Monday, November 19, 2012

City Council Timeline November 13: Cats, chickens, a letter and other tales from Council's session

We add an enhancement to our City Council coverage from here going forward, a timeline if you will of the Council sessions, providing a bit more information than the City's official minutes might provide.

The topics of discussion will be listed, along with the timeline of discussion (which will be listed in red), using the City's video recording of each council session as our archive of record.

That way those interested in a particular topic of council have a reference point to find out further details on their item of interest.

Each review if you will, can be found on the individual page dedicated to that particular City Council session, those pages can be found from our City Council Archive page.

So with that synopsis of what it's all about, we start off the project with a review of the November 13th council meeting.

Last Tuesday's City council session perhaps will best be remembered for the introduction once again of the feral cat issue in the city, a presentation to council seeking civic assistance to provide for care and maintenance of the growing feral cat population just one of many topics on the night.

It has attracted a fair amount of the attention from the city's council session, but it was not the only topic of the day, our review of the Council session for November 13 is as follows.

Minutes from November 13 2012

Readers can follow along from the City's video and archives of the most recent session.

Video Archive for November 13 2012
Audio Archive for November 13 2012

Presentations to Council

Those looking for video of the BG Group's presentation to council will be disappointed, former Mayor Herb Pond and the group from BG Gas somehow didn't make it to the City's video archive, the council video session for November 13th currently on their web page starts up in the middle of the presentation from BC Transit.

However, those who prefer radio over television will find a full presentation from the BG Group available on the city's audio archive, it will be the first item of business after the opening approvals from Council.

Basically, the representatives outlined their preliminary plans for the LNG terminal at Ridley Island, offering up the prospect of construction jobs and full time employment for specialized workers for the most part upon completion. They were quick to caution however that no confirmed plans were in place at the moment, making it all more of an exploratory period for now.

BC Transit
From there Council heard an update from BC Transit,  (0:00 to 0:21) outlining user response, future plans and some interesting tidbits of note about Transit use and the challenges for it in Prince Rupert. Including the fact that on occasion some people it seems are inclined to subvert the Bus stop curb paintings, so as to create a parking spot for their own vehicles.

Feral Cats
A heartfelt plea from local proponents for better community care and attention to the Feral Cat situation in Prince Rupert (0:21 to 0:53) a lengthy review of the situation and suggestions for how to handle the problem, some of them taken from larger centres. More on the Feral Cat topic can be found here.

The presentations for the day at an end, Council returned to the regular affairs of council business from the night's agenda.

Regular City Business ( 56:00 - 1:10:00)

Council moved on to regular business after the presentations among their items of note:

The listing of items for consideration included.

A development variance permit for a backyard of a home on Montgomery Road

A discussion on the pros and cons of seeking a grant towards the installation of an elevator at the Civic Centre for seniors and the mobility challenged.

A discussion on the merits of providing support for the Northern Bus Shuttle, a project that is being spearheaded by Smither's Council.

A discussion to reinforce the City of Prince Rupert's non participation in the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District's Planning Service.

Discussion on an amendment to the City's 5 year Financial Plan, in order to factor in the purchase of the new chiller for the Civic Centre and an improved surveillance camera for the RCMP

The Mayor also advised that anyone interested in the City's Finances, should seek out information from Bylaw 3330-012, which offers up background on how revenue is generated and spent.

City Managers Report (1:11:00 - 1:17:00)

City Manager Gord Howie updated city council on three points.

Providing a preview of the November 26th Council session, which will see the Fire Chief provide a review of the City's earthquake and tsunami response from last months incident, in conjunction with the city's Emergency Planning Group.

An update on the progress of the city's Chicken Bylaw, which was put on the back burner of sorts as the City addressed other items deemed more pressing, the City to is expected to address the Chicken Bylaw issue in the New Year.

A preview of sorts of a letter to be sent by the City of Prince Rupert to the Prince Rupert Port Authority, regarding the environmental and social impact assessment process on the Fairview Phase II project.

Councillor Rice offered up some thoughts on the letter,  advising that she felt it was sufficient and addresses some of the community's concerns.  Though she wished to add to the concerns the situation regarding the Airport Ferry which at times is impacted by trains at the crossing at Fairview.

With the Port currently involved in a comprehensive review, she  felt that it was important for the city to have its concerns on the Port Development on the public record.

As the week would provide, the casual advisory of a letter to the port (subsequently obtained by the Northern View), would prove to be a letter which offered up a bit of controversy over the public impression over the relationship between the City and the Port.

From there, Council went on with the remainder of its business, starting with items that the various Council members wished to bring to the attention of the Council membership.

Items of interest to Council Members (1:19:00- 1:27:00)

Councillor Kinney provided the first of the contributions, thanking the volunteers that helped out at Halloween fest this year.

Councillor Ashley, approached the Feral Cat discussion of earlier in the evening, asking council to consider discussing it further at the next meeting, where Council having had a chance to consider the issue can offer up some comment and opinion on it.

Councillor Rice had three items of interest to her to share with Council.

An invitation to attend a book launch at the Museum of Northern BC, a local recipe book which it would seem also provides a bit of social commentary over the environment, fish habitat and items of that nature.

She outlined some of the opportunities available to the community through Northern Health's Imagine Grants process.

She also provided an update on the BC Ferry Consultation process, with the Ferry Service seeking cost saving measures, including cuts to service that are in the works for a number of routes on the coast, including the North Coast. She advised that local residents should take part in the online survey process or pick up one of the booklets she has, which also have surveys available.

Council Ashley reminded council that there are a number of community fundraisers ongoing in the community the Rotary Auction and such, she also advised of the ongoing need at the Food Bank.

Mayor's Report (1:27:00-1:36:00)

The Mayor reviewed many of his past activities since the previous council session.

Items that included:

The Mayor attended a Webinar on municipal downtown redevelopment.

Attended the Opening of and provided the welcome to a recent 14th Annual Conference of the Self Advocacy Group meeting.

Along with Councillor Ashley, he attended the Watson Island Development Company's Open House.

Attended, Lax Kw'alaams Fish Plant Grand Opening, with Councillor Kinney, providing a greeting and offering up the Congratulations on behalf of the City.

Attended the Self Advocacy Group's Community Living Event meeting with Councillor Rice.

Attended a Northwest Cruise event, where Prince Rupert was acknowledged for its efforts on the Cruise file. The Mayor advised that so far, 8 port calls were in place for 2013.

Recounted his attendance to City Hall during the earthquake/tsunami event, updating Council on the events of the Emergency Centre that night and the events set in motion during the course of the emergency.

Discussed Transportation issues regarding Access to the Digby Island Airport with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Participated in a review over candidates for consideration as Commander for the RCMP detachment, as well as attending a luncheon to honour Civic Employees for their years of service, also attended by Councils Garon, Rice and Kinney.

Took part in a conference call on crime with other communities on the Crime Severity Index, exchanging ideas on how to reduce crime.

Participated in discussions with representatives of Talisman Energy, over possible LNG developments on the North Coast.

Attended the recent Ridley Terminals Art Display opening, with Councillors Garon and Rice also in attendance.

With Councillor Rice, the Mayor took part in discussions over the BC Ferries Ferry engagement discussions.

Took part in discussions with Sea Breeze Energy wind power and potential development of that resource, Councillors Ashley and Garon also attended the discussions.

Attended Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Court House, the Mayor acknowledged the presence of Councillor's Garon and Rice.

Councillor Ashley also advised she was in attendance at the Ceremonies and expressed her appreciation to members of the public that braved the elements that day.

The Mayor also advised Council that the Royal Canadian Legion opened up their new location on Remembrance Day, welcoming many of the participants from the day through the doors.

Councillor Rice reminded Council members of the BC Energy Forum in Terrace on Friday, the Mayor taking that opportunity to advise council that he was to make a fifteen minute presentation at that forum.

And with that, the Council session was adjourned.

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