Council Reports: October 9, 2007

REPORT ON COUNCILOctober 9, 2007
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:05 a.m. – 5:54 p.m. 
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:09 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.
All Members of Council present.

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 3:47 p.m. – 5:54 p.m.

NEW CAO TO BE HIRED: As reported in the Fall Tiny Cottager, Ruth Coursey’s last day in Tiny Township was November 9, 2007. Zinner & Company (which helped recruit Ruth Coursey and also Doug Taylor, the Township’s treasurer) is to assist in recruiting at new CAO/Clerk.

CHANGES TO BY-LAW 06—01 REGARDING FENCES: After a long discussion, Council passed an amendment to the township’s general Zoning By-law concerning fences. They had before them proposed amendments drafted by staff and a consultant. Their decision was to exclude from the amendments all special provisions regarding fences in front yards and in rear (i.e. waterfront) yards on the shore, recycling bins and garbage, and recreational areas like Camp Marygrove or Camp Wildfire. The issue of “vista” on the shore is to be addressed during the review of the Official Plan.
The Amendment – By-law 07-076 — as passed includes the following provisions:

“a) A fence shall not exceed a height of 1.9 metres;

“b) Fence height is to be calculated by taking the measurement from grade to the top of each post. No single fence post shall exceed a maximum height of 1.9 metres;

“c) Decorative caps on top of a post may encroach into the height restriction to a maximum of no more than 0.3 metres;

“d) No fence is to be constructed from ungraded used lumber, unsightly and/or deteriorating used material. In all residential zones, no fence is to be constructed from barbed wire or any device designed to transmit electric current through a fence;

“e) Fences to enclose swimming pools shall not be subject to the above provisions, however must comply with all other Municipal By-laws and Ontario Building Code regulations; and

“f) In reference to fences in Sight Triangles, see Section 4.21.”

REPORT ON COUNCIL REMUNERATION: Mayor Breckenridge read out a report from the North Simcoe heads of Council about Council remuneration. The report, which is being considered by each of the four participating municipalities, argues that the subject needs to be addressed because of
• increased responsibilities borne by Councils as a result of the new Municipal Act
• changes in technology which have caused more work (among them, the use of electronic files and laptop computers)
• increased length of Council terms of office (which were once 1, then 2 years, then 3, and now 4 years).
The longer term coupled with the heavier workload has resulted in Council members losing benefits and having to give up their regular jobs. Mayor Breckenridge noted, for example, that the hours she spends each week amount to 35 or 40 hours, and that she has not been able to continue her consulting business.
One suggestion in the Report was that members of Council be paid a percentage of MPP’s salaries. Deputy Mayor George Lawrence opposed that idea. He (and others) asked for data for comparable municipalities, and Ruth Coursey (CAO/Clerk) asked Council to pick its comparators, as assembling data is labour intensive and, in the past, Councils have been unhappy with staff’s and consultants’ choice of comparable municipalities. Council is to select comparables at its next meeting.

“TOWNSHIP PROPERTY RECORDS” UPDATE: Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, presented a report about the current state of identification of boundaries of lands owned by the Township. He noted: “To date, the Township has identified through deeds, registered plans & reference plans a total of 300 roads (including laneways, walkways, reserves and daylighting), 14 beach areas & 38 saleable properties (parks, lots, blocks etc).”
(NOTE: We have been told that anyone who has a question about a particular property should address it to the Clerk’s Department.)

Identification is complete in the entirety of the land (right across the township) in
Concession 1 – 54 roads and beaches;
Concession 2 – 49 roads, beaches and blocks
Concession 3 – 50 roads, beaches and blocks
Concession 5 – 87 roads, beaches and blocks
Concession 6 – 21 roads and blocks
Concession 7 – 17 roads and beach
Concession 4 is 80% complete for 58 roads, 4 beach areas, and 12 properties with a survey of Bluewater to Crossland Road Beach Area underway.
Concession 8 is 66% complete with the survey of the beach block from Jackson Park to Lundy Lane 66% complete.

Some work has been done on Concessions 9 and 10 and surveys are planned for the “Beach Re: Becking, Concession 5”; Wahnekewening Beach in Concession 13; Asselin Park in Concession 17; the Beach Block at the end of Bow Road in Concession 16 and Tee Pee Point Parkette Beach in Concession 16.

LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AT A CROSSROADS: As the Chamber currently has no economic development manager and its tourism manager has resigned, it was decided that the four member Mayors should consult with their Councils about the direction the Chamber should take in the future. Discussion ranged widely. Usually, businesses run and finance the local Chambers of Commerce. The North Simcoe Chamber is exceptional in having four political representatives on its board and in being financed largely by municipalities. There was some feeling that the local Chamber should be more conventional in its membership and financing. That groups like Community Futures, the County of Simcoe, the Georgian Bay Tourism Association have taken on some of the traditional roles of a Chamber suggests that the local Chamber is not doing its job well. Council felt that the Chamber should rethink its role and staffing and that the Township’s annual contribution of $20,000 is inappropriate given the modest number of participating businesses in Tiny.

TANGIBLE CAPITAL ASSETS: Treasurer Doug Taylor reported that his department is making good progress in gathering data about the Township’s capital assets and should have the necessary information entered by the deadline of January 1, 2009. Amassing this data has necessitated the hiring of extra staff, but will facilitate better management of assets.

SECURITY RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE IMPLEMENTED: Earlier this year Council approved the hiring of a consultant to perform an audit of Township data, digital protocols, servers, internet, computers, notebooks and software program and to make recommendations about ensuring the security of data. Council approved the consultant’s recommendations.