Committee of the Whole

Committee of the Whole (COTW)

In 2012, Altona Town Council adopted the COTW concept for conducting its business and decision-making process. COTW is a committee that consists of all Council members. Instead of holding separate Standing Committee meetings, the regular meetings of the Works and Operations Committee, Finance and Administration Committee and Community and Social Development Committee will now be heard by the entire complement of Council members, including the Mayor. COTW meetings are open to the complement of Council members, including the Mayor. COTW meetings are open to the public and occur on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. COTW meetings in July and August are held once per month and scheduled in advance by Council.

The COTW format permits Council members to deal with complex issues in greater detail than would be possible in a regular Council meeting. Issues discussed at the COTW meeting will not be formally adopted at these meetings but recommendations from these meetings can be presented to a subsequent regular meeting of Council for official adoption.

Some of the perceived advantages of adopting this format are:

  • All members of Council are involved in the discussions and recommendations on all civic issues.
  • It is a more inclusive environment; no one member of Council feels marginalized.
  • It is expected to reduce the notion that Council simply “rubber stamps” decisions.
  • It allows for a sober second thought as all recommendations are referred to the subsequent meeting of Council before a final decision is made.
  • It reduces the number of committee meetings, thus reducing the amount of agendas and minutes and the effort involved in generating these.
  • With fewer meetings, Administration is able to focus on the other key responsibilities.

Standing Committees of Council

The current Town of Altona Organizational By-Law 1722/2014 established the following Standing Committees:

  • Finance and Administration Committee
  • Works and Operations Committee
  • Community and Social Development Committee
  • Executive Committee

For more information on the above committees’ roles and the Town’s organizational procedures, please refer to the Organizational By-Law 1722/2014 below.


Town of Altona Organizational By-Law 1722/2014 – BL-1722-2014 ORGANIZATIONAL BY-LAW