Hall Monitor: A Vicious Cycle

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcSo last night, council got together for meeting number 26-2012 – but it felt like 25B-2012, since the agenda was just a completion of the items from last week. Half of an agenda, a wrong week for a meeting and a strange start time (6:00pm). If that doesn’t give an indicator of a bizarre meeting ahead – I don’t know what does… In any case, the city has posted the agenda to their website – no addeds this time around.

First, we kicked off with an item asking the federal government to reveal the net savings of the closure of Kingston Pen – which passed after just a quick friendly amendment 9-4 (Opposed: Councillors Berg, Paterson, Reitzel, Scott). We then spent nearly an hour discussing the potential site plan for the new hospital being proposed on the PCCC grounds. The request was that the approval of the request from the PCCC would go through planning committee – but the vote failed 7-6 (Opposed: Councillors Berg, George, Hector, Paterson, Reitzel, Scott and Mayor Gerretsen)… so apart from a lot of interesting comments from council and staff, nothing changed. We then quickly added $40,000.00 to the budget debate for the Memorial Centre appointed a pair of people to the Arts Council… then had a motion that would have placed the City firmly on the side of not building a school on the Memorial Centre grounds ruled out of order. The contention, here, is that council has already addressed this, and this now needs to be a reconsideration. The Mayor’s ruling was challenged, and the challenge failed, 9-5. (Opposed: Opposed: Councillors Berg, George, Hector, Paterson, Reitzel, Scott and Mayor Gerretsen; Downes didn’t vote on a pecuniary interest conflict).

We next quickly approved a bunch of new cycling lanes (along Union St, Montreal St, Days Rd and Bayridge Dr), cleared the way for a major cycling event in September 2013, started an education program for electric vehicles and then took an item presented by EITP that lost in a pair of tie votes and – after some debate and a reconsideration vote – sent it back to the EITP with a request for additional information – perhaps allowing the EITP to make a recommendation on one or the other. Our last major item was on provincial guidelines for large scale solar array projects and requesting the project grant approvals for these to cities. I won’t recap the debate – a lot of it was more Q&A than anything. The item passed in pieces – the city isn’t requesting that cities get approval powers, but is requesting the province adopt our very thorough approval and zoning process as it’s own.

Our full tweet stream is below – council next meets on November 6th.

  • 5:48 PM: All set up down at city hall. Will get the live stream running in about 5 minutes! #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:10 PM: We’re on the go! 6:09. Starting with deferred. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:11 PM: Pt. of Order from Coun. Glover: We need quorum. All present. NOW we move to motions. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:12 PM: @JimNeill3 calls a point of order on a petition. @MayorOfKingston rules out of order since its new; this is to finishpast agenda. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:12 PM: Sorry – wrong account – swapping to @Kingstonist. #ygkc
  • 6:13 PM: Motion is to request the Fed. Gvt provide actual costs and savings of closing KP. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:14 PM: Coun. Osanic: brought the item forward from a KP employee; says that only some staff have been offered jobs elsewhere. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:16 PM: Coun. Paterson is concerned about the wording and method of communication – won’t be supporting it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:17 PM: We’re now getting delayed pecuniary declarations from Coun. Downes, Coun. Schell. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:18 PM: Coun. Schell: Agrees that it’s political; but believe that since this is dealing with our citizens, it should be appropriate. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:19 PM: Coun. Hutchison amendment. Striking “in detail the true” for “the” – ruled friendly. Doesn’t suggest falsehoods this way. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:20 PM: Result: Pass 9-4 | REQ: LO | Yea: RD, KG, MG, BG, DH, RH, JN, LO, LS | Nay: SB, BP, BR, JS #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:22 PM: Next up: A change request to the PCCC’s site plan being referred to Planning Committee. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:23 PM: Coun. Schell: Rec’d plans in early Oct; was surprised at lack of wheelchair access and location of forensic unit. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:24 PM: Coun. Schell explains that the forensic unit is for psychiatric illness patients in conflict with the law. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:25 PM: Coun. Schell adds that the location of the forensic unit was never brought up during public consultations and meetings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:26 PM: Concern is based on location between the unit and the location of the new playground and splash pad to be. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:27 PM: That buzz, FYI? @MayorOfKingston’s blackberry going off. (live at
  • 6:28 PM: Coun. Downes: Asking if PCCC staff attending Lake Ontario Park meetings; Staff believes they did not. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:29 PM: Coun. Downes is making references to a halfway house that was moved due to school proximity. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:30 PM: Coun. Downes says that bringing forward these concerns now is appropriate; needs addressed before building is started. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:31 PM: Coun. Scott: Wants to know if this isn’t a normal process. Staff says no, taking place in two steps at PCCC’s request. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:33 PM: Coun. Scott asking about input potential. Staff says that the conversation is ongoing and PCCC is aware of this concern. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:34 PM: Staff: Zoning requirements are met – the unit doesn’t need to move to meet those. This is just part of the hospital. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:34 PM: Coun. Scott: Not sure planning committee could do anything more than staff – so he won’t be supporting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:35 PM: @JimNeill3: Sometimes things go through committees for transparency. Park process has been. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:36 PM: … adds that splash pad would not have been suggested there if the unit’s location had been previously known. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:37 PM: @JimNeill3 says some of those patients will have restrictions keeping them away from kids. Not possible like this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:39 PM: @DorothyAHector asking about the process. Staff: Stage 1 is on plans as they currently exist from all depts. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:40 PM: Com. Beach adds that this isn’t a zoning issue. PCCC wants to get prelim approval before marketing the build to devs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:42 PM: @DorothyAHector clarifying if the existing concerns have already been brought up. Staff confirms they’re talking about them. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:44 PM: @DorothyAHector Not supporting – says it’s too early for this item. This phase should include this issue, anyway. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:45 PM: Coun. Hutchison mentions that the motion reads that “there has been a negative response” from PCCC on this already. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:46 PM: Staff says that this is an ongoing conversation with PCCC. PCCC says that layout may still change substantially. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:48 PM: Coun. Hutchison talking about the Lake On Pk plan – which predates the PCCCs plans by several years. Supporting the motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:49 PM: Coun. Paterson saying that this is a question of process. Now isn’t the time to interject. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:52 PM: Coun. Glover talking about the public meetings in June and the heritage committee meeting regarding the PCCC. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:53 PM: Says that there wasn’t an opportunity for a public input period. Used to be able to bump up plans. That window’s been closed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:55 PM: Coun. Glover adds that this is an openness issue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:55 PM: I think I skipped Coun. Paterson – did you speak? *nods* “It was extremely moving.” #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:56 PM: Coun. Osanic asking when the proper time would be for this to come up. Staff says it would be as part of stage 1. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:58 PM: Comm. Beach adds that staff comments are being based on an approved plan; not the “1000” drafts. #ygkc ^TV
  • 6:59 PM: Coun. Osanic – we were successful after years in moving the halfway house – and now we’re walking into “a mess” #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:00 PM: @BrianReitzel asking about how a bump-up could affect timelines; staff doesn’t predict it would. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:01 PM: @BrianReitzel confirms anyone can bump to committee. Won’t be supporting the item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:02 PM: @MayorOfKingston says the halfway house and this issue aren’t comparable. His office hasn’t heard anything about this item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:03 PM: … adds that the house was built first and only became problematic years later. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:04 PM: @MayorOfKingston is concerned about perception: “Should we just lock them up in Rockwood? Give them the worst view?” #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:05 PM: @MayorOfKingston says he understands the concerns – but isn’t sure why the whole site plan needs to be open for that. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:06 PM: Coun. Schell says she’s glad that a full discussion has been had now. This has been rushed because the hospital is rushing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:08 PM: Coun. Schell says that the unit move would give patients a better view. This item shows staff it’s interest. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:08 PM: Coun. Schell glad that discussion has happened either way the vote goes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:10 PM: Result: Lost 7-6 | REQ: RD | Yea: RD, BG, RH, JN, LO, LS | Nay: SB, KG, MG, DH, BP, BR, JS #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:10 PM: Next up: Council’s field trips! #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:11 PM: A quick amendment asking for amendments to have maps included from Coun. Downes is deemed friendly. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:13 PM: That carries – we’re visiting Queen’s and RMC in November and December! #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:14 PM: Onto Report 122 – addressing the memorial centre as a potential school site, mem. ctr upgrades and a cmte appointment. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:14 PM: Items b and c pass; @MayorOfKingston rules item a out of order as council had addressed previously. Reconsider has failed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:15 PM: Point of order from Coun. Glover with a challenge. Says that the March 6th motion was different than this one. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:17 PM: Challenge Result: Lost 7-5 | REQ: Unkn | Yea: BG, RH, JN, LO, LS | Nay: SB, KG, MG, DH, BP, BR, JS #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:18 PM: EITP report (123) next up. All except Williamsville cycling lanes pass. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:19 PM: @JimNeill3 explaining that the items at committee each failed on 3-3 tie votes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:21 PM: Talk from @JimNeill3: Williamsville sewer work was approved last week. Cmte couldn’t decide between two options. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:22 PM: Staff had previously suggested the best option was B. This motion calls upon them to take option A. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:23 PM: @JimNeill3 asking for deferral for additional information to come back to EITP. Fails. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:25 PM: Coun. Scott is bringing forward the original “Item B” for vote – would mean NO bike lanes on Princess through W’ville. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:25 PM: Coun. Scott asking if staff can touch on the points they brought up at the EITP meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:27 PM: Staff says that there are other priority streets already, additional intersection issues would happen; and risky KT conflicts. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:27 PM: Loss of parking and loading zones would have a great impact on the businesses in the area. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:29 PM: Approved already: Bike lanes for Union, Montreal, Days, Bayridge and Division. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:30 PM: Staff, responding to @MayorOfKingston – discussion with Businesses about this hasn’t happened yet. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:31 PM: Staff saying now that priority signaling and queue jumping for the transit redev plan would need to be redone. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:32 PM: Also approved: Major cycling promotional event in Sept 2013 – closing down much of Front Rd/ King west. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:33 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks for reconsideration of the whole thing. @JimNeill3 (as chair) confirms in-order. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:35 PM: Reconsideration vote passes. So the deferral is back. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:35 PM: Deferral then passes. More information being requested, and that goes back to EITP. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:36 PM: Rural Advisory report (124) is up. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:37 PM: This item will ask the province to return approval power for solar projects to the cities of Ontario. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:38 PM: Coun. Glover says that this would undo McGuinty’s work. Hudak is in-favour and this is NIMBY-ism. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:39 PM: Coun. Scott says that other communities dealing with the Green Energy Act have passed similar. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:39 PM: … adds that the public meetings are being held not by the governments, but by the companies wanting to move in. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:41 PM: @MayorOfKingston says this motion is troublesome. Agrees that there’s work to be done; but cities aren’t the place. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:42 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that #ygk has already passed guideline he hopes will become provincial standards. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that the city already holds power; Prov looks at a project far differently if the city is in-favour. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:44 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that sometimes decisions need to be made further away from being so close to residents. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: @DorothyAHector asks if the city has already passed something like this. Clerk confirms that something similar was passed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: @DorothyAHector: We’ve already asked the province to use our guidelines. That should be sufficient. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:49 PM: Coun. Hutchison says that he thinks the province wouldn’t adopt the city’s policy. Amends to ask “Consider adopting” #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: Coun. Glover asks if council is allowed to amend. @MayorOfKingston has confirmed that it is fully in-order. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:51 PM: Coun. Scott says that the city is one of very few to create this type of policy. Says it’s highly likely the prov would adopt. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: Coun. Hutchison agrees that the guidelines are reasonable; just wants to add some breathing room for the province. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: @MayorOfKingston voting in favor of the amendment; but also separating the individual clauses for votes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: @MayorOfKingston comments that he shouldn’t have been allowed to speak; Coun. Hutchison was speaking last. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: Amendment loses. Back to the report. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:56 PM: @councillorberg adding that the motion is being driven to show the province about the concerns. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:57 PM: @councillorberg – concerned about the message being sent. Concerns were already well captured last week. Not in support. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:58 PM: @JimNeill3 re-iterating the purpose of the motion: to re-instate powers to approve large energy projects to cities. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:59 PM: @JimNeill3 says that the current point system is functional.
  • 8:03 PM: @MayorOfKingston says he’s looking into something – so Coun. Glover calls a Pt Order. about why no reconsider. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: Mayor confirms that’s what he’s looking into. And we move to a #recess. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:10 PM: We’re back. Item suspended pending additional information from the deputy clerk. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:11 PM: We’ve moved passed the information reports (No questions). Into Misc. Business. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: @MayorOfKingston has opted not to attempt to pronounce “Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation” #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: Comments from Coun. Scott that a “Third World Canada Tour Day” is politically charged, but it passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:13 PM: @DorothyAHector returns to chambers with a question on the priority matrix from the information reports. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: @DorothyAHector asks about the items that are flagged for completion in 2012. The “Acting CAO” can’t answer. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:15 PM: Priority matrix information report has now been deferred to next agenda for CAO’s answers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:15 PM: And we’re back to the suspended item. Last motion didn’t ASK the province to adopt; just sent copies. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:16 PM: @BrianReitzel suggests councillors take a drive out to the proposed site and take a look. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:17 PM: @JimNeill3 calls a Pt of Priv. thinking he was the only one who said “Nimby”, @MayorOfKingston (and others) says no. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: Some debate in the order of the votes. First THAT clause is up. It’s defeated. We DON’T ask for cities to get powers back. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:20 PM: THIRD clause, though, passes – so we DO ask the province to adopt the city’s policy as the provinces. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:20 PM: And the second part passes, too, sending copies to all sorts of people. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: Can’t add new items; no notices; minutes fly by. Documents and communications pass through. No other business. Onto bylaws. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: Bylaws clear. We’re out. 8:21 om. Next meeting is Nov 6. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:52 PM: Thanks for following along tonight. Watch for our recap and full tweet stream tomorrow on the site! #ygkc ^TV

Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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