Council’s open meeting starts late and proceeds amicably

April 7, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Orangeville Council’s public meeting on Monday night was almost two hours late starting. In the time left, Council covered a wide variety of topics and it was for the most part a cooperative and productive meeting.

Jeff Lemon, a member of OSAT (the Orangeville Sustainability Action Team), shared the team’s plans for a new bike lane. The new route, which covers a large portion of Hansen Blvd., will be called Rotary Way. The bike route will be launched May 28th and partner with the farmer’s market. Council passed the name.

The Lorne Scots also made a presentation. Lieutenant-Colonel Duane Hickson shared plans to have a monument erected which would celebrate of 150 years of service to Queen and country protecting Canadian citizens.

In celebration of contributions they have made in battles such as the War of 1812 and Afghanistan. The group has been working with federal, provincial, and municipal governments to construct monuments that would be built by the municipality and be owned by the Town. The monument would be 7.5 feet high and 4.5 feet wide. Mayor Jeremy Williams and Council were supportive of the project. The general consensus was that the design was uplifting and very appropriate. Riddell Road was suggested by Councillor Don Kidd as a potential location. Cost of the tribute would be $50,000, of which one-third would be incurred by the Town.

A code of conduct was also debated by council. The document introduced by Councillor Gail Campbell would cover Council and any local boards/committees. In addition to the code of conduct, Orangeville would have access to the Dufferin County Integrity Commissioner to help solve any issues. There would be a cost associated with utilizing the integrity commissioner. If the County used the service, Orangeville would be charged for half the expense because Orangeville represents approximately 50% of the population of Dufferin. However, if Orangeville used the service for its own needs, the town would need to pay 100% of the cost. Similarly, if East Garafraxa needed the service, they would pay 100% of the cost.

The Mayor was supportive, suggesting that Orangeville should have a code of conduct, but would like to have Council weigh in on the wording. Council voted to defer the motion to April 18, with the understanding that all councillors would provide feedback to the Clerk prior to that meeting.

Parking in residential areas was discussed as well. The province’s mandate to increase population density has meant families will have mult-generational dwellings in the future. This means that many families will have three or four cars with no space to park in the wintertime.

wThe town’s snow clearing bylaws limit parking on the street November to April each year.

Councillor Don Kidd wondered what this meant. “Are we directing people to park on their front lawns?”

The Mayor would like to instruct staff to investigate options for parking. As an example, citizens could potentially park on one side of the street to allow for plowing. The motion to increase parking options was defeated but the Mayor promised to bring forth the initiative again, with other ideas, in the future.

There was some mild controversy during the evening. Narinder Paul Singh would like to be able to place a sign on his limousine advertising his business, but any signage used in Orangeville in this manner is contrary to the sign bylaw. Discussion over the issue was proceeding in a civil, productive fashion. The Mayor felt that the local taxi industry needs to be looked at, and Councillor Kidd was adding his opinions on the issue when Councillor Nick Garisto accused him of calling him (Mr. Garisto) a liar. The Mayor immediately intervened and was able to move the focus back to the meeting. Many, including Councillor Kidd, seemed surprised by the exchange.

Councillor Campbell thanked Doug Jones and Public works for all the work they and Orangeville Hydro did after the ice storm. Orangeville Fire Department had worked through the night, as did Orangeville Hydro. The Mayor let everyone know that Orangeville was very close to having to call an emergency. Brampton was thanked for their contributions to the clean-up as well. The gallery applauded. It was a nice moment.

At the end of the night the Mayor thanked those that had supported him recently and  was appreciative of council for a productive evening.

By Todd Taylor

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