The big issue on this week’s agenda is Item 10.4.1 – Free Parking Pilot Project. Overall the meeting agenda is pretty full and depending on Council’s appetite for discussion it could take up the full three hours.

Here are the items that caught my attention. Your interests my be different. Head over to the Town’s website for the full agenda package.


4.1 – Dave Rushton, Chair, REDAC Marketing Sub-committee/CAO, Municipality of McDougall. Re: Partnership with Explorers’ Edge for a Tourism Summit for the West Parry Sound area. Talk, talk, talk. Let’s have a summit and clarify who does what. Does anybody actually do anything anymore? That’s like having a staff meeting at a hospital while the patient is lying on the stretcher. Let’s not pretend anything is actually getting done. Dollars to donuts, or has it become donuts to dollar, the recommendation from the summit will be workshops. Teach a man to fish and ….. Wait, how about we just start fishing. Or how about we start doing tourism support right now with the next tourist who arrives.


5.1, 5.2 – Transit service proposals. A couple of out-of-town organizations will be presenting proposals. There is no other information in the agenda package.

Consent Agenda

8.1 – Town of Aurora Resolution regarding Bill 52. This is a provincial bill to “help protect and encourage freedom of expression on matters of the public interest and discourage the use of the courts in ways that unduly limit that freedom”. A good idea in my opinion.

Resolutions and Direction to Staff

9.1.2 – 2014 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members. Council remuneration for 2014.

Council Remuneration 2015

Interestingly, Councilors receive remuneration for sitting on certain boards including Belvedere Heights, District Social Board and Parry Sound Area Planning Board. It’s worth taking a look at the agenda package for more information.

9.3.1 – Request to Bid on William Beatty and Victory Schools. Resolution. Staff is recommending the Town invest $600 to get an appraisal on these two properties with the possibility of a Town purchase. I’m okay with this. Let’s not get too excited though and start thinking about the old St. Joseph’s Hospital property. That represents the downside of not having a plan.

9.3.4 – Regional Marketing Plan. Resolution. More talk, talk, talk. But it’s apparently “a very good deal”. Yeah, I know I’m sounding cynical, and that is exactly the way I feel about the money being spent to discuss the situation. How about some action. None of this should be new or a surprise. We should already have a plan.

9.3.5 – Review of Cash-in-Lieu of Parking for Residential Development in the Downtown. Direction. The recommendation as I read the documents is to loosen the restrictions on landlords regarding parking space for tenants. But, I may not properly understand it. I suggest you read the information in the council package if you are interested in this subject.

9.5.1 – 2015 Key Performance Objectives (KPO’s). Resolution. The report is attached and available for review.

9.6.1 – Rail Safety. Resolution. This resolution requests the railways to provide information on matters of rail car speed, braking systems and track maintenance.


10.3.1 – Licence of Occupation Policy – Town-owned Water Lots and Uplands. A by-law to license businesses that occupy Town owned water lots and the adjacent land.

10.4.1 – Free Parking Pilot Project. Sigh! The report basically suggests there are no realistic objective parameters by which the pilot project can be assessed as a success or failure. But I expect Council will give the ‘thumbs up’. And once it’s in place, how can you take it back? Exactly what revenue does the Town receive for providing numerous resources and facilities for tourists and our municipal neighbours (boat launches, Stockey Centre, parks, beaches, Big Sound Marina, ….)? And now we are providing free parking. It’s free for everyone except those of us who pay municipal taxes. Bigger sigh!

There is more of course more, but not anything that I considered worth highlighting. The full agenda is available at the Town’s website.

Where’s the Fire? (Parry Sound, Night Crawling)