Hall Monitor: Fastest Lap

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcOur elected officials took to the halls of city hall again last night for meeting 10-2012 of Kingston City Council. You can also find the agenda and addeds from last night on the city’s website.

There’s an unspoken rule among council, city staff and those who keep their eye on the happenings at city hall – you don’t talk about the meeting length before the meeting is over. No guesses at a short meeting or a long one, you never guess how long an item will take and you certainly never expect a meeting to run short. It’s a rule I break regularly, often predicting before my first foot hits the limestone step how long we’ll be, and attempting to predict adjournment when we start to get close. Even I, though, didn’t foresee the 8:48 end (see below) to last nights meeting.

What little of a meeting there was consisted mostly of rubber stamping a handful of reports – granting some heritage permits, closing up Morton Street, confirming a Father’s Day Beer Festival at Fort Henry, confirming tax write offs and so on. The only real excitement came from a point when Councillor Neill and Mayor Gerretsen traded words over whether or not the councillor had used up his turn to speak when suggesting he was going to move deferral on the item about the naming rights at the new athletic centre. In the end, Mayor Gerretsen let him continue speaking, the deferral (Later moved by Councillor Hutchison) lost and the city will be looking for naming sponsors while working with the school boards to find other ways to recognize important contributors to the project.

And that was that – we were done in about 45 minutes. No story, no life-changing policies. While I’m grateful for the shorter meetings every now and then – and I’m sure I’ll be scowled at by my colleagues for this – I can only hope for something a little meatier next time around. The next regular meeting of Kingston City Council is Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 at 7:30pm in City Hall. Our complete Twitter coverage is below.

  • 7:23 PM: Settling into my seat. Only 40 percent battery. Hope it lasts! #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:27 PM: That said… If someone has a portable power unit… I have my charger with me… #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:41 PM: Bell rings. We start with the Mayor describing the pin he’s wearing (firefighters of panama) and an intro… #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:41 PM: Of the new intergovernmental affairs employee. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:42 PM: The council didn’t finish it’s closed door meeting. Will be returning after the public meeting. Cnclr Downes has… #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: disclosure for the athletic field item. Mayor jokes about the short agenda and asks if someone wants to adjourn. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:44 PM: We’re already on the emotional items. They’re all in the addeds. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:48 PM: Already into reports. Report 41 up first. All but e and f pass with e. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:48 PM: Cnclr Hutchinson asking staff about item e, about community procurement. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: Sorry, that’s common procurement. Bulk buying. City clerk comments that the city hasn’t found enough partners to make that work. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:51 PM: Item f is up. Cnclr Downes is out on conflict. Cnclr Neill separated the item and speaks first. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: Cnclr Neill commenting on the school boards having a naming policy already and city should take input from them. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: Cnclr Neill says the school boards paid about 20% of the cost of the facilities. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:54 PM: Cnclr Neill wants deferral to allow for input. Mayor asking for clarification on if the project was a partnership. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: Staff says that it was all the city. Money from the school boards was for free usage. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:56 PM: Staff says that the school boards didn’t ask for naming rights when the agreement was signed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:57 PM: Bit of debate between Cnclr Neill and the Mayor on who has the floor. Cnclr Neill says the Mayor interrupted his time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:59 PM: Ongoing debate between the Mayor and Cnclr Neill. Cnclr Neill wraps up his time without a deferral motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:00 PM: Cnclr Hector asking what the “other options” for recognition means. Staff clarified that it would be things like plaques. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:01 PM: Cnclr Hutchinson asking if staff has info about if there would be additional contribution for the naming rights. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:02 PM: City staff says that they have not heard from the board about additional funding. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:03 PM: A move of deferral to staff for feedback from the boards from Cnclr Hutchinson. Seconded by Cnclr Neill. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:03 PM: Motion to defer is defeated. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: Cnclr Osanic says that the board had its opportunity to speak to naming rights. They didn’t. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:05 PM: Clauses were separated by Cnclr Hutchinson, but both pass. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:06 PM: Report 42 passes easily. No debate needed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:07 PM: Well played by Cnclr Hector on a point of order with a reminder that something on the addeds amended report 41. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:07 PM: Report 43 passes easily, too. Moving right along. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:09 PM: Report 44 sails through too. 45 is our last. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:10 PM: Already into misc business. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:11 PM: Cnclr Berg’s deputy mayorship in May/June approved. So is a Father’s Day beer festival. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: A pair of notices of notices of motion. We’re almost done. I’m calling it for 8:19 pm. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:16 PM: A quick report from Cnclr Hector about her recent meetings at FCM may bump my time prediction. I’m going to say 8:21 now. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: Right. No adornment. Back into a closed meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: Guess I’m done. 8:18 pm. #ygkc ^TV

A quick note: Council last night didn’t actually adjourn at 8:48. Council always opens in “closed meeting” – out of the eyes of the public – and then reconvenes as regular council when the public meeting starts at 7:30. Last night they spoke in the closed meeting about the performance review of the city’s CAO. Because they didn’t finish that business, but needed to meet the 7:30 timeline, they recessed from closed meeting to convene as council. So when 8:48 rolled around, instead of completing by-laws and adjourning, they returned to the “closed meeting” and would finish that agenda, then pass by-laws and adjourn in private. A not-so-common ending – but oddly fitting for the not-so-common night. I just hope they all got out at a decent hour and the short public meeting (and the infamous unspoken rule) didn’t jinx the meeting upstairs instead.

Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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