committees

Essex County councillors get committee appointments for 2018-22 term

 

By Ron Giofu

Members of Essex County council have had their committee appointments approved for the 2018-22 term.

At county council’s final meeting of 2018, they approved recommendations from the striking committee which established as to which county council members will sit on each of the County of Essex’s committees.

The Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority (EWSWA) will be well represented by the county’s two elected officials from Amherstburg. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo will become a member for the full four-year term after spending last year as an alternate member, serving one-year terms every other year. The latter position now falls to Deputy Mayor Leo Meloche, who will serve one-year terms in 2019 and 2021.

Other Essex County members of the EWSWA board of directors will include Warden Gary McNamara, LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy and Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald.

Leo Meloche and Bondy will also sit on the Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation with Meloche and MacDonald also representing the county on the Windsor-Essex County Environment Committee (WECEC).

Essex County council has decided on their committee appointments for the 2018-22 term.

The Essex County Library Board will have representation from each of the seven county municipalities – four county council members and three lay appointments from each of the other three towns. Essex Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche and Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos return to the board and will be joined by Leamington Deputy Mayor Larry Verbeke and Lakeshore Deputy Mayor Tracey Bailey. The lay appointments include Ron Sutherland from Amherstburg, Andrew Dowie from Tecumseh and Terry Burns from LaSalle.

Kingsville Deputy Mayor Gord Queen returns to the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee (ECAAC). He will be joined by lay appointees Debbie Alexander, Christine Easterbrook, Brad Frenette, Diana Kirkbride, Therese Lecuyer and Fern Walsh.

McNamara, also the mayor of Tecumseh, will be one of the county officials on the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) board with Tecumseh Deputy Mayor Joe Bachetti, Essex Mayor Larry Snively and Bailey. McNamara will also represent the county on the Windsor-Essex County Housing Advisory Committee and the Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) board, the latter also including LaSalle Deputy Mayor Crystal Meloche and Santos.

Bailey will also serve on the 911 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) while Verbeke will sit on the Food Policy Committee. Lakeshore Mayor Tom Bain will serve on the Windsor-Essex Opioid Strategy Leadership Committee.

Council looking at setting up committees, bringing back some former ones

 

By Ron Giofu

 

As council is new, so too are the committees being formed.

The 2018-22 town council held its first business meeting Monday night and started the recruitment process for some of the committees that will be formed. Administration was authorized to seek members for the accessibility advisory committee, the committee of adjustment, the Co-An Park committee, the drainage board, the fence viewers committee, the heritage committee, livestock evaluators, parks and recreation advisory committee, the property standards committee, the seniors advisory committee and the mayor’s youth advisory committee.

The last two are new committees but the mayor’s youth advisory committee was one that drew some particular attention. Councillor Peter Courtney said with The House Youth Centre in place, he didn’t want the town to interfere with that but manager of recreation services Rick Daly said the committee would engage with youth at The House and others in town and gather their opinions.

Councillor Donald McArthur envisioned the committee and the youth working “in tandem” and that the town needs “to go where they are” to gather their opinions.

The economic development and finance committees appear to be making a comeback after being dissolved by the last council. Councillor Michael Prue believed it would “not be a bad idea for the town” and that a committee of citizens would “be an enormous benefit as we try to bring business to town.”

Prue, who noted his campaign involved economic development, believed citizens should have a say in how the town is developed and that includes looking at potential industrial sites as the former General Chemical property and lands on Alma St.

Administration will bring back a report on reforming the economic development committee as well as terms of reference. Courtney asked for similar consideration on re-implementing the town’s finance committee.

The names of Deputy Mayor Leo Meloche and Ron Sutherland were put forth to the Essex County striking committee for consideration as the town’s representatives to the Essex County Library Board. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, who missed his third straight council meeting Monday night, was re-appointed to the Essex Powerlines board of directors. Courtney was appointed to the Essex Region Conservation Authority with the town to advertise for a layperson as the second representative.

Meloche was also named to join DiCarlo on the Amherstburg Police Services Board for the balance of the year but council shot down any notion of advertising for a layperson since the board is being abolished Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m. due to the switchover to the Windsor Police Service.

“It’s not practical to advertise for the (layperson) position for 20 days,” said Prue.

Courtney wanted to keep current APSB chair Bob Rozankovic in place for the balance of the term and also didn’t want to advertise for a layperson as it should “stay as it is.”

“It seems absurd to me,” he said of seeking another layperson to the board.

Councillor Patricia Simone questioned what will happen with issues the board is facing including a human rights tribunal.

“I’m not sure what would happen with issues still up in the air,” said Simone.

CAO John Miceli said the severance issues “we believe have been resolved” and that other matters such as human rights issues, given as there will be no board, will “by default fall to the town.”

Town council chops two committees, combines two others

 

By Ron Giofu

 

With very little debate on the subject last Monday night, town council eliminated two committees and combined two others.

Town council originally discussed the matter July 10 with the motion failing due to a 3-3 tie vote. The full council was on hand for a special meeting last Monday night and, after an in-camera meeting regarding “committee structure review,” they followed up by going through with the recommendations originally put forth for the July 10 meeting.

The recommendations were to combine the parks committee and the recreation committee into one committee and eliminate the audit and finance committee and the economic development committee.

Town HallWEB

In a recorded vote, council voted 6-1 to move forward with those recommendations. Councillor Leo Meloche was the lone holdout, as Meloche did not want to see the economic development advisory committee abolished.

Meloche has championed the committee, stating they meet regularly to try and stimulate economic development.

In a report that appeared on the July 10 agenda, administration cited numerous concerns with committees, noting that agendas were not posted to meet notice requirements as per the town’s approved procedural bylaw, agenda templates are not consistent, agendas are not being published with supporting materials, chairs tend make motions, chairs tend to lead the meeting, there is no disclosure of pecuniary interest asked at the start of meetings, procedural rules are not being followed for delegates, no deferral motions, motions are too vague, minutes are not recorded as per Municipal Act requirements, minute templates are not consistent and recommendations/reports to council are inconsistent.

 

Town council considering eliminating two committees, combining two others

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A motion to combine the parks committee with the recreation and culture committee as well to eliminate the economic development committee and audit and finance committee has failed.

However, it doesn’t appear the issue is dead.

The motion lost thanks to a tie vote at the most recent meeting of town council with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo voting in favour along with councillors Rick Fryer and Diane Pouget. Opposing the motion were Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and councillors Leo Meloche and Joan Courtney.

Councillor Jason Lavigne was not in attendance at the July 10 meeting.

The issue may be brought back for a reconsideration at a future meeting.

In a report to town council, clerk Paula Parker said her department was directed by CAO John Miceli to attend most committee and board meetings in 2016 to “for the purpose of providing procedural advice and to assess and address committee inconsistencies.”

Among the concerns they noted were that agendas were not posted to meet notice requirements as per the town’s approved procedural by-law, agenda templates are not consistent, agendas are not being published with supporting materials, chairs tend make motions, chairs tend to lead the meeting, there is no disclosure of pecuniary interest asked at the start of meetings, procedural rules are not being followed for delegates, no deferral motions, motions are too vague, minutes are not recorded as per Municipal Act requirements, minute templates are not consistent and recommendations/reports to council are inconsistent.

“The recent amendments to the Municipal Act add additional requirements and limitations to committees of council, if these concerns are not addressed, the town will be non-compliant with the Municipal Act and possibly the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act,” Parker stated in her report.

Town HallWEB

Training was conducted for committee chairs in March 2017 but concerns were raised that they volunteer their time and should not have the same knowledge of the Municipal Act as the clerk’s department.

Staff liaisons were also provided additional training.

The staff liaison is now required to understand and follow parliamentary procedure and its supporting legislation. It is important to note that the clerk’s department has specialized knowledge in this area and is current with all legislative changes, the clerk is also charged with the responsibility of ensuring that all procedural rules and legislation are followed at all times. With this said, it is difficult to expect all staff members of the administrative team to know all the nuances of this specific task and as a result increases the potential risk of non-compliance,” Parker added in her report.

Parker said information was requested from the staff liaisons with respect to the function of each committee in preparation of her report that went before town council July 10. Some concerns that were brought forward include cancellation of meetings due to difficulties achieving quorum, absence of council representation, cancellation of meetings due to failure to meet notice requirements, committees moving motions that do not comply with their mandate, committees moving motions to eliminate portions of their council adopted mandate, committees challenging council decisions and committees supporting initiatives that require additional staff time that is not available within the time allotted recently by council.

Pouget said people on the committees work hard and try to give the best advice they can to council. She was concerned about whether committee members had been notified.

Meloche questioned whether town council has worked with its committees enough.

“I don’t think council has really engaged the committees,” he said, adding he believes there has been some “disconnect” between council and the committees.

Meloche didn’t object to dissolving the audit and finance committee, noting it is difficult to get a quorum for those meetings, nor did he oppose combining the the recreation and culture committee with the parks committee. He did not want to see the economic committee meeting be disbanded, noting they meet regularly and try to further economic development in the town.

DiCarlo called it “an issue of resources for the town” and that the recommendation to dissolve the committees was not personal against the committee members.

“Administration is also having a pretty tough time keeping up,” said the mayor.

DiCarlo added after the meeting he didn’t recall the Deloitte report saying the town had to have the audit and finance and economic development committees, believing the report gave guidance on what to do and what the town should be doing. He said the town is now moving in the right direction and that momentum could be continued without the committees.

“As much as we brought the committees in to move the town forward with accountability and transparency, I think we’ve achieved that in a lot of areas,” said DiCarlo.

DiCarlo reiterated concerns over resources and quorum, noting there are no “extra bodies” in the clerk’s department.

Economic development advisory committee chair Bob Rozankovic said that committee has only had one instance in three years where they failed to have quorum and that it is run well in terms of policy and procedures.

“The sword of Damocles still hangs over our heads,” Rozankovic said after the meeting.

Rozankovic believes there are certain council members who don’t like the committee and the issue of dissolving the committee “is somewhat of a petulant reaction” by those members.

“We’ve challenged them and, personally, I don’t think they like that.”

Appointments made to newly established committees

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Appointments have been made to two new committees the town has established.

The members of the audit and finance committee and the economic development advisory committee were named Monday night. Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and Councillor Leo Meloche were named council appointees to both with the audit and finance committee also consisting of John Purdie, Robert Auger, Tim Langlois and Terry Hall.

Town Logo Small-webNamed to the economic development advisory committee were Joe Varacalli, Marc Pillon, John McDonald and Bob Rozankovic.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo noted there were 20 applicants for the audit and finance committee, many from the business community. There were 12 applicants for the economic development advisory committee.

Among the residents named to committees Monday night were Marie Allen and Justine Silvaggio to the accessibility advisory committee, Merv Richards to the fence viewers committee, McDonald to the Co-An Park Board.

Councillor Diane Pouget was named as the council appointee to the Communities in Bloom committee.