Wednesday, May 13, 2015

City Council Timeline, Monday, May 11, 2015

A light agenda, a few absent council members and little in the way of expanded conversation made for a quick night for Prince Rupert City Council on Monday, as those that were in attendance were done with the night's work after but 26 minutes of the public meeting.

The short Council session provided for one proclamation, the release of the names for the Recreation Commission for 2015, as well as a brief overview of the City update released earlier in the day.

Council members also had short discussions on a pair of items related to housing issues for the region.

For some background on the evening's scheduled items of note, see the Regular Council Agenda for May 11 here.

Council also had a Special closed Session earlier in the day at 4 PM.

Further information from our overview and placement in the video archive can be found below, with the permanent record of the minutes added as they are posted to the city website.

In attendance May 11, 2015

Mayor Lee Brain-- Present
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Absent
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Absent
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa--  Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Present

Video Archive for May 11, 2015

( 0:00 -- 2:20 )  Introduction of the Regular Council Agenda -- The Mayor provided the listing of Agenda and past Minutes of council sessions for approval by Council members.

( 2:20 - 3:00 )Proclamation Request from the Heart and Stroke Foundation -- The Mayor outlined the nature of the request that would see June 6th declared as  National Health and Fitness Day in the city of Prince Rupert, adding that he believed that it was a great idea and that he was in support of the proclamation.

Council then voted to approve the motion

( 3:00 -- 4:00 )  Resolution from Closed Meeting -- Announcement of the names of those selected for the Board of the City's Recreation Commission. -- The City's Corporate Administrator, Mr. Mandryk released the names of Sheri Pringle, Dawn Quast, Anna Ashley, Joy Sundin, Joyce Charleton and Marc Page who were named to their positions as members of the Recreation Commission effective Monday, with terms expiring on March 31st 2018.

Also announced as Alternate Directors were Karen Cruz and Alexie Stephens, they will have the same three year term as the Directors.

( 4:00 -- 12:00 ) A motion regarding the Innovative Housing Project that the Aboriginal Community Services Society is undertaking. -- The Mayor outlined the nature of the participation of the City Prince Rupert, which will be partnering with a number of other local organizations in the housing initiative.

He then called on Councillor Thorkelson to provide a short overview of the proposal.  She observed that Prince Rupert had been targeted by the Provincial Government through the Aboriginal Homelessness Group, advising that there was some money available to come up with an innovative design for a community project regarding housing.  She outlined for Council some of the background discussion that has taken place regarding the initiative and what the next steps will be towards the project.

The main focus as Councillor Thorkelson outlined is to be to directed for supportive housing for people who are homeless or in danger of being homeless and only have need for one room accommodation. A supply of housing that the local agency Makola does not have very many of.

She relayed to council that one of the messages from the Government has been that BC Housing has to be brought into the discussion, noting for Council how in recent discussions with the housing agency the city had learned that BC Housing doesn't believe that there is a housing crisis in the community, or that there is a need for more housing in Prince Rupert.

Towards delivering the city's views on the topic the City will form a small committee and a number of the other community services and societies in the city and look for ways to find housing for single people who are homeless as well as single parent families looking for supportive housing.

As a way of approaching the issue, the City's imminent homeless housing survey will be conducted to determine just what the need might be in the region.

If a need is determined from their work, then the committee will move its work forward using the money available to identify how to address that need in an innovative way.

The Mayor then followed up her presentation with a review of some of the recent steps that the City's two Housing Committees have been involved with and what the next steps in that approach will be.

He outlined how there will be more information released to the public on their plans over the next two weeks as to how it will all move forward.

Council then voted to approve the motion of participation in the work with the Aboriginal Community Services Society.

( 12:00 -- 14:25 ) An information item for Council on an upcoming meeting hosted by the BC Non Profit Housing Association to take place in Terrace -- The Mayor advised Council that he, Councillor Thorkelson and Councillor Cunningham would be attending the sessions, advising the remainder of Council that if they wished to attend to register for the conference and they could all go.

Councillor Thorkelson offered up a few more thoughts on the nature of the conference, observing for some of the Council members as to what kind of topics that they might find interesting at the Terrace gathering.  She did note for Council that it was two day event and that she wanted to know if Council should put forward a motion to cover both the registration and accommodation costs for the event.

The Mayor moved forward the motion, with Council members then voting to approve it.

( 14:25 -- 23:00 ) A report from the City Manager regarding the information release of earlier in the day providing for a Spring Community Update from City Council -- Mr. Long provided a verbal report to Council on some of the highlights of the information release of earlier in the day.

As part of the overview, he noted the Community Enhancement Grants, a new addition called Planning for Major Projects and the allocation of 1 million dollars from Legacy Inc., to be provided for road and sidewalk repairs or improvements, with a plan to provide updates on the city website as to where repairs and the nature of them in each area.

As part of the announcement he outlined some of the aspects of the 1.3 million dollars from Legacy Inc towards Planning for Major Projects, making mention of some of the initiatives ahead from those plans including the decision of council to support the approval of a 17,000 dollar increase to the Mayors salary to have him working on a full time basis, with Mr. Long adding that he could assure Council that the Mayor is working on a full time plus basis lately with all of the things that are going on.

He wrapped up his report touching on the issues of Housing, infrastructure deficits, preparing for growth and the LNG Go Plan and how it will assist the city in preparation for any LNG major project should it come forward.

Following Mr. Long's overview, only Councillor Niesh offered up a comment on the nature of the City's announcement, urging the public to have a real good read of the document and try to understand what the city  has tried to work towards here, noting how the rumours get started pretty quick in this town and how people will discuss or focus on one thing, but that they should review all of the pages and try to understand where the city is coming from on all the topics of the update.

Councillor Thorkelson then observed that at some point when Council has a light load, as they had for this session, that Council should post the information to the website and then walk the public through the various aspects of the website and where they could access information.

The Mayor then offered up his thoughts on the approach that the city has taken as outlined through its update of the day, and how some of it is designed to specifically to help with additional staffing and staff capacity to help  handle the load, something that he believes the city absolutely must do.

The Mayor also noted for the public, so that the public is aware, that a lot of this was passed through a closed meeting and those minutes will be coming out shortly. He further advised that they had to do it that way because of the sensitive nature of issues related to land, legal and labour, that they had to have discussions around those types topics and that they could not have that conversation necessarily in public

Adding that they are here now revealing to everyone and being transparent and open, and making what Council believes to be wise and good choices for the community to move forward.  Addressing such things as infrastructure deficit and to really take on the bigger problems that the community is facing. With the Mayor highlighting staffing capacity and the need for more staff to get things done, so the public can see and feel that we are moving forward as a community.

He wrapped up his review of the update by explaining how it provides the rationale for why Council passed the budget and that Council believes it is going to serve them well.

Reports from Members of Council

( 23:00 -- 26:00 ) Councillor Thorkelson outlined for Council the background to her attendance to the graduation for the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs last Friday, with sixteen graduating from a program run through the Gustavson School of Business at University of Victoria. With local assistance provide through Tri Corp and the BG Group.

Mayor Brain outlined that he was unable to attend that Graduation as he, Councillors Niesh and Kinney and City Manager Long were all attending the NCLGA sessions in Prince George.

And with that, the Monday night session came to an end.

You can access the City Council Review for May 11 here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to media coverage of it can be found.

As always, our Council Timeline is only a reflection of our observations from the Council session of the night. Be sure to consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to their website for further review.

Minutes of the Regular Council Session from May 11

Council next meets in Regular session on May 25th in Council Chambers at City Hall.

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