The regular Council meeting on October 30 included a number of announcements including the hot one about the change in the start time of Council meetings. Although Miriam Mutton and Keith Oliver both made presentations about the new bylaw that would change the rules to be followed by Council – including the start time – most councillors were in favour of at least a trial of the new time so the bylaw passed unanimously. They were assured that any council at any time and initiated by any councillor can move to change such rules so were happy to at least try out the new start time. But there were a number of other announcements about the Town including staff changes, business changes and a new program to give recognition to staff achievements.
Staff and Council Changes
- The new Council proceedings bylaw will come into effect with the first meeting in January – no target date was set for the end of the “trial” so Council meetings will be at 4:00 pm until decided otherwise. Miriam’s concerns were mostly esoteric although she accepted the idea of a trial of the 4:00 pm start. Keith had two concerns: 1) that a 4:00 pm start made participation by citizens difficult – they need to hear what others are saying to council and 2) there should be a provision for a rebuttal when delegations make a presentation. Council took no action on their submissions.
- Popular and prominent Heritage Planner 1, Alison Torrie-Lapaire is leaving for a job in Toronto. Her last day is November 10. She is also President of the Cobourg Historical Society so she will be sorely missed.
- The Parks, Recreation and Culture Department has hired a new Manager of Community Services – his name is Christopher Elliott and he starts November 6. As described in this article on June 2, the new manager will manage events and recreation programming. Dean originally said he would also manage Cultural Services and spearhead the Cultural Master plan.
Town Department Recognition
Communications Officer, Ashley Purdy has launched a new campaign called “This is Cobourg”. Each month she will make a presentation to Council featuring one of the Town’s Departments – this time it was the Environmental Services Department. She plans to use Infographics and will promote the campaign on the Town buses, in the local newspapers and on the Municipal website. The photo at right shows Councillor Forrest Rowden holding the first Infographic. The first “National Win” item is the Canada first of installing a sewage treatment plant that uses Ozone instead of chlorine. It saves money as well as being more environmentally friendly.
- The marijuana plant is old news now but Mayor Gil Brocanier said that he had talked to the Mayor of Smith Falls where a marijuana factory had moved into an old Hershey plant and he said that it was all good news – he could not think of one downside.
- As announced back in May, Hart Department Stores will be filling the space at the Mall vacated by Sears. Gil said that they are planning an opening on November 29. Hiring will start shortly.
- If you talk to Avril Lowes, the manager of the local Rainbow Cinema you will already know about the Rainbow’s expansion plans. But now Gill has announced them. If you have been to the mall lately, you will notice the empty spaces at the foot of the escalator – these will be occupied by Rainbow and word is that they will be adding two more screens. Progress is slow because it’s proved difficult to find the Goldilocks contractor – those contacted say it’s either too small or too large for them to tackle.
The Council also spent time:
- Handing out awards to the U14 Girls fastball team who were the Eastern Canada Softball Championship winners
- Recognizing the Communities in Bloom team
- Recognizing the Grade 8 student, Gabriella Tarrington, who won the Mayor for the Day competition.
- Announcing the four winners of the Photography Competition. There were 3800 individuals who used Facebook to nominate the 3 top photos in four categories. A panel of judges then selected the four winners (categories in brackets):
- Anne Laine (Covering Cobourg)
- Evan Lee (Adventures in Cobourg – 14 yrs and younger)
- Dieter Pung (Local Lens)
- Tyler Wilson (Share a Secret)
Note that prior to the regular council meeting, a special re-enactment of an 1867 meeting was staged – but that will be the subject of a separate post.