Council’s Unfinished Business

The good news is that the Council’s agenda now includes a list of unfinished business from previous meetings which is much improved and very comprehensive.  The bad news is that the list is long and many items are overdue.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting the list had 15 items with seven overdue or running late.  At each council meeting, this list is now reviewed with new dates often (but not always) assigned.  No doubt the Covid-19 virus is a major reason for the delays although no specific reasons are provided when the list is reviewed.  The items cover topics ranging from Affordable Housing to Taxi Licensing to Downtown Parking – some have been on the list for well over a year.  So let’s review the list.

Summary of Unfinished Business

Based on  a list on the Agenda of meeting 14 September 2020 and an identical list on Agenda for 21 September.  The list has the heading 31 August.
Items are referenced to the meeting when Council made a motion to action the item.  The full list is available in the link below.

Meeting 2019-01-28  Council Meeting Link

Town - Clerk: Brent Larmer - file photo
Town – Clerk: Brent Larmer – file photo

Responsibility:  Municipal Clerk (Brent Larmer) Legislative Services
Description: Determine how affordable housing and other community health priorities fits within a municipality’s strategic plan. The research will be due back to Council no later than June 2019.
Current Due date: 14 Sept 2020
Status: 50% complete

Meeting 2019-05-13  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Legislative Services
Description: Adopt a traditional land acknowledgement statement to be read at the beginning of Council meetings;
Current Due date: 14 Sept 2020
Status: 50% complete

Meeting 2019-09-23  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Human Resources
Description: Review Long Service Recognition Policy
Current Due date: No date
Status: 80% complete

Meeting 2019-12-02  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Multiple departments
Description: Review the placement of Emergency Shelters Downtown Cobourg  with the County of Northumberland and Cobourg police.  Report to Council  by February 18, 2020
Current Due date: 11 May 2020
Status: 30% complete

Meeting 2020-01-27  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Legislative Services/ Public Works
Description: Draft an accessible transit service policy for presentation to Council by June 1, 2020
Current Due date: 16 November 2020
Status:  Behind

Meeting 2020-01-27  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Legislative Services
Description: Investigate the Innisfil ridesharing transit model and provide a report on its viability in Cobourg, to be presented to Council by June 22, 2020.
Current Due date: 16 November 2020
Status:  Behind

Meeting 2020-01-06  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Legislative Services
Description: Develop a Bylaw to Regulate “Transportation Network Companies”  [e.g. Uber]
Current Due date: Regular Council meeting
Status:  On track

Meeting 2020-01-06  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Legislative Services
Description:  Report to Council about how the By-Law enforcement Department will handle Animal Control when it takes it over from the Joint Animal Control Municipal Services Board in about 2 years.
Current Due date: 2021 – 2022
Status:  On track

Meeting 2020-01-06 Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Legislative Services
Description:  Report regarding parking meters, violations and fines – on the feasibility of the suggestions provided in the delegation by Judy Sherwin – primarily that residents pay a lower parking fine than visitors.
Current Due date: No date
Status: On track

Meeting 2020-04-27  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Chief Administrative Officer/ Treasurer
Description: Draft a Flood Mitigation and Response Plan no later than September 14, 2020.
Current Due date: 30 January 2021
Status: None provided

Meeting 2020-02-24  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Chief Administrative Officer/ Treasurer
Description: Draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to clearly define the roles and responsibilities, and relationship between the Town of Cobourg and the Cobourg Public Library Board.  To be finalized by June 1, 2020.
Current Due date: 14 September 2020
Status: None provided

Meeting 2020-06-29  Council Meeting Link (from 22 June)
Responsibility:  Legislative Services
Description: Draft an Equity and Inclusion Policy to specifically address the inclusion of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, women, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit, Intersex, and Asexual peoples, as well as those who identify as pansexual, questioning, non-binary, and other gender and sexual minorities (2SLGBTQIAP+) community and other visible minorities. Draft policy be presented to Council for consideration by December 7th, 2020.
Current Due date: 14 September 2020 and 7 December 2020
Status: Behind

Meeting 2020-07-27  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility: Community Services 
Description: Obtain legal opinion on the Town’s ability to regulate on-water activities in the Cobourg Harbour.
Current Due Date: None
Status: None Provided

Meeting 2020-07-27   Council Meeting Link
Responsibility: Community Services 
Description: Strike a joint working group to create a consolidated safety procedure and emergency manual – Aquatic Safety Audit.  Ahead of 2021 boating season
Current Due Date: None
Status: None Provided

Meeting 2020-08-24  Council Meeting Link
Responsibility:  Public Works
Description: Re-implement the collection of fares for downtown parking and transit when Victoria Hall is open to the public; and continue with reduced service hours for Transit and bring forward a report to the October 5, 2020 Committee of the Whole Meeting for Council consideration.
Current Due Date: 5 October 2020
Status: None Provided

The list indicates what Council has asked Staff to do but it mostly falls on Legislative Services.  Brent now has a Deputy Clerk so maybe some of these items can be caught up.

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37 Comments
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Informed
21 September 2020 10:54 am

Should the beach issue not be put on the top of the list so there is a plan is in place for next summer? If not, we will be flying by the seat of our pants trying to make everyone happy and be consulting facebook polls again. This pandemic will still be here in one form or another.

Rob
Reply to  Informed
23 September 2020 10:19 am

The virus is here to stay but the pandemic is not…as the saying goes, this too shall pass. This unfinished business appears to be matters which dragged out because of the pandemic pause. Any community who hadn’t spend adequate time developing a Pandemic Response Plan will have this at the top of their to-do list moving into the new year. I would assume a comprehensive review of the Town’s pandemic response will take place once they can get their collective heads above water. There will be a laundry list of learnings that will come from this, making Cobourg’s future plan more robust. They don’t teach this in the How to be a Municipal Politician course and without a plan our officials may fall victim to opinions, popular narratives and hyperbolism OR a become paralyzed by a lack of effective leadership.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rob
Perplexed
21 September 2020 10:34 am

Affordable housing Downtow in the shopping area and where the cost of real estate is the highest or will take the biggest hit in devaluation people that dont buy bouteque products & need affordable housing need cheap real estate to start with

SW Buyer
Reply to  Perplexed
21 September 2020 11:09 am

OK, Perplexed. I’m perplexed. You make several points, but what is the connection?
Perhaps some punctuation would help.
How do you propose to provide cheap real estate for affordable housing downtown for the people that don’t buy “boutique” products?

Sandpiper
Reply to  SW Buyer
23 September 2020 8:33 am

Sorry I was texting from the car The fact is we don’t need to fill the main st with Homeless People struggling to get by on megar incomes and high rents Any services they need they must travel to IE walk in Clinic or Food stores / Food Bank transportation costs . Any thing south of University is not affordable this is the desirable real estate area . There is affordable real estate out there though usually closer to the industrial sections not the beach area . We see serviced Commercial and residential lands selling in the area of $250 K per acre some as high as $400 K plus per acre such as in the Depalma Dr. area Industrial land is going for $65 to $80 K per acre serviced why can’t we build a Modular home community on affordable land and don’t talk to me about zoning thats in the complete control of our town and county its a snap of the finger . or as I have suggested in the past Convert the old Arenas to a complete indoor living center s at least there is a roof and services there to start with and room to… Read more »

Sam
Reply to  Sandpiper
28 September 2020 11:36 pm

My Gosh Sandpiper,

Common Sense. The Old Rink is a money pit and could be put to better use. You are so right.

JimT
20 September 2020 3:37 pm

I’m a bit curious why, in the original STAFF REPORT COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING, the “…Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit, Intersex, and Asexual peoples” get capital letters while “…those who identify as pansexual, questioning, non-binary, and other gender and sexual minorities” do not.
Am I missing something here?

Leweez
Reply to  JimT
20 September 2020 4:56 pm

Nope, not missing a thing, just looking for some thing that isn’t there, like the rest of today’s world.

Downtowner
Reply to  JimT
20 September 2020 8:30 pm

A council should not be judged on its words, but rather on its actions. If we are paying someone to come up with this sort of “stuff”, then I suggest tax payor’s money can be better utilized.

Dubious
Reply to  JimT
20 September 2020 9:02 pm

They could shorten it to “develop a policy to exclude straight white males”.

greengrass
Reply to  Dubious
21 September 2020 8:17 am

WHITE!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  greengrass
21 September 2020 8:39 am

Even shorter: “Develop a policy to include everyone equally”!

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  Ken Strauss
21 September 2020 3:55 pm

We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms which prohibits discrimination, as well as federal and provincial Human Right Tribunals that are ready, willing and anxious to go after violators.

How much more in the way of policy statements and legislation is necessary? Does anybody truly believe the proposed policy will accomplish any tangible results in the quest to end racism and unequal treatment of Cobourg residents and visitors?

Singling out certain segments of our population and excluding others is the wrong message to send. Perhaps it’s a reflection of my age, background and the values i was taught throughout my life. A civil society means treating everyone equally and with respect. Nothing more, nothing less.

A policy that promotes one faction of society over another is counterproductive. it certainly does not reflect the community values all of us should be recognizing and celebrating to reflect our diversity.

I hope upon further reflection by Council that the proposed policy statement can be amended from being a negative statement into a positive.one.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
21 September 2020 4:40 pm

Paul, I completely agree with your sentiments but you are ignoring Section 15(2) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which essentially negates Section 15(1) that you reference:

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Gerinator
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
23 September 2020 7:07 pm

Correct, no new policies needed. Now if only our citizens and politicians will ‘walk-the-talk’. All will be good.

Informed
Reply to  Dubious
21 September 2020 11:37 am

Your comment would be funnier if it wasnt true.

JimT
Reply to  Informed
21 September 2020 11:52 am

And to think there was a time when SWMs were at the very top of everybody’s short list.

Catherine T.
Reply to  Dubious
21 September 2020 12:07 pm

Think they’e always been there.Its the rest of us that need inclusion.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Catherine T.
21 September 2020 12:29 pm

Catherine T., what is wrong with a policy of treating everyone equally?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
21 September 2020 4:53 pm

Often its not fair or equal when the pendulum swings too far the other way and others are excluded. Bob Ray Days as an example. White males need not apply.

ben
Reply to  Informed
22 September 2020 10:55 am

Please explain and BTW the name is RAE

Rob
Reply to  ben
22 September 2020 11:19 am
Informed
Reply to  ben
22 September 2020 1:35 pm

Thanks for the correction on spelling. I think you knew whom i was speaking about.I think the link graciously provided by Rob explains it if you have forgotton or weren’t informed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Informed
ben
Reply to  Informed
22 September 2020 5:02 pm

Snippet from the McLeans article that was linked.

ONTARIO’S AGENDA FOR SOCIAL REFORM

  • PAY EQUITY FOR WOMEN: A $1-billion program to extend the principle of equal pay for equal work of equal value to 500,000 public sector women not covered by the existing legislation.
  • EMPLOYMENT EQUITY: New legislation that would compel public and private sector employers to hire and promote more women, nonwhites, natives and the disabled.
  • LABOR REFORMS: The Rae governmeni plans to outaw strikebreakers wake it easier to form a union and guarantee new bargaining units a first contract.
  • ADVOCACY LEGISLATION: Proposed measures would allow children to withhold consent for hospital treatment, and create an advocacy commission to protect the rights of young people, the infirm and others.”

Considering this was thirty years ago when this legislation was proposed, and considering that since then Mike Harris and then Doug Ford has tried to undo most of what was legislated, all I can say is that not much progress has been made – sad and shameful!

And considering that white males have been on top most of the past three thousand years, it’s about time they made room for the others

Last edited 1 month ago by Ben
Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
22 September 2020 6:34 pm

white males have been on top most of the past three thousand years

not true

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
23 September 2020 10:12 am

“The Han Chinese are bound together with a shared history inhabiting an ancient ancestral territory for over four thousand years, deeply rooted with many different cultural traditions and customs. The Huaxia tribes in northern China experienced a continuous expansion into Southern China over the past two millennia. Huaxia culture spread southward from its heartland in the Yellow River Basin, absorbing various non-Chinese ethnic groups that became sinicised over the centuries at various points in China’s history.” The Han males continue their racist domination to this day. They are in the process of obliterating the Muslim Uyghurs of Xinjiang, forcing them to drink alcohol, to celebrate Han cultural traditions all while incarcerating them by the millions in so-called re-education camps. And most recently; “The school year for children living in Tibetan areas of China has started under harsh new restrictions, with children in one Qinghai county ordered by authorities out of their homes and into Chinese boarding schools, and the language of classroom instruction in another county switched from Tibetan to Chinese” Kinda reminds me of the cultural genocide of residential schools here. “Plans by China to build a national park in Tibetan-populated areas of Qinghai province are forcing thousands of nomads from their ancestral land, with final removal of… Read more »

Audrey
Reply to  Catherine T.
26 September 2020 8:00 am
Matt
Reply to  Dubious
22 September 2020 7:41 am

Speaking, as a straight, white male, I’d just like to say that not all of us think the specific inclusion of other groups means that we’re be excluded from anything.

Some of us are quite aware that our inclusion has gone without saying for a very long time.

To be honest, I think we’re all quite aware of it. Some would just very much like things to stay that way.

Sam
Reply to  Matt
28 September 2020 11:43 pm

Matt Please elucidate.
No Comprendo.

Perplexed
Reply to  JimT
21 September 2020 10:36 am

I think it’s time to End the White Bassing on all levels
Other Nationalities discriminate as well

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Perplexed
21 September 2020 12:33 pm

Yes, Perplexed, white Bass are delicious. What is your favourite recipe?

Informed
Reply to  Ken Strauss
22 September 2020 1:37 pm

Panko in a cast pan

Paul Pagnuelo
20 September 2020 3:25 pm

I see that the oldest outstanding item is past due by more than 14 months and is only 50% complete. Given that this work item was to determine how affordable housing and other community health priorities fit within a municipality’s strategic plan, one would have thought this should have been completed before spending any money on affordable housing given it’s a County not Town responsibility. Several have no due date or status, which indicates follow-up by Council and the CAO is deficient at best. It’s unfortunate that the investigation into the Innisfil ridesharing transit model was not completed before the decision was reached on the purchase of new buses. Why it was assigned to Legislative Services and not Public Works is puzzling. And why no status update on the development of a Flood Mitigation Plan is not being provided given local flooding in recent years, certainly raises some serious questions. The report can serve as an extremely useful management tool but unless staff and Council pay far more attention to follow-up, deadlines and reasons for delay, it is not serving its primary purpose of holding staff accountable for missed deadlines and understanding the causes behind the delays. Finally, it would… Read more »

Dubious
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
20 September 2020 8:16 pm

Mr. Pagnuelo, it has taken 14 months to 50% complete the affordable housing report so if they needed facts it would be 2022 before they could give money to Baldor. If Council needed facts they would never do anything.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
20 September 2020 9:36 pm

The development of affordable housing is too important to leave to any one entity. Preventing the existence of homeless families and individuals on our streets is everyone’s problem, it can’t be delegated to a single level of government.

Let’s not forget we are talking about real people; it’s not some abstract theoretical problem.

Paul Pagnuelo
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
21 September 2020 7:58 am

When you have more than one level of government involved, there is no accountability when the desired outcomes are not achieved. If the County is unable to do the job, making every level of government.responsible is guaranteed to result in an uncoordinated failure to help those who need it.

Somebody has to be in charge. If the County is not meeting expectations then the place to apply pressure is at the County Council level.

JimT
Reply to  Paul Pagnuelo
21 September 2020 8:16 am

Ironic that that same County is about to demolish a functioning facility with heating, electrical, lighting, security systems etc. all intact and operating just fine: the existing Golden Plough Lodge is to be demolished at great expense instead of being converted to affordable shelter for the homeless and underhoused among us.