Wednesday, May 13, 2015

City Manager speaks to main points of Council's Spring update

City Manager Robert Long
provided a short overview of the
Spring Update for Council Monday
With the release of Monday's Spring Update from City Council, a portion of the Monday Council session was dedicated towards a short overview of the document from the City Manager Robert Long, who highlighted some of the content from the six page information release.

For his presentation, the City Manager provided some observations related to the use of Prince Rupert Legacy Incorporated, the wholly owned City subsidiary that has been created to direct revenues from the Lot 444 efforts with Exxon Mobil.

In Monday's presentation to Council, Mr. Long touched on a number of the points from the Spring Update, noting Council's use of one million dollars from the Capital Budget with money allocated from Legacy Inc., to put towards road and sidewalk repairs throughout the community.

Advising council that in the near future, the plan is to provide information on the City's website delivering a schedule of planned work across the city for residents to track.

Mr. Long also explored some themes on the allocation of 1.3 million dollars in funding from Legacy Inc., for the next four years, towards Planning for Major Projects.

He also noted the recent decision of Council to support the approval of a 17,000 dollar a year raise for Mayor Lee Brain, making his position that of a full time Mayor, using funding from the Major Projects Planning money to provide for that additional salary increase.

As part of that overview, Mr. Long added as an aside for council, that the Mayor is working on a "full time plus basis lately" with all of the things that are going on.

He brought his report to a close with short updates on such issues as Housing concerns, infrastructure deficits and the preparation for growth that the City is involved with, as well as how the LNG GO plan will assist the city in those preparations for any LNG major project that comes forward.

You can review his presentation to Council from the City's Video Archive, Mr. Long's talking points on the Spring Update can be found from the 14:25 minute mark to the 19 minute point.

Following the City Manager's overview, only one Council member of the four in attendance, chose to speak on the actual topic of the Spring Update, with Councillor Wade Niesh 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, he suggested that residents should review all of the pages and try to understand where the city is coming from on all the topics of the update.

Mayor Brain also took some time at the end of the Council Session to provide his own remarks related to Monday's information release

Reviewing for the public 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 feels the city absolutely must do to help get to a new level.

The Mayor also touched on the nature of the process that Council used for a number of initiatives related to the Planning for Major Project initiative. Advising 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 discussions related to issues related to land, legal and labour, stating that they had to have discussions around those types topics and that they could not have that conversation necessarily out in the 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.

Relaying to the public how Council is addressing such things as infrastructure deficit and preparing to take on the bigger problems that the community is facing.

On that theme, the Mayor highlighted 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 the Spring update provides the rationale for why Council passed the budget and that Council believes it is going to serve them well.

The full overview of both Mr. Niesh's commentary and the observations from Mayor Brain can be viewed on the City's Video Archive above running from the 19 minute mark to the 23 minute point.

A copy of City Council's Spring update can he reviewed here, while the Mayor provided his own video commentary posted to the City's You Tube site.

For more background on developments from City Council see our Discussion Archive page here.

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