The era of free parking in Parry Sound starts June 1st, and it is unlikely to end anytime soon. At last night’s meeting a skeleton crew of Councillors approved Item 10.4.1 – Free Parking Pilot Project. Don’t let the title fool you, it’s not a pilot. A true pilot has defined quantitative and qualitative measures. This pilot essentially has none. As long as downtown business and employees don’t get greedy and sit in the ‘prime’ parking spots all day, or do a two-hour shuffle, there won’t be any ‘objective’ reasons to not continue with free parking for 2016 and beyond. I was struggling to make sense of the project, the process and the decision until I ‘got it’. This isn’t a businesses decision, this is a political decision and well above my pay grade to understand.
I was wrong about how long the meeting would take, it was over by 8:45 PM. There was little discussion on any of the points and with three of the seven members of Council absent, the reports, questions and discussion was limited. In general there were no surprises.
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. FORWARDED TO STAFF/COUNCIL.
5.1, 5.2 – Transit service proposals. These deputations covered different aspects of Parry Sound’s decision to cancel transit services. The first was from a couple in Seguin reminding Council of the Town’s obligation to provide accessible transportation services to residents. A question that crossed my mind. Do any of our neighbouring municipalities offer accessible transportation services, or do they expect their residents to move to Parry Sound for these types of services?
The second deputation from Bracebridge Taxi recounted their experience in developing an accessible transportation service for Bracebridge and Muskoka. The presenter did not define the geographical scope of their service but says it runs 24×7, and I believe said it is not subsidized by the municipality. I expect Town Staff will follow-up and request additional information.
8.1 – Town of Aurora Resolution regarding Bill 52. CARRIED
Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.2 – 2014 Statement of Remuneration Paid to Council and Appointed Board Members. Council remuneration for 2014. CARRIED. This type of disclosure has not been the norm for Parry Sound even though it is required depending on how one reads the legislation. See the agenda package for the figures or check out the meeting preview post.
9.3.1 – Request to Bid on William Beatty and Victory Schools. Resolution. CARRIED.
9.3.4 – Regional Marketing Plan. Resolution. CARRIED.
9.3.5 – Review of Cash-in-Lieu of Parking for Residential Development in the Downtown. Direction. CARRIED.
9.5.1 – 2015 Key Performance Objectives (KPO’s). Resolution. CARRIED.
9.6.1 – Rail Safety. Resolution. CARRIED.
10.3.1 – Licence of Occupation Policy – Town-owned Water Lots and Uplands. CARRIED.
10.4.1 – Free Parking Pilot Project. CARRIED. You need to deliver on election year promises, especially after you’ve stuck your foot up your butt end (Bay Street meters proposal and turfing out the Parry Sound Downtown Business Association Chair). I think of it as a ‘Parking Fine’. And the residents of Parry Sound will have the privilege of paying it.
There was more of course more, but not anything that I considered worth highlighting. The agenda package with much of the supporting detail is available at the Town’s website and the official Council minutes should be out no later than Friday.
What Will It Look Like with LED Lighting? (Parry Sound, Night Crawling)