For this May meeting of Committee of the Whole, there are money matters on the agenda, and some administrative stuff for the coming election. It’s a good time for both these topics considering that Monday May 2 is also the official kick-off of Municipal Election season, the first day that people can file their nomination papers. Perhaps there’s something in this meeting that people will be interested in running on.
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 April 29. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.
NOTE #2: The meeting will be the open to the public, but if you would like to follow it from home, you will still be able to live-stream the meeting on the City of Guelph’s website here.
Muhammed Ismail, Infrastructure and Program Support Specialist with Corporate and Community Safety, will be recognized for his Certified Protection Professional Accreditation.
2021 Long-term Financial Statement: Reserves and Debt – The good news is that that the reserves and reserve funds increased 20 per cent last year for a balance of $460 million before commitments. The collection of Development Charges (DCs) have also returned to pre-pandemic levels with exemptions increasing 25 per cent due to new regulations for accessory apartments. Along with the update, committee will have to approve a number of alterations to the current funds and the creation of some new ones like the Transportation Reserve Fund, which will take funds from new traffic enforcement measures like red light cameras and apply them to Vision Zero initiatives.
2021 Year-end Capital Budget Monitoring Report – This report explains how the City spent $77.8 million on 25 capital projects in 2021, which was a small increase in spending from 2020, but there’s also still $365.8 million in carryover that will be spent in the years to come, specifically on multiyear projects. There is one ask in the report, a request for an additional $2.5 million so that the two projects will be able to meet provincial soil regulations.
2022–2026 Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee – In the event that there are issues with any post-election audits, the City of Guelph will require a Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee (MECAC). Like in 2018, there will be a joint MECAC with other municipalities in Waterloo Region, the report to committee notes that this approach is “cost-effective” given the “competition for qualified applicants, as well as the potential for conflicts for those applicants with accounting/auditing backgrounds.”
Delegation of Authority for the Period of Restricted Acts after Nomination Day for the 2022 Municipal Election – Committee will pass a motion to delegate authority to the Chief Administrative Officer over the so-called lame duck period, but authority will only be delegated in the event of a very specific circumstance. The lame duck period comes in two halves, from the close of nominations on August 19 to Election Day on October 24, and from Election Day to the official start of the new council on November 15, and if less than 10 of the current members of council are running for re-election, and/or if less than 10 current councillors are re-elected on Election Day, the CAO will carry delegated authority until the new council is sworn in.
2021 Year-end Operating Budget Monitoring Report -The City of Guelph had a deficit of $2,390,440 for the operating year of 2021. Fortunately, there’s still $17.1 million in Safe Restart funding in the bank, and about $15.2 million will be used to help cover the shortfall caused by extra COVID expenses incurred by the City, overtime for emergency services, and a loss in revenue for recreation, culture, parking services, and, massively-speaking, transit. Just over $1.3 million in the Safe Restart funding remains, and the committee report notes that it will be left in the account in case there of any budget shortfalls in 2023. The Guelph Police and the Guelph Public Library did both have surpluses from 2021, and they both asked to have their surplus funds deposited in their respective reserve accounts. Staff endorsed both requests.