The upcoming Council meeting on the 17th seems to cover no particularly controversial subjects. The bigger issues as noted below include a very large budget approval request for Emergency Medical Services and some rezoning applications.

Reading the agenda package and comments of staff I am reminded that the Town has no control over blasting, it’s a federal mater. So much like the railways anyone licensed to blast apparently can do whatever they want so long as they don’t run afoul of federal regulations. But of course, do the Feds really keep an eye on this? I guess they respond to complaints, but that of course is after the fact.

There is a Special Council Meeting on Monday, the 16th starting at 6:00 PM, to review budget issues. It’s open to the public.

Interesting and Notable Agenda Items

Items 9.3.1 requests budget approval for EMS. The total is $7.8 million for 2012. The EMS Advisory Committee recommends a 9.9% increase in the EMS levy for the year. Parry Sound covers a small amount of this total.

Items 10.4.1, 10.4.2 and 10.4.3 relate to rezoning applications that were subject to open meetings in December. It seems TOPS staff is recommending approval of the requests with some relatively minor conditions attached. It seems to me that most rezoning applications are likely to be recommended by town staff if they provide for community infill without being too objectionable. This is part of the town’s approved strategy to increase density and expand the tax base. This may upset some but it appears to be necessary to move the community forward.

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.