Bon soir mes amies. We had our November Regular Council Meeting (RCM) tonight. It was a relatively quick meeting, a luxury we won’t continue to have as we move into budget deliberations shortly. Here we go!
1. Santa Claus Parade Presentation – J.R Richard (who has the best radio voice ever, as I discovered) made a presentation to Council for an increase in funding for the 2016 Santa Claus Parade. Next year they will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the parade. They receive $500 from the town and are requesting an additional $500 for next year’s event. The request will be debated during budget deliberations. I assume it’s to cover increased travel costs for Santa to get here from the North Pole. The reindeer are aging which means more bathroom breaks, which ultimately adds to the travel costs. Santa should probably just get the elves working on some sort of teleportation device….just sayin’. (The increase is actually because the committee is going to have a huge celebration to recognize the 50th anniversary)
2. Recommendations from C.O.W – These items were all discussed in the last meeting so most of the details were in my last update. Please have a gander at www.andrewjleblanc.com.
- Municipal Election Act Reform – This item was with regard to giving voting rights to those individuals given permanent resident status but have not yet been given full citizenship in Canada. Permanent residents are tax paying residents. Motion carried 5-1.
- Transpo Route Changes Decision – This motion basically stipulated that no action would be taken on this item until the budget deliberations. Councillor Toner and I were opposed because we felt that when the budget is presented to us, it should reflect the potential cost increase of the new routes. If Council decided we couldn’t afford the increase we could always cut it back during deliberations. Other Councillors felt the budget should be presented without the increase and if there was room, we could add it later. It’s a small point in the grand scheme of things but we wanted to ensure this item didn’t get lost in the upcoming discussions. Motion carried 4-2.
- Lion’s Community Park Master Plan – This motion was to approve the master plan and give staff the go ahead to use funds allocated in the 5 year capital plan as leverage to go and seek further external funds to help with the various phases of this project. The more external funding we can get, the less the town will have to fund directly. The Lion’s Club has already committed $5000/year for 5 years. This will become a hub of outdoor recreation for our town and a great asset!
3. Councillor Cassista was appointed as the liaison for MAGMA.
Prior to the RCM beginning, we also had the public presentation for the consideration of a proposed text amendment to the Municipal Development Plan to introduce a new policy and proposal criteria as well as guidelines to assist with the evaluation of new radio communication towers to ensure their compatibility. Residents have 30 days to submit letters of objections. A public hearing will be scheduled for January. Council has sent this to the Planning Advisory Committee for their written views.
That’s all for this meeting! If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to send me a message. Council begins full budget deliberations next Thursday, November 19 and Saturday, November 21. What are your budget priorities? These meetings are open to the public and we welcome you to come and observe. Also, don't forget about the Remembrance Day Ceremony taking place on November 11 at 11:00am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. Thanks for reading!