City Council Meeting May 20, 2014
Jason here. Last Night’s Council meeting was an exercise in city boosting. Did you know that Kingston had been named one of seven cities from all over the world as an intelligent community by The Intelligent Community Forum ? Do you care if the city has “a unique opportunity to learn from the world’s most dynamic communities how to use information and communications technology to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable” cities? That is how the ICF(Intelligent Communities Forum) describes the upcoming meeting in New York where the most Intelligent Community will be chosen. Jason’s bet is that you care more about the $3 million to be spent on city streets to repair winter damage. On the latter subject Councillor Downes asked the most disturbing question ‘how will the City manage if Global Warming makes last winter the norm instead of an aberration?’ In house experts claim that (Division St is a case in point) roads are not being completed correctly.
Service covers are being left at a lower level than the road which leads to damage at a later date. Jim Keech, the CEO of Utilities Kingston feels that if Downes is correct, a rethinking of spending is in order. The controller of the budget wasn’t so sure as budgeting takes five year averages, so the winters would be figured in. Still, the budget would have to increase.
Hector and Hutchison moved a motion which passed unanimously, to ask staff to complete the Official Plan and zoning by-laws to exclude a gaming facility as a permitted use in the Central Business District, This is interesting because Hector was rumoured to be in favour of a gaming facility in the CBD.
On the Score Board issue we learned the difference between an ‘integrator’ and a ‘manufacturer’ after one of the suppliers of some of the parts of the current board went out of business. Council went with a ‘manufacturer’, of course, the ‘manufacturer could go out of business as well ANDSMG could be supplanted by another manager. Both might cause a problem, but the sun shines on SMG right now.
Councillor Neill moved the following motion. Of course, it is an urban myth that unions and developers dollars play a big role in municipal elections. What is interesting about this motion is the request that this city be given the same powers as Toronto. Perhaps
this would free us in many ways from the weak mayor system we now suffer under.
If we get this from the province, perhaps we can get other powers. It will take a lot of work. As Rob Wood of 80/20 info, and Councillor Downes pointed out last night, cities are the engines of innovation.
Whereas the City of Toronto has enacted By-law #1177-2009 to prohibit all Corporate and Union donations in Toronto Municipal Elections; and
Whereas other Ontario Municipalities are not granted the same powers to so adopt such rules of election finance under the Municipal Elections Act, 2006;
Therefore Be It Resolved That the City of Kingston request that the Province of Ontario grant similar powers to all Ontario Municipalities so that future Councils have the power to enact similar restrictions, should they so choose.