COUNCIL BRIEFS: FEBRUARY 2, 2016

Council Briefs-001

This particular addition is about a brief as it can get. While nothing much happened at the last meeting, at this meeting – really nothing happened.

I knew going in that this was likely going to be very short, since there was nothing really on the agenda that could be considered interesting to anyone. Other than adopting minutes of various previous meetings, there wasn’t even much in the way of housekeeping. No delegations, just nothing. I only went with the knowledge that, if it went as smoothly as written, at least it wouldn’t be boring long.

The only hope was that one of the Councillors would get up and say way more about something than anyone really wanted to hear about something under “Other Business”, since that’s at least sometimes mildly entertaining. But no one stepped up, leaving the Council to run about 10 minutes, with Committee of the Whole (General Committee) running another 10 minutes, just about long enough to say Committee of the Whole.

But that was after having the rare first-thing in camera meeting on a legal matter concerning the hiring of a project manager for the $1 million plus jobs. So we in the gallery sat there for over 35 minutes while they had the only part of the night that might have been half-way interesting: and we weren’t supposed to hear it.

But just like the newspapers, I have to report something, so here’s what I could scrape up:

  •  If you want something to do on April 5, 2016, the Region of Niagara will be conducting “Niagara Counts”, a “point-in-time” homeless count across Niagara and they’re looking for volunteers to do the counting. If you’re interest, sign up at http://niagararegion.ca/social-services/niagara-counts.aspx?shorturl=1 .
  • Councillor Longo’s Notice of Motion for the dissolution of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee came up, citing a lack of applications and poor attendance at meetings. There was concern expressed by several Councillors, with the hopeful suggestion that maybe it could be revived some day.
  • Councillor Paone asked if the students could get Community Service credit for being on the committee. The answer was yes, but it has been my experience that most students don’t worry about those credits until after January of Grade 12, when they suddenly get their parents to scramble to find them something that will qualify.
  • Councillor Neale moved to support an inter-municipal motion to ask the government to do something to create fair pricing for e-books. For some reason, many publishers charge more to libraries for e-books than they would pay for the hard copy version, reducing the number of such items many smaller libraries (such as the Thorold Public Library) can afford to budget for. I don’t know if the government can force fairness on free enterprise (they only want government interference if it’s to their favour, such as subsidies on Canadian literature), but it’s worth a try.
  • Councillor Handley asked once again about the Council Remuneration Report. This time he asked if Council had the power to make recommendations by their own committees binding, commenting that there have been committee recommendations to give Council a raise several times. Each time it was turned down by Council. I guess the Councillor wants to take the responsibility for a raise off their hands.

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