Hall Monitor: Pre-Summer Cleaning

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcLast night, city council, staff and the public gathered in City Hall for Kingston City Council meeting number 16-2013. The city has published the agenda and addeds online.

The bulk of our meeting was fairly straight forward, by-the-books house-cleaning items. A handful of contracts for various services and software were awarded, some heritage buildings were given updates and some site plans were approved. Some of the more interesting items on our agenda, however, were the creation of a committee to review remuneration of councillors, the awarding of an up-to-$250,000.00 contract to The Whig for print advertising and a request to research more bike racks at municipal buildings for the fall budget. Council also approved two more downtown patios, declared June 27th to be Awesome Day in Kingston and started the process on a new flag-raising policy – a move that came after the 12-1 vote to raise the Pride flag all month passed back in May.

It was another early night for the gallery as we were out at 10:02pm – but sadly, a little too late for the councillors and staff who had tickets to see Sting. As a programming note, we’re into the summer – council will next meet on July 26th and then not again until August. If the notices of motion from tonight were any indication, July’s meeting is going to be a … right – no commenting on length.

Our complete Tweet stream and the YouTube video (before my laptop randomly rebooted) is below. See you in July!

  • 7:33 PM: DING!! 7:33pm start. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:33 PM: Looks like the talking stick to commemorate aboriginal history month has returned, as promised. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:34 PM: No closed session today, the clerk declares quorum. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:35 PM: @MayorOfKingston reminds the public that Lake Ontario Park’s grand opening will be this Sunday. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:37 PM: Addeds get approved; and we get disclosures from Coun. Downes from last meeting (he was absent) and this meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:38 PM: We get one from @MayorOfKingston, too; then a presentation from the Mayor to Vicki Keith. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:39 PM: It has been 25 years since she swam all 5 great lakes. Vicki will be receiving the Key to the City tonight for the second time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:40 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that this second key is because of the work Vicki has done since the swims. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:42 PM: We move to a delegation from @RichardAlln, wanting to speak about increasing bike racks around municipal buildings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:44 PM: Allen speaks about barriers to bike commute: Safety, weather, distance, fashion, theft (Allen says that’s the top reason in #ygk). #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: Other barriers: convenience; and he demonstrates a number of “bad” bike parking designs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:47 PM: Mayor gives 30s warning then says he’s actually over. Allen: “I shouldn’t have introduced myself” to laughs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:48 PM: Allen wraps up with an image of a safe bike room, showing lockers and suggesting possible showers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:49 PM: Coun. Downes asks about abandoned bikes; Allen explains that other cities will tag them and give a 2wk notice. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: Allen talks about replacing a parking spot, in response to Coun. Downes, that corner street spots are ideal for this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: We’re now getting a briefing about the Community Poverty Reduction Plan update. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: Our first speaker is talking about the recent community roundtable on poverty reduction, which the city funded recently. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:56 PM: We’re hearing about the 5 areas for reducing poverty. The first is community support for education. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:59 PM: Other items on the plan: Health, housing, skills development & employment and social support and community services. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:01 PM: United Way did a point in time count on food security; more than 2900 meals given that day (including 1900 in schools). #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:02 PM: 1 in 7 people in #ygk are below the poverty line. 14% of food bank recipients are employed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: Coun. Downes asks the speakers if they have ideas on how find the solution. Speaker: We’ll let the politicians work on that. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:06 PM: Speaker is also praising the work the city has already done in some areas already. Wants to see more. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:07 PM: Speaker says this plan is all about what the city can do; it’s not trying to break down barriers at other gvt levels. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:08 PM: @JimNeill3 asks about a living wage or wage increase policy. Speaker agrees that a living wage policy would help. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: The poverty reduction group hosted a community forum on June 3; and working groups are starting to implement action plans. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:13 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks about the recent A Place at the Table screening; wonders how some of the examples play out in Canada. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: Coun. Downes, during @MayorOfKingston’s preamble, calles a point of order and asks if he has a question. #counciljokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:15 PM: Speaker says they don’t have stats for Kingston; but says that often the lower income are also obese. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:17 PM: We move to petitions… And @MayorOfKingston show a petition from Trudell Public students on flipboard paper. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:17 PM: It is signed by 100+ people, with 25 letters, in support of Mr Nice Cream being able to play his music. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: We move to the motions of congratulations and condolences. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: No deferred motions, so we move to report 85 from the closed meeting of the committee of the whole regarding 267 Weller Ave. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:22 PM: Motion to stop up and close 267 Weller Ave, carries 12-0; Coun. Downes omitting on a conflict. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:23 PM: We move to the CAO Conesent report, number 86. Dealing with all but f, i, j and k first. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:25 PM: The bulk report includes patios for Red house and Tango Neuvo; The report carries 13-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:26 PM: @JimNeill3 asks about the single-source decision for a $195,000.00 award. Staff says the request is unique compared to most. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:26 PM: The software they use is not widely spread; and the supplier suggested has already done work for the city. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:28 PM: @JimNeill3 says he will be supporting the item but suggests that if an RFP was issued, the result would likely still be the same. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:29 PM: Coun. Glover asks for a commitment to an RFP next time. Staff says yes; next update will return to a competitive process. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: Question is called, and carries 13-0. We move to an agreement on recylcing services on Loyalist Township. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: Staff confirms in response to @JimNeill3 that they bill at full cost recovery + admin overhead. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:31 PM: The recycling item carries; and we move to a speed limit reduction item on Seventh Ave, Perth Rd and Battersea Rd. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:34 PM: Question from Coun. Hutchison about lower speed limits around schools as a general policy. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:35 PM: @MayorOfKingston suggests that a motion come to council for the policy review. Not the time for discussing all school zones. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:37 PM: @MayorOfKingston rules .@JimNeill3 out of order, too; and the three streets speeds reduce by a 13-0 vote. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:37 PM: We move to advertising agreement for the Whig; @JimNeill3 asks about EMC being invited. Staff says they were and have been used. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:38 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks about the request for “up to $250k”. Staff is looking to reduce costs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:40 PM: Staff is looking to reduce the page use and tie things back to the web. Some items are provincially legislated to print media. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:41 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks about the social media costs. Staff doesn’t have exact figures. Mayor won’t be supporting this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:42 PM: Says that 250k is a waste of money to be spending on a page in the paper every week given the way information spreads these days. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:43 PM: Suggests council reduce the contract from 2yrs to 1yr. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:44 PM: Coun. Downes says he’ll be supporting the motions; says that seniors rely on print media. Wants to see a more gradual transition. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:46 PM: @councillorberg asks if the online notices are included in the contract, which staff confirms. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:48 PM: Coun. Scott asks if the planning notices are required or a courtesy; City solicitor says that it depends on the type of item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: Solicitor does confimr to Coun. Scott, though, that planning notice costs are recovered through fees. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: Coun. Scott comments that there are easier ways than a newspaper to get information to rural residents. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:51 PM: Coun. Schell says one of the most common question she gets is that people want to know what’s going on. Does want to see changes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:51 PM: Coun. Schell says change is going to come, but doesn’t want to see it radically. Suggests 211. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:53 PM: Coun. Glover suggests there are free ways for information: some people read the newspaper at restaurants. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:53 PM: Coun. Glover says to accept staff advice this time, but flag it to make better plans for next time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:55 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks about metrics; we know the number of print. Staff quotes number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:56 PM: Staff also says, to Coun. Hutchison, that combined readership between Whig and KTW is 140k+ #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:56 PM: Coun. Hutchison suggest that TV news is a parasite on print. Social media is just commentary on other news. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:58 PM: Coun. George says this is a fair proposal; the award is for more than just one page, once/wk. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:00 PM: Coun. George says that they need to be reaching all members of the public. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:00 PM: @MayorOfKingston says it’s fair to say there aren’t positive comments about council on social media right now. #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:01 PM: Award for print media buy passes 12-1; only @MayorOfKingston opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:02 PM: We move to report 87. One item, about the brownfields project at Princess and Victoria. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:05 PM: Discussion between staff and @JimNeill3 about the process to get refunds through the brownfields programs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:11 PM: Coun. Glover asks if a company that pollutes a site can then apply for cost recovery to clean up. Linscott says they can. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:12 PM: … but adds that the awarding of money is at the discretion of council. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:13 PM: Coun. Glover says that this item would be awarding the polluting company. Staff says this is a tax rebate, not a cheque. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:16 PM: Question is called on the item; carries 11-2, Coun. Glover and @JimNeill3 opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:17 PM: Planning committee report, number 88, comes up. Dealing with them individually. We start with 740 Augusta Dr. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:19 PM: Coun. Downes thanks council for “bump-up”, and will “stand with his constituents”; says the car is taking over the neighbourhood. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:21 PM: Coun. Downes says that there needs to be more traffic and parking control on Crossfield; this request would not be good for area. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:22 PM: @MayorOfKingston cuts Coun. Downes off at his time limit. Coun. Paterson says council needs to be careful with site plan bump-ups #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:25 PM: Coun. Glover says that cars in the master plan are at the bottom of the priority list; will be voting alongside Coun. Downes
  • 9:26 PM: @JimNeill3 says he, too, will be supporting the district councillor. Coun. Osanic praises the decision to bump to planning. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:28 PM: Question is called, and site plan approval control vote carries 10-3; Downes, Glover and Neill opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:29 PM: Chair is turned to Coun. Paterson on a @MayorOfKingston conflict. We move to an item about making a cellar habitable. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:30 PM: Coun. Glover says this is becoming a pattern; will continue to vote against them and wants to see a policy. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:34 PM: The cellar item does carry 8-4; and item 3 carries 12-0. Reminder that @MayorOfKingston is out on conflict. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:37 PM: My computer has just restarted unplanned. Talk is about planning report, item 4. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:39 PM: Item on bedroom counts carries 13-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:40 PM: Heritage report item carries, 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:43 PM: Council receives two comittee resignations, appoints Coun. Schell to a committe. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:44 PM: They also declare June 27th to be “Awesome Day in Kingston”. #aweygk #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:45 PM: @JimNeill3 with @MayorOfKingston bring forward a new motion to create a plan for more bike racks at municipal buildings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:47 PM: Staff confirm to @MayorOfKingston this would be doable before the fall budget. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:48 PM: Camera is, sadly, down for the night. Sorry. :-/ #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:49 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks who orders bike racks; CAO says it would be a combination of departments. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:50 PM: Motion carries 13-0.
  • 9:50 PM: New motion 2 now up; moved by @MayorOfKingston and Coun. George; wants a review on flag raising policy by Oct ’13. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:51 PM: @MayorOfKingston says this is coming about in part because of citizen confusion on policy and raising/lowering of flags. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:52 PM: Coun. Hutchison adds that he saw the confusion first hand at the Pride flag raising earlier this month. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:53 PM: @MayorOfKingston is clarifying that it’s all municipally controlled flags, not just confederation basin. Carries 13-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:54 PM: @JimNeill3 is bringing a notice of motion for the next meeting; exempting ice cream vendors from noise bylaw btwn 9a and 9p. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:55 PM: @JimNeill3 has a second, too, discussing cross-boundary agreements. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:56 PM: … and @DorothyAHector brings a notice forward requesting a street food vendor licensing review. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:57 PM: We move through communications to other business. Coun. Glover comes in with comment from last meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:58 PM: We backpedal slightly to approve the minutes from the June 4 meeting; which carries 13-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:01 PM: By-laws all carry. Adjournment at 10:02pm. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:02 PM: Thanks for following along – and sorry about the loss of video. Watch for our summary and tweet recap tomorrow! #ygkc ^TV


Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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