To save time and money, Dawsonville officials have moved city council meeting times up two hours, from 7 to 5 p.m., effective in February.
Councilmen approved the time change in a 4-0 vote Jan. 4.
The council will continue to hold its regular meetings on the first Monday of every month.
Mayor Joe Lane Cox said holding meetings at 7 p.m. means “we have to keep the heat and air pumped up.”
“If we meet at 5, we just leave it like it is and cut it down when we’re through,” he said.
Cox said the change will make better use of time for city staff, who “usually get off at 4:30.”
“If we’re going to have [the meetings] at 7, they usually have to stay here until 7,” he said. “Or run home, prepare a meal and come back.
“This just makes it better on everybody.”
Kim Cornelison, city administrator and clerk, said the planning commission has also moved the time of its meetings to 5 p.m. as well.
Cornelison said council meetings were changed years ago to the 7 p.m. slot in an effort to spur attendance.
“Years ago, when I first started [here], there was a decision made to go to later meetings, because they thought the public would be more apt to come,” she said.
“Really, that hasn’t necessarily been the case unless there’s a tremendous issue on the table.”
Prior to the meeting, Cox said the time change could save on payroll as well.
“Help gets off at 4:30, and if they hang around till 7 p.m., you have to pay them different,” Cox said. “If they go home, they got to come back here. We’re trying to do it while everybody’s still in the building.”
The next city council meeting is set for 5 p.m. Feb. 1 at city hall.