Thursday, September 6, 2018

City Council Timeline: Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Prince Rupert City Council posted a personal best when it comes to the brevity for their public sessions this year on Tuesday evening, taking but nine minutes from start to finish to conduct the business of the City.

Council's short lived appearance in Council Chambers made for the shortest meeting of the year to this point, besting the January 18th session which had been the shortest of the year by nine minutes and coming after a July and August where Council only met once each month in public session.

Council's very short agenda provided for three items for consideration, a variance request for the O'Brien's Maintenance yard, the release of names for appointment to the Library Board and a short discussion on what Council's letter to the Federal government related to the Ridley Island Terminal sale should consist of.

To wrap up the night, Councillor Cunningham provided for a follow up on his comments of August 20th on themes of Transparency at Council and his desire to see groups and societies that are funded by the City appear at Council to make presentations on their plans for the year.

Some background on the work of Council on the evening and the various Agenda elements for the September 4th Council session can be reviewed here.

Prior to their scheduled public session of Tuesday night, Council met in Closed session at 5PM, the notice of that Closed meeting 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 Tuesday, September 4, 2018

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

Councillor Nelson Kinney passed away on March 24th

Video Archive for September 4, 2018

(0:00 -- 1:00 )   Regular City Council Session for September 4, 2018  --  Mayor Brain reviewed the list of minutes and agenda items to be noted by Council members, including one late addition, with Council then approving the Agenda.

( 1:00 -- 5:30 )   Report from City Planner Zeno Krekic, related to a Variance Development request for a property on Shawatlan's Road -- Mr. Krekic provided some background related to the variance request, which is asking for a height amendment for a structure on the property which hosts the O'Brien's Highway Maintenance Yard on the city's east side.

Mr. Krekic noted that as the area was in an industrial area, that the kind of structure would not have any great effect on surrounding properties and may actually provide for a benefit for the property in question by consolidating existing structures on the property.

Councillor Randhawa asked for some specifics related to the structure and property set up, while Councillor Cunningham inquired if the Ministry of Transportation had any questions related to the proposed variance.

Mr. Cunningham also provided a review of some of his observations related to the request and indicated he did not have any concerns related to the request.

Council members voted to approve the variance application, with the process now to go to Public notofication

( 5:30 - 6:00   ) Release of information from Past Council Sessions -- The City's Deputy Corporate Administrator Antonio Vera outlined the details of the re-appointment of three members to the Prince Rupert Library Board. Mr. Vera noted that in a decision from the Closed Council Meeting of August 20th, that Council had announced that Andrea Wilmot, Devlin Fernandez and Dale White would return to serve another two year term on the Board.

(6:00 -- 8:00 ) Matter raised from a previous council session. Re: Ridley Terminals Sale -- Mayor Brain introduced the topic of a request from Councillor Joy Thorkelson that the City write a letter to the Federal Government expressing its concern over the sale of Ridley Terminals.  Noting that Ms. Thorkelson was unavailable for the Council session, the Mayor then asked for comments from Council members.

Councillor Niesh led off the discussion outlining his opposition to the proposed sale by the Federal government, adding that Council should note its opposition to the sale but could offer support should there be local ownership or if the terminal remained in Canadian hands.

Councillor Cunningham concurred with those thoughts, adding that the letter should include the passage of "as long as it remains in Canadian hands.

Councillor Randhawa also expressed his desire to see the Terminal remain in local or Canadian hands.

The Mayor offered up a summary of Council concerns, noting that the letter should state the Council would oppose the sale of the terminal unless it remains in local or Canadian hands, offering up exceptions for potential First Nation purchase, or that of a Canadian firm with a commitment to the Canadian economy.

Council then voted to direct staff to write the letter to the Federal Government.

Reports and Comments from Council members

( 8:00 - 9:00 ) Councillor Cunningham returned to a theme he introduced at the August 20th session, asking if the Mayor had looked into his request about council's lack of action when it comes to inviting local groups and societies that are funded by the City to appear at Council for short presentations.

Mr. Brain observed that after discussing the topic with City staff that the plan ahead will be to schedule those presentations for the 2019 Council schedule, allowing for a process where those groups know when they are required to provide their presentation to council.

The Mayor added that he didn't know how the topic had been overlooked, suggesting that Council's work on Watson Island and other issues may have taken their attention away from the resolution.

Mr. Cunningham expressed his hope that when the new Council takes office following the October election, that they will continue to hold to the desire to find out what's going on.

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 September 4 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 September 4, 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, September 17, 2018

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

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