At their first Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, in addition to discussing a report on the election, debating and deciding on a new Council meeting procedure and on whether to have retail Cannabis stores in Cobourg (see links below), Council also heard a delegation on Christmas lights, discussed business carried over from 2018 and decided on whether to re-hire the same Integrity commissioner. Bruce Moore made a presentation that asked to “Make Victoria Park Great Again” by restoring Christmas lights there. He said that it was supposed to be a temporary move and it was now time to move them back [They were moved in 2015]. He said that new technology could avoid damage to trees if that was the problem. To support his thoughts, Bruce setup a Facebook survey which supported his idea “Almost 1300 Voted and over 1200 said ‘light the park’ and 44 said ‘no leave it where it is’.”
In Bruce’s presentation to Council he said (abbreviated):
In the current location at the harbour the majority of the town cannot see the display. I remember walking on King Street last year at night and thought to myself – wow this town does not look decorated at all for Christmas. The only way I saw the lights was to look down Second Street and see just a small portion of it. Now at its current location it feels like a private display for the condo owners.
If it goes back to where it was, everyone that drives through town will see the lights. If someone from out of town was driving through they would not see the display at all.
Victoria Park and beach is our largest tourist attraction and we should show it off all year long and not just during the summer.
Many of you while you were campaigning said you’re here for the people; this is a way to prove it. Let’s get Victoria Park out of the darkness and bring back the light. Light up the Park!
Adam Bureau then moved that Council setup an Ad-hoc committee and include in the budget deliberations staff involvement in moving Christmas Magic into Victoria Park. Brian Darling asked that a survey also be done by the Town to find out what citizens think but after debate Council decided that the committee would decide on that. Adam’s motion was approved.
Appointment of Integrity Commissioner, Municipal Ombudsman and Closed Meeting Investigator
Instead of simply renewing the appointment of the John Ewart in three roles as Town of Cobourg 1) Integrity Commissioner, 2) Ombudsman and 3) Closed Meeting Investigator, Council agreed with a proposal by Councillor Emily Chorley to call for 3 separate Requests for Proposal (RFP’s) for the 3 roles and to report back to Council. John Ewart recently ruled against council in the case of Public attendance at a Parks and Recreation Advisory Steering Committee meeting (see link below).
If a subject is brought to Council but no decision is made, all subsequent agendas list the subject as “unfinished business” at the bottom of the agenda. At Monday’s meeting the 8 items still at the end of the Agenda at the end of 2018 were reviewed.
- Traffic Study Lower Division Street/Esplanade Area (Public Works)
- MOU between YMCA Northumberland and the Town of Cobourg (Parks and Recreation) – there is no Federal or Provincial funding available for the $10 – $15m cost of moving the YMCA to the Community Centre and merging operations. This item is not viable so is tabled.
- Traffic/Parking Concerns Condo. Corp. #58 – 148 Third Street (Public Works)
- Public notification, meeting and engagement procedures pertaining applications submitted under the Planning Act (Planning and Development) – in response to a question by Emily Chorley, Planning Director Glenn McGlashon said that before any final decisions are made, a public meeting would be called to get citizen input.
- Petition excessive vehicular traffic and speeding on Monroe Street, Cobourg (Public Works)
- Delegation Action, regarding a community proposal to revitalize waterfront waste disposal bins.
- Motion from the Secretary, Cobourg Planning and Sustainability Advisory Committee regarding the future management of sustainability in the Town of Cobourg. Mayor John Henderson commented that this subject would be covered by one or more of:
- The ongoing by-law review
- An organization review by the CAO
- The Town’s Strategic review to be held February 12 and 13, 2019.
- Memo from John Ewart, Town of Cobourg Municipal Ombudsman, regarding a Town of Cobourg Ombudsman Complaint 1-2018.
In the end, it was decided that all items (except #2) will remain on the unfinished business list since work by staff has been started and is partially completed. When the work is complete, staff reports will be brought to Council for Council decisions.
- New Council Meeting Procedure – 8 January 2019
- Opting in to Retail Cannabis Stores – 7 January 2019
- Report on Voting at Municipal Election – 5 January 2019
- Christmas lights in Victoria Park to be moved – 20 October 2015
- CTA Complaint supported by Ombudsman – 27 November 2018.
- Staff Report Re Unfinished and Referred Business – link to document on Civic Web