Council Reports: January 12, 2009

January 12, 2009
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9.05 a.m. – 12:48 and 1:19 p.m. – 4:02 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:03 p.m. – 7:16 p.m.
All members of Council present

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 10:15 a.m. – 12:48 p.m.
This session included a discussion with the Township solicitor, Ian Rowe, of Burgar Rowe. It also included a session with Tom Moutsatsos of Hicks Morley.

NEGOTIATIONS WITH PARKS & REC: David Clark, of David A. Clark Consulting Inc., who has been facilitating the relationship between the Township and the Parks and Recreation groups (CBO, Lafontaine, Perkinsfield, Toanche, Wyebridge, Wyevale) reported on progress to date. Clark was already over his budget of $16,000 by $4,000. In response to Councillor Nigel Warren’s query as to who had authorized this overrun, CAO Doug Luker observed that he was allowed to make decisions up to $5,000.

Instead of giving Council a written report, Clark presented overheads, showing various points of contention and the stance of the Township and and Parks and Rec on each. There appeared to be important areas of disagreement, particularly regarding the control of finances and of bookings for the various recreation facilities.

Councillor Warren was concerned that Council had not been given a chance to absorb the Report, and, supported by Deputy Mayor George Lawrence and Councillor André Claire, insisted that no decisions be made until there had been time for consideration. In the end, Council decided to discuss the report again, later.

TWO MORE ITEMS FOR BUDGET DISCUSSIONS: Two groups approached Council for grants of taxpayers’ money. The first was the Huronia Hospitals Foundation which asked for $25,000 a year for the next two or three years. Council was told that Midland had allocated $208,750, Penetang $50,000, Tay $119,000. There was no breakdown of monies raised in each community, no comparison of populations served, so it was hard to tell whether or not Tiny Township is already contributing its share of support for local hospitals through individual donations and various fundraising initiatives, including the Tiny Cottager Challenge (which this year directed $22,000 to the Huronia Hospitals Foundation).

The second was Community Link North Simcoe, which runs a Volunteer Transportation Program to ferry people to medical appointments and the like. It wants Council to allocate $3,500 to this service. (Midland gives $4,500, Penetang $3,500, and Tay $3,500.)

For anyone who would like to support this program in a practical way, we note that more volunteer drivers are needed in Tiny, and that such drivers would be donating not only time and the use of their vehicle, but a certain amount of gasoline, as mileage repayment begins only from the point where the person is picked up until he/she is dropped back home (not for the round trip from the driver’s home and back).

These requests should cause Council to discuss whether it is appropriate to use taxpayers’ money for such requests, and if it is, just where the line should be drawn. The last Council decided that taxpayers expect their taxes to be used to support municipal services and that charities and others should have their needs fulfilled through individual taxpayers deciding to support them.