Hall Monitor: Sign of Change

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcLast night, city council, staff and the public gathered in City Hall for Kingston City Council meeting number 02-2014. The city has published the agenda and addeds online.

A quick note before today’s summary; as a result of the fire that consumed the north-west corner of Princess and Victoria streets in the afternoon, Deputy Mayor Sandy Berg, the CAO and other key staff were at the city’s emergency operations centre as the meeting began. Though Berg did return part-way through the meeting, the Mayor was asked to return to the centre towards the end of the meeting and several key members of staff were absent for the duration.

Skimming the agenda in advance of the meeting, it looked like a pretty heavy one, with a motion to hire an permanent integrity commissioner on the addeds; but when the addeds were tabled, that motion was separated for the vote. Addeds need a 2/3rds vote to carry, and while most of them carried 12-0, because this one was separated out, it didn’t make the agenda, losing 6-6. This won’t be the end of the item… It just means it’ll come back on the regular agenda, not in the addeds.

The bulk of the agenda, as usual, carried without much debate. Amongst the items carried, council confirmed the 2.5% budget increase, updated the election sign by-law, reduced the speed limit on Perth Rd near McAdoo’s Lane, renewed the lease of The Harbour restaurant at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour and confirmed some expropriation of land on John Counter Bvld. and updated the 10-year municipal housing and homelessness plan.

A couple of motions proved to draw some debate. A motion on rural parks, which called on staff to do research and studies on the use of rural parks was changed to return to the ARC committee rather than rural affairs before passing, and a motion to install fencing at the bridge at Princess and Taylor Kidd was deferred. As previously mentioned, the motion that everyone was talking about to hire an integrity commissioner, didn’t make the table. Yet.

As the meeting started late because of the staff at the emergency operations centre, the closed session was moved to the end of the meeting; and they reported out that they approved the purchase of land at 603 John Counter Bvld (Assuming costs don’t total more than $1.55 million. This land is at the far east, right on the edge of the Rideau Canal.

To break topic for a few minutes, I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along my praise to city staff and the crews of Kingston Fire and Rescue and Kingston Police for their incredible work. The work of the planning teams and operations teams ahead of events like the fire that happened yesterday proved well worth the effort as the city’s emergency operations centre swung into it’s duty. Teams from Kingston Hydro, Utilities Kingston, Kingston Transit and the customer service team also deserve praise for their role in both helping with the area and helping to keep the public safe and informed. Yesterday was an incredible day in the city; and one where, at the end, I was prouder than I have been in a long time to be a Kingstonian.

Our complete Tweet stream is below. The next meeting January 7th.

  • 7:23 PM: At city hall for tonight’s #ygkc meeting; big agenda. Also following #ygkfire on my personal account… Interesting night ahead. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:28 PM: I have my camera with me; I’ll have the stream running as soon as I can. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:40 PM: DING DING! 7:40pm start. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:42 PM: We’re opening with an update from @MayorOfKingston with regards to #ygkfire #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:42 PM: Fire is under control, all workers accounted for; and thanks on behalf of citizens to CFB Trenton for the help. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: Legion Building and a residence across the street still have fires. Gas station was well protected by KFR. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: Ongoing concern is on crane; says it will likely fall. Engineer is on-site to determine fall zone. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:44 PM: Streaming video is live at http://t.co/MyTgnzbkD8 #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:45 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that all utilities were turned of by choice; the fire didn’t cause the outages. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:45 PM: Evacuation site remains at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. People affected should go there. City cust. srvc remains open. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: @MayorOfKingston says we can be extremely proud of the work our teams have done today. “Second to none”. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:47 PM: Some of city staff remain at the Emergency Control Room during this meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:48 PM: We’re looking at two votes for the addeds. Report 17 was requested to be separated. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:49 PM: Balance, minus report 17, carry 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: Report 17, does not get added to the agenda; loses in a tie. That was the integrity commissioner motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:51 PM: A pecuniary interest declaration from Coun. Hutchison. And now a presentation from @MayorOfKingston. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: Presentation is to the daughter of a city staffer; won the internal contest to design the mayor’s holiday card. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:54 PM: We move to delegations; first is from Susan Irving, discussing a turtle crossing protection motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: Irving says most of the turtle killed are females, searching for nest sites. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:57 PM: RT @Morril: Crews report the legion villa is under control at this time. #YGKFire #YGK
  • 8:00 PM: @JimNeill3 asking about the need for fencing in addition to the signs. Irving says signs alone don’t significantly reduce mortality.
  • 8:03 PM: Motion tonight is about bridge at Princess and Taylor Kidd. Irving says to Coun. Osanic that’s an important place to start. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:05 PM: Second delegation is from Patricia Streich about the 10-year housing and homelessness plan. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:13 PM: One briefing; from Nick Waterfield, chair of the Citizen Committee to Review Council Remuneration. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: We get a petition from Coun. Osanic with 100+ signatures in support of her later turtle motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:20 PM: No motions of congratulations, condolences or speedy recovery. We move into report number 9. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: The bulk of the report carries without discussion. We come back to the election sign by-law changes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:24 PM: @JimNeill3 asking if the new setback rule will prevent signs on medians. Staff says they’l no longer be allowed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:26 PM: Election sign by-law clears 12-0; we’re next talking about the speed limit reduction on Perth Rd near McAdoos Lane. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:27 PM: Speed limit reduction item carries; we move to the CAO (Recommend) motion. @councillorberg joins us from the emerg. centre. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:29 PM: First item (north block) carries, and chair is handed over to Deputy Mayor. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: A number of point of orders being called right now. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:32 PM: The cross-talk being referenced in the pt of order was btwn Coun. Scott and @councillorberg.. about a motion of reconsideration. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:33 PM: 2nd item on the report, Harbour lease renewal, carries 9-2, Coun. Glover and @JimNeill3 opposed. @MayorOfKingston not in chambers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:34 PM: Sorry; that was 10-2 on the Harbour vote.
  • 8:35 PM: Quick break from my #ygkc desk for a phone interview; back soon. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:44 PM: Back at the desk; we’re discussing the amendments to the 10-year municipal housing and homelessness plan. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:47 PM: We move onwards to a motion asking for a playground improvement at the M-centre; group wants it moved from 2016 to 2015. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: Responding to concerns from Coun. Paterson, @JimNeill3 says this request came from citizens through public meetings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:49 PM: Coun. Paterson was concerned of fairness; not every park has a committee, and is scared something else will be bumped back. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:50 PM: Comm. Hurdle confirms, something else would need to be moved for this. @MayorOfKingston says he will vote against. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:52 PM: @MayorOfKingston lists a number of recent improvements at the M. centre. Wants to spread some of the work around. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:57 PM: Coun. Reitzel says he’s opposing this; says fastest growing population of young people is in the east. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:58 PM: Memorial Centre park improvements item loses 10-3; Only Coun. Glover, @JimNeill3, Coun. Hutchison in favour. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:59 PM: We march forward to the council remuneration item. Question from @JimNeill3 about if other salaries are tied to CPI. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:00 PM: Treasurer confirms to @JimNeill3 that the other non-union employees don’t have CPI-based increases, only merit-based. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:02 PM: Attempted amendment from @JimNeill3 to remove the CPI line, is removed with no seconder. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:03 PM: The item carries 11-1; only @JimNeill3 opposed. We move to Report 15 from the Nominations committee. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:04 PM: Nominations committee report 13-0. We now go to Report 16 from Comm. of the Whole. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:06 PM: Report 16 is the budget confirmation. A few separations for pecuniary, but otherwise, this is carrying unanimously. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:08 PM: Bit of a hiccup with the voting system, @MayorOfKingston suggests “Control, alt delete”. #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:11 PM: Bit of a vote-off to determine which councillors are going to sit on KEAF. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:13 PM: It’ll be Coun. Hutchison and Coun. Schell on KEAF. We move to new motions. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:15 PM: First new motion is to open discussions about participating in the Apathy is Boring pilot project. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:20 PM: Unexpected laptop restart. Stream will be back asap. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:23 PM: Apathy is boring item carries, only @JimNeill3 opposed, after citing concerns on staff resources. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:25 PM: Motion now on the table is to ask staff to review the parks in the rural area and report back by Q3, 2014. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:27 PM: Staff confirm to Coun. Downes that Grass Creek Park is in the rural area. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:29 PM: Concerns about the park motion from Coun. Downes, says this pits one district against another. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:36 PM: Coun. George says he doesn’t look at the whereas clauses when he votes; the vote is on the recommendation at the end. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:39 PM: Comm. Hurdle, responding to @MayorOfKingston, says that some of the park recommendations do focus on urban area. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:40 PM: Her example was that a park should be within 800m of residential areas. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:42 PM: Coun. Paterson says his concern is the third whereas clause, the wording of “underutilized parks”. Questions why. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:49 PM: Coun. Hutchison voices concern about how this is being raised. Says it should have gone the ARC. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:54 PM: There’s some procedural debate over where this report is supposed to go back to. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:02 PM: Amendment vote happening now; will change report from coming back to Rural Advisory to ARC. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:04 PM: Amendment carries 7-6; @councillorberg, Coun. George, @MayorOfKingston, Coun. Paterson, Coun. Reitzel, Coun. Scott opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:07 PM: Vote on the rural parks review, as amended, carries unanimously. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:09 PM: @MayorOfKingston excuses himself for balance of meeting; has been asked by the CAO to return to the emerg. op. ctr. for #ygkfire. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:11 PM: Looks like a few staffers have left the room alongside or just after @MayorOfKingston. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:14 PM: We’re hearing from Coun. Osanic on the turtle fencing item new the corner of Princess and Taylor Kidd. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:16 PM: Coun. Scott says that if this is done in one spot, should be done everywhere. Lots of rural roads with turtle deaths/ #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:23 PM: Talk on the turtle fencing motion continues. Coun. Hutchison says you can’t expect anyone to stop on that bridge for a turtle. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:37 PM: Turtle motion has a motion of deferral on the table; few minute recess while the clerk figures out wording. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:40 PM: Deferral would be to March 5th meeting of EITP do add additional options. Carries 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:43 PM: Motion on the table now is regarding horse slaughter. Motion would be an endorsement from the city against the practice. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:46 PM: Motion to extend is being tabled, now; moving to extend through agenda, excluding closed session. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:46 PM: Solicitor Linscott says the closed item is time sensitive. Motion is to complete agenda. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:47 PM: Motion carries, 9-2. Coun. George, Coun. Glover opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:55 PM: Wifi dropped off; we’re into minutes. Which clear… no Q&A on documents or communications. No other business. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:56 PM: Move to close session now; only thing after return is by-laws. I’m going to wrap up my coverage now. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:11 PM: Still at #ygkc. Looks like a report coming out. Purchase of 603 John Counter Bvld for no more than $1.55 mill. ^TV

Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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