City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the February 28 Meetings?

After a week off for Family Day, council is going to come back strong for the last Monday of the month with back-to-back meetings. One meeting is dedicated solely to a rare matter of administration, but in the second meeting, look for council to potentially rip the lid off and tackle a couple of controversial issues, which might make good fodder for next year’s integrity commissioner’s report (hint).

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone or video, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on February 25. 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.

Special Council Meeting – 4 pm Start Time

2 Quebec Street: Hearing under Section 257.85 of the Education Act – As you may know, 2 Quebec Street is the location of Park Mall, the tower on the corner of Quebec and Yarmouth that used to be home to the Pennywhistle on the first floor.

The exact details of this meeting are murky, no formal report was included in the agenda, but the provision in the Education Act mentioned above has to do with an owner appealing to city council whether the education development charge has been incorrectly determined, or if there was an error in the application. Education development charges are applied like other development charges, but the money goes to the purchase of land and/or the construction of new schools.

Regular Council Meeting – 5:30 pm Start Time

CLOSED MEETING:

Bargaining Mandate Report Ontario Public Service Employees Union – Since this is a matter involving staff, and a matter of bargaining with a labour union, council has to discuss the latest developments in-camera. For the record, OPSEU Local 231 represents Guelph and Wellington County’s paramedics.

239 Elizabeth Street Update –Back in October, council turned down an application to demolish the house on this property and instead moved to have it added to the heritage registry. Since this matter is listed under Section 239(2) (e) and (f) for “litigation or potential litigation”, it’s safe assume there’s some kind of legal action going on here.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Update – Following up on the debate from Committee of the Whole, staff included a three-page follow-up memo in the agenda. In terms of the $3.5 million contribution from the City to help fund the program, most of this will be loaned out through the program to homeowners that apply, so it’s not an expense incurred by the City because the City gets that money back when the loan is repaid. In terms of collecting administrative costs after the fourth year of the program, staff are proposing an additional motion directing them to review and implement a competitive user fee to recover administrative costs not covered in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities grant.

2021 Annual Report of Integrity Commissioner – There were two complaints filed with the Integrity Commissioner in the last year. One of the complaints alleged a member of council had withheld information and sought to improperly influence the sale of municipal property, but the complaint was withdrawn after the commissioner asked for specifics. The second complaint alleged that a member of council had revealed confidential information, but the complaint was dismissed for essentially lack of evidence. The report also touches on the fact that advisory committees are also now under the jurisdiction of the commissioner.

Reconsideration of Alternate Voting Methods for the 2022 Municipal Election – Councillor Mark MacKinnon would like council to reconsider their previous votes in February 2021 and November 2021 regarding voting methods, and pass a new motion to allow for internet voting as an alternative voting method for this fall’s municipal election. In order for a Motion of Reconsideration to pass, nine of the 13 members of council need to vote in favour.

Consent Agenda items from the Committee of the Whole meeting on February 7. (Items can be pulled by a councillor seeking additional information, otherwise all items will be voted on as a slate without further debate.)

  • Long-term and Short-term Rental Housing Report
  • Municipal Accommodation Tax
See the complete agenda on the City of Guelph website here

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