Hall Monitor: Smoke and Fire

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcAs they normally do right about at 7:30pm on some Tuesday evenings, council got together last night for a meeting. This time, it was 25-2012. Just from the agenda, I knew we were in for an interesting evening – and a full gallery. Sure enough, the city did, too, as there were more chairs set up with the TV in Memorial Hall than I’d ever seen. Even the chatter I was seeing online (and by text message) told me that we were in in for a treat. And we we’re. Sort of. As always, the city has posted the agenda and addeds to their website.

Everything started off fairly normally – we got through the addeds, the city received a $100,000.00 cheque from the Grand Theatre Foundation and we saw delegations speak on both a large solar panel project in our north-west, and then one about the potential of adding bike lanes as part of a change in the plans for Williamsville. And then, after a few quick motions of congratulations, we were into our first big item – dentures. Now, we’d heard from the coalition in support of this $100,000.00, one-time ask at the last council meeting: they were asking the city to pay for a denture program for those on OntarioWorks (for one year) as part of the upcoming budget. As it did during the last meeting, subjects during discussion varied from the need for this funding, to business planning, to the job interview processes. In the end, the item lost on a tie. In favour were Councillors Downes, Glover, Hutchison, Neill, Osanic and Schell; Councillors Berg, George, Hector, Paterson, Scott and Mayor Gerretsen opposed it. councillor Reitzel was absent.

We then skimmed through a few more items – the purchase of a cargo van, entering into a partnership for smaller bus purchasing, entered into a 1-year agreement with Queen’s University’s AMS and St Lawrence College’s SA for transit passes and the awarding of the demolition contract for the former Hockey Hall of Fame building (among others) before we hit an item about, of all things, self-loading water tanks that was identified on the agenda as time sensitive. Apparently, that marking was where Councillor Glover had an issue. Now, several of us council followers expected a few fireworks tonight – and we got them here. Councillor Glover was very quickly ruled out of order for asking about the procedure by which items get marked as time sensitive – but after some Ontario Municipal Act quotes from both parties – we ended up back on our way. We cleared an item to continue the process for the solar facility, moved ahead with the the Willamsville infrastructure changes (Note – not the bike lane item), directed staff to find new revenue  options for Belle park and sold off a section of Leroy Grant Drive for affordable housing. Not bad.

Everything sailed along without much hiccup for a while. A small bump got hit on a $25,000.00 request to research setbacks for a casino (Passed 7-4, Downes, Gerretse, Neill and Osanic opposed), but it didn’t distract too much. The other big item that was hit on was the expansion to the no-smoking bylaw which would prohibit smoking in parks, within three meters of public doorways and 9 meters of transit transfer points and municipal buildings. Much of the debate on the item was about the expansion to include all parks, all of the time. The argument was the “What if someone’s alone in a rarely used park in the wee hours of the morning” discussion. An amendment to set the rule at 15m away from others came forward (And lost), too. The general feel was that the item, as a concept, works well – and was where council wanted to go… but it was some of the specifics that people were a little hesitant on. The concept of sending it back to committee (or to another committee) even got bounced about. The heat, though, seemed to be the clock, as we passed 10:45 during the discussion. Some fireworks here between Councillor Downes and Mayor Gerretsen on procedural by-law before the item was ultimately passed. The vote landed 10-2 with Councillors Berg and Scott being the only to oppose the item.

So, where’d out bike line item go? Or the hotly discussed Memorial Centre request? We’ll see! Chances are, a special meeting of council will be called for October 23rd – I’ll do what I can to be there. Otherwise, the next regular meeting of council will be on November 6th. Our full tweet stream is below.

  • 7:30 PM: We’re all set up. Stream will start momentarily. Council still in closed session. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:34 PM: Councillors filtering in now. Should get started shortly. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:39 PM: Chambers gallery full. As expected. And warm. As expected. Busy night ahead. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: Looks like we’ll be missing @BrianReitzel tonight. He had mentioned at the last meeting (Or maybe the one before) that he’d be out #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:44 PM: No sign of @MayorOfKingston yet – clerk just left chambers – should be starting soon. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: DING DING! Away we go! #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:47 PM: @MayorOfKingston opens with comments about the 2012 Pres. Debate – promises #ygkc is more interesting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:48 PM: We’re getting report from the closed meeting; cuncil has approved land acquisition on Bayridge Dr. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: Disclosures from Coun. Downes, Coun. Hutchison, Coun. George and Coun. Schell. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: We kick off with a cheque presentation to the city from the Grand Theatre Foundation for $100,000.00. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: Live feed for tonight’s meeting by @tommyvallier is online at http://t.co/8diLs9B8 #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:54 PM: Delegation from Mike SSewell about a Renewable Energy project in the rural north and west. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: Says that the Samsung project will be roughly the size of Williamsville and Sydenham districts combined. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: You can find the agenda (and addeds) for tonight’s meeting at http://t.co/XARikQ47
  • 7:59 PM: Coun. Scott asking about the public meetings that Samsung held. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:59 PM: Sewell says first meeting was fact-finding. Second meeting saw the public speak out against the project #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:00 PM: Says that Samsung only added more land and did not respond to concerns from him and other residents. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:01 PM: Sewell says that Samsung says the farmland is no longer suitable for agricultural purposes. Sewell disagrees. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:03 PM: Presenttion slide shows an electric fence (taken in Napanee) – Sewell says there’d be 23km of similar, 9′ fence erected. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: Coun. Scott asking about other companies interested. Sewell confirms that other companies are interested in the area. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:05 PM: Sewell adds that the other two companies who came in approached them with detailed information. Samsung did not. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:07 PM: @councillorberg asks Sewell about the visual buffering guidelines that Samsung would need to adhere to. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:08 PM: Sewell: All we’ve asked for all along is to be part of meaningful dialogue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:08 PM: @MayorOfKingston comments that the first photo is so cloudy, it’s probably not generating power right now. #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:09 PM: Our second Delegation is on Williamsville cycling lanes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:11 PM: Kristin Cote and Spencer Moore are our speakers from KCAT. Opens with comments of sustainability. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: Encourging council members vote for option a in the Williamsville item later to include cycling lanes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:13 PM: Community support of the inclusion of cycling lanes has been widely shown so far – KCAT. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: KCAT also wants to see Kingston set active transportation targets; says Williamsville can be a key part of this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:15 PM: No questions from council for them. We move into petitions. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:16 PM: Coun. Glover bring forward a petition from 22 Macdonell St residents to restrict parking. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:17 PM: Petition of 8 signatures in support of the Samsung project is on the addeds. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: Emotionals: A congrats to departing KEDCO board members and to the outgoing Premier of Ontario. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:19 PM: Into deferred motions. Kicking off with the dentures item. $100,000.00 ask for people on OntarioWorks. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: A pass of this item tonight adds it to the budget deliberations. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:22 PM: We’re hearing from Coun. Downes some stories about people who were able to find work (or be promoted) with dentures. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:26 PM: @councillorberg commenting that the group wasn’t able to show a business case. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:26 PM: … Adds that she’s not comfortable funding a program for 40 kingstonians. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:28 PM: Coun. Scott adding to @councillorberg’s comments; says it’s the province’s responsibility. City should be pushing them for this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:29 PM: .@JimNeill3 agrees that the province should be responsible; but three successive governments have not funded this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: @JimNeill3 says he would not be supporting if it as a req. to support; but is supporting to add to budget talks.
  • 8:30 PM: @JimNeill3 says he would not be supporting if it as a req. to support; but is supporting to add to budget talks. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:32 PM: @MayorOfKingston reading an excerpt from an email from a resident listing a number of concerns. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:32 PM: @MayorOfKingston: “This is not something that’s very easy to vote against”. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:34 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that roads and sewers are the city’s core business. Encourages council request province to act. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:35 PM: Coun. Glover making comments that while this should be a provinicial issue, Kingston is trying to improve quality of life. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:36 PM: … questions how the city can promote economic development if they ignore a part of the workforce. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:38 PM: Coun. Schell says she was conflicted; says that our free healthcare still doesn’t include vision and dental care. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:39 PM: Coun. Schell “You’re pretty much doomed if you can’t afford a dentist”. options don’t exist for those with low income. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:40 PM: Coun. Schell doesn’t like the idea of tax dollars for teeth but does think the item should be on the table at budget time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:41 PM: @C_Vilela Not really – this motion doesn’t speak to provincial pressure.
  • 8:41 PM: Coun. Paterson agrees that #ygk can be a leader in advocacy and discussion. Not sure about putting money forward. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:43 PM: Coun. Paterson: this money would fund only a month of the health unit’s calls on this issue. Not a fair program. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:43 PM: Coun. Paterson says that Coun. Downes has repeatedly said money should support the most num. of people. Downes nodded. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:44 PM: @DorothyAHector says that this is a very important issue; but this is not the right venue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:45 PM: @DorothyAHector bring sup other social issues: Youth housing, drug problems, homelessness that need money. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:47 PM: Coun. Osanic sees the item as a kick-start for the process for improvement. Adds that it’s one-time funding. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: Coun. Hutchison comments that while the group hasn’t found other funding sources; they did find free service providers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: … adds that the job market isn’t fair to those without teeth. City often does things that affect small parts of the community. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:50 PM: … uses KEDCO as an example of business subsidy. Says the new field in the west was only for a part of the population. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:51 PM: Coun. Hutchison says that change needs t start somewhere; and that Kingston can be the start of that. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:53 PM: Coun. Downes speaking last: this sin’t about dental care; it’s about people on OntarioWorks being able to get jobs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:54 PM: A quick reminder: We’re at 12 councillors tonight. All votes that tie end in a loss – a very real possibility tonight. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:55 PM: Coun. Downes comparing the denture item (100k) to the hockey hall of fame (400k). #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:57 PM: Denture vote Result: Lost 6-6 | REQ: BG | Yea: RD, BG, RH, JN, LO, LS | Nay: SB, KG, MG, DH, BP, JS #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:59 PM: Item expressing thanks to tose involved in Kingston Day at Queen’s Park passes unanimously. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:01 PM: CAO Consent e-h pass; includes the KBC’s lease and purchase a new cargo van and EIGHT buses. #ygkbus #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:02 PM: The group also included awarding of the demolition contract for the former hockey hall of fame building. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:03 PM: Coun. Glover asking why the city buys land at market value; but sells at a dollar. Wondering why we can’t sell for more. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:04 PM: Legal is saying that this land was earmarked for a road and the agreement in the 90s was to sell back for $1.00. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:06 PM: Legal saying that the city could seek more money, but staff is suggesting that the 1997 agreement holds. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:08 PM: Land for 1.00 sale passes. So does the brownfield redevelopment plan on Montreal St. Into water tanks. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:08 PM: Coun. Glover asking about why these items are being tagged time sensitive. @MayorOfKingston cuts him off. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:09 PM: Coun. Glover calls a point of order on the interruption. Glover makes claim that public should know why they’re time sensitive. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:10 PM: Both @MayorOfKingston and Coun. Glover quoting the municipal act of Ontario. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:11 PM: Coun. Glover asks CAO why this is time sensitive. @MayorOfKingston rules him out of order. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:12 PM: The self-loading water tanks, after some unrelated fireworks, pass. Looking at transit passes with SLC and the AMS. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:13 PM: @JimNeill3 commenting that he’d be interested in seeing the program expand to RMC and the school board. Item passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:14 PM: Into report 112. More time sensitive items here. We open with the renewable energy project in the north/west. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:16 PM: Coun. Scott asking staff about how the renewable energy project guidelines came about. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:18 PM: Coun. Scott discussing details of the Samsung project. Particularly, the fencing and places where they break city guidelines. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:21 PM: Coun. Scott says that the majority of the land Samsung wants is appropriate; but 100 acres are protected farmland. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:22 PM: Amendment moved on the renewable energy item; would prevent Samsung from building on protected farmland. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:23 PM: Amendment passes without much debate. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:25 PM: @councillorberg making comments about the impacts and expectations to the Countryside district. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:26 PM: … says that meetings with all companies (Samsung included) include discussions on community talks and tree planting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:27 PM: Amendment from @councillorberg about guidelines, land use ,community impact and participation. passes with no discussion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:28 PM: @MayorOfKingston thanking @councillorberg and Coun. Scott for the time they’ve spent on the solar project issue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:28 PM: And the renewable energy item carries. Big sigh from Coun. Scott. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:29 PM: We move into Williamsville. Initial comments from @JimNeill3 in support of the plan. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:31 PM: Question from @JimNeill3 about business access during reconstruction. Lower princess had provisions for it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:32 PM: Jim Keech says that staff would need to this type of request would likely be in the RFP; looking for a similar process. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:34 PM: @JimNeill3 comments that the act of construction on both upper and lower Princess St simultaneously is an act of courage. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:35 PM: Belle Park item comes up, passes.. Then Coun. Hutchison asks to speak. @MayorOfKingston says we’ll proceed like vote didn’t happen #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:36 PM: Coun. Hutchison asking about the golf course. Com. Hurdle says they don’t have info with them from before 2006. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:36 PM: @brenda_slomka We haven’t gotten to the cycling lane item yet.
  • 9:38 PM: Com. Hurdle says that the big expense at the course is staffing, and rates are far lower than the private sector. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:39 PM: … adds that usage numbers have dropped; confirms that fees do increase in accordance with the fees by-law. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:40 PM: Coun. Hutchison asking if the course has been managed properly. Would like to see it break even. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:41 PM: Amendment from Coun. Glover, adding request for the report to include causes of the losses at the golf course. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:43 PM: @MayorOfKingston – says he’s seeing ads from competing courses looking for members; used to be wait lists. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:44 PM: Coun. Hutchison says that @MayorOfKingston’s comments make the point – we don’t know details. Amend. passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:45 PM: Coun. Hutchison adding a second amendment; wanting to protect the sapce for current and alternative uses. #ygkc ^TV (Quick break)
  • 9:49 PM: Back at the desk; I DID miss the golf course vote (Sorry!) we’re discussing a land sale on Leroy Grant for affordable housing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:50 PM: Looks like the golf course item (as amended, twice), passes. Thanks, @danielleinygk! #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:51 PM: Leroy grant item passes, and we move into Planning committee report. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:52 PM: First planning report (3480 Princess St) passes. Second is on zoning for gaming facilities. Coun. Schell steps out. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:53 PM: @JimNeill3 talking about the past vote. Comments that the evening’s vote had an amendment asked about zoning that was defeated. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:54 PM: @JimNeill3 concerned that the city will spend $25k on a consultant for a casino that we may not get. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:55 PM: Quick recorded vote request from Coun. Downes; then a comment from Coun. Hutchison that the report would include school setbacks. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:57 PM: Coun. George says that he recalls the amendments previously included specifics; this item is to research what those should be. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:58 PM: Coun. George says that the information would be highly relevant, considering that the city has already herd from proponents. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:59 PM: Coun. Glover asking if it would be too late to discuss zoning after a specific company comes forward. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:00 PM: Com. Beach says that council can wait until the zoning application comes forward. This would be a proactive step. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:01 PM: Com. Beach says that there are already places in the city that would be considered suitable; residential zones aren’t. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:02 PM: @ryancrago To have staff look into cost of revenue generation options at the Belle Park course.
  • 10:04 PM: Comments from @MayorOfKingston that he’s in agreement with @JimNeill3. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:04 PM: @DorothyAHector – brought the item to planning cmte. Fears a swift application for a specific spot before the city has info. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:05 PM: .. adds that the rules of the application are set on the day the application is submitted. Could fight at OMB if changed after. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:06 PM: @DorothyAHector adds that there may be things beyond schools that a casino should be away from – like child care centres. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:07 PM: Coun. Downes says it’s frivolous use of tax dollars. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:08 PM: Coun. Paterson says that it’s incumbent upon the city to be prepared. Says it’s worth having it ahead of time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:09 PM: Coun. Hutchison agreeing with Coun. Paterson. Rules need to be in place when the proposal comes in. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:10 PM: Result: Pass 7-4 | REQ: RD | Yea: SB, KG, BG, DH, RH, BP, JS | Nay: RD, MG, JN, LO #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:11 PM: First heritage report up next; a number of time sensitive items. None separated. It passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:12 PM: Heritage report 116 comes up next; was deferred – work has already been done now. It carries, too. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:30 PM: Coun. Hutchison amendment: People CAN somke in a park; so long as they’re not within 15m of others (not part of the person’s grp) #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:33 PM: Coun. Downes says that the by-law change is also of visibility – children emulate; not just the physical health risks. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:35 PM: @DorothyAHector – this amendment came up at cmtee. Says council, if they want this amendment, should kick the item back to cmte. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:36 PM: @MayorOfKingston comments that the thought of a person 15m away would be looked upon as a role model is ridiculous. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:37 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that he agrees to return to committee if amendments are required. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:38 PM: @JimNeill3: This amendment makes the by-law even less enforceable. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:40 PM: Coun. Paterson says he’s grapples with this issue; says that we shouldn’t throw smokers under the bus. Needs to be balance. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:41 PM: Coun. Schell: 15m isn’t even a road allowance; this would still have cig. butts in parks, which children can (and do) pick up.. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:43 PM: 15m Amendment Result: Lost 9-3 | REQ: JN | Yea: RH, BP, JS | Nay: SB, RD, KG, MG, BG, DH, JN, LO, LS #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:44 PM: Move by Coun. Hutchison that this be deferred back to APC for additional park consideration. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:45 PM: … but there’s a point of order from Coun. Glover; says the deferral reason makes the item a reconsideration. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:47 PM: @MayorOfKingston after consultation with the Clerk says Coun. Glover is in-order.
  • 10:47 PM: @DorothyAHector says it’s a reconsider of the committee. @MayorOfKingston says no. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:48 PM: @DorothyAHector confirms to @MayorOfKingston that a similar motion did lose at APC. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:50 PM: Deferral loses. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:52 PM: @JimNeill3 says hat this by-law, like most, sets out best behaviour rules. Gives people complaint options. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:53 PM: Motion to extend being requested from @MayorOfKingston. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:54 PM: Wow. No motions to extend. Now some debate from Coun. Downes about when the meeting gets to end. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:56 PM: Coun. Downes is trying to suggest they fnsh the item on the floor. Asks if the item is time sensitive. @MayorOfKingston says no. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:57 PM: @DorothyAHector motions to extend to complete the current item. Seconded by Coun. Glover. Passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:58 PM: Smoking By-law Result: Pass 10-2 | REQ: RD | Yea: RD, KG, MG, BG, DH, RH, JN, LO, BP, LS | Nay: SB, JS #rv #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:59 PM: We move on to time-sensitive items. Clerk is adding one item to the list. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:00 PM: Adding an item carriess. We’re looking at speed of traffic on Crossfield Ave; which passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:01 PM: Into by-laws. And e’re out. 11:01pm. #ygkc ^TV

Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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