LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for March 27, 2017

Surplus assets, under-charges, an investigation of closed meetings, and whether or not Guelph will be a Sanctuary City are the matters before council this week. 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 – March 27, 2017

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6:30 pm

  1. About 5 minutes till the start of council. It seems like the closed session wrapped up early…
  2. Closed meet items: Public Appointments to Various Advisory Committees and The Board of Trustees of the Elliott Community – Later in the meet
  3. Request for an Exception to the Public Appointment Policy from Guelph Police Services Board – Later in the meet.
  4. Hanlon Creek Business Park – Development Options – Direction given to staff.
  5. Changes to GMHI Governance Structure = Later in the meet.
  6. Charges and Fees, Lowes Road and Dawn Avenue = a receive-only report to be dealt with later in meet
  7. Consent agenda, all but CWWF/PTIF agreement, East End growth, and Sidewalk needs pass.
  8. 1st item up is CWWF and PTIF payment, no Qs from Council.
  9. Since it's a new agenda item and wasn't discussed, here's the motion on CWWF/PTIF Transfer Payment Agreement. https://t.co/yVxxIwQbX1

    Since it’s a new agenda item and wasn’t discussed, here’s the motion on CWWF/PTIF Transfer Payment Agreement. pic.twitter.com/yVxxIwQbX1
  10. Next up Natural Heritage Action Plan and a delegation from Hugh Whiteley.
  11. There are differences, Whiteley says so pay attention.
  12. Dr Whiteley notes that council doesn't have time to read this slide, so they can read it latter. https://t.co/uElUcaLolQ

    Dr Whiteley notes that council doesn’t have time to read this slide, so they can read it latter. pic.twitter.com/uElUcaLolQ
  13. Salisbury asks about the significance of updating the trails master plan.
  14. DCAO Clack says a tender is out now, and it is proceeding.
  15. Gibson says he’s sympathetic to concerns, but wonders about the logic of opening up every plan while pursuing the plan it intersects with
  16. Vote on Natural Heritage Action Plan: pases 13-0
  17. Billings asks about correspondence from Maple Leaf foods, when will stretch of Speedvale btw Imperial & Elmira go in?
  18. High priority sidewalks will go in this year, summer or fall is the intent.
  19. Billings is moving 2, 3 and 4, and is moving an alternative #1 that DCAO Stewart sent to council via email.
  20. New #1: Proposed criteria as outside be approved. Simplifies the wording of point #1.
  21. Salisbury says Speedvale Rd is an opportunity where a # of issues collide, no cycling infrastructure or sidewalks, active transit options?
  22. There’s discussion and collaboration on this, says staff.
  23. Guthrie asks if staff can align interests. Laying a sidewalk that might receive a transit landing pad later.
  24. The simple answer is yes, but it’s an integrated approach, says Stewart.
  25. Bell asks what council will see next in the way of the list?
  26. Stewart says they’ll start building list based on criteria, will come up at #GuelphBudget time.
  27. Next up, Accelerate Commercial Growth in East End. Q from Wettstein.
  28. Wettstein suggests minor changes to Point #2, replace “opportunities” with “situations”
  29. That staff report back to Council on these *situations* as they emerge... https://t.co/UnroxLj8Pw

    That staff report back to Council on these *situations* as they emerge… pic.twitter.com/UnroxLj8Pw
  30. Wettstein wants to soften the language, shake off the opinion that the City has a plan B.
  31. Allt, who second Wettstein’s motion, likes the idea of not giving the impression that there’s a loophole through the normal planning process
  32. Billings gets staff feedback. Stewart says he was fined with how it was worded before, has nothing new to add.
  33. Gibson says that Wettstein had weeks to come to him, had discussion at Committee, but motion’s getting dragged out.
  34. Allt calls for point of personal privilege. Says that Gibson got it wrong.
  35. Gibson says he stands by his comment. Got unanimous endorsement at Committee, wants it again. Sometimes you don’t like motions.
  36. Salisbury says this is a “mother and apple pie” moment. The motion does nothing. It’s a statement.
  37. Salisbury says the worst case scenario is that this is political posturing, shouldn’t be debated in the first place.
  38. Guthrie now attempting to bring council together, just vote yes or no he says.
  39. Wettstein amendment fails 4-9. Only Allt, Gibson, Piper and Wettstein for.
  40. Allt says he’s going to vote for the motion, just trying to get Wettstein on side.
  41. Original referral passes 11-2. Salisbury, Wettstein vote against.
  42. Next up Sanctuary Cities motion. Gordon says he’s grateful for all commentary he’s received, in favour and against.
  43. Gordon officially withdrawing motion to allow the continuing of the conversation, as stakeholders talk about needs & “Made in Guelph” option
  44. Next up, Guthrie’s surplus asset sales policies motion.
  45. Motion amended for a date for the review to come back in April. (No date in the original motion).
  46. Wettstein asks about the definition of term “surplus asset”
  47. Surplus asset: that would need to be debated at committee, says Clack, staff would be prepared to speak then.
  48. Wettstein says there’s no such thing as a surplus asset outside of the budget line.
  49. Downer calls a point of order, the phrase may change in the future debate.
  50. Wettstein says that’s fine, but he won’t vote because this is talking about shuffling the budget around.
  51. Guthrie asks to call the vote for April 3 to debate the motion.
  52. Hofland says this is a community need that they asked for and thinks it should be referred to staff.
  53. Next and last item: Library governance. Council amends to refer to May 1 committee.
  54. Salisbury asks what the problem we’re attempting to solve with this motion?
  55. No clarity, or protocols when looking at building new main branch or changing branch locations. Need clarification b4 opportunities.
  56. Salisbury finds it hard to believe there’s no vehicle in place to discuss a matter before council for 20 years.
  57. Guthrie says he could answer now, but this not the time right now for the debate.
  58. Downer says it’s important to have this conversation now, a structure is needed to make timely decisions.
  59. Allt says he’ll be making suggestions about wording. Later. At Committee-of-the-Whole.
  60. Wettstein will support, but will offer changes at Committee, as long as there are no restrictions on the conversation.
  61. Guthrie says he’s available for councillors to meet between now and May 1.
  62. Hofland reading the appts to the following committees. Elliott Community DT Advisory, Guelph Museums, River Systems Advisory, Water Conserv
  63. Changes to GMHI Board passes 13-0. (I’ll post this names in the Storify thread once they’re in the minutes.)
  64. Allt reminds everyone that the Masters of Curling is this weekend, “It will sweep everyone off their feet,” he says.
  65. Gibson reminds everyone about Hometown Hockey this weekend.

 

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