Tag Archives: Kingston City Council

Waterfront?

City council meeting March 2, 2015

As expected, the motion re collaboration between Council and the Boards of Ed passed without comment except from the mayor who remarked that if we don’t like it, we will kill it.

However, the city has a major problem ahead of it and  it is waterfront. With councillor Hutchison’s motion( worked out with the mayor) to kill the Wellington St. Extensions from Bay to Montreal, that puts the extension third in line for expenditure after the Marine Museum/Dry doc and K. P. All merit attention, all are waterfront properties, all are properties the city is on record as determined to protect. It is indeed unfortunate that they all occur at roughly the same time. All, undoubtedly will be discussed as the City determines its priorities in late March. At the very least, the city should secure public access to our waterfront. At the most all properties should become public green  spaces, revenue neutral to the city and perhaps even add a bit to the coffers of the City. After all, one of the priorities embraced for 2011-2014 was the protection and creation of green spaces.  The city has created a Waterfront action Committee and is slowly working its way along the waterfront seeking public input, with a view to presenting the Waterfront Master Plan to the Arts, Recreation and Community policies Committee in the fall of 2015.  The devil, as always, is in the details. The Marine Museum property is very complicated.   If Councillor Stroud. succeeds in carrying the rest of Council to buy the property, the issue is likely to have the weight of the K-Rock centre in dividing the community. Can this Community stand such a division?

This is what Councils are elected to do- to take on difficult issues and decide them.

 

On another subject the ‘mouth’ Councillor Neill moved a motion to have  committees as appointed by council, to meet. The motion was passed over the Mayor’s objection 7/5. Clearly a contentious issue. I think this is mainly a question of K EA F.which has not met since appointed. Allegedly, since staff have no questions for its agenda? Can a committee only meet at the discretion of staff? Councillor Neill was correct. the majority of Council agreed with him.

 

In a final note, Paul Schliesmann, the last vestige of the ‘old whig’ and perennial reporter of all things to do with city hall has had an heart attack. You- you know who you are- the print oriented people who depend(still) on the Whig’s coverage of City Hall, regret his replacement by Elliot Ferguson. But let’s give Ferguson and the Whig a chance.

 

Kingston City Council Meeting – January 21, 2014

Kingston City Council Meeting – January 21, 2014

Jason

Jason here. That was the shortest Council meeting on record.  We shut down at 8:30 p.m. – a miracle. The question is WHY? Why did the mayor introduce a motion to have 3 (later changed to 4) meetings of council, structured as Town Hall meetings in the outer areas of the city. We know he was impressed with moving Council meetings during the time when the Council Chamber was  being outfitted with new Information Technology, but those meetings were not structured as Town Hall meetings, where anyone can say anything to the mayor and Council. Does he feel that a significant proportion of Kingstonians are disaffected? Are they? Are they convinced that the inner city usually determines what goes on in the Council? In spite of the fact that they talk a lot, the inner city councillors usually lose votes. Is the perception different? How about the City Hall itself? It IS the centre of downtown. Nothing can be done about that. It is an historic structure that took former Councils a long time to pay off. What will Councillors hear at these non-downtown meetings? A lot about taxes; a lot about snow and the condition of the streets. Maybe it is time to address the procedural by law and have regular meetings of this type outside the downtown.  Would that make everyone feel better? I wonder if inner city Councillors would talk as much during the moved meetings. Time for everyone to understand MPAC. The assessed value of a home is a function of how much it is sold for. So, recent buyers will influence people who have been there a long time and resent justa-comes. Understanding MPAC, of course will not influence the tax rate that is set by City Council. Perhaps Council will be convinced that 2.5% increase is too high. The tax rate has been reduced from 3.5%.. This is the real meat of a Councillor’s task on Council. How do we keep an eye on the future while keeping the present affordable? Is homeownership a luxury? It is in many countries. Owning one’s own home has been the foundation of Canadian democracy. It is hard to change and we probably won’t

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Kingston City Hall, 1875