The first Council meeting of 2018 was very short – only 30 minutes. Carol Anne Bell-Smith was scheduled to make a presentation but she postponed it. There were few other items on the Agenda and nothing controversial so the meeting was short. As previously reported, Site plans for 394 College and 100 University were up for approval and with little discussion, they were in fact approved unanimously. Carol Anne’s presentation on accessibility at parking meters had been previously made to the Accessibility committee who seemed sympathetic. However, any action will be decided at a later meeting and will be reported then. There were a number of miscellaneous announcements including that the preparation of the 2018 budget is running a bit late. The Draft Budget was not released for public review and comment on January 5 so the Public Meeting scheduled for January 16 has been re-scheduled to January 18. No date was provided for release of the draft budget but it will presumably be before January 18.
- Deputy Mayor John Henderson gave a notice for a motion that he would be setting up an Ad-Hoc committee to determine Council remuneration that would be effective 1 Jan 2019. This became an issue when the Federal budget changed some tax rules – see post in September 2017.
- Council Meeting procedures have been changed – as discussed here. Most of us will not notice the changes – except for these:
- Committee of the Whole and regular Council meetings are now at 4:00pm instead of 7:00pm
- Unless otherwise requested or separated, all By-laws proposed for adoption will be passed in one single Motion, duly moved and seconded. Previously, passing by-laws required three readings which were all done at the same time so were really not providing any value. This productivity improvement will be noticed at Regular Council meetings when all by-laws are passed.
- Councillors get the full agenda complete with all attachments on their laptops but up until the end of 2017, media representatives (like me) were provided with a printed copy. Effective this meeting, they are now also required to use Laptops (or a tablet) to access the information. It’s publicly available online at the Town’s Portal here. Access to the Town’s WiFi in the Council Chamber has been provided to media representatives to help with that. This obviously saves paper and the job of printing 3 or 4 agendas which can run to over 100 pages.