Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the November 1 Meeting?

November will be a very busy month at city council, and it starts, as usual, with the Committee of the Whole meeting. This month’s business will cover the always controversial audit planning reprots, as well as customer service needs at the City, a new bylaw for trailers, and some pressing 2022 election matters. There will also be an update about the pending takeover of Guelph’s favourite Farmers’ Market by its favourite community hub.

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on Friday October 29. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

STAFF RECOGNITIONS:

Irena Zappia, Talent and Organizational Development Specialist, will be acknowledged for receiving her Certificate of Conflict Management and Mediation from the University of Waterloo.

Internal Audit Work Plan 2022 -2024 – This year, the City’s two auditors were able to complete 75 per cent of the audit work plan, and the last 25 per cent will still be in-progress by the end of the year. The report also lays out what audits staff will take up in 2022 and beyond.

2021 External Audit Plan – Matthew Betik from KPMG will layout the plan for the external audit review process once the financial statements for the 2021 fiscal year have been confirmed. The report will come back to council next June.

Use of Corporate Resources During an Election Policy Update – There is a list of rules that govern the use of City of Guelph resources, including the use of buildings and facilities, for election candidates and campaigns. Since there’s a municipal election next year, staff are presenting an update to the rules including some changing definitions, tighter restrictions for third-party advertisers, and new rules for facilities including “clarification notes that campaign-related events must maintain and uphold the values identified in the City’s Community Plan and Strategic Plan, including the values of wellbeing, inclusion and respect.” Read: COVID precautions, and no racism.

Remote Accessible Vote by Mail as a Voting Method for the 2022 Municipal ElectionBack in June, council directed the clerks office to look at implementing electronic ballot marking, a way for people with disabilities to use their electronic assistance tools to make their ballot on a computer and then print a paper ballot they can mail in. The results of these deliberations is that the clerks office doesn’t want to do it. Apparently, it would take too much time and money to implement, and there are also security concerns given its “close similarity to internet voting,” which council has previously given “clear direction” not to pursue. Staff are recommending the they proceed with election plans as they are now, and not have more than two alternate voting methods, which are mail-in voting and the Vote From Home pilot.

Improving Guelph’s customer and digital services – While there are recommendations in this report, all this information is technically for receipt. Basically, the report acknowledges that there’s been a big increase in the number of services that the City is offering online since the start of the pandemic, including licencing applications and the reloadable transit pass. Despite that though, the report will also note that there are a lot of municipalities that are miles ahead of us in terms of ease of access through digital services, and lays out an 18-month plan to organize and enhance the City’s digital services capacity.

Bylaw Regulations Regarding the Parking of Trailers – It turns out that coming up with a bylaw around the parking of trailers and recreation vehicles in driveways is more difficult that originally conceived. A resident survey with nearly 2,000 responses was not helpful in getting any kind of consensus, and there’s really no overriding trend in regulations on this matter in comparator municipalities either. Issues include the various types or trailers, impact on street parking, enforcement, frequency, the number of vehicles owned and variation of width when it comes to streets and driveways. So all this considered, staff is asking Committee to direct them in coming up with a short-term exemption process, and to come up with a new zoning bylaw for trailer parking regulations.

Dixon’s Distilled Spirits: By the Glass Manufacturer’s Limited Liquor Sales Licence Application – For obvious reasons, we haven’t seen one of these for a while, but Dixon’s Distilled Spirits is asking for council to endorse a permit to sell spirits by the glass on their premises, which they need before the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) can issue a licence. The staff recommendation is that the Committee support the application.

Guelph Farmers’ Market: 10Carden Shared Space Negotiation UpdateEarlier this year, city council directed the City to enter into negotiations with 10C Shared Space to take over management of the Farmers’ Market. No report was attached to this item on the agenda, but it will be released with the amended agenda next Friday, along with a presentation detailing the update in negotiations.

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