What’s Up at Monday’s ( Dec. 3) Council Meeting

Ron Bolin: Nov. 30, 2012

A few items caught my eye as I looked through the 311 page agenda for the “official” meeting of Council on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 7pm, in the Shaw Auditorium in the Conference Centre.  (Boy it’s lucky that Staff got the agenda out late on Thursday or we wouldn’t have time to understand what is going on in those 311 pages –and neither would Council…., eh?)

First was notice of a rescheduled presentation on “NEDC’s activities, the strategic plan and an economic update.” from NEDC CEO Sasha Angus.  This should be interesting.

Next comes a recommendation that Council adopt the City of Nanaimo Community Sustainability Action Plan and direct staff to prepare an amendment to the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) to amend the City’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target from 33% to 3% of 2007 levels by 2020, and from 80% to 39% of 2007 levels by 2050.  The document is about 70 pages long.  I am sure that if you visit the City’s web site at: http://www.nanaimo.ca/UploadedFilesPath/Site_Structure/Corporate_Services/Corporate_Administration/2012_Council_Agendas/C121203A.pdf

You will be able to absorb it and get your comments to Council before Monday’s meeting.

Following this we have a development permit; two development variance permits; a couple of Property Maintenance bylaw infractions; four Unresolved Building Deficiencies; a recommendation that Council dispute the charges to developers associated with new developments)(?)); approval of a lease of City land for supportive housing; two leases on the City owned Centennial Museum Building; a report on the “USER FEE SUBSIDY AMENDMENT BYLAW 2012 NO. 7095.01” ; and then we come to:

9(d) Potential Conflict of Interest wherein Staff report that a conflict of interest is not a conflict of interest unless the questionable vote makes a difference to the outcome, an argument which I find very dodgy, at best. Read the Report and make up your own mind.  And then comes approval of a collaboration agreement with the school district; and support for a SD 68 grant request;

and then we come to an $800,000 dollar question regarding maintenance to the Nanaimo Centre Stage property which the City purchased a few short years ago. A long report is included in the agenda:


We then end with voting on the adoption of some seven bylaws, correspondence regarding the impact of the water treatment plant on the South Forks community and a possible sop; and two Notices of Motion:

(a) Councillor McKay will be providing notice of a motion regarding a letter of support from Council for Totino Bus to expand services on Vancouver Island. and

(b) Councillor Kipp will be providing notice of a motion for Council to direct Staff to start the process of a core service review (CSR).

There should, but probably won’t, be some interesting discussion on a number of these matters.  From an action point of view, as far as I can see, we aren’t hiring anyone new.  The report on CSAP (Community Sustainability Action Plan, while it will undoubtedly require some expenditures, does not, as is typical of such reports, contain any estimates of costs or of saving (i.e. the dream is not constrained by any reference to dollars and sense.)  The user fee subsidy amendment bylaw which reduces sewer and water user rates to those over 65 and with restricted incomes, does not estimate the cost of this amendment, nor does it indicate how this will be handled for those who rent or lease their abode but do not have a separate water meter. The infrastructure question is starting to rear its head in public with the discussion of the $800,000 need for maintenance. This is a harbinger of the Asset Management report which is due to come out “real soon” which will spell out how many millions of dollars a year it will take to maintain our Billion+ dollars in current assets (let alone the hundreds of millions which we are currently in the process of adding.  All in all and unless we get some “last minute” items on Monday, this will be an average spending session at Council.

I hope to see you there, glued to your tv for the meeting or signing on to the City web site for the video record.