City Hall – Dec. 3-7, 2012

Dec. 3, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte
. Full agenda:
#6 – Staff report in response to a request to extend overnight on street parking to Oct. 31st.
#11 – 4:15 pm public participation meeting on new funding model for water & wastewater
#12 – 5:00 pm public participation meeting for Meadowlily Footbridge municipal class environmental assessment

Dec. 3, 7:00 pm. Community & Protective Services. Full agenda:
Routine staff reports. Nothing controversial.

Dec. 4, 3:30 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda:
This is a very full agenda with a number of important reports.
#2 – Implementation of plan to integrate improved customer service and contact via online, phone, in-person service.
#4 – 4:00 pm. Tabling of the 2013 Budget
#6 – 4:50 pm. Phase II – Citizen Engagement Task Force
#7 – 5:00 pm. Summary of ReThink citizen engagement process
#8 – 6:30 pm. Growth Management Implementation Strategy
#9 – Review of Industrial Lands

Motion: Mayor to Take Leave of Absence

Nov. 26, 2012

Joni Baechler – Speaking Notes Finance & Administration Committee

I appreciate the Mayor and his family are going through a distressing time. I don’t take any pleasure in raising this issue; it is a troubling time for councillors as well. This motion is one of the most difficult things I have had to do in my 12 years on council.

At the outset, I want to preface my remarks by stating unequivocally my comments are not intended to make any judgement on the issue of innocence or guilt with respect to the charges facing Mayor Fontana.

Every member of council was elected with a mandate – the authority to govern. That mandate, however, isn’t without parameters. In carrying out our obligations, we must exercise a fiduciary responsibility to those we serve.  Fides is Latin for faith and fiducia trust. The public must trust we will faithfully carry out our responsibilities with competence, responsiveness, integrity, and in the best interests of the corporation. Each element is what makes municipal government legitimate in the eyes of its citizens.

The following quote from a court decision describes this responsibility, “Council members are the repositories of the citizens’ highest trust. They must at once be strong in their debate to put forward their electorates’ concerns; they must always have an ear to dissent in their voters. They must not only be shakingly honest, they must be seen to be so, by those who voted for them and those who voted against them. Their role though noble in calling, is demanding in its execution.” (Halton Hills (town) v. Equity Waste Management of Canada, 1995)

Each of us has a responsibility to lead and we must have the confidence of the public to do so. The public confidence and trust in our government has been shaken with the recent charges laid against the Mayor. Emails, phone calls, tweets, public commentary have clearly indicated the growing concern. If we are to exercise our fiduciary responsibility we will be acting in the best interest of the corporation and the electorate when we request the Mayor steps aside until the charges have been conclusively determined in court. My fiduciary responsibly demands I raise the issue otherwise I am not fulfilling my obligations to the constituents I was elected to serve.

This is not an irrelevant motion. There has not been any council discussion on arguably one of the most important issues to face council in decades. To not discuss this issue is absurd at best and a dereliction of duty at worst. Councillors must be accountable and the only forum to demonstrate our accountability to the electorate is at council. Regardless of the Mayor’s willingness to step aside, regardless of whether or not there is the force of law or by-law to make him do so, and regardless of the effectiveness of moral suasion on the Mayor, the public must see Council act in their best interest.

It is standard procedure in most places of employment to ask an individual criminally charged to take a leave of absence until criminal proceedings conclude. The Mayor has resigned from the Police Services Board; yet he has not taken a leave from council. I appreciate the issue of public trust with respect to the police, but surely the public trust in elected officials should be subject to an equal standard.

We must assert our responsibility as elected officials to protect the public trust in our government and to give voice to the citizens that elected us. Council must resolutely indicate we are disturbed by this issue and the implications to public trust, citizen engagement, and the well-being of the city of London. The legal process may well take a year or more to be resolved, encumbering our actions over a long duration. A question mark will punctuate the actions of the Mayor; council will not be immune. This is an untenable situation.

In the interest of the corporation and its citizens, I move that the Mayor take a leave of absence with pay until final disposition of the criminal charges against him.

City Hall – Nov. 26-30, 2012

Nov. 26, 1:00 pm. Finance & Admin. Cte. Full agenda:
#3 – Info. report indicating the Municipal Property Assessment Corp is conducting a province wide revaluation of all properties in Ont.
#4 – 3rd Quarter report of Operational savings and deficits.
#5 – 3rd Quarter report of Capital savings and deficits.
#13 – Outcome of Request for Proposal – adaptive re-use of London Normal School
Additional  business item – motion by J. Baechler asking Mayor to step aside until charges against him are determined by courts.

Nov. 26, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda:
#8 – Planning staff 18 mo. work program.
#21 – Public mtg. heard after 4:15 pm – site plan meeting for 124 St. James St. (NW corner at St. George St.).
#22 – Public mtg. heard after 4:15 pm. request for a 3rd – 3 yr. temporary parking lot at 195 Dundas St.
#27 – Public mtg. heard after 4:30 pm – staff refusal of an development application for 450 Oxford St W (at Proudfoot Ln.)
#28 – Public mtg. heard after 5:00 pm – demolition request by Labatt Brewing for 75 Bathurst St.
#29 – Public mtg. heard after 5:45 pm – cluster townhouse project for 2095 Corontation Dr. Large petition opposing the development submitted.

Nov. 27th, 3:30 pm. Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Assessment process for evaluating proposals submitted to IEPC.
#7 – Update on Grands Theatres proposal reflecting increase P3 opportunities.

Nov. 29, 3:30 pm Audit Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Brownfields Management Update.

City Hall – Nov. 18-22, 2012

Items to Watch at City Hall
Nov. 19, 2:30 pm. Public Safety Cte. Full agenda:
No contentious issues on agenda
Nov. 19, 3:00 pm. Finance & Admin. Cte. Full agenda:
Two confidential items on agenda
Nov. 19, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda:
#3 – Public Meeting on proposed 2013 Water and Wastewater Budgets

Nov. 20, 4:00 pm. Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte
. Full agenda:
No contentious issues
Nov. 20, 5:00 pm. Council. Full agenda:
Civic Works Cte recommendation
#8 – Proposed new water and wastewater rate structure.
28th Report of Planning & Environment Cte. recommendations
# 13 – Recommendation contrary to Planning staff recommendation
#18 – Deferral of demolition application for 591 Maitland St.
29th Report of Planning & Environment Cte. recommendation
#2 – actions to be taken with respect to Orgaworld

City Hall – Nov.12-16, 2012

Items To Watch  At City Hall Cte. Meetings This Week

Nov. 12, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda:
#8 – 5:00 pm. Public Participation Meeting on New funding model for Water & Wastewater
#9 – Proposal to re-name Highway 22 from Sarnia to Richmond St. as “The 1st Hussars Commemorative Highway”
Nov. 12, 7:00 pm. Community Services Cte. Full agenda:
#7 – Financial report on municipal golf courses
Nov. 13, 6:00 pm. Special Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – Report on concerns raised with Orgaworld

City Hall – Nov.5-9, 2012

Items to Watch at City Hall Meetings this week.

Nov. 5, 1:00 pm. Finance & Administrative Cte. Full agenda:
#2 – London’s Credit rating – Report from Moody’s supports London’s Aaa credit rating.
#5 – Request to support FCM International Carribean Local Economic Development Program.
#6 – Recommendation supporting the city join with other municipalities to seek increase in the “Heads & Beds” levy – payment that municipalities receive in lieu of property taxes for universities, colleges, hospitals and correctional facilities. No increase for 25 years.

Nov. 5, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda:
#13 – Official Plan land use designation change at 1351-1369 Hyde Park Rd. Staff directed to change OP by slim majority of council. Staff did not recommend the change and now Hyde Park business community speaking against change.
#15 – Compatibility Guidelines for St. George/Grosvenor area of Old North. Well thought out guiding document.
#16 – Staff refuse a zoning by-law amendment for 2371 Highbury Ave. N. always creates discussion.
#18 – Demolition of a heritage building at 591 Maitland. Staff requesting demolition be denied.
#19 – Delegation by Alan Patton wanting Planning Cte. to step in a move his clients development application along.