Monthly Archives: January 2015

To buy or not to buy

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.

 

Short and(maybe) sweet

The second full meeting of the new council was short and uneventful. The bylaws item before adjournment was at 8:17 p.m.  and as the mayor said this is a great way to start the new year- not that this is within his control. Missing were briefings and more presentations and consider recommendations from the C.E.O.  Also not on the agenda were controversial motions and new business. This will all come, as this Council Is no more together than the last one. Mind you, the meeting was longer than it might have been because of the very lengthy presentations for inductees into the 2015 Sports Hall of Fame. The mayor should have asked Council for permission to extend the presentation beyond the 5 minutes allotted for it. The extra-long bios of the inductees took much more than 5 minutes. Does this mean that the new mayor will in future ignore the procedural bylaw that gives 5 minutes for presentations He might have dealt with this before the meeting? We will see in the future. Presentations and delegations are 5 minutes, briefings ae supposed to be 10 unless lengthened.

The most interesting part of the meeting was a motion by Neill and Holland to use local musicians and their music as background for call waiting and at Public Municipal Properties. (I guess that means rinks). This is what Ottawa now does and although it has a myriad of technical difficulties, passed unanimously. Holland spoke eloquently about what we have to gain by recognizing musicians-national and international recognition that local musicians will be encouraged. All look forward to the staff report. Envy staff having to wade through the logistical issues.. What he doesn’t want – the mover is a bunch of phone calls from musicians saying that their music is not being played enough or at all.

A new Council may review any matter decided by a previous council provided contractual…no one did. Will be for intensification or neighbourhoods?  There is little to indicate how this Council stands on issues.