Coun. Gloria McCluskey thinks a discussion of board appointments should be on the table when councillors consider changes to the structure of boards and committees today.

The councillor for Dartmouth Centre said the way the municipality currently deals with board appointments is not transparent — and is anti-democratic.

“How we dealt with our boards and committees in the City of Dartmouth, we did it in open council,” she said. “But now it’s so secretive ... you have to do it in camera ... So what? You get on or you don’t get on.”

Council currently discusses appointments in meetings that are closed to the public, as they fall under “personnel” matters to be considered in-camera. The successful candidate is announced, along with the names of others who applied, but not the rationale for council’s decision.

Mayor Peter Kelly said appointments are discussed in private so as not to drag personal matters into the public realm.

“What you wouldn’t want to do is bring in a couple of appointments and they get knocked all over,” he said.

“We’re just trying to make sure we’re adhering to a process that’s fair to the applicant.”

Kelly said the majority of councillors are in favour of the current process — but he supports opening the discussions to the public, saying it would be more efficient. McCluskey, for her part, said she is doubtful the process will change.