the-spot motions late at night and more time considering real matters.
This innovation would promote open decision-making, improve decision quality and build trust with the community.