Friday, October 18, 2013

City Council Timeline, Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It was a fairly short workload for City Council on Tuesday night, a session of municipal governance that took up but 45 minutes of the evening.

The October 15th session offered up the  usual items found on the weekly agenda.

In addition to the public forum on the night, October 15th featured another "closed session" of Council, an event that seems of late to be a rather common development with each gathering of Council.

The timeline of all of the council the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video and audio feeds archived below.

Further information such as minutes and permanent placement in the  audio and video archives can be found below as they are posted to the city Website.

In Attendance October 15, 2013

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

Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Resigned her position on June 10th.

Video Archive for October 15, 2013
Audio Archive for October 15, 2013 (not available yet)

(0:00--1:30) Council moved on to it's regular agenda for the night. The Mayor  beginning the session by outlining the usual procedural aspects of the adoption of the agenda and past minutes from September 30th, before carrying on with the agenda items for the evening. From that bit of housekeeping, Council moved right into Reports and Recommendations.

Reports and Recommendations

(1:30--3:15Report from the City Manager on a Recommendation from Staff on a contract for landfill services  -- Mr. Long reviewed the particulars of the recommendation into a contract to provide rock blasting and other landfill services for the City's landfill site. The Report was received and was moved for recommendation and adopted.

(3:15--17:30) Report from the City's Executive Assistant on 2014 Community Enhancement Grant Applications-- Mr. Long outlined the background of the report and the cost pressures involved in regard to this year's Community Enhancement Grants and what options Council will have to consider.  The Mayor reviewed those options for Council offering up a number of possibilities that the City could consider, when it comes time to make their decisions on Grant applications.

Councillor Garon inquired as to whether the grant applicants would be separated between the "Big Six" and the smaller applicants. Council adopted a motion to explore the larger applications apart from the smaller ones.

Councillor Ashley offered up her thoughts on the Grant application process and whether the City wished to hold meetings to determine a sense of priorities, in order to learn more from the public as to which items they believe are important to the community.  Councillor Ashley offered up the motion that any decisions be delayed until 2014 until Council has a chance to hold a meeting with the public on the issue of Grant applications.

Councillor Thorkelson weighed in on the discussion, adding that Councillor Ashley was correct in her remembrance about recommending that a public forum be held to consult the public. She too added that she was in favour of the forum or workshop to learn more about the interest of the public in the topic.

The Mayor suggested that Council hold their meetings on the topic after the by-election, between November 20th and December 20th.

Councillor Ashley suggested that the timeline the mayor offered was fine, as long as it was properly advertised, as well she wondered if the City could solicit more information through the city's website or by way of other process of submission.

Councillor Thorkelson suggested that the City needs to have some idea as to the City's financial status in order to properly consider the Grant Applications, making them part of the whole budgeting process. She believes that City Staff could give them some guidelines  on that aspect of the process, looking towards December to make a decision on them.

Councillor Ashley continue on with the discussion, inquiring if they could have two separate meetings on the process, one in November, one in December, to better understand what the City can offer and what the community desires for funding.

At the end of the discussion, the motion to hear from the first six separately, the second to hold off on decisions on the Grant Applications until 2014, after public input in November.

Councillor Thorkelson added that she would support that second motion, providing that the Grant Applications were decided upon in December. The motion then was passed.

Correspondences for Action

(17:40--18:30) Request for a Proclamation from the Self Advocacy Group --  Council was asked to proclaim October as Community Living Month in the City of Prince Rupert  . The motion was adopted.

(18:30--19:00) Request for a Proclamation from the Ministry of Children and Family Development-- seeking that October be declared Foster Family Month in the City of Prince Rupert. The motion was adopted.


(19:00--22:30) 2013 - 2015 Permissive Property Tax Bylaw Exemption Amendment 3315-2013 -- A recommendation that council introduce and give first, second and third readings to the Amendment Bylaw. Ms. Bomben outlined the scope of the Bylaw exemption that would provide the Museum of Northern British Columbia the 100 per cent exemption on the entire building including the rental property.

The Mayor offered up some past history on when the topic came before previous City Council's. As well as what kind of reaction that Council could receive from the public on the amendment.

Councillor Ashley spoke in favour of passing the motion and what impact it would have on the City and the museum.

The motion was then adopted.

Additional Items

(22:30--23:00) The Mayor outlined the schedule of additional items that Council would discuss on the night.

(23:00--25:00) Councillor Ashley introduced the item of Airport Services and whether City Council could have a meeting with the Airport Authority to inquire as to whether better services could be offered at the Prince Rupert Airport. Items such as a lounge or restaurant operation there. She put forward the motion to request a meeting with the Airport Authority to discuss the issue further. The motion was seconded.

(25:00--26:00) Councillor Ashley's second item involved other Airport issues. Included in her concerns were an Emergency plan and other items of note. She put forward the motion to have the Airport Manager appear at Council to review the situation at the airport. The suggestion was made to perhaps roll that review into the first meeting, combining the two.

(26:00--26:30) Councillor Ashley's third Additional item was to review the city's options for a Travel Policy for City Council, seeking to provide more transparency for the public, as to what the rules are for Councillors when it comes to travel on behalf of the City. She suggested that the City could put the travel policy on the City website for the public to review. The motion was adopted.

(26:30--32:30) The final item on her list was a review of the City's plan for Budgeting sessions and Strategic Planning, requesting that the City staff develop a schedule for Councillors to consult when it comes time to review the necessary discussion points.

Councillor Thorkelson offered up some thoughts on the Budget Consultation process, explaining some of the problems she believes developed last year during the sessions that Council held. She suggested that Councillors have access to more information in a workshop venue, so as to better understand some of the issues that they are facing, before taking those issues into the public forums.

She stressed that she was in favour of the majority of the budget planning taking place in a public meeting, but that Council should also seek out more detailed information through meetings with staff.

She expanded on her thoughts on the Budget preparation planning and what Council needs to review,  speaking to the theme that Council has never made any decisions in private and the need for public consultation, but returned to her proposal of a workshop to better understand some of the background issues that Council faces.

Councillor Garon concurred with Councillor Thorkelson's observations and offered her support to the workshop prospects.

Councillor Thorkelson then suggested that the time has arrived to begin planning for the Strategic planning session, seeking that it take place before Christmas.

The Mayor suggested that early December might be the best time frame to begin that process, coming shortly after the arrival of the new councillor. He left the issue with staff to determine

(32:30--33:00Report from the City Manager on Outstanding City Initiatives -- Mr. Long had no items to report to Council, advising that his next report would come at the next meeting.

Reports, Questions and Inquires from members of Council

(33:00--33:45 ) Councillor Kinney raised what he called a "touchy" subject, asking if Council could in the New Year work on a policy regarding cats in the community. The Mayor advised that Council would have staff consider that.

(33:45--35:30) Councillor Ashley raised a motion on the issue of the City's policies regarding the remuneration, seeking for staff to look at what needs to be done to the remuneration bylaw in order to freeze Council's wages for 2013 and to bring it back that information to the next council session.  The Mayor asked the advice of the City Manager on the topic and he said  he would look into it and advise Council accordingly.

Councillor Ashley added some thoughts to the topic, advising that considering the city's budget issues of the last year how she believed a freeze would be the right thing to do.

(35:30--45:15The Mayor's Report

The Mayor reviewed his schedule over the last two weeks, touching on the various meetings he attended, the arrival of the final cruise ship in the community.

Among some of his events were a Roundtable discussion hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, also participating were two BC Liberal cabinet ministers, the Mayor also attended a Seniors Pancake Breakfast.

He then wrapped up his Mayor's report to update Council on a trip he recently took to Trinidad, that at the invitation of the BG Group. A trip which he, along with representatives of Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla, observed an LNG terminal in that location. One of the main takeaways he outlined was that  of the involvement of a large segment of the local community.

He advised Council on some of the thoughts that the BG representatives presented to him, highlighting some of the discussions he had regarding investment decisions (possibly by second quarter of 2016 though that could change) and some of the social aspects of community involvement that the company may wish to be involved with. The Mayor highlighted how the company  seeks to be accepted by the communities that they locate in.

He also the outlined for Council some of the details of the Trinidad operations and what safety, security and industrial procedures were in place there.

That brought his report to an end.

Councillor Thorkelson followed up the Mayor's presentation on his time in Trinidad, outlining some of her concerns over the flow of information to the community regarding LNG development and seeking out a question and answer session from the Mayor  for Council, so as to discuss more of what he learned on his trip.

Advising the Mayor that she had many questions of the scope of the industry that is looking at the north coast.

The Mayor advised that he had an information package to distribute to members of Council next week and if anyone on Council had any other items to raise, then Council could perhaps invite the BG representatives to answer them.

Councillor Thorkelson asked if he had any thoughts on the air shed quality at the Trinidad operation, he explained the whirlwind nature of the tour there and couldn't offer an answer to that particular question.

And with that final bit of discussion the Council session was brought to an end.

You can access the City Council Review page for October 15th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including media coverage of it can be found.

As always, consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to the website for further review.

Minutes Regular Council Session from October 15, 2013 

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