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Council Follow-up, week of January 16, 2023

Updated: Jan 6

Public Engagement makes a difference! This term's first potential Code violation. And more preparation for the 2023 Budget deliberations.

Circulation List: There doesn't seem to have been one this week

City Council

This meeting was a terrific example of how public engagement CAN make a difference at City Hall. Thank you and congratulations to Len Savella for raising your voice about the issues that are important to you and your community. You made a real difference this week!

And yes, that means that the second request for a Temporary Noise Exemption at 37 Johnson Street was denied (as had been staff's recommendation in the first place). While Council seemed to appreciate the work that Councillor Riepma had put in to working out a compromise, in the end it was decided that shaving a week off of construction time wasn't worth several weeks of added noise issues for neighbours, and the amendment was defeated. What's more, the City is now aware of some of the issues that residents in the area have been facing, and promised more eyes on the ground around the construction site.

Again, we're excited to stress that the voice of one person CAN make a huge difference – if you ever need help with putting together a deputation, or figuring out the right person to speak to at City Hall, please get in touch and help us help you get engaged!

As for the remainder of the Agenda-d items, there was a minor amendment to Section E of the January 11 General Committee Report – simply separating the item about the Police Services Board appointment, so that Councillor Harvey could vote on the other items in that section (as he had to declare a conflict for both items dealing with the Police Service Board).

And our first noting of a potential Code violation this term, when Councillor Morales used Council time to publicly discredit the Manager of the Barrie Farmer's Market, while stating he would be voting down the referral of the Farmer's Market correspondence to the Finance and Responsible Governance Committee. It appears he swayed nobody else on Council, as everyone else voted for the referral, and the item was carried.

Most of the new Board and Committee appointments were approved, with the exception of the Committee of Adjustment candidates – Morales amended that item to refer those appointments to the next General Committee for further review.

After a very long break Council came back (some sooner than others) to a Motion Without Notice by Councillors Harvey & Kungl, regarding support for the 2023 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Hockey Championships, and the Barrie Women's Hockey Association's application to be a pre-competition host community. We were happy to see this support approved unanimously, and greatly appreciate the Mayor's calling on Hockey Canada to fully support Women's Hockey (and saying it should have happened long ago). Equity in sport is just as important as equity anywhere else, and it's good to hear this stated in City Council!

And finally, Chief Financial Officer Craig Millar gave a presentation, and answered Council's questions, on the 2023 Business Plan and Operating Budget. This included an overview of the City's services and service levels, the Business Plan Process and guiding principles of the City's financial management, summary of the current condition and projected impacts of new changes, and next steps and timelines. We're certain the new Councillors appreciated such a thorough presentation, and all the hard work of staff – we sure did!


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