Hall Monitor: Meeting Momentum

Kingston City Council sat for meeting number 05-2020 (Agenda) on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The 41-minute meeting, which Mayor Bryan Paterson joked “might be a record for this council” had a light agenda and minimal discussion, though they did get a few items completed.

Photo by Kristina Guevremont.

Council had met in a closed session ahead of their public meeting to discuss the company (Local Authority Services) currently being used in the event that an investigation of a closed meeting is required. The Clerk, during discussion, noted that this has been needed four times since 2008.

While the motion coming out of closed session was to re-appoint the firm for another year with a further report in the third quarter of this year, Councillor Jeff McLaren tabled an amendment to bar the company from being consulted on any issue that could potentially land in a closed session. While the city solicitor encouraged council to approach this on a more case-by-case basis, the amendment carried 7-6 and LAS will continue its role with the City (approved 12-1) for the following year.

Council also approved new commissioner appointments, required after Lanie Hurdle was appointed Chief Administrative Officer late last year. Peter Huigenbos, who has been acting in the role of Commissioner of Community Services, was appointed as Commissioner of Business, Environment and Projects. Paige Agnew, formerly the Director of Planning, Building & Licensing, has become the Commissioner of Community Services.

There were two petitions presented totaling 1,151 signatures by Councillors Simon Chapelle and Lisa Osanic asking for further protection for turtles along Highway 2 at Collins Creek. These petitions will be directed to the Environment, Infrastructure & Transportation Policies Committee.

Council also discussed two information reports, which don’t receive any action from council during the meeting.

First, council received a report showing the planned redevelopment of the first floor of the market wing of City Hall, which will see the space west of the existing Heritage Resource Centre become exhibition space opening late in 2020, and will serve as a “proof of concept” for the space over the next three years.

Council also received an update on the ongoing Local Planning Appeal Tribunal case surrounding building being proposed for the North Block at Queen and Ontario Streets. Council had previously advised staff not to pursue the request for review, and CAO Hurdle confirmed that staff respected that direction and spent no further money on the review.

Hurdle commented that this report was to provide an update to council of the order of a full rehearing of the appeal by a different LPAT panel, but that staff was taking no further action on the file at this time. Further discussion among council and staff will take place before staff take any further steps.

Council has a special meeting scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 at the central branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library for Indigenous cultural sensitivity training and a smudging ceremony before their next regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020.

Born and raised in Kingston, Josie Vallier bleeds limestone. An avid council watcher since 2004, she first began reporting on municipal affairs in 2011, helping to modernize meetings and make them more accessible through social media and live video. When she isn’t focused on City Hall, he’s san avid gamer, youth theatre supporter, and Disney fan.

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