Wednesday, May 30, 2018

City Council Timeline: Monday, May 28, 2018

A review of a pair of items from the Civic Centre and a surprise presentation from the Outrigger Association in town made for the bulk of the time for Monday's City Council session, with the city's elected officials taking care of their business in less than thirty five minutes on the night.

Mr. Colin Masson was the spokesperson for the outrigger association and he used the Committee of the Whole session of Monday to share some background on the work of the group in the community and their use of the newly installed float attached to the Cow Bay Marina Dock.

From the City Recreation Department came details of a pilot project for the City and Prince Rupert Rampage, as David Geronazzo outlined the background to a plan to increase advertising space inside the rink, with the majority of the proceeds to go to the Rampage.

As well, city council also heard of the plan to return the name of Doug Kerr Field to the soon to be reopened ball field at the Prince Rupert Civic Centre complex.

Council members brought the evening to an end by providing for a few comments, observations and suggestions on a range of topics for further action by the City.

Monday was also a Committee of the Whole Session, which did offer the opportunity for the public to ask questions of Council or raise concerns, with one member of the public coming forward with a number of items for consideration of the Council members.

Some background on the items of note on the evening and the various Agenda elements for the May 28th Council session can be reviewed here.

Council also met in a closed session earlier in the day, the notice closing that meeting to the public can be reviewed here.

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 28, 2018

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

Councillor Nelson Kinney passed away on March 24th

Video Archive for May 28, 2018

(0:00 -- 14:30)  Committee of the Whole Session for May 28, 2018  --  Mayor Brain reviewed the list of minutes and agenda items to be noted by Council members, with Council then approving the Agenda.

One presentation took place on the evening, a late addition to the agenda not listed prior to the meeting, with Colin Masson  from the Prince Rupert Outrigger Association providing some background on the work of the Society in the region.

Mr. Masson explained how the Non Profit Society had been in existence in the community for a number of years and currently consists of some 25 members, a number of whom were in attendance in the gallery for the presentation.

He observed that the main purpose of the Society is to provide for the ability for safe and enjoyable marine transportation through the outrigger canoes. With both members of the Society and guests making use of the vessels

Mr. Masson also outlined how the organization is insured and noted how they had enjoyed the use of the dock at the Cow Bay Marina, having paid fees of $325 in 2016 and $550 in 2017, with the Association understanding that while no policy is in place, they would be supporting and willing to work with the City to develop a policy related to the access of the community dock.

Ho observed as to how a number of the Outrigger membership are also participants with the Dragon Boat group in the community and highlighted the different requirements for each type of vessel.

The message that the group wished to bring to the City included:

The Society exists, they are a registered society with a number of active members and they encourage and foster members of the public to come and try out paddling through the summer and other months.

They have appreciated and enjoyed access to the dock over the last couple of years and expect to continue to contribute in whatever way is deemed to be appropriate and fair.

They are more than willing and would be keen to support the development of policies as the City works on them to determine what kind of access and arrangements are deemed to be fair and reasonable.

The Society also encouraged the city council towards the development of an interim solution that would allow them to access the dock during the summer months while the development of a long term arrangement is worked on by council and staff.

Mayor Brain thanked him for his presentation and added that their use of the dock is a great thing that having access to the water again is the reason that the city had the dock built as a public access dock, which the group has been doing.

The Mayor personally saw no real issue to stop them from carry on with their use of the dock, with the organization having Seafest events and courses planned for the future. Mr.Brain suggested that staff could figure out an interim solution to keep them down there and did not expect that there would be any opposition from members of Council.

He did note that Council wants to have people using the dock, though he observed how the City does need to develop a longer term policy related to access which he said would be a simple thing to figure out.

The Mayor also noted the Organizations' plans to apply for an in kind donation through the Community enhancement grant related to access to storage of one boat for next year.

Councillor Cunningham also had comments related to the presentation, first thanking the group for their time and then noting that his over riding concern is to avoid the issue of exclusivity and how he wants the dock to be open to the whole public.

Mr. Masson reviewed how his organization views the use of the dock and that their group is not exclusive and is open to anybody at any time that wishes to join.

Mr. Brain closed the conversation off by advising that the city would look to get something in place on an interim basis to get the group out paddling for the summer and on the water, which is important to the city. He also noted that the dock is available for access to other users as well, offering up the city's support for the work that the group does in the community.

One member of the public provided for comments and observations for council with Larry Golden, a frequent contributor to the Committee of the Whole Sessions.

Among some of his concerns for Council included the number of people who park in one place in the downtown area and don't get tickets, suggesting for a need for fairness.

He also had comments related to the number of youth in the community with no activities to take part with and suggested that the City should make use of some of the revenues received from the province through the Chances Casino be put towards activities for youth in the summer.

He also offered up his thoughts on the closure of the pool for the summer and how some in the community believe that the timing of it is wrong coming through the summer months.

He also suggested that when the Mayor or Council go out of town on city business that they should provide a report back to Council as part of the public meeting process, noting that in the past Council members would require approval of Council for their travels at public expense.

With no other members of the public coming forward to comment or ask questions, the Mayor brought the public comment portion of the evening to a close and moved on to the Regular Council Agenda.


(14:30 -- 15:30 )   Regular City Council Session for May 28, 2018  --  Mayor Brain reviewed the list of minutes and agenda items to be noted by Council members, including two late additions, with Council then approving the Agenda

( 15:30 - 22:00Presentation from David Geronazzo, Director of Recreation and Community Services   -- The City's Director of Recreation outlined the background related to a proposal from the Prince Rupert Rampage to increase the number of advertising spaces inside the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre Arena.

As part of his review of the proposal he noted that the project would be a one year pilot project as a model that will allow the city to examine the results following its initial run, the additional 24 spaces would be made available to the Prince Rupert Rampage to allow them to raise revenues for their team.

The Mayor offered his support to the project, suggesting that anything the City could do to help the Rampage team would be a good thing.

Councillor Mirau asked for a comparison between the Civic advertising revenues versus the Rampage proposal.

Mr. Geronazzo noted that the City will continue to use their existing 28 spots on the board and two banner adds on the walls that won't be touched and will remain available for users.

Councillor Niesh had no issue with trying the proposal out for a year, he did however observe that the city could lose revenue from their advertising spaces and suggested that another approach may be to share the whole thing, that way they would not be competing against themselves. He did note that it is important to support the team, with Smithers having lost their team and some questions about whether Kitimat will remain in the league.

Councillor Randhawa asked about the time limit related to the ads, he was advised that the advertising would be for the 2018-19 season.

Councillor Cunningham also offered up his support for the Rampage and noted the community spirit that they build in the region, he had one concern related to the city's maintenance fee of 85 dollars per sign, and wondered if that was too large a chunk of the Rampage revenues.

The recreation director noted that they would be reviewing the effectiveness of the fee at the end of the pilot project.

Mr. Cunningham also inquired as to the longer range plan for the project and if other user groups would have access towards it. He was advised that would also be reviewed at the end of the pilot project.

The Mayor called the idea very innovative and new, agreeing with some of the comments that had been made and offered up his support for the project.

Council then voted to approve the motion

( 22:00 -- 25:00 ) Report from Rory Mandryk, Corporate Administrator -- Mr. Mandryk provided some background to the city's plans for the re-opening of the Doug Kerr Field at the Civic Centre complex, tracing some of the history as to why the city had closed the field back in 2013, with it becoming a dog park, the city transferring the name to Roosevelt Field. With the field now being returned for use of youth baseball and softball the name will be returned to the reopened field.

The Corporate Administrator also paid tribute to the work of Veronika Stewart, the City's communication director, who brought together a number of corporate sponsors to help reduce the cost of bringing the field back to use. Included on the list of those that provided their assistance were: The Port of Prince Rupert, Pembina Pipelines, Sperling Hansen Associates, Broadwater Industries, L and M Engineering, Rupert Wood and Steel and RONA/Tyee Building supplies.

He also noted that the Kerr family was in full support with the plan and while they will not be available for the planned June celebration, they will be in town in July.

The Mayor offered his full support for the initiative, while Councillor Niesh called the return of the field to use for youth as a turning point for the community, seeing it as a symbol that things are coming back with a number of sports activities starting to grow in the city.

Councillor Randhawa thanked those that sponsored the park for their contributions.

Council then approved the motion.

( 25:30 -- 34:30 Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council

Mayor Brain provided some background on his travels to Vancouver last week, the first his attendance at a conference hosted by CityStudio which explored innovation concepts for communities. He and Nathan Randall from Ecotrust Canada examined some of the models that were presented and hope to bring some of the ideas to Prince Rupert for an innovation lab that Ecotrust is looking to expand upon in the city.

The second event that he took part in was a discussion with a number of civic officials in the Lower Mainland on the issue of Port Tax Cap Act and how it impacts on the communities with port facilities in the Greater Vancouver area.

He observed that from the gathering the issues will be turned over to the CFO's from each community to explore further to create some kind of join document that will outline the challenges that the communities can then bring to the province and terminal operators to see if there is a joint solution to be found.

He observed how the goal is to seek a fair and equitable transfer of tax to the community, noting that he believes there is momentum around that with plans to meet with some of the participants again at the UBCM meetings in Whistler this September.

Councillor Cunningham made note of the issue of knotweed in the community, with a number of residents advising him of some of the trouble areas that have been identified to this point.

The Mayor offered up some thoughts on the issue, noting from personal experience that on private property it is the responsibility of the home owner to address knotweed.

As for the public land he advised that the best time to treat it is at the end of August and start of September. He advised that the city is looking to make use of staff members who have now been certified to address knotweed, but are now awaiting a licence to use the chemicals required for eradication methods.

Should the city not receive that licensing by the end of the summer, they will make use of private contractors, though he noted the complications that weather can provide when using private contractors and that the longer term solution of the city handling the issue would be the best course.

Councillor Cunningham followed up with a question related to the short term plan to address the city property that has been affected, the Mayor reinforced the outline of the plan that would see the City approach a contractor to address the most prevalent areas where the the problem exists.

Turning to a busy weekend just passed for the community, Councillor Cunningham also offered his thanks to the many volunteers that put on a number of community events in the community over the weekend, some of them in some horrible weather.

With no other comments offered up for the final portion of the evening, Council then voted to adjourn the meeting.

You can access the City Council Review for May 28 herewhere a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, can also 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.

Official Minutes of the Regular Council Session from May 28, 2018 (not available yet)

In addition to the city's official minutes, the City's Video archive provides a helpful record of the events from each public council session.

Council members next meet on Monday, June 11, 2018

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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