Currently Browsing: Debbie in the Community

Virtual Council Meeting Reminders

Monday June 22nd there is a Audit Committee Meeting at 5PM.  At 6pm same time there is a Council and Committee of Whole (COW) Meeting.  All of these are live streamed and can be watched at http://meeting.king.ca.   You can submit comments to Council by emailing [email protected] by noon on June 22 so that they can be circulated to Council prior to the meeting.  (I have made posts on several of the agenda items in the COW.  Read on!  There is also a vitual closed COW meeting same day after the first COW; scroll down here to see its agenda.

Monday June 29 there is a Public Planning Meeting at 6 pm.  The meeting will be a virtual one.  It will be live streamed so that public can observe.  (more…)

Budget 2021: Recover and Be More Resilient

June 22nd Council agenda includes a report about process for creating the 2021 budget and provides perspective on the pressures ahead in terms of managing the finances of the Township.  Appropriately the report indicates that we may need to re-consider plans given the economic impact of COVID-19.  But I am somewhat shocked and am dismayed that one specific budget item should be singled as possibly needing to be re-evaluated:  climate change initiatives. I know that our world, our local economy, our personal “wealth” positions are very different today versus 2019; but one thing has not changed:  the climate emergency. Yes, for the moment greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are down but it is only for the moment.  The “tools” to make it sustainable are no more in place than they were when we declared the emergency with a majority vote. (See here, page 5 of 7 for minutes of July 8,2019 Council meeting)  We need to have as our goal to build a more resilient post COVID-19 King Township.  It is folly to think that we can first “recover from the virus” and then have time to do climate change.

 

Tax Rates for 2020

On June 22nd Council there is a report recommending tax rates.  We approved our 2020 operating budget in January; this now defines how the required tax levies will  be collected; how much a residential, commercial, industrial property pays.  And ultimately it defines what your and my tax rate is which is then factored against your current value assessment. The residential tax rate for 2020 is .00793011 which is 3.98% lower than  2019. This appendix to the report  includes a  tax rate schedule for all classifications and provides a ward by ward review of tax burden.    In Ward 5 1,563 properties have increase; 26% of those have increases <$100.  In Ward 5 210 have decreases.

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Delegating Authority

On Jne 22 agenda there is a Staff report recommending delegation of authority to Director of Growth Management Services (GMS) for two processes.  (GMS is a new department composed of Planning, Building and Bylaw; the Director of GMS is Stephen Naylor who was Director of Planning.)  1st process to be delegated is site plan approval, including allocations.  Second process is for allowing encroachments onto public land (e.g. sidewalks) for new or expanded patios. As reviewed in the report the incentive to do this is to reduce review time of applications. Beneficiaries of this is the developer whose projects will be completed more quickly; Township will benefit with new businesses or residents being in place and contributing to economy and/or tax base more quickly; less Staff time is required by eliminating need for one set of Council reports.  I totally understand the rationale.  I am uncomfortable with the delegation RE: encumbrances.  We are just staring to really pay attention to active transportation.  To now start inhibiting/restricting this  by having patio tables on sidewalks is a very big deal.  Given the importance of the economy being re-opened, safey, I can likely accept this delegation for a defined/fixed  period of time but I first have some questions.  I also have some questions about delegating site plan approvals.

Extending an ICBL on Severances

On June 22nd Council agenda there is a Staff report recommending the extension of a current interim control bylaw (ICBL), which restricts severances in our 3 villages for one year as our new Official Plan (One King) is still not in force.  As One King has more robust policies on the issue of severances in the villages, extension of the ICBL would likely not be proposed if it were in force.  I have posted several times on this issue as I believe it is very important in terms of the impact on village character.  As reviewed in the report, the timing for implementing an extension has been delayed due to the Emergency Orders of the Province in response to COVID which suspended Planning Act deadlines;  as of June 22 this suspension is over and hence the appropriateness of the recommendation to extend.