GUELPH POLITICAST #235 – The Council Year So Far

Normally there are no August city council meetings, but as we all know in 2020 what’s normal got up, walked out of the room, and threw itself down the stairs. Having three city council meetings in August is unusual, but it’s hardly the most unusual thing about this political year, and to make sense of everything that’s happened at council so far in 2020, we’re going to do a recap.

Looking back at the council year so far, there are a lot of interesting developments. It’s not just the variety of issues that have come before council, but it’s watching the council process having to change suddenly, and radically, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The best laid plans came to a sudden halt in March, but it seems like city council was able to rally quickly and get things back on track at least in terms of council process.

In terms of the specific issues, COVID cleared a lot of priorities off the table in the short-term, but we’ve also seen a lot of the regular business of council find its way back to the top of the agenda. Planning and bylaw updates, multiyear budgeting, the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan, and the council composition and ward boundary review are all part of that bigger picture, and have been address at council since the pandemic started.

Along the way, there was a great big debate about dog parks that’s yet to really go away. There have been planning projects presented, and some of them were greeted with optimism, while others looked to be rejected before planners got a chance to make their case. Speaking of cases, the City discussed updates to road safety, and new regulations for accessory apartments, and that’s only scratching the surface about what’s happened at council so far in 2020.

So let’s review two-thirds of the 2020 year at council on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

The next meeting of city council is Committee of the Whole on Tuesday September 8 at 2 pm. In the meantime, City staff are getting feedback about the council composition and ward boundary review, and you can offer your input on the subject on the City’s website here.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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