Council Reports: February 16+23, 2004

February 16, 2004
Special Meeting of Committee of the Whole: 10:13 a.m. – 11:26 a.m.
Four members of Council present. Deputy Mayor Pierre Paul Maurice absent.

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 10:14 a.m. – 11:23 a.m. At the end of this session “Council adopted and approved a course of action respecting a personnel matter set out in camera and directed that all necessary by-laws be prepared for formal consideration to give effect to the action adopted.”
February 23, 2004
Committee of the Whole: 10:05 a.m. – 6:27 p.m.
Evening Meeting: 7:00 p.m – 10:57 p.m.
All Members of Council present

NOTE: A number of decisions were delayed until March when Council is to consider the full budget for the coming year.


LAFONTAINE GROUP HOME PROPOSAL: Application had been made for a zoning change to permit a group home / treatment centre in Lafontaine for young men aged 13 to 17. Such a centre would accommodate 10 to 15 residents. At the packed public meeting on the subject, which preceded the regular evening meeting of
Council, the applicant used the slogan: “Catch a Fish, not a Buzz”. Approximately 6 individuals spoke in favour of the application, only one of whom lives within a kilometre of the proposed centre. Eight individuals spoke against the application. The applicant had no answers for many of the concerns raised. He was asked to do further work on his application and to notify the Township at least 20 days in advance when he is ready for another public meeting on his application.

DEPUTATIONS AT EVENING COUNCIL MEETING: Former Mayor Anthony Lancia made a deputation expressing concern over Township financial procedures under the last Council in 2003 and under the new Council since December. He raised questions about manual (as opposed to computer generated) cheques, about the treasury department’s failure to follow the Township’s Financial Procedures By-law, about legal fees, about the need to issue a single cheque to pay the many small monthly invoices from Hydro, and about 13 omissions from the Agenda Cheque Registry. The Township’s Auditors, BDO Dunwoody, examined his charges and one of their partners, Kathy Black, read their report at the meeting of Council on March 9. This report is reassuring about the activities of the Township’s treasury department, though there are a few procedures that could be tightened. These are to be introduced. Click, for the responses Kathy Black made to questions from Councillor Panasiuk and from Mayor Klug and for the full report of the Auditors.
Janet Evans (wife of Clerk / CAO Earl Evans) made a deputation expressing concern over Township administrative and personnel procedures, particularly in relation to her husband’s employment by the Township. Two questions she raised were also answered in the Auditors’ Report.

BY-LAW TERMINATING THE EMPLOYMENT OF CLERK / CAO: A by-law was passed which terminated the employment of Township Clerk / CAO Earl Evans. Mayor Klug expressed the regret of Council in the matter.

PAY EQUITY: Council approved maintenance of pay equity for 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

BY-LAWS CONCERNING DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS AND REGULATION OF THE KEEPING OF EXOTIC ANIMALS: Council asked Shawn Crawford, Municipal Law Enforcement Office (who had, on the instruction of the previous Council, drafted by-laws concerning firearms and exotic animals), to assess the extent of hunting and target practice in the township’s residential areas and the prevalence of the keeping of exotic animals, review provincial and federal legislation regulating discharge of firearms and the keeping of exotic animals, and see whether a by-law regulating the keeping of exotic animals could operate retroactively.

With this information in hand, Council would then decide whether by-laws were necessary and what their focus should be.

METEOROLOGICAL TOWER: Ventus Energy Inc was given approval to erect a temporary tower in the north end of the Township to monitor wind for 12 months. If there is sufficient flow, a wind farm is a possibility.
Responses of BDO Dunwoody partner, Kathy Black, to Councillor Panasiuk’s Questions about the Auditors’ Report —
The Acting CAO directed the Treasurer to ask for a report from the Township Auditors about points raised in former Mayor Anthony Lancia’s deputation. It was within the CAO’s power to do so as the cost was less than $5,000.
• It is Kathy Black’s 3rd year auditing the Township’s books. [BDO Dunwoody have been the Township Auditors for some 20 years or more.]
• The Auditors dealt with those parts of former Mayor Lancia’s deputation which are subject to an audit function; there was no need to comment about the payments made to the Receiver General as they are standard and records about them are accessible to the public.
• The Township’s Financial Procedures By-Law does not require that cheques be generated by computer.
• Most of the manual “cheques” were automatic withdrawals.
• No one instructed the Auditors how to conduct the report, and no one could according to Kathy Black.

Response to Questions from Mayor Klug about the Auditors’ Report -–
The Auditors are comfortable with Township practices and found nothing to alarm them.

The report of BDO Dunwoody LLP, Chartered Accountants and Consultants:

Link to “Verification of Certain Financial Documents” on the Township website under “Public Notices”