I had a chance to look at the Council package at Town Hall this afternoon. Unfortunately some of the schedules for the meeting were not included, I’ve asked why they were omitted, and will see if they can be included in future Council packages made available to the public.
Interesting and Notable Agenda Items
It looks like an interesting agenda, not too many controversial issues but some that will have a lasting impact on Parry Sound.
Items 2.1.1, 2.1.2 and 2.1.3 relate to rezoning applications that will be the subject of an open meeting. Two of the rezoning requests involve converting residential properties to commercial use, while the third requests rezoning to allow for an 8 unit apartment building.
On the subject of rezoning, the application for 24 Bay Street, Item 10.4.1 seems as though it will be approved by Council based on the recommendation of TOPS staff.
Item 9.1.1 is of personal interest as it addresses the “Provision of Public Notice” for the Town. I’m hoping that the new policy will allow for, and require, the use of ‘push’ notifications using social media. ‘Push’ notifications means that you will be told of upcoming events directly through your choice of communication, Twitter, RS feeds or email, rather than needing to go to the Town website to see what’s new and important.
9.2.1 seems a no-brain decision if the funds can be made available to purchase the recommended wood chipper. The $20,000 capital cost should significantly reduce the Town’s expenses starting in 2012 for shredding plant materials (branches, leaves, etc.) dropped off at the transfer station.
9.3.1 requests prebudget approval for a new ladder truck for the Fire Department. This is a big expense as the estimated cost of the vehicle is more than $1 million dollars according to discussions at earlier Council meetings.
Suggestions for attending Council meetings and letting your voice be heard.
1. The meeting starts at 7:00 sharp. You don’t need to attend the full meeting. There are no breaks, but people regularly slip out of the meeting after their subject of interest is discussed.
2. If you want to present your point of view on any subject there is an opportunity to present a deputation at the start of the meeting. Mayor McGarvey asks the public if they wish to make a deputation at that time. This is the only opportunity at the meeting to express your opinion, even for a topic that is to be discussed later. There is no opportunity to express an opinion once the deputation portion of the meeting passes. There is also no intermission, or recess, where you can speak to a Council member. If you want to discuss something, or express your opinion, you need to do it at the beginning of the meeting.
3. You may also present your position on any town related issue even if it is not on the Council’s agenda. To do this you need to schedule your presentation at least a week before the next Council meeting so that it can be included in the agenda and Council members have an opportunity to review any materials you will be presenting. The person to contact about your presentation is Ms. Jackie Boggs, Deputy Clerk, EA to the CAO and Deputy Treasurer. She can be reach at the town office, 705/746-2101. Shorter, more informal presentations can usually be made as part of the Deputations portion of the meeting.
4. Town Council meetings are pleasant and informal, with the understanding that the audience can only provide their input prior to the meeting, or during the Deputations portion of the meeting.
5. Council meetings are a good opportunity to meet and speak with the Parry Sound local media. The North Star and Moose-FM are always present and happy to speak with those attending the meeting.
I hope this helps. See you at the meeting.