Kiama councillor Neil Reilly has labelled the council's 5pm start to meetings as "discriminatory" after failing to have the time pushed back an hour.
Cr Reilly had proposed that Kiama's Tuesday night council meetings and Monday night public access sessions start at 6pm.
"The standard working day finishes at 5.30pm ... a 5pm start may suit people who are retired and those who teach at schools, but it doesn't suit everyone," Cr Reilly said.
However, Cr Dennis Seage said the 5pm start had been in place for a long time and had never been a problem, while Cr Warren Steel said a later start time would mean a later finish.
Cr Mark Honey, a Jamberoo dairy farmer, said that as someone who got up at 4am to milk cows, "the 5pm start suits me fine".
After losing the vote 7-2, a disappointed Cr Reilly said the 5pm start meant that "for those of us with a working life, we are discriminated against".
Meanwhile, new Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash succeeded in her motion on Tuesday night to have Shoalhaven council meetings switched to 4pm on Fridays for the rest of the year.
However, the move will be subject to a rescission motion lodged by three councillors, including the Greens' Amanda Findley.
Cr Findley said she had had complaints from community members and staff about the switch.
"Council meetings on Friday nights are not community friendly . . . or family friendly either," she said.
Former Shoalhaven council director John Wells was elected Shoalhaven's new deputy mayor.