Hall Monitor: Park The Vote

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcOur elected officials and city staff filled a very busy council chambers again last night for our regular council meeting and as usual, the agenda and addeds are available on the city website. The meeting paused at 8:51 pm to observe a minute of silence in memory of the tragedy that struck Boston last week.

The bulk of the meeting was dominated by two issues – Belle Park and electoral districts – again. On Belle Park, council opted not to spend $140,000.00 on an application for a solar project in the park. This item was much debated, with most (if not all) of council voicing comment. The general consensus seemed to be that while a golf course, which is currently there, may not be the right fit for the city (or for this park), solar was clearly also not what the public wanted. The motion to not include solar (Since council was presented with an “or” option item) won it’s vote 10-3, with only councillors Berg, Patterson and Scott opposed.

The other major item was the final reading of the electoral district by-law change, confirming the ‘Option 1′ map council adopted two weeks ago. We heard from a number of speakers wanting ‘Option 4′ brought back, and a number of councillors commented, too – far more than normally would comment on a by-law reading. After a motion to add an at-large councillor, which was discussed in the media, was not tabled, and multiple comparisons to the upcoming federal and provincial line re-drawings, the third reading, much like the first two, passed 7-6, with Downes, Glover, Hutchison, Neill, Osanic, Schell as they were to the first two readings.

Beyond that, a few additional things happened: council asked staff to research vote counting options for 2014, including remote voting, the lease to the seniors association was amended, we heard from KEDCO with updates to their strategic plan and approved the Pride flag to be flown in confederation basin through June.

Our full tweet stream is below. Next on council’s calendar is the annual strategic planning sessions, which will be held off-site, as they always are, on April 29th and 30th. I have every intention of being at these meetings, but sketchy wifi at this location will likely prevent a live-tweet or live-stream of it. Our next regular meeting will be back in chambers on May 7th.

  • 7:25 PM: All set up at City Hall. We’ll be starting shortly. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:25 PM: The stream is online at http://t.co/qQmufAnqpO – follow along with the agenda at http://t.co/9qX2jMJ1oz #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:32 PM: Having issues with the ygkc.ca server. Stream at http://t.co/N7l1p6wkhS and agenda at http://t.co/dLPZRSLgj9 #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:33 PM: Full house again tonight. We’re a little late getting started. Should begin soon. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:35 PM: 7:34 our start. Away we go. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:35 PM: @MayorOfKingston says he saw Mr Linscott at a council seat… wondered about that 14th seat being full already. #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:36 PM: We start with a quick summary of the closed session with a report from it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:38 PM: Report details payments from the city to the county to complete the amalgamation deal of 1997. Carries 13-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:39 PM: Addeds are approved. Coun. Downes calls a pt of order; @MayorOfKingston corrects the terminology and Downes tries to add an item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:40 PM: The item takes New Motion 1 and moves it to immediately following the emotional items. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:41 PM: The item carries, and we now hear from Coun. Osanic to add a delegation. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:42 PM: That carries 9-4. And we go to disclosures. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: We get one from Coun. George and Coun. Downes. We then move to delegations. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:44 PM: We start with Ewen MacKinnon, speaking about the electoral district changes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: MacKinnon says that the 2 cities that came back that they include students, Guelph and Windsor, have core pockets of students. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:47 PM: MacKinnon shows us a map of where graduate students live and shows them throughout the city. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:49 PM: Ottawa’s new lines ‘failed to capture communities of interest’ and was repealed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: MacKinnon says that if students are worth and additional councillor, they should be counted in the main map. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks if they are considering approaching the fed. gov. on this; they’re about to do district re-drawing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:57 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks MacKinnon: “So, size matters?” MacKinnon replies: “Polulation matters”. #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:58 PM: Next up, Doug Johnson, @QueensAMS president. Also on the boundaries. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:59 PM: Johnson says AMS is pleased that @MayorOfKingston recognizes the importance of students, but the suggested councillor won’t work. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:00 PM: Johnson says that Option 4 would give students the same representation as all Kingstonians; no more, no less. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:01 PM: Johnson says that deferring so that a public meeting on Option 4 can be held. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:03 PM: Coun. Downes asks if the AMS was consulted on the at-large suggestion. Mayor presented it to them on Sunday evening. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: AMS presented concerns ahead of @MayorOfKingston’s release. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:05 PM: Coun. Downes asks about the timing of this issue during exam time. Johnson says AMS has staff active through the summer. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:06 PM: Johnson says in response to @JimNeill3, that the key to getting students involved is creative ways to reg. and vote. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:09 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks Johnson about the AMS’s presence at meetings ahead of now. Johnson says their MAC was at meetings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:09 PM: Johnson says that Option 4 was never at a public meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:10 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks Johnson, too, about meeting with the Fed. Gov about redistricting. Says the AMS hasn’t spoke to them. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: The Fed/Prov redistricting, btw, proposes that Kingston be split at the 401. @MayorOfKingston says they will use the same data. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: Johnson clarifies to Coun. Paterson that when he said “our councillors”, he was referring to all councillors they work with. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:13 PM: Primarily, the AMS works with the 4 councillors in the downtown core, where most Queen’s students live. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: Next delegation is Iain Reeve, incoming Pres of the Soc. of grad. and Pro. Students at Queen’s. Speaking on the same issue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:15 PM: Reeve says the current option violates a key principal of democracy: equal citizenship. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:17 PM: Reeve says the “temporary resident” argument is arbitrary and discriminatory. Challenges the city to present numbers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:20 PM: Coun. Downes asks Reeve is a fair summary ould be that post-secondary students want equality with other citizens. Reeve confirms. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: @BrianReitzel asks about his interaction with councillors; he has called them in the past. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:22 PM: @BrianReitzel asks if he’d be comf. calling any cnclr in any district. Reeve says he would be, if he feels they’d be interested. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:25 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks Reeve about the vote on garbage; Reeve says he’s here to speak to all councillors, not just the 4 downtown. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:28 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks Reeve abt a hybrid. Reeve says he’d have a tough time deciding btwn voting for a district or student rep. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:29 PM: Coun. Scott mentions that there are 4500 students, mostly grad students, are reg’d in Kingston. Already incl. in the new numbers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: Coun. Scott’s question, btw, was interrupted by a scream from Coun. Downes for him to get to the question. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:31 PM: Reeve answers that he’s unsure if he’s registered here – can’t remember which address was on his census. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:33 PM: @JimNeill3 asks about partners of grad students; one voting for district, the other voting at-large for student. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:35 PM: We’re hearing next from the Friends of Belle Park on the item later seeking direction on solar panels. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:36 PM: Jacques Menard is at the mic, says that opinions at public meetings were very negative on the item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:39 PM: Menard says that Option 2 should be the one voted for; solar can go outside of the urban core. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:41 PM: We move on from delegations at last and into briefings. One on the the list from @jeffgarrah on KEDCO. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:44 PM: KEDCO is briefing on the 2010-2015 plan in advance of the Strategic Planning sessions next week. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:46 PM: We move into petitions. First from Coun. Downes from 162 Cataraqui residents supporting a motion from Downes later in the mtg. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:47 PM: Next is from @JimNeill3; it’s the AMS petition against the boundaries voted last meeting and wanting Opt 4. More than 2k sigs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: We’ve got one from Coun. Schell, too. Wants a new parkland bylaw in line with the sust. Kingston plan. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: And we move into the emotional items. Congratulations from council to on a staffer’s birth and to the new LPC leader. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:50 PM: Condolences from the city to the people of #boston and those involved in that tragedy, and to a staff member on a family death. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:51 PM: Moment of silence at #ygkc to remember those lost in #Boston last week. ^TV
  • 8:55 PM: Coun. Downes asks for a “bump-up” on an item to planning committee. @MayorOfKingston says this is a perfect example of new policy. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:56 PM: Coun. Downes says that his constituents are both inner-city and suburbs ahead of the vote on this item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:56 PM: The item carries unanimously, @MayorOfKingston pauses the meeting to allow those who came for it to leave. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:58 PM: With that out of the way, we move to report 60 from the CAO (Consent), which passes as a whole, 13-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:00 PM: Report 61 from the CAO (recommend) opens with the Q4 budget. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:01 PM: The passed report 60, btw, awards a tender for sidewalk bus pads, a contract for janitorial services … #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:02 PM: … and asks staff to put together an RFP for vote counting for 2014’s election, which will include remote voting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:07 PM: Operating budget status report is received, 13-0. We move to the expansion of the Senior’s Association. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:08 PM: Coun. Downes asking about improving access to the centre via transit. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:09 PM: @MayorOfKingston throws out Coun. Downes’s question as the report doesn’t speak to transit. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:10 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks where the sat. locations for Sr. services are. Staff says Invista and Wally Elmer are used. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:20 PM: The Seniors Assoc. item passes 13-0. We move to the Belle Park item. A quick correction from Comm Hurdle. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:21 PM: Moved by Downes/Hutchison that the solar energy portions be removed from the report on future uses of Belle Park. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:23 PM: We’re streaming the meeting live, btw, for those interested in following: http://t.co/3K7qIglGvM #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:24 PM: @MayorOfKingston clarifies that this item isn’t about closing the park and reminds council to stay on topic. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:26 PM: @JimNeill3 says that council was invited to walk the park and see all of the uses. Suggests roofs for solar. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:27 PM: @councillorberg voting against option 2. Wants to see solar energy (and this opportunity) maximized. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:28 PM: @councillorberg says that this would be a good study ground for students on ground-mount solar projects. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:30 PM: Coun. Osanic supporting this item; says that the public meeting was the turning point. Standing room only despite ice storm. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:31 PM: Coun. Osanic says that the city is trying to acquire parkland; questions why they’re giving so much away now. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:32 PM: Coun. Paterson says “as respectfully as he can” that while hundreds want park, thousands are concerned about tax increases. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:34 PM: Coun. Paterson says that they were warned: to cut tax increases, tough choices would need to be made. Tradeoff is worth exploring. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:34 PM: Coun. Paterson won’t support option 2, will support option 1. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:36 PM: Coun. Schell comments that this is a waterfront property; says plan is not to sell waterfront. Not in favour of solar on the site. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:37 PM: Coun. Scott says that the project isn’t going to take up a big space on park; and the city already has 5 golf courses. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:39 PM: Coun. Hutchison says that if you give up a park, you can’t get it back. Says he’s pro-solar, but not in a park space. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:40 PM: Coun. Hutchison says the solar would go in the middle of the course: hello solar, goodbye golf. Supporting the retention of park. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:41 PM: Coun. Glover says it comes down to what kind of stewards they want to be. Putting this in would be irreversible. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:42 PM: Coun. Glover compares to Grass Creek Park buy and Lk. On. Park plans. Wouldn’t support solar at those, either. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:45 PM: @MayorOfKingston talks about a meeting 2yrs ago with the CAO. It came up over breakfast. Not married to the idea. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:46 PM: .@MayorOfKingston says his Facebook poll, which he acknowledges isn’t the ultimate feedback way, had 262 responses. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:47 PM: A little more than half didn’t want it to be a golf course. The bulk of the follow-up wanted the whole park to be walking trails. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:48 PM: @MayorOfKingston Willing to take solar off the table; not convinced it will stay a golf course. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:48 PM: Rather, @MayorOfKingston is not convinces it should stay a golf course. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:50 PM: Coun. George will support the motion to not proceed with solar. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:51 PM: @DorothyAHector says she has been to greenspaces with mixed use like this suggestion; says these setups pay to maintain the park. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:53 PM: @DorothyAHector says the city shouldn’t be in the business of golf courses. Likes that community got involved with this, though. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:54 PM: @DorothyAHector supporting the item because the community supports it; wants to see things bring revenue, though. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:56 PM: @BrianReitzel says he was asked to try to let the Friends run it as revenue-neutral. Will be voting in favour of this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:57 PM: Coun. Downes questions how councillors would have commented if the debate was on a park in each of their districts. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:01 PM: Item to NOT proceed with solar passes 10-3; SB, BP, JS against. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:02 PM: Planning committee items one and 2 pass; 3 passes, too, with Coun. George absent due to conflict. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:06 PM: Looks like the heritage reports pass while I was away from my desk. Also a report from Rural Advisory. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:07 PM: Council also just approved to fly the Pride flag in confed basin, 12-1. Looked like KG was the lone opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:09 PM: We also see some resignations from KEAF and the Near-Campus Advisor Cmtee. And Jun 6-9 is now Rameses Spring Ceremonial. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:09 PM: We get @DorothyAHector as chair for @MayorOfKingston’s motion regarding 9 North St. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:11 PM: Specifically, this would be a feasibility study to allow the BCIP from the LDSB to tackle the restoration of that building. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:13 PM: 9 North, btw, is the old Imperial Oil Building, located behind Rideaucrest on the waterfront at Douglas Fluhrer Park. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:15 PM: @DorothyAHector asks about cost and brownfield status. Would have been 400k to stabilize in 2004. Ground has not been studied. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:15 PM: Staff says stabilization costs would be 700-800k. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:18 PM: Coun. Glover commends @MayorOfKingston and Coun. Hutchison on the item. Says he had been looking for a user to do this work. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:24 PM: @DorothyAHector turns the chair to @BrianReitzel to make comments… says she only asked questions earlier. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:25 PM: @MayorOfKingston, speaking last, says the city is pointing fingers at CN to stabilize, but city isn’t doing the same. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:28 PM: The item on 9 North St carries, 11-1. @DorothyAHector lone opposed. Coun. Downes out on conflict. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:28 PM: No notices of motion. Minutes will come at next meeting, not ready in time for this one. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:29 PM: @DorothyAHector apologizes to council and @MayorOfKingston: Lost a bet to a Newmarket councillor. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:30 PM: @JimNeill3 asks @MayorOfKingston about cities with an even number of councillors; @MayorOfKingston says now is not the time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:31 PM: We move into by-laws. We’re starting with 6 on Coun. George’s conflict. Approved in readings 1/2, then 3. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:33 PM: By-laws 1-5 and 16 carry. Onto the electoral district by-law. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:34 PM: We hear from Coun. Scott on this by-law. Speaking about the electoral district process. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:36 PM: Coun. Downes calls a Pt. of Order, says Coun. Scott isn’t speaking about the bylaw. @MayorOfKingston says it’s in-order #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:37 PM: Coun. Scott asks for deferral of 3rd reading to research adding a 14th councillor for student representation. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:38 PM: @JimNeill3 calls a Pt of Order: this would need a reconsideration, the 3rd reading is to confirm the motion on 1/2 reading. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:39 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that @JimNeill3’s Pt is out of order since Coun. Scott hadn’t actually moved the deferral yet. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:39 PM: Coun. Scott talks about the fed riding changes: would mean countryside wouldn’t be in the city. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:40 PM: Coun. Glover calls a dramatic Pt of Order on a stutter; @MayorOfKingston says he was actually scared by it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:42 PM: @MayorOfKingston calls Coun. Glover out of order as he referenced code of conduct, not procedure. Coun. Scott continues. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:42 PM: Coun. Scott will be supporting the third reading since the federal and provincial numbers will be working the same way. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:44 PM: To clarify: The much-discussed student councillor deferral is NOT being moved tonight. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:45 PM: Coun. Schell says that the rules about voting lists at municipal level, and how electors are located are different. Won’t support. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:47 PM: We hit 10:45… despite already being in bylaws, we get a motion to complete the agenda, which carries 10-3; BG, RH, JN opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:48 PM: Coun. Downes says that they heard from several students tonight who asserted themselves as equal Kingstonians. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:49 PM: Coun. Glover says that the comparison of muni. to fed/prov doesn’t work. Talks about proportions being far different. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:50 PM: Coun. Glover adds that municipal has a fixed date, the others don’t. A diff. census date would dramatically change data. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:51 PM: Coun. Glover suggests a Feb 15th date: Would count students, but eliminate snowbirds. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:53 PM: Coun. Glover: Downtown has not lost 5000 people. More people now than when they were families. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:54 PM: @MayorOfKingston makes comments: there has been a ton of mis-communication on this issue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:54 PM: @MayorOfKingston says this isn’t gerrymandering, it’s using the same data source as the city has used in the past. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:56 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks staff if Opt. 1 is a valid option, using valid data. Staff confirms it was given as a valid alt. option. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:57 PM: Staff confirms to @MayorOfKingston that Watson and Assoc. says that all three options would be defensible at the OMB. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:58 PM: @MayorOfKingston reminds council that they should never feel threatened by an OMB appeal. Process was followed correctly. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:59 PM: @MayorOfKingston: The OMB appeal would cost money, but it would validate it one way or the other. Supporting the bylaw. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:01 PM: @JimNeill3 says staff was tasked to find a way to count students. They did that, and came back with a preferred option. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:02 PM: @JimNeill3 says that the preferred option didn’t go to a public meeting – nor did it go to the council floor. Alt apprv’d first. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:03 PM: @JimNeill3 comments that a lot of @queensu alumni lawyers are likely to weigh in on the item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:06 PM: Coun. Paterson says that #ygk would be a radically different city without the three schools. Says he wants to consider context. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:07 PM: Coun. Paterson says majority of cities in Ontario use the same data sets, despite post-secondary schools located in them. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:08 PM: Coun. Paterson says staff came back with a student-included number… but kept a non-student option that they said they’d support. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:10 PM: Coun. Paterson is concerned about the sources of the student data. Would support recruitment drives on campuses. Not this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:12 PM: Coun. Hutchison says that the last council voted unanimously to redraw the districts because the pop. of the city was changing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:19 PM: @BrianReitzel says that students should all vote, and that all councillors represent the students. Suggests at-large councillors. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:21 PM: @JimNeill3 calls a pt of order; @MayorOfKingston reads the definition of a pt of order. Rules @JimNeill3’s point out of order. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:22 PM: We hear no more speakers and call the question. Passes 7-6. RD, BG, RH, JN, LO and LS opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:23 PM: Council confirms the option 1 map for the district lines in 3rd reading for 2014 election. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:24 PM: Final by-laws clear and we adjourn. 11:25pm. Thanks for following along. Catch our summary tomorrow! #ygkc ^TV


Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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