This week’s agenda has a limited number of agenda items and seems to be a bit of a tease. There is a presentation of the Draft 2020 Budget (Item 9.1.1) but no attachments. I think it is always helpful to provide the outlines of a presentation for people who are interested. I have asked for a copy of the draft budget. It’s hard to make sense of a presentation when there is no material to prepare with. The budget is perhaps the most important strategic document for the municipality. While the Strategic Plan is on this week’s agenda, it’s the budget that provides clarity on the Town’s actual strategic objectives.

On the subject of the Strategic Plan (Item 9.4.2) I am underwhelmed. It looks more like an expanded Mission Statement, with too many points and too many words. If you make it long enough and obtuse enough there is very little you can be criticized for, or held accountable for. It would have been helpful to have had the strategic priorities ranked. What is must have, and will get the necessary resources to be accomplished, versus what is nice and will be resourced as budgets and time permit. If everything is important then nothing is. Well played Staff and Council.

You may detect a little bit of frustration in the last few comments. It’s so much easier and satisfying to get into the doing rather than the thinking. It’s a common fault of governments and businesses. An hour of thinking and planning can save a day, a week, a year, or even a lifetime of wasted effort.

Here is a link to the strategic plan in case you don’t want to go to Town’s website to download the full agenda package.

If you want an idea of what constitutes a strategic plan, I refer you to Leonard Cohen’s song – First We Take Manhattan. “First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.” Short, simple, to the point, and accountable. Here’s a link to Leonard’s version, here is a link to Jennifer Warnes’ version.

Let’s not overlook closed Session (Item c)) that mentions boundary adjustment and a cryptic mention of a request to purchase Town lands. The former might be related to boundary adjustment discussions with Seguin that restarted more than a year ago.

The Public Meeting seems to be related to the French School moving to the Mall. That can only be a boost for a developer (Mall) who seem to have lost their way with proposed condo/apartment repurposing. It also means that Canadore can get back their full resources for adult education. Expect to see some surprises in that area. I don’t think the folks in North Bay have any idea on what to do in Parry Sound except retreat. I will be pleasantly surprised if they have a well thought out ‘Strategic Plan’ that can make full use of the facility in the near or at least midterm.

Closed Session
c) a proposed or pending acquisition or disposition of land for municipal or local board purposes; (potential boundary adjustment; request to purchase Town lands)

Public Meeting
Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Z/19/17 – 70 Joseph Street (Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l’Ontario) to amend the C5 zone to permit a School.

4.1a – Minister Todd Smith, Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services. Public consultations regarding new five-year strategy on poverty reduction.
4.1b – Minister Todd Smith, Ministry of Children, Community & Social Services. On-line survey available regarding new five-year strategy on poverty reduction
4.2 – Zach Crafts, Emma Kitchen. Request for road widening and inclusion of sidewalk and a bicycle lane on Isabella Street at Wood Street to address safety concerns.
4.3 – Joe Beleskey. Drainage issues at residence.
4.4 – Dan DiNicolo, President, Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce Summary of 2019 Activities.

5.1 –
Nadine Hammond, Curator/Manager, The Museum on Tower Hill. The Museum on Tower Hill 2020 funding request.
5.2 – Laurie Del Net, Executive Director, Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce 2020 Funding request.
5.3 – Dave Brunton, Linda West, President, Rotary Club of Parry Sound. Rotary 3-pitch Strikes Against Cancer

Resolutions and Direction to Staff
9.1.1 – Draft 2020 Operating Budget.
Resolution. That the staff report, 2020 Draft Budget Package and presentation be received for information purposes.
9.4.1 – Accessibility Advisory Committee Establishment & Terms of Reference. Resolution . That Council authorizes the establishment of an Accessibility Advisory Committee according to the Terms of Reference attached as Schedule A and directs staff to advertise for members.
9.4.2 – 2020-2030 Strategic Plan.
Resolution 2020 . The Council for the Town of Parry Sound approve the 2020 -2030 Strategic Plan substantially in the form as attached as Appendix A.

Department of Canadian Heritage – Canadian Arts Presentation Amendment to the Grant Agreement.
By-law 2020 – 7014. Being a by-law to authorize the execution of the amendment to the funding agreement with the Department of Canadian Heritage – Canadian Arts Presentation Fund – for Stockey Centre programming for the fiscal years 2018-2021.