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Committee of the Whole Meeting Briefs December 8

Town of Smiths Falls

BY AMY HOGUE

Police Services Board and Lanark County Corporate Services appointments are hot topics

A seat on the Police Services Board was a hot topic at a Dec. 8 COW meeting when council reviewed and discussed council appointments on various boards and committees for the duration of the new term. There were five names in the ring for only two seats: Councillors Maloney, Brennan, Cummings, and Gallipeau were interested in sitting on the committee, as was Mayor Pankow.

Cummings, who sat on it for the past four years, told council there will be changes coming with labour negotiations and contracts coming up for renewal and he was looking for council support to allow him another term on that board to continue the work he started the previous term. He explained he felt his past experience on the board would be beneficial at such a critical time with negotiations.

Brennan said he didn’t realize there would be so many people interested in the appointment, and that he would defer to Cummings and agree that he has one term under his belt and consistency would be important going forward. Maloney said he would still like to be considered for the appointment and hoped for council’s support.

“Sometimes I think it’s nice to have fresh insight into things,” Maloney said, “I’d like it to have a nice fresh set of eyes on it.”

Cummings pointed out there would be a new set of eyes on it if Mayor Pankow was appointed to the committee, which would satisfy Maloney’s wish for a new perspective. Council members supported Cummings’ bid for the appointment and he and Pankow will serve on the Police Services board.

A few minutes following that decision, another debate ensued over an appointment on the Lanark County Corporate Services Committee (LCCSC). Councillors Quinn, Brennan, Maloney and Allen, along with Mayor Pankow were all interested in the appointment.

Councillor Quinn said she felt “very passionate” about representing Smiths Falls on the LCCSC, an opinion that Maloney echoed on his own behalf. Brennan said he had wanted to sit on the committee four years ago but had deferred to two more experienced members and would like the seat for the coming term. Councillor Allen said she looks forward to learning something new through the appointment.

Cummings, who had at first refrained from commenting on the debate, suggested they amend the appointment to a two year term per person, but Brennan argued that he wasn’t sure how much anyone would learn in two years. Cummings suggested that Pankow be the constant on LCCSC, while the other candidates rotate through the position.

The four candidates agreed to this suggestion, and Pankow will hold his seat for the four year term, while Councillors Allen, Brennan, Maloney and Quinn will each participate for a one year term, in that order.

By-Law enforcement, animal control to be contracted out

As a stop gap measure following the resignation of former Property Standards By-law Officer, Mark Russell, and Animal Control service providers, Smiths Falls will enter into a temporary Property Standards By-law enforcement and Animal Control contract with Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc.

The Manager of Planning and Sustainable Growth, Lynda McKimm, presented to committee a report outlining the quotations received from both the Corps of Commissionaire and Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc. Corps of Commissionaire quote came in at an hourly rate of $17.05 plus HST, while Frontenac came in at $25.50 plus HST, along with 52 cents per kilometre for mileage.

Despite the higher hourly rate from Frontenac, McKimm’s recommendation was to contract with that company in part because staff provided by Frontenac will all be certified by the Ontario Association of Property Standards of Ontario, while Corps of Commissionaire staff will not be certified, but instead will be willing to be trained in May 2015. In addition, McKimm pointed out that Frontenac provides by-law enforcement services, including property standards, to a number of area municipalities.

McKimm also recommended contracting Animal Control services with Frontenac, based on services operating on an as-needed basis, which could result in lower costs. McKimm recommended entering into agreements for both Animal Control and Property Standards By-law enforcement for a four month period, at which time staff can prepare a report for council outlining the options from that point forward.

Chief Administrative Officer (CA) Malcolm Morris explained to committee that despite the fact the town is disappointed to see staff leave, “every change presents the opportunity to look at how we do things.”

Election sign by-law coming soon

Councillor Jay Brennan brought forward a suggestion that the town set some sort of policy restricting the amount of time municipal candidates can have their election signs posted within town limits. Currently, Brennan stated, the town has no policy in place, which means candidates can post signs nine or ten months in advance of the election date.

“I think it would give candidates more of a level playing field,” Brennan explained, “We need more control on signage during election time.”

Brennan also pointed out that there are regulations in place in surrounding municipalities, and in the provincial and federal elections. Councillor John Maloney acknowledged he had put up his election signs early on in the campaign, but that he waited until after the provincial election so there wouldn’t be any confusion.

Councillor Chris Cummings said he travelled extensively around the area prior to the election and didn’t see any election signs other than in Smiths Falls. Mayor Shawn Pankow said he agrees there should be “some restrictions,” suggesting a 60 or 90 day time frame, and potentially a restriction on size.

Staff were directed to review the existing by-law and bring forward recommendations at a later date.

Midget B2 Minor Hockey boot drive permitted

A request for a boot drive in front of Town Hall from the Smiths Falls Midget B2 Minor Hockey team to fund a February trip to Montreal to attend the Can-Am games. The request led to discussion about the number of street tolls currently permitted in town and the possibility of adding another.

A report presented to the Committee of the Whole (COW) on Dec. 8, stated that since 2000, the town allows for three organizations to hold street tolls within the town, with the provision that any other requests be brought forward for council’s consideration.

The organizations currently permitted annual boot drives are the Smiths Falls Fire Association, Canadian National Institute of the Blind, and District Club of Youth. Council discussed the consequences of allowing the minor hockey boot drive, and if this would result in an inundation of other organizations looking for fundraising opportunities.

“If we allow one, we could open the door for others,” Mayor Shawn Pankow pointed out. Pankow said he is not concerned with the prospect of allowing for another boot drive within the town limits, but pointed out the level of accountability for the minor hockey association is different than that of a charity.

Councillor Lorraine Allen suggested the fourth toll be rotational, to allow other organizations to fundraise in future years, and this was agreeable to the other members of council.

Dennis Durant, Smiths Falls Midget B2 Minor Hockey assistant manager attended the COW meeting and explained that the main reason for the street toll request this year is because for many players this will be their last year playing hockey.

“We wanted to go out with a bang for them,” Durant said, adding that the team is 11 and 0 so far this season, and he considers them the best in the league so far.

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Committee of the Whole Meeting Briefs December 8

Town of Smiths Falls

BY AMY HOGUE

Police Services Board and Lanark County Corporate Services appointments are hot topics

A seat on the Police Services Board was a hot topic at a Dec. 8 COW meeting when council reviewed and discussed council appointments on various boards and committees for the duration of the new term. There were five names in the ring for only two seats: Councillors Maloney, Brennan, Cummings, and Gallipeau were interested in sitting on the committee, as was Mayor Pankow.

Cummings, who sat on it for the past four years, told council there will be changes coming with labour negotiations and contracts coming up for renewal and he was looking for council support to allow him another term on that board to continue the work he started the previous term. He explained he felt his past experience on the board would be beneficial at such a critical time with negotiations.

Brennan said he didn’t realize there would be so many people interested in the appointment, and that he would defer to Cummings and agree that he has one term under his belt and consistency would be important going forward. Maloney said he would still like to be considered for the appointment and hoped for council’s support.

“Sometimes I think it’s nice to have fresh insight into things,” Maloney said, “I’d like it to have a nice fresh set of eyes on it.”

Cummings pointed out there would be a new set of eyes on it if Mayor Pankow was appointed to the committee, which would satisfy Maloney’s wish for a new perspective. Council members supported Cummings’ bid for the appointment and he and Pankow will serve on the Police Services board.

A few minutes following that decision, another debate ensued over an appointment on the Lanark County Corporate Services Committee (LCCSC). Councillors Quinn, Brennan, Maloney and Allen, along with Mayor Pankow were all interested in the appointment.

Councillor Quinn said she felt “very passionate” about representing Smiths Falls on the LCCSC, an opinion that Maloney echoed on his own behalf. Brennan said he had wanted to sit on the committee four years ago but had deferred to two more experienced members and would like the seat for the coming term. Councillor Allen said she looks forward to learning something new through the appointment.

Cummings, who had at first refrained from commenting on the debate, suggested they amend the appointment to a two year term per person, but Brennan argued that he wasn’t sure how much anyone would learn in two years. Cummings suggested that Pankow be the constant on LCCSC, while the other candidates rotate through the position.

The four candidates agreed to this suggestion, and Pankow will hold his seat for the four year term, while Councillors Allen, Brennan, Maloney and Quinn will each participate for a one year term, in that order.

By-Law enforcement, animal control to be contracted out

As a stop gap measure following the resignation of former Property Standards By-law Officer, Mark Russell, and Animal Control service providers, Smiths Falls will enter into a temporary Property Standards By-law enforcement and Animal Control contract with Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc.

The Manager of Planning and Sustainable Growth, Lynda McKimm, presented to committee a report outlining the quotations received from both the Corps of Commissionaire and Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc. Corps of Commissionaire quote came in at an hourly rate of $17.05 plus HST, while Frontenac came in at $25.50 plus HST, along with 52 cents per kilometre for mileage.

Despite the higher hourly rate from Frontenac, McKimm’s recommendation was to contract with that company in part because staff provided by Frontenac will all be certified by the Ontario Association of Property Standards of Ontario, while Corps of Commissionaire staff will not be certified, but instead will be willing to be trained in May 2015. In addition, McKimm pointed out that Frontenac provides by-law enforcement services, including property standards, to a number of area municipalities.

McKimm also recommended contracting Animal Control services with Frontenac, based on services operating on an as-needed basis, which could result in lower costs. McKimm recommended entering into agreements for both Animal Control and Property Standards By-law enforcement for a four month period, at which time staff can prepare a report for council outlining the options from that point forward.

Chief Administrative Officer (CA) Malcolm Morris explained to committee that despite the fact the town is disappointed to see staff leave, “every change presents the opportunity to look at how we do things.”

Election sign by-law coming soon

Councillor Jay Brennan brought forward a suggestion that the town set some sort of policy restricting the amount of time municipal candidates can have their election signs posted within town limits. Currently, Brennan stated, the town has no policy in place, which means candidates can post signs nine or ten months in advance of the election date.

“I think it would give candidates more of a level playing field,” Brennan explained, “We need more control on signage during election time.”

Brennan also pointed out that there are regulations in place in surrounding municipalities, and in the provincial and federal elections. Councillor John Maloney acknowledged he had put up his election signs early on in the campaign, but that he waited until after the provincial election so there wouldn’t be any confusion.

Councillor Chris Cummings said he travelled extensively around the area prior to the election and didn’t see any election signs other than in Smiths Falls. Mayor Shawn Pankow said he agrees there should be “some restrictions,” suggesting a 60 or 90 day time frame, and potentially a restriction on size.

Staff were directed to review the existing by-law and bring forward recommendations at a later date.

Midget B2 Minor Hockey boot drive permitted

A request for a boot drive in front of Town Hall from the Smiths Falls Midget B2 Minor Hockey team to fund a February trip to Montreal to attend the Can-Am games. The request led to discussion about the number of street tolls currently permitted in town and the possibility of adding another.

A report presented to the Committee of the Whole (COW) on Dec. 8, stated that since 2000, the town allows for three organizations to hold street tolls within the town, with the provision that any other requests be brought forward for council’s consideration.

The organizations currently permitted annual boot drives are the Smiths Falls Fire Association, Canadian National Institute of the Blind, and District Club of Youth. Council discussed the consequences of allowing the minor hockey boot drive, and if this would result in an inundation of other organizations looking for fundraising opportunities.

“If we allow one, we could open the door for others,” Mayor Shawn Pankow pointed out. Pankow said he is not concerned with the prospect of allowing for another boot drive within the town limits, but pointed out the level of accountability for the minor hockey association is different than that of a charity.

Councillor Lorraine Allen suggested the fourth toll be rotational, to allow other organizations to fundraise in future years, and this was agreeable to the other members of council.

Dennis Durant, Smiths Falls Midget B2 Minor Hockey assistant manager attended the COW meeting and explained that the main reason for the street toll request this year is because for many players this will be their last year playing hockey.

“We wanted to go out with a bang for them,” Durant said, adding that the team is 11 and 0 so far this season, and he considers them the best in the league so far.

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