BEN’S BITS:Gender parity, animals on display and councillor reports

Observations: No Mayor present, Deputy in Chair. Nothing really unusual as the topics on the agenda were discussed last week in the committee of the whole. But one issue did spark a bit of discussion that never happened last week. The motion to appoint an Ad-Hoc committee to investigate Council pay brought out a letter from a local resident, a familiar name – Emily Chorley, who pointed out that all of the named appointees were male.

“On a committee of seven why cannot we have one female?” she wrote.

The Deputy responded by pointing out that the original plan to have seven committee chairs is now down to six because the DBIA decided that they didn’t want to be involved. That opened up the floor for another member. Verbatim notes contained in the report will reveal a discussion about having a female on the committee.

0.00 Meeting opened.

2.23 First delegation
Rob Cowell, Pres CUPW Peterborough who spoke about Council supporting the need to restore door to door (dtd) postal delivery.

Cllr Rowden – “Do you want newer subdivisions to revert to dtd?”. “No, older areas are not designed for dtd”

Cllr Seguin – “Do you know how many people in Cobourg have dtd?”, “No.”
“My mail has declined, do you know how much 1st class mail is still here? My mail is mostly flyers! … Flyers make CP (Canada Post) self-sustaining!”

Cllr McCarthy – “We have a senior population and they cannot access snowbound community boxes – is it CPs responsibility to clear this snow?” “Yes, it is! It depends on the mailbox, CP hires contractors. The Union is exposing this problem. It is not well known but if you have disabilities community boxes will be delivered every Wednesday to your door”

Cllr Darling – “Has CP studied reducing levels of service to twice a week…No we want to create jobs not lose them”

1630 Second delegation
Gail Rayment from the ACO (Architectural Conservancy of Ontario) – spoke about Cobourg’s heritage specifically referencing Victoria Hall because of its Architect Kivas Tully and its rescue from demolition, and states that we are currently faced with another looming disaster. Sidbrook with a leaky roof, another Kivas Tully building.

“We are seeking to make this a national issue. Sidbrook should have another chance.” If Sidbrook is allowed to decline demolition by neglect is working!”

Cllr Seguin – “What will it cost to repair the roof?”

Planner Glenn McGlashon: “An assessment was prepared – the amount escapes me but itemized costs are available. It is part of a legal problem and we are pursuing it.”

Cllr McCarthy – “Gail, Can we have a copy of your presentation?…I don’t have one, I didn’t give you one as I wanted your undivided attention!”

Delegation action on the ACO presentation:
Move: “That a letter is sent to the ACO supporting its action and receive the letter for info.”

Committee to study Council pay
Ad-hoc committee memo received for info as was the Chorley letter

motion to move to appoint members to an ad-hoc committee

Deputy Mayor Henderson pointed out that “committees did appoint members there were six male chairs and one female chair, the female chair declined to join because of anticipated workload, we did look for women but couldn’t find any willing.”

Cllr McCarthy “The accessibility committee is composed of six women and one man. The women members did not want the workload of another committee and the man volunteered. There is already a track record of the workload. They know what it is.”

‘Will these meetings be open to the public?” “Yes”

Cllr Seguin – “Will the meetings receive delegations? I will feel better if a woman was on it and a seventh member should be there” “Meetings will be open and transparent and will take presentations from the public.”

Cllr Rowden – “I agree a seventh member should be there even if only to break tied votes”

Cllr Burchat – “Is there enough time to appoint another member? – “Two to three weeks if we follow usual procedure”

DM Henderson wants the processes to be finished by the nomination day

“So candidates know what they are getting into, but we can be flexible.”

Cllr Darling wanted the tiebreaker vote of a seventh member.

Cllr Seguin moves an amendment to the motion “That a seventh member is selected.”

Discussion on the amendment:
Cllr McCarthy – “Applications should be specific in content; we are recognizing gender are we allowed to select male candidates if they are more qualified than the females?” In this case, can we specify females only?”

Cllr Seguin
“In all of my career, I have never selected on gender only, therefore, I cannot select on gender only so I will not amend the motion to make the appointment gender specific!”

The vote was taken. McCarthy hesitates and finally, votes for the amendment on the motion main motion carries

bylaws – budget and taxes borrowing, cycle path,

letter about the animal show at CCC
another letter about animal show
moved to receive for information purposes only.

Cllr McCarthy – “Can the clerk explain the exotic animals bylaw and this event. Town clerk – “all travelling shows must be accredited.”

Director Hustwick has no concerns and considers this to be educational.

Cllr Darling “We will always have opposition and btw these letter writers are not residents and this event has become so popular another day has been added to meet demand from the public.”

Cllr Rowden compares this event to Royal Winter Fair as an exhibit to educate.

coordinator announcements:
CAO informs Council of the Mayor’s activities and tells all that “Venture 13 – is on time, on budget and on schedule” A press event is coming up and council is invited

DM Henderson – Tells all about the Physicians Recruitment Committee work, “A new doctor has replaced Dr Amin, Dr Simon is retiring replaced by another.” “We are reviewing the fire routes, exotic animals, pool bylaw and secondhand goods bylaws.”

Cllr Darling – CCC very busy, there is now an opening on P&R committee Ken Jansen has retired.

Cllr Rowden – Drones on about local history of safe communities committees and his involvement in it.

“They honoured me with a plaque this morning.”

Talks about his involvement with the GRCA, “I am stepping down as Chair, sometimes good things have to come to an end!”

Cllr McCarthy – “Breaking news, we lost our emergency planner, we have a new one. Animal control is looking at coordination with Humane Society and a local vet. A new bylaw guide has been published as well as a new guide to the municipal election.

Cllr Burchat – New Amhearst is expanding, Beachwalk place is progressing, James Club is working on walkway, Chrystal gardens is now undergoing servicing.

Cllr Seguin – There will be downtown pub crawl activity for the DBIA, working on a commemoration called Armistice 18, and reads out a long list of coming events six weeks out.

1.38 adjournment

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