LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for November 30, 2016

What was supposed to be a meeting to hear public delegations on the #GuelphBudget, has now biggie-sized to include debate and decision about the development at 75 Dublin St N. You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico’s preview of tonight’s meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight’s council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Guelph City Council Meeting – November 30, 2016

Live blog from the meeting starting at 4 pm

  1. Brad Breedon here covering the ongoing debate regarding #75Dublin in council. The demonstrators have filled the seats of city hall.
  2. Councilor Salisbury: “Compelled to vote against this for procedural reasons, if nothing else”. #75Dublin
  3. Mayor Guthrie: “the motion on the floor is to go with the 5-stories”.
  4. Three Councillors have already spoken out against the recommendation for the 5 floor development and have vowed to vote against it #75Dublin
  5. Councillor Downer has also shot down the proposal for 5-stories development. Concerned with precedent setting #75Dublin
  6. Cllr MacKinnon: I can’t vote for this recommendation not because of the recommendation but because it is not written by city staff #75Dublin
  7. Cllr Salisbur motions to move in camera to receive legal advice, second recess in session #75Dublin
  8. Council is back! The discussion surrounding the development at #75Dublin continues
  9. Cllr Gordon: why would we approve a recommendation from an employee working for the developer over city staff? #75Dublin
  10. Cllr Bell: is it going to be 4 stories, or 4 and a half and receive 3 million dollars from our MP?
  11. Cllr Gibson: can we make an amendment that would allow us to vote on 5 stories if we could guarantee the 3mn dollar funding promised?
  12. From city planning: we cannot do conditional city zoning. Because of planning act, you would pass the by-law and there would no recourse.
  13. Mayor Guthrie is calling a vote on proposal #1: Amendment for 75 Dublin Street North to permit a maximum building height of five (5) storeys
  14. Vote on staff’s recommendation, for 4 stories: 10-2, it passes! #75Dublin
  15. @adamadonaldson my mistake, Councillor Piper is absent today so that was a vote of 4-8.
  16. Vote on Rec. 2: there will be no more public consultation on the development of 75 Dublin Street and the zoning of #75Dublin would be D.2-9
  17. Final vote on rec. 3:public notice no longer required for modifications to the proposed revision to the DT Zoning Blaw regarding #75Dublin
  18. In summary regarding #75Dublin: that the proposed building be 4 stories, that zoning be set as a D.2-9 zone, and no more public notice req’d
  19. Final vote on approving all 3 of the recommendations: 9-3. That passes! #75Dublin
  20. Mayor Guthrie makes a motion that a letter be sent to Guelph MP to ask for another chance to find a project for proposed 3mn from the Feds
  21. 12-0 unanimous, that passes! And with that, the debate surrounding #75Dublin is adjourned.
  22. Up next, the 2017 Tax Supported Budget Delegations, after a 10 minute break. #GuelphBudget
  23. Here we go, kicking off #GuelphBudget with public feedback on budget proposals: 51% of respondents said leave it alone.
  24. Up first is Sian Matwey, the first public delegate on behalf of libraries
  25. Ms. Matwey is giving a very passionate speech about respecting veterans and paying taxes as a way to respect their sacrifice.
  26. Ms. Matway is off-script: she’s upset that people are griping about tax increases to support libraries/transit when our vets gave it all
  27. Mr. Smith is up next: involved with Burlington transit for years, he’s concerned with the lack of open data regarding Guelph Transit.
  28. Cllr Hofland: cuts of bus time during summer were an impediment. Mr. Smith would like holiday bus service and 2015 bus summer schedule back
  29. Mr.Wilson is up next: what is the plan regarding service reduction in the summer in 2017? #GuelphBudget
  30. Mr. Wilson’s points on reduced transit: loss of ridership, potential loss of jobs, decrease in service inconveniences citizenry.
  31. Carolyn Lance wants council to provide better waste collection services to condo owners who pay for this service through their taxes.
  32. Ms. Lance: 200$ per condo owner annually is spent on alternative garbage collection that ends up in landfills. Condo owners are paying twice
  33. Cllr Gordon: condo owners either want tax breaks or fix the service. Ms. Lance would like it to be fixed since rebates rarely cover costs.
  34. Michelle Kelly, local lawyer and condo rep. is up to discuss taxation issues facing condo owners. A common theme of #GuelphBudget
  35. Ms. Kelly lists off other municipalities that better accommodate condo owners than Guelph. Garbage collection can be handled better
  36. Kithio Mwanzia from the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. Are impressed with budget steps taken by council, but wants infrastructure taxes delayed
  37. Also wants to be able to identify what tax increases mean to local businesses. #GuelphBudget
  38. Mr. Mwanzia wants council to analyze and reconsider going forward infrastructure/stone water taxes recently levied by council.
  39. Marios Matsias of the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise is next #GuelphBudget
  40. His center receives 1/3rd of funding as other centers that have smaller memberships and have contributed to less start-ups than the GWBE has
  41. Mr. Matsias is asking for 108k next year to help build start-ups and young business; to move from an admin role to promotional #GuelphBudget
  42. Note: this 108k would be a one-time investment, not an annual contribution.
  43. Another concerned citizen speaking about the state of transit in Guelph. Higher fares, not enough scheduling (Sunday nights and holidays)
  44. Pat Wong: why add 300-400k in administrative positions for infrastructure instead of spending it *on* infrastructure? #GuelphBudget
  45. Cllr Hofland: is yard waste in or out of the budget? Was proposed being picked up bi-weekly.
  46. Intentions of Councillors for December 7th #GuelphBudget meeting: Cllr MacKinnon wants live-streaming of council meetings and fiscal resp.
  47. Cllr Salisbury: elimination of board/committee enumeration, and restoring transit cuts that were made in 2015.
  48. Cllr Downer: parking meters, staff expansions in 2017, and 1% tax levy for city building/city renewal. Garbage pick-up DT on sundays.
  49. Cllr Gibson: reduce Storm-water user fees, reducing 1mn problem statement from 1% tax levy, and direct money to infrastructure #GuelphBudget
  50. Cllr Hofland: yard-waste would be good inclusion in budget, remove chair stipend. Intentions of Cllr’sfor #GuelphBudget meeting on Dec 7th
  51. Cllr Allt will not be present on #GuelphBudget meeting day to donate a kidney for his brother. “I thought about wrapping it for Christmas”
  52. Cllr Gordon: 1% levy, but would split that between infrastructure/city building for south end rec center. Restore transit levels from 2015
  53. Mayor Guthrie: water fountain and extra benches at skate park would cost 150k. Was trying to juggle money from parking meters to fund it.
  54. Meeting is adjourned! Thanks for tuning in tonight for the #75Dublin deliberation and the #GuelphBudget meeting. Good night -BB

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