LIVE BLOG – City Council Decides on 2016 Budget

A number of tough choices lie ahead for Guelph’s city council tonight. Many on council want to keep any potential tax increase inline with the rate of inflation, others are concerned about making too many significant cuts in city services. Meanwhile, there are a lot of people in the city worried about losing transit services, or paying more for them (not to mention paying more for just about anything else). So many tough decisions, what will the 13 members of city council do?

Starting at 5 pm, I will be live blogging and tweeting from the city council meeting. You can follow my Twitter feed @adamadonaldson, or you simply follow along her through Storify. It might be a late one, and it might take more than one night, so stay tuned for all the developments/ announcements/ fireworks etc.

#GuelphBudget 2016

Deliberations from Guelph City Council Meeting.

  1. For the record, yes, I will be live tweeting #GuelphBudget tonight from City Hall.
  2. I’m going to be giving Storify a try for the city council meeting tonight.
  3. Mayor opens with thanks to staff, community for their input. #GuelphBudget
  4. Guthrie wants to avoid questions, but realizes there will be some. #GuelphBudget
  5. June Hofland wants to refer an infrastructure report to the next meeting. There’s a #GuelphBudget to pass tonight.
  6. Report unanimously sent to next Corporate Services Meeting.
  7. Capital expenditures up first, then expansions, then reductions. #GuelphBudget
  8. First 2 items: approval of tax supported capital budget, and tax-supported capital forecast.
  9. Cllr Wettstein moves to switch the operating budget discussion: reductions b4 expansions. Passes 13-0
  10. Hofland moves the Capital recommendations. All 2nd. Piper has some discussion points.
  11. Piper looking for an EA, and moving item to trails and not roads budget.
  12. Moving from one envelope to another, basically. No changes to budget itself.
  13. Emma-Earl Rd Bridge part of the Speedvale Rd expansion deal, perhaps cannot be moved.
  14. Piper says that was for the EA, and not for the actual project.
  15. Trails master plan coming in 2016 incl. decision about pedestrian trails and the fate of Emma-Earl.
  16. Gibson wants to send message the council will build E-E bridge, moving it to trails doesn’t do that.
  17. Billings want an update on Wellington Rd. project before approving new funds.
  18. Downer says its part of a secondary plan. Wants staff to report back on the item, but important to leave that in.
  19. Salisbury has strong concerns about moving something passed by a previous administration as justification.
  20. Bell wonders what the effect of moving the $150K to 2017 pending the status of the OMB appeal.
  21. Staff does not want to get into this considering there are a number of appeals pending at the OMB.
  22. Council makes motion to move in camera, and passes. Back to business in a few.
  23. @adamadonaldson Looks like it is going to be a long night! Thx @cityofguelph council and staff 4 the hard work you do 2 keep our city gr8!
  24. Council is heading into an in-camera #GuelphBudget session. Don’t go to far we will be back on  http://periscope.tv/cityofguelph  shortly.
  25. Council received information, but no direction was given on Billings motion. Motion withdrawn.
  26. Downer wants to be ready for what the library’s role might be in the Baker St. project. Apparently, there is movement.
  27. Motion: Up to $200K be made available from library reserve fund to get updated info on what needs to be done to make project ready.
  28. It’s in the budget already $780K in reserve, council just needs permission to access.
  29. Wettstein says its a good idea to stay shovel ready.
  30. Wettstein says library has sometimes got ahead of council. Need to know where/how library can fit as Baker plans change.
  31. Staff: there is a need for funding to update the current studies.
  32. Staff in response to Bell’s question: these motions are best done at budget time, tho technically they can be done anytime.
  33. Curent plans and studies are 4 years old, says Downer, and there is “aggressive movement” on Baker project.
  34. Guthrie says its a “really smart” motion. But is there any “synergies” with assessment of current library building.
  35. Guthrie want to make sure there could be a timing issue, winding down study of current building/winding up study of new building.
  36. 11-2 in favour to make $200K available. Bell, Billings vote against.
  37. Gibson: Q about Imico site how much will sewar development in area get us? Any closer to redevelopment of site?
  38. Staff: road component of the site covered, but capital budget for sanitary sewer already approved
  39. Gordon would like matching funds of $100K raised by @FriendsGPL put into capital reserve.
  40. This is a matter for the operating budget, says staff.
  41. First slide reductions in good and services (books, stationary, etc). $1800 in savings.
  42. Wettstein, who wanted to talk about reductions first, is not here right now.
  43. MacKinnon wants to reject the cut to the mayor’s promotions budget. Maybe econ development opps outside city, says Guthrie.
  44. Council votes 13-0 to save cuts to mayor’s promotions budget.
  45. Salisbury asks about CAO contingency fund. Makes motion with Allt to keep $9K in budget.
  46. Salisbury inquiring about catering. $3K in the budget.
  47. Some of the catering budget goes to prisoners in holding. Interesting.
  48. $12K catering at River Run = $300K back in investment, staff
  49. Piper wants to move putting $2500 in the CAO catering budget.
  50. Council votes 8-5 to put $2500 back into CAO budget for catering.
  51. Holland wants to keep money in leaf pick-up for the benefit of seniors. Hard to take away service once offered.
  52. Salisbury wants the issue of leaf pick-up explored once the budget process is over. There are savings, this is the wrong way to do it.
  53. Wettstein says south end wants bag pickup, older parts of the city want leaf pickup. We’re talking about service review.
  54. Staff: can review leaf pickup in time for fall 2016.
  55. It's budget night in the Royal City. Seats still available, come on down. #realityTV https://t.co/K1iJkw5mQh

    It’s budget night in the Royal City. Seats still available, come on down. #realityTV pic.twitter.com/K1iJkw5mQh
  56. Staff: there is no wasted time where drivers are going around looking for leaves. they know where the leaves are.
  57. Gibson says we’re offering the service for city-owned property, ppl putting leaves on road an abuse of service.
  58. Gibson: there are some people that will go without, but the service has grown beyond original intent.
  59. Downer challenges whether or not this was any initial imitations to leaf collection.
  60. Downer wants to go out to the public and get feedback.
  61. Gordon: we can’t take away a service w/o offering something to replacement. Confusion/liability will ensue.
  62. Allt says this needs examination after the fact. We promote a tree canopy, then we should support that capacity.
  63. There could be a negative variance. On a dollars and cents basis it doesn’t look good, Salisbury says.
  64. Operational issue still exists, why are we considering this as a budget solution? -Salisbury.
  65. MacKinnon: this is an issue of home ownership and responsibility. Won’t support the motion to put money back in.
  66. Council keep referring to community feedback received through emails, calls & in-person. Thanks #Guelph your input on the #GuelphBudget!
  67. 8-5 in favour of adding $185.2K back into the budget.
  68. Billings, Gibson, Guthrie, MacKinnon and Van Hellemond vote against.
  69. Piper wants to add $250K back into the budget for vehicle repair. Chances of variance is high, a lot of milage on city vehicles.
  70. This is to do with vehicle repair for Transit bus fleet. Engine repair and transmissions done outside the shop.
  71. “Service rationalization” is the watch word – Wettstein.
  72. Gibson says we have to trust that they can manage.
  73. 3-10. Vote to add $250K to vehicle repair fails.
  74. Now debating Promotion & Education line item for $50K from Environmental Services.
  75. Staff: reduction will not impact front end collection.
  76. Voting on $25K to go back into budget. Fails 5-8.
  77. Salisbury sees keeping Intigrated Operational Review as vital in fighting Guelph Factor.
  78. Fails 3-10. Only Downer, Gordon and Salisbury vote to keep $70K
  79. Piper wants to keep $7500 for construction communications.
  80. Wettstein says staff told him they were going to stop communicating other things, not cut construction comms.
  81. Staff: recognizes that construction comm is more important than other things. Won’t hire someone to cover construction.
  82. Salisbury: why aren’t we debating the cutting go “lower priority” comm item.
    Staff: there is no “low priority” comms.
  83. Staff: there will be a change to the comm plan, just management of work plan.
  84. Gibson: felt rewarded engaging with constituents about construction.
  85. Allt wants clarity on the types of communications.
    Staff: notices to biz, radio, print, digital & social media.
  86. Staff: the person hired to do this also interacts in real time with engineering for updates.
  87. Piper and Bell move to keep catering for committee of adjustment. That’s $1500.
  88. 12-1 vote to keep catering. McKinnon votes against.
  89. Apparently Rogers doesn’t air council for another 2 hours and 20 minutes. Advantage me! (and @cityofguelph‘s Periscope feed)
  90. Allt says cutting the courier budget will bring council “kicking and screaming into the 90s”
  91. $18K on the block for “recognition” an annual thanks to staff during the holidays called the festive formal.
  92. Cutting the $18K would mean that staff would have to pay $80/each to go.
  93. McKinnon says staff is saying cut the staff party, so why not?
  94. Allt wonders if its a smart idea to cut $4K from IT equipment fix.
  95. Staff: that budget covers equipment not under warranty, will have negligible impact.
  96. Hofland requests to go in camera b/c there’s an identifiable individual.
  97. Gordon says state of the Farmers Market fragile right now, will have huge impact on vulnerable vendors.
  98. The will of council to decide to spread out the phase in. IOW: council will consider the reductions $3K/1 year at a time.
  99. Piper says she would like to see council refer future increases, as well as looking at extending FM by one hour.
  100. 5% increase would be more inline with other increase to renting city facilities, says staff. 15% was going to be catch up year.
  101. Gibson: FM is running $21K deficit a year. Will be reducing that to $14K.
  102. Manage the market run better, @cityofguelph – the City should be spending money on the market – it’s operation is for the 4000+ public
  103. Staff: hard to quantify what the economic generation of the FM is.
  104. For transit. $1 increase in cash fare for transit now on table.
  105. $263,300 will be made up if Guelph Transit goes to $3.50.
  106. Gibson: haven’t seen rate increase in years, so we need some increase to catch-up to inflation.
  107. Allt thinks there should be no increase. $3 is where it should be
  108. Ridership is elastic, but poverty is not. – Allt
  109. Seems to be alot of confusion about numbers right now.
  110. Other fares we’re not adjusting (passes, tix) the cash fare is the sole focus.
  111. Gibson says city wants to encourage ppl to buy tix/passes. $2.80 per ticket better than $3.50 cash.
  112. @JasonDodgeWard3 He says it’s come from conversations he’s been having with poverty groups. may have evolved.
  113. We’re really talking about $50K for $.50 increase. May be looking at even a $.25 increase or lower.
  114. Hofland says there will be punitive impacts, and this will affect our most vulnerable pop.
  115. Gordon disturbed that goal of cash fare increase is to de-emphasize cash fares. Not a possibility for some ppl.
  116. $.50 vote increase fails. Allt, Downer, Gordon, Holland, Pipe, Salisbury, Wettstein vote against.
  117. Piper proposes a freeze on increase to all passes, tix for transit.
  118. MacKinnon moving that council approve increase of cash far to $4 over 4 years.
  119. Motion to amend transit matrix from .5% to .4%, a cost of $79.8K
  120. Guthrie asks for patience as he and others try and wrap their hands around the numbers.
  121. Piper will second MacKinnon motion so that affordable bus pass come in under $40 (RE: stay affordable.
  122. Salisbury believes council needs to work with community groups Re: affordable bus pass pricing. Shouldn’t be doing policy “on the fly”
  123. Gibson acknowledges MacKinnon’s work on the issue. Wants continued consultation with staff if motion fails.
  124. Allt – this needs more time and consideration than staff doing the numbers “on the fly”
  125. Piper asks if matrix can be referred and just approve the $32 affordable pass.
  126. Hofland was going to ask staff to look at low income measure vs low income cost. Measure will make pass available to more ppl.
  127. Hofland not sure where the cost would be covered. If they go with LIM would it come from public services budget or transit?
  128. Feeling lots of love from #Guelph council about my efforts on the affordable bus pass. 😊 Thanks! @Ward1Guelph @JuneHofland
  129. Affordable bus pass is presently another transit pass, no cap on it.
  130. MacKinnon clarifies: reduce adult to $32, but youth and seniors currently set $34.
  131. MacKinnon: new rate for youth and seniors affordable pass – $27.20.
  132. Piper wants to avoid tying it to the matrix calculation. Guthrie says the method of the arriving at the number irrelevant.
  133. Motion for affordable buss pass: $32 for adults, $27.20 youth, seniors.
  134. Total reduction in revenue is $187,171, taking the original $318.7K down to $131,529
  135. Holland wonders if we’re targeting the same ppl: increase in cash fare/decrease in affordable pass?
  136. MacKinnon points out that there are ppl that can afford $3.25, no one getting affordable pass can afford full price.
  137. Vote on affordable pass cuts 9-4 in favour. Bell, Billings, Guthrie, Salisbury vote against.
  138. Guthrie says he voted against because he wants to have full discussion.
  139. Now the topic about the cuts to Transit service. Salisbury moves to restore Sunday service.
  140. Allt – Sunday is as important a day as any other in the week. ppl who work know its essential.
  141. Gibson understands why staff brought that forward, they are apolitical.
  142. Gibson: it’s difficult to ask public to go without once service has been offered. 2nd time that’s been said tonight.
  143. Gibson believes there’s lower hanging fruit in transit.
  144. Salisbury says we should compare ourselves to other cities that charge $3.25, like Toronto.
  145. MacKinnon will bring a motion to extend the hours if motion to keep 1/2 hr Sunday service fails.
  146. Motion to keep Sunday service passes 12-1. MacKinnon lone vote against.
  147. FYI, #Guelph has just set the lowest affordable bus pass rate (in relation to the adult monthly pass) in Ontario. Possibly even Canada.
  148. Now summer service on tap. Should it stay or should it go?
  149. Piper moves to cut service in July/Aug only. Roads will be more navigable w/o buses. No seconder.
  150. Allt seconds Hofland motion. Gibson says summer service is the low hanging fruit. Minimal impact for huge savings.
  151. Allt wants all implications examined, keep service as is for 2016.
  152. Allt asking about impact on fleet as it stands now.
  153. Zero impact on permanent full time staff in reducing summer service.
  154. I disagree extra board are working over 40 hrs plus now
    And there are not full
  155. Gordon wonders if we can generate more revenue by promoting more ppl to get on the bus in the summer when its more inviting.
  156. McKinnon wants to save for 2016 and re-invest in transit for 2017 with new routes, et al.
  157. Salisbury asks about strain on drivers to make 20 minute schedule in 30 minutes.
  158. All of the schedules will need to be revamped for 30 min. A “re-engineering” of routes and schedules.
  159. Salisbury: does the line item account for re-engineering?
  160. Will the routes be changed in anyway? – Salisbury.
  161. Hofland says transit seems mot important to many around the horseshoe. Increases over service cuts.
  162. Downer wants to see what happens with 1/2 hour service in the summer. Will take more discussion.
  163. @Aratroas @steven_petric Yes, but the service runs on 40 min schedule during rush hour. more traffic, slower service, 1 less bus per hr.
  164. MacKinnon wants to shave peak time starting in the fall. 7-9:20am, 2:20-5pm. $100,550 saved.
  165. Earliest this could be implemented is Fall 2016.
  166. Salisbury says this is may be a brilliant idea, but there may be greater impact. Wants to recommend to staff.
  167. @jrb883 @steven_petric I don’t necessarily disagree, but there are ppl on transit w/ legit physical needs who will get screwed in rush DT
  168. @jrb883 @adamadonaldson Depending.Some stops removed under previous GM making some stops very far apart/above transit standard in other city
  169. Motion to approve adjust peak service, 3-10. Gibson, MacKinnon and Van Hellemond voted for.
  170. Allt, Salisbury moves to keep stat holiday service.
  171. Motion to keep stat service: 5-8. Stat holiday service done.
  172. Transit update: $3.25 cash fare, cheaper affordable passes, Sunday service remains, summer service cut 1/2 hr, stat service 1hr.
  173. Debating a $10k or $20K decrease, but didn’t catch for what.
  174. @klawrenc @CathyDowner @adamadonaldson I watched last year as 2A/3B PACKED at 2pm w/ ppl going to Riverside Park. Now expect more cars.
  175. Guthrie doesn’t want to go into negative variance on training. Important for council and it doesn’t carry over anyway.
  176. Vote 7-6 to reduce line item for training from $20K to $10K.
  177. @jrb883 @adamadonaldson No They have free advertising for transit on the big screen/etc. Storm get free promo on bus.i.e. Go Storm Go sign
  178. Debating now whether to separate the vote for Open Gov Action Plan and the hiring of FTE for same.
  179. Salisbury arguing why are we voting for the office and staff member separately.
  180. Apparently Open Gov is contrast position not FTE.
  181. Open Gov action plan endorsed by council in Sept ’14
  182. @steven_petric @ward5guelph @adamadonaldson Specifically for Canada Day we will be considering a transit funding of $11,100 for service soon
  183. Gibson is not looking to expand FTE compliment at the moment.
  184. Is there gapping to fund the position for 1 year? No.
  185. Removal of $1,700 2-11 Bell and Billings. Open Gov stays in
  186. Gibson calls for separate vote for 3 positions under Health & Safety.
  187. Gibson says he doesn’t see why we’re adding positions when a service review is coming.
  188. Staff: a number of new amenities that require specialized training.
  189. @steven_petric @ward5guelph @adamadonaldson I believe you’re right. I’ll be bringing up sponsorship later tonight about this issue.
  190. Vote on removal of Mechanic in training. Fails 6-7
  191. Gibson says he’s looking out for staff, if we’re doing a strategic review.
  192. We’re going in camera again. We’ll be right back.
  193. Question of magnitude says Salisbury.
    Staff: $450K this year.
  194. Vote on removal of sports field operator position. Fails 2-11 (Bell, MacKinnon)
  195. Next up, removal of Supervisor of Trails. Fails 6-7.
  196. Next, 3 Roads, Right of Way Supervisors. $489,500 split 3 ways
  197. Is it functional to break this down, asks Salisbury, given 24 hr work schedule.
  198. Staff: No, winter control is 27/7 operation. weekends too.
  199. Wettstein: It’s a growth issue, we’ve let this slide for a number of years.
  200. Bell moves to approve 2 new positions. Fails 6-7
  201. Next, licensed electrician for signs and signals $180,400
  202. Bell moves to remove 1 of 2 electrician positions.
  203. 2 new Trail technicians. Bell moves to remove both.
  204. Gibson says its not a pressing issue, but they may be rationalizing in a year.
  205. City regularly maintains only 60% of trails. No new staff been added to Parks in 8 yrs. We’re behind.
  206. Bell can’t recall last time he had complaint about trails, geese excluded.
  207. Gordon: staff made a compelling argument for new staff. Seems like we’re playing catch up with a lot of these items.
  208. Salisbury will be bring motion to remove 1 should motion for none fail.
  209. Manager and Analyst for corporate asset management now on the block.
  210. Staff: comprehensive asset management is an evolving practice. it would be new work to put on staff.
  211. Staff: comprehensive asset management is an evolving practice. it would be new work to put on staff.
  212. Level of expertise needed is different than what’s in house.
  213. McKinnon says this is a team asset, and impacts gas tax funding. Need Asset management to take advantage.
  214. Service rationalization, which is a non FTE position, being debated. No one things this one is unnecessary.
  215. Service rationalization key going forward – MacKinnon.
  216. Gibson: it’s a matter of integrity and open governance.
  217. Downer says staff rationalizes budget all the time.
  218. Wettstein has zero concern about Stewart being effective fight now.
  219. Risk of not doing the rationalization, but there’s also a risk of doing it – Hofland.
  220. Salisbury says that work has been done elsewhere, why not data harvest?
  221. Basically, have municipalities found the answer to savings or no savings in the same places? -Salisbury.
  222. MacKinnon: we make calculated risk decisions all the time for the city.
  223. $450K against operation of whole city: no-brainer MacKinnon. #basically.
  224. Van Hellemond says that this was heavily supported by staff, so why not?
  225. Guthrie says he’s jumped back and forth re: Service Rationalization.
  226. Guthrie: heard this loud and clear for several years; good for city.
  227. Basically council agrees not to remove the $450K for service rationalization by a vote of 6-7. #clarity.
  228. Majority of costs for $35K is rental of Sleeman. Some of it is in-kind support.
  229. Vote to include $35K for Special Olympics passes 13-0
  230. Economic impact of Special Olympics expected to be $100M
  231. Motion to incl. $434.5K for sidewalk maintenance, which will catch Guelph up in terms of compliance.
  232. Allt asks about Ontario compliance 239.02. a requirement that we must maintain sidewalks to deal with discontinuities of 2cm or greater.
  233. The $434K will fix #guelph sidewalks for the next few years.
  234. Staff: this is not all in house, it’s staffing and contracting services and goods.
  235. Gibson: this is something that council needs to get done.
  236. Gibson: Can’t support it this year, but it should come back next year.
  237. Wettstein: Limited in terms of what we can go unless we want to raise taxes up to 4%. Not something he wants to do btw.
  238. Allt: vital for citizens with mobility issues to have good sidewalks. Van Hellemond also offers support.
  239. Downer: this is a big insurance issue, which of course the Mayor knows 😉
  240. 2,072 locations identified that exceeded recommendations and needs repair. How many more by next year, asks Gordon.
  241. Process of prioritization, says staff, it feel of list, but there is money to do *some* work. we keep falling behind.
  242. Thaw and freeze cycle not as severe this year (so far) – staff.
  243. We have a decision to keep to a number in tax increase or dealing with public safety and community issues. – Gordon.
  244. Gibson: there is funds in the capital budget to deal with curbs and make accessible. We are addressing some elements.
  245. Billings: sidewalks was the #2 complaint she heard on campaign trail
  246. Billings says she was saving for sidewalks in some of her votes tonight.
  247. $434K for sidewalks. 10-3. Sidewalks in the budget.
  248. Staff this is the last of the 4 that was originally requested for in 2014 re: paramedics.
  249. Paramedicine vs paramedic: what’s more important?
  250. Salisbury wasn’t sure how the two are related.
  251. paramedic is a first responder, paramedicine is program based.
  252. Gas Tax realignment. Can we do more than $500K?
  253. MacKinnon: only $265,900 available for transit capital this year.
  254. Motion to include Park Planner in budget. Half of $56,050 salary coming from capital.
  255. Downer looking at Inspection Arborist. Tree protection important to Guelphites.
  256. Downer looking at Inspection Arborist. Tree protection important to Guelphites.
  257. Sorry that was Arborist that passed. Inspector Arborist failed despite charming job title.
  258. Downer moves for $11.1K for Canada Day operator for Guelph Transit.
  259. It’s been a negative variance the last couple of years, why not budget for it – Salisbury.
  260. Salisbury wants to seek corporate sponsorship for this position.
  261. New Year’s Eve has sponsorship, so Canada Day sponsors are possible.
  262. Wettstein jokes that he has a conflict as a Rotarian. Seriously tho, they already pay for the whole shebang RE: Canada Day
  263. Allt says he can’t support mixed messages. RE: stat holiday service.
  264. Piper moves $180,900 for paramedice. We will pay in other ways she says.
  265. Actual # is $120K not $180+. Provincial grant came in.
  266. Piper notes that council didn’t approve new paramedic.
  267. Vote on adding $120K for paramedicine programs passes 8-5
  268. Despite current events, we may still need more $ for winter control. – Piper.
  269. $350K is what it costs to provide winder control, has experienced budget shortfall last 2 years.
  270. Staff: every municipality has same issues with winter control.
  271. We seem to be in 30 year cycle right now, and variability very high with #climatechange
  272. Gibson: the new normal is the average of extremes.
  273. More winter control money fails 5-8. Council trying to stop the (tax) snowball.
  274. Zoning Inspector approval be looked at seriously for completion of service review commitment. – Wettstein.
  275. Guthrie: things are getting better in terms of complaints. compliance is starting to come up.
  276. Guthrie wants to see one more year of data before a final, final vote.
  277. Data would give us a better idea of the “underground infrastructure” we have. Make better decisions.
  278. MacKinnon: we need ward boundary review. Increased pop in areas, work of councillors has changed.
  279. MacKinnon moves, Gordon seconds. RE: GIS program
  280. Council composition. fails 5-8 despite MacKinnon’s impassioned motion.
  281. Gordon looking for support for $500K for stabilization reserve. Hofland seconds.
  282. Goose lovers/haters, this next one’s for you .
  283. Bell: ppl are being attacked. no one plays in the park and its the geese’s fault!
  284. Enough is enough! Bell has had it with these m*****f***ing geese in our m*****f***ing parks!
  285. @SarahSheppdawg @adamadonaldson I.e. Route 8 Stone Road Mall becomes Route 12 General Hospital both 30mins now one long route with 1 bus 1hr
  286. Salisbury: it’s a human problem, not a goose problem. Put up a sign.
  287. Allt: “I’m going to take a gander at this one.” Entire city hall groans
  288. Guthrie trying to get head around why we need a specialist, and we’re already working with U of G
  289. Staff will be coming back with graffiti strategy next year.
  290. #guelph council voting against many $18K-$500K budget items when $16.8 million could have been saved on four road projects @adamadonaldson
  291. Piper moves Facade feasibility and Grant program at $130K. Wettstein says wait with Baker St. now in play.
  292. McKinnon says council face $240K to one land owner. How is this feasible?
  293. McKinnon says council face $240K to one land owner. How is this feasible?
  294. Gibson says the money isn’t being spread out. It’s very targeted and there will be natural development downtown
  295. Salisbury thinks we may wrap by midnight. Wants to talk about St Georges’ Square activity plan before midnight.
  296. Speaks to Baker, and Wyndham. Key piece to revitalize downtown.
  297. $30K for St George’s Activation about programming in the square.
  298. Gordon asks for clarity for where the $30K will go.
  299. Staff: trying out very options and engaging community on what’s possible in the square.
  300. How can we use tourism and culture to help take ownership of the square.
  301. @SarahSheppdawg @adamadonaldson Boxing Day also a major day but service starts at 9:15. Many stores open earlier so kinda moot.
  302. Similar to what’s been done with Market Square.
  303. Guthrie says we have 2 more pages and 2 more debatable options. Plus affordable housing reserve.
  304. Front end collection service and $790,500 for 2 FTEs now up
  305. Council has voted to keep the #GuelphBudget meeting going. Thanks for joining us on  http://periscope.tv/cityofguelph , Rogers & in-person @ City Hall.
  306. Topic at hand are the condo owners paying for private collection and being unable to access city services.
  307. Bell: to continually not provide the service we’re running in opposite directions after making buildings 3-stream compliant.
  308. Bell: to continually not provide the service we’re running in opposite directions after making buildings 3-stream compliant.
  309. $200K for contractor would have to provide 3-stream. It will be outlined in the ask.
  310. Staff recommends 18 months. it will take a while to gather the data.
  311. Deputy CAO says you’re either in, or your out RE: contracting condo garbage pick up
  312. Writing the RFP – Request for Proposal – will give the city the cost needed. – Deputy CAO Stewart.
  313. Allt says he’s more inclined to the city buying the equipment. Economy of scale,
  314. Problem: present contracts condo have with private pickup won’t all expire at the same time.
  315. A fair amount of data that needs to be gathered.
  316. Do all mulit-residential units want to participate?
  317. Stewart said a lot of time in Hamilton was spent trying to figure out ‘could’ and not just ‘should’ city pick up condo garbage
  318. Bell: $200K comes from convos with staff and it would be the right amount to start.
  319. Dean Wyman says that $200K will cover someone to go out and get the information. No one at city right now can pull info together.
  320. Wettstein: do we know who is eligible for the service?
  321. Wyman: No idea. But we will get a very definite number for the RFP. $200K might be enough, but it might not.
  322. The choice: $200K to get something started, or wait and see for council to collect more info…
  323. Is this practical b/c there’s a review coming?
  324. Currently funds in the based budget to hire coop students and summer students. Could take that and hire someone.
  325. Gibson thinks we should not leave council tonight w/o addressing this, worries about immediate action.
  326. We still some work to do, says staff. 20 buildings ready to come “online.” in the next year.
  327. Council needs to have stronger answers to make sure any RFP is a competitive one
  328. Waste Reduction Co-ordinator would be first step, could take 10 months to get equipment. It won’t happen right away.
  329. Gordon recommends going for the Co-ordinator to start.
  330. Bell: sounds like the same conversation we had last year. Appreciate’s Stewart’s expertise, but Guelph has guidance to proceed.
  331. If council approves the $790K we will have the date b4 the trucks come in, but… we would be taking a risk b/c the RFP # may grow.
  332. Guthrie says council is sending signals we’re taking it seriously.
  333. Motion to approve Waster Reduction Co-ordinator. Passes 13-0
  334. We’re on 3rd to last item. $200K for affordable housing reserve.
  335. Still some work to do on differentiating affordable and social housing. – Wettstein
  336. Allt believes that the city should investment should be closer to $1M but will settle for $200K
  337. Gibson: been pushing no since 8:30 wants to push yes on this one.
  338. Gordon: chicken and the egg – not seeing anything b/c no money in reserve/no money unreserve so can’t see anything
  339. Gordon motion to add $100K to match contribution of @FriendsGPL to library capital fund.
  340. Gibson wants to discuss rationale of some of the capital projects.
  341. New parking garage will be revenue generator, infrastructure also needs desperate update – Gibson
  342. Motion to receive Capital forecast: 13-0 in favour.
  343. Salisbury look for one motion to approve all the amendments.
  344. The motion, to approve 2016 budget of i$217,336,736 or 3.42% above 2015.
  345. Piper asks if Guthrie will be supporting budget.
    Guthrie: Nope.
  346. Piper: never been about a hard number, it’s been about a budget for the ppl and not a numerical figure.
  347. Wettstein: struggle comes down to if there’s anything else he has to add.
  348. What’s the next step for the budget if it fails, Wettstein asks.
  349. Wettstein: You haven’t considered?
    Guthrie: It says the community thinks its too high.
  350. Guthrie: It’s not about me it;s about the ppl I represent is that this number is too high.
  351. Bell: Plan B should be to look at the close vote amendments.
  352. It’s stating to seem like this budget is about to go down.
  353. Gibson: municipal tax hits low income and middle class the hardest. This budget is out of touch with Guelph families.
  354. Downer asks that councillors who vote no on budget, don’t ‘slag’ on ones that do.
  355. Gordon asks where’s the integrity of voting to add stuff to the budget and then voting against it.
  356. Gordon: “no one called me asking to keep it below 2.8%”
    Gerry Barker (a few seats away from me): “Of course they didn’t”
  357. Wettstein: voting against the budget is saying this process isn’t successful.
  358. Wettstein: my first motion will be to take out service rationalization (in event of budget failure)
  359. Hofland says it was her intention to work with staff and make budget she can be proud of.
  360. Hofland says she was keen to support the budget. Disappointed in others.
  361. Billings: many things she wanted to support but didn’t b/c she had an eye on the increase.
  362. Alt: imperative that we support something that we built together.
    (Gerry Barker thought that was funny)
  363. Gibson thinks we should start tomorrow night with the 7-6 votes.
  364. Wettstein wants council to re-examine their own votes, not looking at the others’ votes.
  365. Vote is called for the approval of Operating Budget,
  366. Allt, Downer, Hofland, Gordon and Piper voted in favour
  367. Gibson wants to start taking a look at re-votes.
  368. Can’t finish the recommendations w/o approval of Operating budget.
  369. Bell wants list of 7/6 votes for tomorrow’s meet.
  370. Piper moves a recess. Meeting will resume tomorrow at 6pm.
  371. Guthrie says think long and hard about what needs to be done. And vote together on a complete budget.

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