Hall Monitor: Speed of Money

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcLast night, city council, staff and the public gathered in City Hall for Kingston City Council meeting number 13-2013. The city has published the agenda and addeds online.

The meeting seemed to fly by, with us letting out just before 9:30 – but quite a bit got accomplished in those two quick hours. The largest, by far, was the approval of an additional $1.7 million dollars for the renovations at the Tett Centre, bringing its total cost now to $13.2 million. Additionally, council handed out the okay for a pair of new patios downtown, awarded the contract for construction of the Bert Meunier Common Park and approved the start of the RFP process for a new city pound.

Our full tweet stream and an archive of the video is below. Our next meeting will be in chambers on May 21st.

  • 7:16 PM: All set p at City Hall for our live coverage of tonight’s council meeting. We’ll be starting in about 15 minutes! #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:29 PM: Full house down here again tonight. Standing room only. Looks like the overflow will be used again. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:34 PM: Looks like we’re running a little late. Should be up and running shortly. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:35 PM: DING DING! Meeting is underway. 7:35pm. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:36 PM: We open with a recap of the closed session of council; rising without a report. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:37 PM: The closed session rise passes 12-0; we are without @DorothyAHector at the horseshoe tonight. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:38 PM: @MayorOfKingston comments that there has been feedback surrounding the vote display. They’re meeting with @TVCKingston to resolve. #ygkc…
  • 7:39 PM: Addeds carry, and we get pecuniary interest declarations from Coun. Schell, Coun. Downes and Coun. Hutchison. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:41 PM: One delegation on the agenda, sounds like Coun. Glover plans to add a second. First is Phillip Brown about Tett Centre. #ygkc
  • 7:42 PM: Brown says the Tett Centre budget, when first presented, took everything into account back then. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:43 PM: Council is being asked tonight to approve $1.7 million to the Tett Centre project. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:45 PM: Brown is asking council to verify all facts they hear when the debate comes up. Seeks deferral of tonight’s motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: Brown is suggesting that there can be cost cuts, and an outside, unbiased opinion can find more savings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:47 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks about Brown’s ideas. Brown says that if he ran something at a 15% overrun, there’d be a change in management. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:47 PM: Brown adds that this (chambers) is the only room where you can go over budget and not be accountable. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:49 PM: Brown says he has respect for the work of staff; but adds that it would be an unbiased report that would validate it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:52 PM: Coun. Glover asks about Brown’s history. Brown outlines his history with larger, complicated projects in #ygk. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: Brown is suggesting that a team can come back with suggestions in an afternoon without bias. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: @JimNeill3 says one of the city’s priorities was to create space for the arts community – which this project would do. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:56 PM: @JimNeill3 asks about criticism about the cost being reflected on the Arts community. Brown agrees that’s a risk. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:57 PM: … adds that it’s the artists that make the building, not the building that makes the artists. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:58 PM: Coun. Glover is asking to add a delegation of Patty Petkovich, Co-Chair for the Tett Centre and Pres. of Kingston Potter’s Guild. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:58 PM: The delegation carries 11-1 (Scott opposed). Petkovich says she’s here to support the motion, not offer technical advice. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:00 PM: Petkovich outlining a number of groups in the city: Potters, gem workers, Joe’s MILL and events like gemstorm and Writer’s Fest. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:01 PM: We sail through Briefings, petitions, congrats/condolence/sympathy and deferred as they’re all empty. Into report 67. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:02 PM: Part c, f and j are separated; the vote on the balance, including the patio for @tommyskingston, pass. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: @JimNeill3 asking about funding and costs for the Shannon Park Skate Park ahead of the item passing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:05 PM: That explains this. RT @dorothyahector: @kingstonist sorry the flu bug at play, managed the closed session. #ygkc
  • 8:06 PM: @JimNeill3 asking about the a parking space for 195 Ontario St. Staff says 195 is using an existing patio. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:08 PM: Coun. Glover asking about screening in the patio. The previous owner used a screening and flower planters. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:08 PM: Approval of patio for 195 Ontario St carries. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:09 PM: Last item on 67, Bert Meunier Park carries too. Separated only due to a conflict. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:10 PM: We move into 68; first item, 2013 tax rates carry. We move to debate on the Tett Centre item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:11 PM: Didn’t look like anyone wanted to speak, so the Mayor called question and the system went to “vote mode”… #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:12 PM: … couldn’t flip back, so @MayorOfKingston: Don’t push the buttons. You can push each-other’s buttons though. #mayorjokes #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: Coun. Glover asks about the possibility of a 2-3 week delay to review budget. Staff says they are always looking for cost savings. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: Learn more about the forthcoming new Bert Meunier Park (and the man for whom it was named) at http://t.co/hD5d97JKtM #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:20 PM: Coun. Glover asks about spreading the costs out; CAO responds that this spending could impact other projects. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: @JimNeill3 asks if city did due diligence on the site ahead of start. Staff says that outisde firms and reviews were involved. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:22 PM: … adds that yes, all regular due diligence was followed and all recommendations were followed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:24 PM: @JimNeill3: If there’s a cost overrun on this project, blame council or blame staff. Don’t blame the arts community. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:25 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks if the project is doable without doing these; staff says no, this work needs completing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:27 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks if staff knows how much of the costs are just to bring it to current code. Staff says it’s vast majority. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:27 PM: The city, she adds, is only responsible for the ‘shell’ of the buiding. Occopants are doing the finishing on their own spaces. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:28 PM: Coun. Hutchison asking about the proposed tower, specifically. @MayorOfKingston says it’s irrelevant, they passed a budget. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:29 PM: @MayorOfKingston says that removing elements would be a reconsideration; tonight is a budget item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: Coun. Osanic asks about if Artillery Pk is coming back, too, citing opportunity costs. @MayorOfKingston says that’s out of order. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:31 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks our treasurer about the 700k from the Environmental Reserve fund. Currently has appx 3M. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:32 PM: Treasurer says capital reserve is appx 13-15 mil. Contributes 22 mil/yr, spends about 12. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:33 PM: @BrianReitzel says this is an opportunity to change perception on public projects. Wants to challenge staff to stay on budget. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:34 PM: @BrianReitzel says people are tired of watching public projects come in over budget. Will be voting this down for that reason. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:35 PM: Coun. Schell asks about scheduling. Project is already behind schedule. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:37 PM: Coun. Schell asking about the tenants because of the delays. Only one tenant affected to staff’s knowledge. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:39 PM: Coun. Schell will be voting in favour of the project – reluctantly – because the space is important to the community. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:40 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks staff to clarify the vote; if this is defeated, a report would come back with options. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:41 PM: Coun. George asking about projects that could be reconsidered for this; staff says that would be an option. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:45 PM: Coun. George says there has to be accountability for this. Felt this project was done well and was fully costed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:46 PM: Coun. George not supporting this; says it’s not fair to see another project ask for more money, wants accountability. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:47 PM: Coun. Downes says accountability includes the companies the city has already entered into contracts with. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:48 PM: Coun. Downes says that taking stands needs to happen earlier. At some point, someone said the ground was okay to begin. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:51 PM: Vote on Tett Centre item passes 8-4; Coun. George, Coun. Osanic, @BrianReitzel and Coun. Scott against. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:52 PM: We see a handful of the gallery step out after the Tett Centre vote carries. We’re into discussion about the RFP for the new pound. #ygkc…
  • 8:53 PM: Coun. Osanic asks staff about location gathering for strays, staff confirms that”s already planned. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:55 PM: Coun. Osanic asking about the connection between this and the Resp. Pet Own. Program working group. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:57 PM: Coun. Osanic asking for three amendments. First one is about increasing portable crate crate sizes. Staff is okay with this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:58 PM: Larger cat crates pass 12-0… and Coun. Glover calls a point of order on Osanic’s time remaining. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:00 PM: Coun. Glover is calling on 14.10. Glover says that asking Qs shouldn’t take the 5 minutes. @MayorOfKingston rules it’s in order. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:01 PM: Coun. Osanic wants to add weight to submissions within 500m of a transit route. Staff notes this would exclude the rural area. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:01 PM: @MayorOfKingston clarifies: it wouldn’t exclude the rural area, it just give more weight to the urban locations. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:02 PM: Transit amendment carries 8-4; @councillorberg, Coun. George, Coun. Paterson and Coun. Scott opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:03 PM: Coun. Osanic now proposed changing contract from 5 years to 2 with a 2-year renewal. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:04 PM: Legal says that a 2yr contrct guarantee would reduce the field of providers. Lots of investment for a minimal contract. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:04 PM: That loses on a tie: @councillorberg, Coun. Downes, Coun. George, @MayorOfKingston, Coun. Paterson, Coun. Scott opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:05 PM: RFP for pound services, as amended, carries unanimously. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:06 PM: Report 69 from the planning committee passes in it’s entirety, 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:07 PM: Report 70 from Heritage also passes in it’s entirety, 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:08 PM: Report 71 from ARCP passes in it’s entirety, too, 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:09 PM: Report 72 from EITP clear as a whole, 12–0, too. Moving right along here. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:10 PM: We sail through a few more headings and into Misc. Business with a few committee re-assignments and resignations. All carry. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:12 PM: We stop at new motion number 1, about a Homestead building on highway 15. Coun. Scott wants to clarify where it is. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:13 PM: Coun. Scott wants to defer this until after council has made a decision on the re-zoning. @MayorOfKingston clarifies process. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:14 PM: Comm. Beach suggests now is the right time; Coun. Scott and Coun. George disagree. A bump-up now assumes a pass later. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:15 PM: Coun. Scott and Coun. George keep the motion to defer on the table. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:17 PM: Deferral loses 8-4, Coun. Downes, Coun. George, Coun. Paterson and Coun. Scott approve it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:18 PM: @MayorOfKingston proposes adding a “pending the approval” of an application, which is accepted as friendly. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:19 PM: You might want to consider just ignoring what I just said – @MayorOfKingston, to laughter. Amendment is removed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:20 PM: That item carries, Coun. George and Coun. Scott opposed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:20 PM: An additional emergency alternate designate to the mayor, Coun. George, for May 29 – Jun 4 carries 12-0. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:21 PM: There’s a delay as we look for someone to sit on the Operating Grants Review Committee. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:22 PM: Coun. Glover takes that spot with a 12-0 vote. We get a notice from @JimNeill3 next. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:23 PM: @JimNeill3 is advising of a motion coming forward regarding changes to EMS service in the city. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:24 PM: Minutes for a large number of meetings (some complicated) are confirmed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:25 PM: Coun. Downes chimes in in other business to let @MayorOfKingston know he will be absent for the Jun 4 meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:26 PM: Coun. Downes also speaks about the ‘eyesore’ of a number of used clothing drop boxes. Asks for some advice about them. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:27 PM: .@MayorOfKingston says that’ll be left with staff. Nobody else chimes in on other business, and we move to by-laws. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:28 PM: By-laws all clear, and we’re out. Adjournment at 9:29|pm. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:30 PM: Thanks for following along tonight. Our tweets and the video will be up tomorrow! #ygkc ^TV

Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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