July 23 PLUC Summary & Observations

The meeting this morning, was, shall we say illuminating?

It started late because everyone only began filtering in at 9am and I’m assuming that they were all late because they were coming from this incamera meeting that was held to consider:

  • Labour relations
  • Acquisition/Disposition of land and or improvements
  • A new municipal service

Originally it was just for “Municipal Service” and so I’m guessing the other two bullets were added late. Speaking of Incamera meetings, I’ve been waiting for more than a month for a response to this email I sent in June asking for more clarity on their incamera disclosure process.

*Note – I brought up my email in discussion with staff while at City Hall a few weeks back and was told that a response was drafted & forthcoming.

Why do I mention this? I do so because the city likes to praise themselves for their open data efforts and yet, something as basic as a set standard for where and how to reveal decisions made incamera isn’t yet established. I say this based on a subsequent conversation with Ms. Hamilton where she committed to responding to my original email and suggested that such a process (e.g., standardized ways of revealing incamera information) is still very much in process. Which is odd to me because you wouldn’t typically think that such a system should be so difficult. Especially when you’ve already praised yourselves for having created it back in 2014:

Open Meeting City Standards

See pages 11 – 12 in this document for more information):

So what was supposed to happen this morning in PLUC? Continue reading July 23 PLUC Summary & Observations

July 23 PLUC Early Thoughts

I’m thinking it will be a quick Planning and Use committee meeting tomorrow (agenda here). So what do we have?

Continue reading July 23 PLUC Early Thoughts

July 16 GPC Summary & Observations

The meeting started off well on Thursday (agenda here), but it then got frustrating and tiresome once Council (in their Governance & Priorities format) started sliding off topic and speaking around issues instead of to the immediate items at the table. Mind you, their doing so was also fascinating in the sense that it made me reflect on why I was reacting to them the way I did and why it was that I was getting frustrated and confused instead of just tweeting everything.

I realized that it has to do with process.  Continue reading July 16 GPC Summary & Observations

What to Expect of the Housing Affordability Task Force

This is a post that has been in the works for a while now.

I attended the final meeting of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability Task Force back on June 30th (agenda here). It was quite interesting for many reasons – not only for how complex the issues of housing and housing affordability are with multiple actors and multiple stakeholders with multiple priorities but also for how the people gathered around the HATF table were behaving & interacting with each other.  Continue reading What to Expect of the Housing Affordability Task Force

July 9 PLUC Summary & Observations

It was a big agenda for the planning and land use committee this Thursday but they worked through it (video here). I must say its been interesting watching Mayor Helps evolve in her role as chair, this morning in particular, I quite appreciated how she kept requiring the Corporate Officer (Mr. Woodland) and other members of Council to read out motions and amended motions as they came on the table. Their doing so made the whole thing much easier to follow.

Says the person who is heads down tweeting the whole time!

So what happened this morning? Continue reading July 9 PLUC Summary & Observations

July 9 Council Summary & Observations

It was a long meeting with a big agenda.  Public business was completed at just after 11pm. Of note is that everything other than one item went as anticipated – 1555 Jubilee was unanimously opposed because new information emerged that was really quite shocking.  And as for its origins, I did note in my PLUC summary of  1555 Jubilee that something seemed off between the City Manager and staff when the issue was presented to PLUC.

All and all, very interesting. I will write more about it when I get back from my weekend road trip! Video will be posted here when it gets uploaded.

July 2 GPC Summary & Observations

I started off all grumpy this morning because the media table had been shoved back in the back corner of the council chambers which made for both a bad view and terrible acoustics because it was crammed in beside a fancy looking air conditioning unit.

Council Air Conditioner

So I said “screw that” and sat in the front row of the audience.  Continue reading July 2 GPC Summary & Observations

June 25 PLUC Summary & Observations

It was an interesting meeting on Thursday. Because you never know how long these meetings will go for I had a separate appointment booked for 11am yesterday and ended up only getting there right on time (almost missed my bus) because I really wanted to stay and see how the table voted on the Pandora development. So what all went on yesterday?

Here is the agenda for meeting.

Here is the video for the meeting.

Continue reading June 25 PLUC Summary & Observations

June 25 PLUC Early Thoughts

If you look just at the number of pages (375) in the Planning and Land Use Committee agenda, you’d think it will be a big meeting tomorrow. But if you actually take a dive into it, you see that there are only 7 items and none of them seem to represent anything major or new. Which is my way of suggesting that I doubt there will be much conversation tomorrow, perhaps because they’ll be conserving their energies for the in-camera update that will be occurring after the public meeting.

It will be a “mediation update” on the Johnson Street Bridge.  Continue reading June 25 PLUC Early Thoughts

June 18 GPC Summary & Observations

I totally called it with my prediction for a record short meeting this morning – all told the public section was 36 minutes long. It is important to note however that this minor public section was sandwiched between two incamera sessions (8am and then after the public meeting) where three items of incamera discussion occurred (e.g., personnel, an easement under Bay Street, and a proposed municipal mutual aid service as presented by the Fire Chief).

You can find the meeting agenda here and the meeting video here.

Continue reading June 18 GPC Summary & Observations