In addition to the larger stories, which happen quite infrequently, 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.
Council was quite brief Tuesday night, with Council and General Committee combined ending after just a couple of minutes over an hour. Even with an in camera session and Special Council, they were out by 8:00. Apparently all you have to do to eliminate much of the unnecessary hot air at Council is to have a playoff game of some sport or other that night.
- Councillor Ugulini raised the student issue again, requesting that, in future, letters outlining City expectations be included not only in student welcome packages but sent to landlords as well. As for the student troubles on Winterberry Blvd., the City Engineer reported to Council that a public meeting held on the matter drew poor attendance. (Everybody wants someone else to do something, I guess.) and Councillor asked if no parking restrictions could be made to apply to the driveway apron as well (the portion between the sidewalk and the road, which is City property and technically part of the street – my neighbours received tickets for it 20 years ago). Councillor Handley demanded that there be no more letters, but that it’s time to “bring the hammer down” on offenders (including landlords who don’t cut the grass, etc.).
- Councillor Neale raised the seemingly never-ending doctor shortage, stating that there is a shortage of at least 45 in the area. He wants to reinstate incentives to get doctors to relocate here.
- Councillor Paone wants to support the City of Port Colborne resolution that the Province cover dental healthcare. He believes it won’t be a major cost factor in the long run because right now OHIP shells out $31 million per year on emergency dental care at hospitals and poor dental health has been shown to be linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s.
- Councillor Handley dropped his notice of motion regarding sidewalk work, without explanation. He had claimed that Thorold is “not getting what we paid for”, saying the poured sidewalk isn’t thick enough and asked staff to produce the contract so that he can see what they demanded of the contractors. He said he had other issues but didn’t want to keep Councillors from the Blue Jays game. In General Committee, he would offer his opinon, in the course of a discussion on sewer service in Thorold South, that the member municipalities of the Region have been ganging up on Thorold in the denial of improved sewer services, because some just want to take Thorold over. Councillors passed a motion to speak to the region to find ways to resolve sewage treatment problems.
- The report on an expression of interest for a long term care facility on the lands behind the Thorold Public Library was first amended by Councillor Whelan to include a) Chestnut Hall and the parking lot and b) that the wording be amended to include assisted living and retirement homes. It never came to a vote, though, because Councillor Paone successfully moved to defer the report until they could figure out what the Library would require.