The Covington Planning Commission has elected to move its monthly public hearings to a time later in the day in order to encourage greater public access.
The commissioners voted on the matter at their Tuesday afternoon meeting. The new regular meeting time will now be at 6 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. The commission formerly held its public hearings at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month.
The commission's monthly work sessions will continue to meet at 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.
Brought forward at the suggestion of Covington Mayor Sam Ramsey, the thought behind the time-change proposal was that it would encourage greater public access for those residents who can not get away from work to attend the commission's afternoon meetings but would be able to make it to a meeting that took place after work hours. In addition, the meeting time change could also allow a greater range of citizenry to sit on the planning commission.
"It's something that we need to address," said Covington Planning Commission Chairman John Presley when the proposal came before the commission. "Frankly I think it's a good idea."
While there was a brief discussion on moving the public hearing time to 7 p.m. to encourage even greater public access, several commission members said that they feared that the meetings would not end until late at night if the meeting's start time was 7 p.m.
"The people that really want to be here, they can be here by six o'clock," Presley said.
The nine-member Planning Commission voted unanimously for the time change.