In addition to the larger stories, other items go through Thorold City Council and General Committee. Some may be important to someone affected and others are just a little interesting. The following are some of those items:
I apologize to those who may have been wondering what happened at Council this past Tuesday. Quite frankly, and I very brief, not much, despite the fact that it ran quite late. Here, however, is what did happen:
- The first delegation was an in-camera presentation by Solicitor Tom Richardson to further explain to Council how to do their jobs. I don’t know what they were told, however because it was in camera on the basis of client-attorney privilege.
- At 7:30, there was a public meeting. Quite a few people were in attendance and there was a bit of an expectation that they might not be happy with proposed changes to a portion of a subdivision in Port Robinson West. Sometimes people don’t like changes in housing types or densities for a number of reasons, including appearance (property values), traffic and the like. However, when the public portion of the meeting came, one gentleman from Welland rose and asked if the green space behind his house would still be green space. When told it would be storm water management area and yes, still green space, they all left.
- At a time approaching eight o’clock, the second delegation spoke, after the in camera session and a public meeting. John Burtniak and I were there on behalf of the War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee to ask for pre-approval of a portion of our 2015 budget to plan a re-enactment. Operations manager Mike Sawchuk suggested instead that the money come from unused funds that the committee had requested to be carried over so that the Community Grant system not be opened up before the budget was adopted. This was approved and there will be a first ever re-enactment of the Battle of Beaverdams held at DeCew House Heritage Park on June 20, 2015 (twice actually). More details when they are ready.
- Councillor Fred Neale made a motion, as notified at last Council meeting, to endorse the Memorial Wall of Names Project as put forth by a WWII Veteran of 4th Armoured Division. This wall would be to memorialize all who have fallen in the defence of Canada since the War of 1812 (before we were Canada). Council passed the resolution unanimously.
- Councillor Sergio Paone pointed out an objection made by the Region concerning the school closure review process. Councillor Paone agreed with the Region in that the new rules for the process would have shortened the time periods involved, making it harder to properly fight a closure. He also objected to the reduced powers suggested for the reviewing committees in that they would only be able to endorse one of the options offered by School Board staff rather than add their own options, as they did when DSBN wanted to close Thorold High (Paone was the Thorold rep on the
committee). Councillor Mike Charron agreed, noting that the system had to be changed to allow for looking at population trends to determine future needs instead of basing closures on present enrollment levels.
- Councillor Anthony Longo asked Staff to list the dollar values of tickets handed out by by-law officers, in order to determine the value to the City of the process. Staff pointed out that the ticket amounts don’t necessarily reflect the value because some overturned and some reduced. However, Councillor Shawn Wilson backed up Councillor Longo stating, “How much is collected is largely irrelevant.”
- Councillor Charron pointed out that citizens should leave room for snow ploughs and not park on streets during snow
events in order to prevent incidents such as damage to vehicles by ploughs and being ticketed for having a vehicle parked on the road during a snow event. He also had Staff assist him in pointing out that City Councillors haven’t the power to do anything about parking or other by-laws tickets. If you object to the ticket under the system now in place, you have to take it to the Chief By-Laws Officer and, if you disagree with the decision made there, to a Hearings Officer, who is a hired independent arbiter.