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Friday, August 12, 2022

TL council looking at when committee terms should expire

BY MARNIE CLEMENT

Trent Lakes council has deferred a discussion about municipal boards and committees until September, including when the terms of committee members should end.

Staff reviewed the current municipal board and committee structure and made a number of recommendations including expanding the appeal role of the Committee of Adjustment and that the current Police Services Board continue to function as it currently does pending information from the Ministry of the Solicitor General on the establishment  of a new OPP Detachment Board.

Staff recommended that the existing advisory committee’s should be put on “pause” and that the decision on the structure of these committees should be left to the new council and that the structure and mandate of these committees should be determined after the new council has established its strategic priorities in the new year.

“There has always been a transitional period when there is an election and now is the time to wind up the existing committees,” Deputy Clerk Ann Rooth told council.  “The new committee members should be appointed by the new council.”

Most of the council discussion that followed focused on when the terms of the two existing advisory boards should end.  

The two committees are the Economic Development and Advisory Committee (EDAC) and the Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee (PRCAC).  The term of appointment for council appointed public members of boards and committees traditionally expires with the council term.  

PRCAC Chair Bob Taylor-Vaisey made a presentation earlier in the meeting recommending that the term for his committee members be extended until the new council has developed the strategic directions and that he, as chair, be included in that strategic review process to help develop that direction.

Councillors Terry Armstrong, Peter Franzen and Carol Armstrong agreed that continuity is important for the committees and that it would not be productive to lose four or five months of work.

Rooth told council that staff is aware that there are two strategic documents that will span the election and the recommendations are an attempt to get input from this council, the newly elected council and the existing committees.

“It would be unusual if the committees were extended past the election” she said.

Armstrong said she would like to see the committees continue through January.   Lambshead said he thinks the member should continue until the new council has their strategic priorities in place in 2023.

Staff also told council that the has been an overlap of mandates between EDAC and PRCAC on several initiatives including the Buckhorn Sports Pad, the Open Spaces versus Ode’naang Park Development, the playground design and alternative transportation and trails.

“This overlap is administratively challenging and can cause confusion regarding each committee’s role/mandate,” the report said. “Should the existing advisory committee structure perpetuate, some revisions to committee mandates may be considered in an effort to reduce overlap.”

The staff recommendation about the role of the Committee of Adjustment/Appeals Committee is that it should be expanded to hear muzzle order appeals under the Animal Control By-law.

he report suggested that the structure of the Library Board and Police Services Board stay the same.

Council agreed to discuss all the recommendations at a September meeting and asked staff to confirm with members of EDAC and PRCAC about how long they are willing to serve.

The Library Board, Police Services Board and the Committee of Adjustment are all required by provincial legislation.  The Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDC) and the Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee (PRCAC) exist at the sole discretion of council.

Community Hall boards, the Buckhorn Sports Pad Volunteer Committee and the Kinmount and District Health Centre Liaison Committee were not included in the review.