This Monday at Council is shaping up to be a busy night at St. Catharines Council – lots of issues on tap, and sure to generate a lot of conversation.
First and foremost, we need to make a decision on the Regional Council vacancy. While I’m not particularly happy about having the pilot project nixed by the province, I understand the reasoning, and I’m buoyed by the comments relating to 2018 and look forward to moving this issue forward, sooner rather than alter. With that said, the prudent thing in this situation will be to appoint Kelly Edgar, the 7th place finisher. I am also hopeful that Council can finally decide to adopt a policy on this issue: contrary to what some have said, we don’t have a policy regarding Regional Council, and it’s about time we got one.
Elsewhere on the agenda, some of the big item – first of all, the draft City expenditures report which will get the Budget Committee off to a start on the process of shaping this year’s City budget. I have a fuller post on the budget committee
here (EDIT: It’s coming, I swear, just want to finish it up in the next few hours) (further edit, here it is), but the tl;dr version is this: staff have presented a draft budget with a 6.48% budget increase, and I don’t think that’s acceptable. The report will be tabled on Monday night, and the committee will be able to get down to creating the final version to be presented in March.
A few other notable reports coming forward – the contract for the fundraisers for the Performing Arts Centre will be looked at for possible renewal (report here); the rain and flooding issues afflicting southwest St. Catharines are addressed here; the CAO’s office is bringing a report that report provides an overview of the previous year’s administrative changes and a context for the administration’s agenda going forward (here): the Design and Implementation plan for the Lower Level Valley (where the Meridian Centre, the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the PAC will live) comes to Council for endorsement (here); and a report regarding Open Data and the City’s plans on this topic will also be presented (here) – I will be asking for a deferral on this final report for two weeks so that a community group is able to present.
Also on Monday night:
- The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival Fee for Service agreement
- The St. Catharines Downtown Association slate of nominees is presented
- Several parking concerns are addresses, on Jasmin Cres. and on Yates St.
- A request for a school crossing guard on Vine St.
- A report regarding donations and issuance of tax receipts
- The receipt of a variety of Council correspondence items
The full agenda can be found here. As always, if you have any comments you’d like to share regarding these or other items on interest, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org