Council approves Bylaw and Policy Review Committee

closed session

by Tristan Turner

In a unanimous decision, Council has approved the new terms of reference for a new Council committee responsible for reviewing Town Bylaws and legislation.

The new Bylaw and Policy Review Committee was created to allow Council to spend time reviewing and making recommendations on bylaws and other pending legislation to be ultimately passed by Council.

Council had only a couple of changes to the terms of reference before passing it unanimously.

Councillor Nicole Boutestein made a motion to have the chair of the committee be the Deputy Mayor instead of the past Deputy Mayor as proposed. Boutestein felt the chair should be consistent with other committees. That motion was defeated 5-2 with Boutestein and Turner voting in favour. Following that, Councillor Brennan Fitzgerald put forth a motion, which passed 6-1, with Councillor Boutestein voting against, which says the committee picks the chair from Council.

Councillor Stephen Dafoe put forth a motion to make the meetings of the committee public. Dafoe’s motion passed 6-0.

The first meeting of the new committee will be sometime in the fall, with meetings starting at 4 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

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  1. What is with all the committees? Is this not a function of admin, to review and make suggestions?

  2. Joe, the purpose of the TWO Committees established thus far is to put a more focused approach on specific work Council undertakes, rather than tying to lump everything into a Committee of the Whole meeting and not allowing specific time.

    Governance, Finance and Audit Committee is where Council will deal with all budget and strategic planning related discussions, and the meetings thus far have been incredibly productive. This committee will refer budget ad start plan matters back to Council for decision.

    The new Policy Committee is the vehicle where we would review things like the Photo Enforcement Policy and/or policies Admin is reviewing in a focused setting with no presentations or other business before us.

    Under the committee meeting structure – completely open to members of the public – Council is able to hold regular meetings to make sure that some of these policies unreviewed during or since you were on Council are actually enacted upon.

    The long and the short of it – it’s being more productive and focused with our time.

    • Thanks for your reply Stephen.

      With the vocal majority thinking our council is over paid, or at least adequately paid for what they do, I’m not sure council should be adding to their full work loads, given that everyone on council has a day job too.

      With the work load of our council being what it is, I think reviewing policies to ensure they are current, should be left to those who make a full time wage to do this type of work.

      Don’t get me wrong! I know there are ALL kinds of things that a council would like to ALSO do, and actually should do, but there are only so many hours in the week and by increasing councils work load too much, there will be no one stepping up to do this PART TIME JOB.

      Ps. on another note, why is it that when you go back to enter something mid sentence above, that the text over writes the previous text instead of just moving the text along. Can this be fixed?

  3. I can answer you as a Councillor or as the guy who can fix the the site. Not both. šŸ™‚

    Presently I’m responding as an elected official.

    There is nothing different in striking this committee than what we are presently required to do. We’re just changing the meeting in which we do it.

    I can almost see where these two committee meeting structures, which meet regularly or as needed depending on the committee, will reduce the number of actual committee of the whole meetings required.

    Council always met for budget and strategic planning stuff. You might have called it budget meetings, admin meetings, or just extra meetings. Now we’re doing it under a committee format wherein THOSE ITEMS are the only things discussed. You know how politics like to squirrel ad sidebar.

    As to the time commitment – people knew or certainly should have known what they were getting involved in when they ran. I’d say the same of anyone looking to make the leap the ext time around. It’s not two meetings per month.

    And on your side note – as an elected official and Mac user – it’s likely because you have a PC and your INS key was on.

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