Council Meeting- December 3, 2013
Jason here. When Council finally started – after 8:30 and reported out from Committee of the Whole, it was to appoint George Rust D’Eye as an integrity commissionerto enquire into the “ Actions and Conduct of a person retained under contract by the municipality and a representative’ (whatever that means). Can anyone with a last name of Rust D’Eye really be named George? Obviously, and that is why his appointment took so long. This is a good point about closed meetings. Clearly whoever transgressed (at least according to the City) needs to have his or her name protected from general circulation.
The most interesting part of the meeting was the final report of the consulting group who prepared the growth scenarios of the City for the future. There was clearly a disagreement between the Consultants and those whom they interviewed on future funding from the Federal Government. The consultants thought the Federal funding would remain stable (armed forces primarily, now that K.P. has closed), those interviewed were less sanguine.
Whatever the views of readers, the consultants thought we were in good shape growing at least. Unfortunately for the City the engines of growth are both in the central part of the city – the university and Hospital. The Official Plan will have to be changed to accommodate the new figures and the City will have to come to grips with the growth engines. Apparently the University is working on a new master plan. It will be interesting to see if the University abandons it’s insistence on concentration of students and academicians. The Queen’s experience is putting a lot of stress on the adjacent areas and has increasing influence on our downtown- as commerce finds moving up (the hill, that is)(west?) on PrincessSt. is better for business. We can expect a contraction in the population in 2035 when deaths exceed births. This is true for all urban areas .In the meantime we can expect our population to grow by 1000 people per year. Growth by 2031 is expected to be 147960 – not including students. Obviously the consultants were not sensitive to the recent O.M.B. decision! Much work to be done here!
Not to be discouraged by the decision by the mayor that their previous motion on a referendum for Pittsburgh and Countryside was Out of Order, Reitzel and Scott introduced another. This time it was to direct staff to look at commercial facilities in the Rideau Town Centre to see if the rules of engagement were in keeping with the village concept or were keeping commerce out of the area. Clearly residents want to avoid strip commercial in the area, but according to Scott they need a large grocery store, a pharmacy and a hardware store. The Rideau Community Secondary Plan was adopted in 2010.It shows commercial in the centre of a low density residential area. Commercial will want to be along Highway 15. Does all of this depend on ‘ the bridge”?Will this discussionmove ‘the bridge’ up on the list of City priorities?Is there any sense in putting it ahead of the railway bridge on Counter Street? We have not heard from the downtown merchants in a while. Is the Wellington Street Extension a plan to keep shoppers in the downtown when ‘the bridge’ is built- assuming that most of the traffic abandons the causeway. I guess that depends on whether ‘the bridge’ has a toll on it. Jason assumes that most people going to work will pay a toll – provided it is not too high, while others will avoid a toll. Lots of interconnected parts here.