Council should, by now have adapted to the ‘new council’ (7 new members and a new mayor) after three budget meetings and a regular meeting! and they have. Perhaps it was the budget discussion prior to priority setting that made them put off again the purchase of the Dry Dock site . The chair of the Marine Museum made an impassioned plea for purchase of the site, but he, Councillor Stroud,the Marine Museum’s firmest supporter, was put off by the Whig ad by the members of the Marine Museum’s board.Instead, the Council as a group, decided to move the problem to the Federal Government ,by asking the Feds to make the whole site an Urban apparently there is a precedent for this as the Feds had declared Downsview ( partially a federally owned property) an Urban Park.
This question dominated the meeting of Council.Should the City put off all the other
priorities to buy the property. This poses a BIG problem for the city and I it’s approach to museums generally. While the City is committed to the Pump House, it has offered only money to the Marine Museum.While Museums tend to be monuments to their founders- in this case Maurice Smith, the Tourism group may have something to say about potential support for the M.M. If this museum is supported what about the museum of Health Care, the Geology Museum, and others- are they to be supported as well? Can the property be separated? Can Public Works come clean about their involvement with this property as Councillor Hutchison says they have not. Perhaps the support of the Feds depends on their potential support of changes to theKingston Pen, which has not yet made it through the maze of administration to be sold by Public Works. It is unfortunate that both essential pieces of waterfront have come on the market at the same time- unfortunate for the new Councillors.
Of interest is Councillor Neill’s notice of motion to dispense with the retainer of the Integrity Commissioner.This is a controversial area- integrity. It is rumoured that this issue caused Councillor Glover to not seek re-election. Councillor Neill was a supporter of Councillor Glover,in that they usually supported each other.The report of the CAO
indicated that neither of the two people who responded to the RFP indicated sufficient regard for educating Councillors.The RFP would be re-issued in a form stressing the need for education and the periodic issuance of retainer funds would be cancelled. Does this mean an integrity Commissioner would be paid all at once? Who knows? – perhaps the C.A.O. It may mean that the Integrity Commissioner will be paid only by the hour – educating members of Council and rewriting the Council Code of Conduct.
Councillor Neill’s notice of motion opens one of the rare opportunities for a new Council to review the work of the past Council. Let’s see what will be made of it.