Wednesday, January 30, 2013

City Council Timeline: January 28

An honour for the now departing City Manager, an open mike session, presentations to Council and regular city Business all were on the to do list for Prince Rupert City Council on Monday night.

The timeline of the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video feed archived below. Further information such as minutes, audio and video archives can be found as they are posted to the city Website.

Minutes from January, 28 2013

In Attendance January 28, 2013

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Present
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Present
Councillor Judy Carlick-Perason-- Present
Councillor Gina Garon-- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Absent
Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Present

Video Archive for January 28, 2013 
Audio Archive for January 28, 2013

The first task of business for Council on the 28th was a presentation to Gord Howie, the departing City Manager was named a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal (an award we outline more about here).

Following the lengthy preamble of tribute by the Mayor, Mr. Howie received his medal and a plaque of recognition. His appearance at this council meeting would mark his final appearance at City Council functions, he is set to take up duties in Sooke at the start of February. (0:00-5:05)

From there the Mayor called Council to the Committee of the Whole meeting and we were off to races.

The opening item for the night, a Question Period for the Public.

Larry Golden took up the Mayor's offer to submit questions to Council, the topic of his concern were   a number of issues regarding the City of Prince Rupert's place in the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District. His question for Council one of inquiry if the City should only direct a smaller share of funding towards Regional District, or gain a more beneficial weighted vote in Regional District sessions. (08:00--15:30)

With no other questions coming from the gallery, the Mayor brought us to a return to the Regular Council meeting and Agenda Adoption (15:30--18:00)

Regular City Council Business

Presentations to Council

Prince Rupert Golf Course Presentation (18:00--40:00)-- Glen Hauptman representing the Prince Rupert Golf Course, provided council with an overview of the Golf Course's past, it's importance to the community and some of the developments at the Golf course over the last year.  There appeared to be some confusion as to the purpose of the presentation, the Mayor believing that the Golf Course was appearing to seek a Community Enhancement Grant. City Financial Officer Dan Rodin cleared up some of that misunderstanding, advising that the City was already in the process of funding the golf course with a 40,000 Capital Grant, as well as funds for the course superintendent. The Monday night  appearance was more of an information session, as requested by Council in 2012. Councillor Ashley had questions about the other revenue category of the Golf Course budget, she also inquired as to an increase in the numbers using the golf course as well as the increased costs of tournaments held at the Course. Councillor Garon inquired as to the timeline of the budget process at the Golf Course. Councillor Thorkelson asked for clarification on the anticipated deficit reported by the Golf Course. Councillor Ashley again asked for clarification on budget items presented to Council, expressing the same concerns as Councillor Thorkelson on deficit issues, requesting a budget from 2012 for comparison purposes. Council Garon asked if the Course had given any thought to creating a pitch and putt for family activities, as well as other ways to create more use of the Golf Course.

Mr. Derek Baker, Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Office (40:15--1:03:30) -- Mr. Baker made a presentation  outlining what the Economic Development Office does and some of the initiatives undertaken in 2012, looking forward towards 2013 and the budget required to operate the office. He touched on some of the projects that have been examined by the office, such as the various LNG options, the Rupert Square Shopping Centre makeover and a local micro brewery in the community. He provided an overview at how information is being shared with the public through the PREDC website, which has links to some of the major employers in the city.  He examined the grant writing process that PREDC takes part in, highlighting the Prince Rupert Marina Project as a successful item from that process. He reviewed the partnership with Community Futures and the feedback from their recent Business Survey, which is available on their website. He provided a review of the Contractor Boot Camp, which offers advice and information to local contractors regarding current projects underway and those planned for the community in the future. And to wrap up his presentation he outlined the steps taken towards improving access to the Prince Rupert Airport as well as providing a look at the 2013 Outlook, which explored the progress of the Marina project, a revised Business Service Directory, Business Opportunities Study and Downtown Revitalization study. Councillor Garon congratulated him on his work thus far and asked if there could be a separate web space provided for those looking to move to Prince Rupert, without having to weigh through all the business development items. Gord Howie advised that Mr. Baker is working with the provincial government on a "welcome to webpage", with Prince Rupert the third community to be featured in the program. Councillor Thorkelson asked about if the Economic Development Office would explore a listing of long term jobs in the community and the training required for them. Councillor Carlick-Pearson agreed with Councillor Thorkelson regarding the access to information about future job opportunities.

Presentation from the Prince Rupert Public Library (1:03:00--1:30:00)-- An overview of the developments at the Public Library, outlining the challenges faced by the library in 2012 and looking forward into 2013, managing to the limits of their budget. The video presentation provided some background on funding of libraries in other communities, using financial numbers from 2011.  At the moment the city funds the library to 35 dollars per capita, the norm it seems is around 42 dollars per capita. One item of note for Council is that contract negotiations are coming up at the library. The presentation touched back to 1913 when the reading room opened in the city, using it's history to demonstrate the value of the library 100 years later. Showcasing how the library service has evolved over the years both in the building and through their outreach services. As well the Library stressed its importance as a central gathering place of information on topical issues of the community. Councillor Rice inquired as to what the big needs were for the Library, asking for their wish list. The desire of a new building,  as the current one has become out of date with a number of issues. Councillor Carlick-Pearson asked if traffic in the library has slowed down owing to the arrival of new personal technology. She also asked about public donations and what the process is for that at the library. Councillor Ashley offered up her thoughts on the future for the library and what it can provide for the city and if perhaps it's future should not be tied into the local schools. Councillor Thorkelson asked for some background on how the ebooks subscription process would work. Councillor Ashley asked about inter branch access on ebooks. Councillor Thorkelson asked for further explanation of the ebook process and availability of electronic readers for people to take home with them. Councillor Rice, asked for further information on the ebook procedures at the library.

Reports and Recommendations

(1:30:00--1:31:30A report from the Chief Financial Officer, seeking approval of the bank resolution for Northern Savings Credit Union, and approval of the signatories to it.  The Motion was adopted.

(1:31:30--1:34:00A grant application for the Civic Centre Ice Rink Chiller, seeking approval from Council. Mr. Baker explained the background on the report and request, including the grants they have applied for to put towards the replacement project. Councillor Ashley asked if the need to buy the chiller was reflected in the budget. The Motion was adopted.

(1:34:00--1:44:00)Report from Corporate Administrator, a report on the planned privatization of Ridley Terminals. Mr. Grodecki provided the background on the report regarding the history of Ridley Terminals and the attempts to privatize it previous and the current attempts to sell it to the private market Councillor Thorkelson led the discussion on the report, highlighting her concerns over the privatization plans. Setting in place her request for a motion that City take a stand to say that the Terminal should not be sold. Suggesting that the City write to the Federal Ministers involved advising that Council objects to the sale of Ridley Terminals and that the Federal Government should retain ownership of the Terminal.  Councillor Ashley spoke to Councillor Thorkelson's motion and added the Prime Minister to the list of those to have the letter directed to. Motion was adopted. Council then discussed the concept of offering up a partnership with the Federal Government on the Terminal and seeking a revenue sharing program with them on it. Motion was adopted.

Correspondences for Action

(1:44:00--1:46:00A request seeking a letter of support for the upcoming All-Native Basketball Tournament at the Civic Centre-- Motion was adopted. Councillor Thorkelson offered her support to the request and added that the Mayor should attend the session and speak on the issue of drinking and driving as requested by tournament organizers.

Items from Closed Council Meeting

(1:47:00- 1:48:00Mr. Howie spoke on the topic of continuity of administrative leadership, outlining that with his departure Mr. Rodin will take on the role of Acting City Manager, with Mr. Grodecki taking on the role in Mr. Rodin's absence.

City Manager's Report

(1:48:00--1:54:00Outstanding City Initiatives -- Mr. Howie did not have any items to update council on at this time, he advised that the city was moving at pace on current items. And that he would provide a list of  council initiatives before his departure.  Councillor Carlick Pearson thanked Mr. Howie for his assistance in her time on council. Councillor Thorkelson asked if he could clear up a few things, one being the Chamber of Commerce initiative on outstanding downtown's, he advised that it was tied in with Mr. Baker's presentation earlier. As well she inquired about the social services meeting proposal and the issues related to it, asking if there was any further response from it. He said staff would have a report prepared for the next council meeting, she then thanked Mr. Howie for his work with the City and wished him well.

Questions and Inquiries from City Council

(1:54:00--1:58:00) Councillor Ashely asked Council about the need to create some synergy between the recycling centre and the landfill. Asking that staff add those issues to the curbside recycling discussions to come. Councillor Garon inquired as to who locally was involved in the Mainland Solid Waste Commission, asking what their mandate was on the Commission. Councillor Thorkelson advised that you can now take clam shell plastic to the recycling centre. Councillor Garon also advised that the Recycling centre was going to be releasing new flyers advising as to what is now accepted at the centre.

Mayor's Report 
(1:58:00--2:06:00 )

Prince Rupert Airport authority has released their 2012 passenger traffic figures 58,604 passengers used the Prince Rupert Airport an increase of 2.14% from the year before.

The Mayor, along with Councillor Thorkelson met with representatives of the seafood industry.

Members of City Council met with an employment search agency to better understand the process required in the search for a new City Manager.

The Mayor observed the signing ceremony between Ridley Terminals, School District 52 and NWCC to implement a trades training program in Prince Rupert.

On behalf of city council the Mayor thanked those that participated in the Auxiliary Constable and Citizens on Patrol program.

He met with representatives of Trans Canada pipeline on the Lelu Island LNG pipeline project.

He attended the Conrad School penny drive function.

He attended the Annual Business Awards nomination event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce.

Attended Roosevelt School for a cultural event.

He attended the third annual Sugar Shack festival.

He closed with an expression of thanks to Mr. Gord Howie for his service to the community.

Mr. Howie provided some farewell thoughts to council, the Mayor adjourned the meeting, calling for a ten minute break before they returned for an in camera session.

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