In one of their last decisions before turning over the reins to a new council, Nanaimo Councillors approved rearranging the furniture. Council’s seating arrangement will be shifted so they sit in a horseshoe, with staff on either end.
Nanaimo resident Fred Taylor raised concerns about the new seating arrangement.
But the majority of Councillors, including Diane Brennan, liked the idea, saying it will be easier to debate with one-another.
Councillor Bill Bestwick, however, raised concerns about the podium, saying it doesn’t accommodate people in wheelchairs, and the new central location will block the view of some in the gallery.
City Manager Ted Swabey called those “excellent points”, and said they’ll ensure the new podium is user friendly for people in wheelchairs, and easy to move out of the way when not in use.
Shifting the seating in the Shaw Auditorium is expected to cost about $4000. The work is scheduled to be finished next month. The vote was 8-1, with only Councillor Jim Kipp opposed.