City Council held one regular meeting on Sept 18, 2017
It was a short meeting and nothing controversial or intense happened.
A short note on the pie chart: there are more items in the agenda than slice that appear in the pie. This is because anything that takes less than 90 seconds doesn’t become a slice in the pie. The ‘missing things’ are in the meeting – they’re just between the things that took long enough to become pie slices.
IF you choose to view the meeting on YouTube you will find a list of links, to every item in the meeting, in the read more description of the video.
Council had two meetings on Tuesday, Sept 5, 2017.
In the Committee Of The Whole there were 3 delegations: Community Futures, The Phoenix Foundation and Grand Forks Search and Rescue. Look for the presentations. If yor\re unsure on what these organix=zations do then these shows
Council also considered new rules pointed at shelters being set up in parks or on public property. Pretty much targeting the homeless the rule says no temporary shelters allowed between 9AM and 7PM. Which sounds okay on first listen but if you give it a moment and think about who this rule is intended for then a few questions crop up like:
- How would someone without a time keeping device know when it’s 9AM (or 7PM)? They are homeless and not as slaved to the clock as the rest of us.
- If they miss that 9AM deadline and the city takes their shelter and stuff away then where can they pick it up? Because if that’s not already the case then some lawyer at some point will likely argue that the moment the city agents take possession of somebody’s worldly possessions the city has to hold onto them for a period of time. (and they’ll likely do it pro bono but
the city’s our lawyers’ time in court fighting this would be paid by the us, the taxpayers) Has the city worked that part out?
Hint: It might be more cost effective to just assume the city would be forced to hang onto the stuff and do that from the get go instead of incurring the 4 or 5 figure legal costs of learning it the hard way in court. (and the city would look nearly so heartless as it would if the stuff is trashed) If anybody on staff is reading this then look into that maybe and save us some money, eh?
- I don’t know if this would be a big deal or not but: How would the city know the person that shows up to claim the stuff is the owner?
- And if the person in question is a repeat offender then how will they be dealt with? They have no income so fines won’t be paid . . . the exercise will be fruitless. Not cost free though – anyone acting on behalf of the city or processing the file would be paid by us taxpayers.
In the Regular meeting (evening) the big issues of the night were:
- whether the city would support the Fall Fair financially or not (look for that in the late item)
- a dispute with a property owner / water customer over payment on the installation of a pit meter.
This took up the largest part of the meeting with the discussion during the Information Items part of the meeting and later on the question period. Both times Councilor Butler recused herself from the discussion.
In the agenda this item refers to two people twice and thereafter one of them exclusively. That one was present in the room and hoped to take part in the discussion council was having but the rules governing the regular meeting say a unanimous vote of council is required to allow that. Staff was asked what names appeared on the property title and when the answer came back that the person present was not named on the title they voted against allowing the visitor to speak. So they had to wait until question period.
The decision did not go in the customer’s favour and neither did the discussion during question period. It got a bit heated.
- The Permissive Tax Exemptions list of places and organizations applying for and being granted tax exemption. Interestingly the non-profit organizations include financials with their applications so if you’re curious to know how much money they have and how they spend / disburse it then that part of the agenda document would be interesting reading. Use the button above to fetch it from the city’s website.
The Committee Of The Whole
The Regular Meeting
There were supposed to be two meetings on Aug 21 but the Committee Of The Whole meeting was cancelled.
The ‘regular’ meeting was in the evening though it wasn’t ‘regular’ in a few senses.
On days where there are a COTW meeting in the morning and a regular meeting in the evening what usually takes place is delegations appear at the COTW where open discussion happens. Then if any actual decisions need to be made that fall into actions by council those happen during the evening meeting. It’s not always that way but often that gives topics brought by the delegations a broader scope with members of the public being able to participate in the discussion.
This evening meeting had two delegations slated to appear and neither showed up. Why I cannot say but it left council to discuss and deliberate based on the documentation submitted to it. One was the Fall Fair and the other the Herbivore Cannabis dispensary.
The other aspect of the meeting that wasn’t ‘regular’ was the participation of 3 council members by conference telephone call. Councilors Butler, Hammett and Ross appeared in voice only. So while all 7 were discussing and voting only 4 were physically present in the chamber. This is the first time I can recall where more than one council member was a ‘phone in’.
The regular meeting agenda is not the only supporting document to go with this meeting.
There is another PDF file as well, a Late Item regarding an extra $150,000 to be added to the budget for work on 22nd Street.
The meeting is below. To jump to any part just click on the pie slice for that portion and the meeting video will open in a new tab at that point in the meeting.
Last week the city gave notice to Whispers Of Hope: Cease operating on Friday and get packing to leave – your lease is done.
And Whispers responded with No we will not stop operating, you have no legal reason to terminate our lease.
This week the city relented a bit. their new stance can be found in this press release on the city’s website. The new notice can be read below (here is the link to that PDF doc on the city’s own website).
Essentially they’ve given Whispers 30 days to straighten out and fly right (by the terms of their agreement) or face eviction. And it also says they have 6 months to find a new home even if they do conform. So Whispers / BETHS have some extra time to achieve a move to another place. Some other place not in the city’s yard, back or front.
Unfortunate for sure but not the end of the world just yet. BETHS isn’t even open for the season and they have to find a new place and find a way to make it habitable at least to whatever standards a shelter needs to conform to. To see what they did to make this place take a look a what it was like when it opened.
Download (PDF, 63KB)