Currently Browsing: Debbie in the Community

Federal Election–last minute insight

Federal Election on Monday May 2nd.  Remember to Vote!

If you are still undecided here are two sources of more information which have just came to my attention.

A debate has been organized to focus on agricultural issues.  Its on Saturday, 4/30 1-3 PM  in Ansnorveldt.  Read here for full details.

Environmental Defence has released responses to a survey they conducted by posing questions to all 5 parties.  You can read it by putting this link  into your browser.  (i.e. cut & paste.)








What is happening to our committees and boards?

Many readers of these posts are aware of the transition we are going through with our Boards and Committees.  But as not everyone is up to date I would like to review the transition and where we are at.

Our committees and boards can be divided broadly into two groups:  the ones operating per statutory requirements and the ones which operate wholly at the discretion of the Council. (To clarify by way of example:  a municipality can choose or not choose to have a KEAC; but, if the municipality has a library they must have a Library Board.)  All the committees and boards have terms of reference; the Township provides administrative support.

The statutory ones include Accessibility Advisory Committee, Library Board, Committee of Adjustment & Property Standards, Holland Marsh Drainage System Joint Municipal Board and Joint Compliance Audit Board.

The non statutory ones include KEAC (King Township Environmental Advisory Committee), EDAC (Economic Development   Committee), Museum Board, Heritage Committee.  In addition there are the boards for managing the halls throughout the Township.  For membership on the committees/boards the tradition has been that after an election the Township advertises for volunteers; members are selected with appointment confirmed in a bylaw.

Following the October 2010 election the Council approved a Staff recommendation to execute a thorough comprehensive renewal of the total process from selection process to terms of reference.  Reasons for renewal are numerous but they can be summed up simply:  the current process is very broken.   Here are some examples of the broken process with relevance to any one Committee varying: terms of Reference are outdated; appointed volunteers do not attend regularly; meetings are held without a quorum; Council Members do not attend regularly.  Amongst the Hall Boards application of various policies is not consistent.


Community Showcase and Volunteer Recognition

All Volunteers Invited
to Community Showcase and Volunteer Recognition Evening
Thursday, May 5  at Trisan Centre
beginning 6PM (Showcase) and 7PM (Volunteer Recognition)
Read the invitation here

Intimidation is not the rule at our Council Meetings!

Intimidation is not the rule at our Council Meetings!

Sitting up at the Council table does take some time to become “comfortable.”  And then there are rules and protocols.  I still can’t say smoothly:  “Through you Madame Chair to Mr. xxxx.”   The rules are required; without them there would be mayhem, and at worst the intended democratic processes would not be allowed to unfold.  On the other hand, such rules can be used to suppress those same democratic processes by intimidating those who have less understanding of them or by eliminating opportunities to participate because precise steps have not been followed.

I am very pleased with how this Council is not being overly bureaucratic and rigid.  In fact, on more than one occasion I have observed the Mayor, in his capacity as Chair, allowing a member of public to spontaneously ask a question or to make a comment without having registered as a deputant.

At the April 18th Council a new standard for engaging Public, Staff and Council in an issue was achieved.  (more…)

Pipeline Learnings

Pipeline Learnings

At April 18th Council Enbridge presented an update and overview of the project to construct a pipeline to serve the York Energy Centre.

I made a real effort to listen calmly, to hear what was being said.  It was an effort as I never expected to be in this situation as I had been so sure that such as a presentation would never occur as surely the YEC would be stopped.  And when that bubble burst I was sure that the OEB would allow a hearing to review the routing decision as surely the right route had not been selected.  But, that bubble was also burst.

So indeed such a meeting is appropriate; and I appreciate that Mayor Pellegrini requested it.

So what did I learn? (more…)

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