Northeast Town Council Notes – June 13, 2018

Gravel tender

Northeast Town council received one tender for its A and B gravel, from H&R Noble.

CAO Dave Williamson explained that since council received just one tender they have the right to refuse it and re-tender, but suggested they accept the offer as it was highly competitive and even lower than the last year’s prices.

Council approved the tender.

Municipal Election Compliance Committee

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Staff reported that three people have allowed their names to stand on the Municipal Election Compliance Committee: Ned Martin, Janet Moore and Kelly O’Hare.

Councillor Dawn Orr said that she had nothing bad to say about the people on the committee, but wondered why they hadn’t advertised to have people come forward.

Mr. Williamson explained that these three people were on the committee for the last municipal election, which is why they were approached again.

Councillor Erskine said they were “darn lucky” to have those people with their wealth of experience on the committee. Councillor Orr reiterated that she had nothing against the people, but was rather questioning the process.

Sudbury Hyundai sign request

Council received a letter from Meredith Morris of Sudbury Hyundai, requesting the placement of an 8’ x 6’ sign at Draper and Blake Streets until October 19.

“Sudbury Hyundai continues to receive a positive response from the community of NEMI,” Ms. Morris wrote. “We are also committed to sponsoring a number of events on the Island as well as donating monies to local charities. Sudbury Hyundai hopes that this could lend us to being an asset to the business section of NEMI.”

Councillor Erskine said he had concerns about the request since the property may not be zoned commercial.

Mr. Williamson said MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) was informed of the use the last time (last summer) and will be apprised of the situation once again.

Councillor Melissa Peters said she will not be supporting it as she doesn’t believe they invest in the community.

Council approved the request.

Lions Club request

Bruce Burnett, president of the Little Current Lions Club, asked council for the use of the west parking lot at the arena for use for Haweater Weekend. The parking lot will be the home of the Carver Kings—a team that saws intricate log carvings with chainsaws—for the duration of the festival.

Council approved the request.

Zoning bylaw update

Mr. Williamson explained to council that since the Northeast Town’s Official Plan was updated, it is now time to update the municipality’s zoning bylaw.

There will be a June 27 open house for public comments on the bylaw.

He noted that council will have a draft of the bylaw shortly and it will also appear on the municipal website.

Mr. Williamson noted that with the changes there will be one bylaw for all the municipality and not separate ones for rural or ‘urban.’

Airport report

Councillor Marcel Gauthier gave council an update on the Manitoulin East Municipal Airport. He said the airport committee is currently looking at the creation of an east-west runway for the airport which will likely increase small plane traffic. The almost-constant west wind, the councillor explained, currently makes it harder for planes to land.

This second runway has been part of the airport’s long-term objectives since it was opened in the late 1980s.

When reviewing the audited financial statement for the airport, Mr. Williamson noted that it is in “very good shape” financially and said the manager, George Dobbs, is good at stretching a dollar and getting hangar rentals.

Animal services report

Council received an animal control services report for 2017 from its contractor Rainbow District Animal Services. The reports are as follows: mistreated animals, one; dog at large, 28; dog barking, 10; dog found, 10; dogs on beach, three; dogs off leash, seven; dogs impounded, 11; dogs redeemed, 11; provincial offences notices issued, two; other actions, 82. Rainbow District Animal Services participated in 52 patrols in 2017. The cost to the municipality is $21,000/year.

Thank yous

Council received two thank yous in their package: one from Norma Hughson on behalf of the Sheguiandah Fall Fair and Manitoulin Genealogy Club for the municipality’s donation and the other from Toronto Mayor John Tory for Mayor MacNevin’s condolences in the Yonge Street tragedy.

New corners coming soon

Council passed a motion out of camera to purchase parcels of land at the corners of Indian Mountain and Bidwell Roads and also at the Bidwell and Limekiln (known as Green Bay Road) Roads intersection to fix the two corners where the ‘ramp’ is at the busy intersection. The ramp leading from Har-Cor to Bidwell toward Red Lodge will become the main road and a stop sign will be added. Bidwell Road will be the main thoroughfare.

Accounts for payment

Council approved the following accounts for payment: general, $722,231.27; and payroll, $139,772.06.

Water and sewer

Northeast Town treasurer Sheryl Wilkin noted that as of June 7, the water balance owing was down to $23,000 and of 10 accounts that had made arrangements to pay, three had paid in full. Three water users will have received disconnection notices.

Councillor Cook asked what happens if a water user refuses to pay. Mr. Williamson explained that, worst case, the bill gets added on to the property taxes.

Code of Conduct

Mr. Williamson asked council to begin thinking about what the municipality’s updated code of conduct should look like, considering the change of legislation coming in March 2019 that states all municipalities must have an integrity commissioner.

Currently, the code of conduct states that no member of council shall: a) use offensive words or unparliamentary language in or against the council or against any member, staff or guest; b) disturb another, or the council, staff or guest by any disorderly conduct disconcerting to the speaker or the assembly; speak on any subject other than the subject in debate; d) resist the rules of council or disobey the decision of the mayor or presiding officer or of council on questions of order or practice or upon the interpretation of the rules of council; e) leave a meeting without first obtaining permission from the mayor or presiding officer; f) be permitted to retake their seat after being ordered to vacate, having committed a breach of any rule of the council, until the next meeting and without making an apology to council; and g) interrupt the member who has the floor except to raise a point of order.

What must be added to the code of conduct by March 2019 are matters pertaining to gifts, benefits or hospitality; respectful conduct (including officers and employees); confidential information; and use of property of the municipality.

Mr. Williamson explained that if anyone takes exception with a member of council, they may report their concern to the integrity commissioner at the expense of the municipality.

“Could you imagine if you had a dysfunctional council?” asked Councillor Paul Skippen. “A bill for every wacko statement said?”

Councillor Cook asked if the code of conduct could encompass something as broad as social media.

“Absolutely it should,” Councillor Erskine stated emphatically.

The mayor said it could, but it’s up to council to decide.

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