An in-camera meeting (behind closed doors) preceded the public portion of the meeting: to discuss “litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality.”
In spite of earlier promotions that changes to the Financial Plan would be open to public discussion, Council unexpectedly eliminated that item from the agenda; it would be discussed at another date. As a result, the fourth reading to a bylaw modifying the annual Financial Plan is still pending.
Four parties presented to Council (“Delegations”):
- Debbie Read from Wild Wise Sooke presented an updated Wild Wise Pamphlet, and spoke to the importance of education. Singularly, garbage was the biggest attractant in Sooke. The number of wildlife appearances is shrinking, as are the number of kills. The program appears to be working.
- Jeff Bateman of Transition Sooke asked that Council consider a Waste Management Bylaw, where garbage and compost would not be allowed to be curbside before 5:00 a.m., with possible exceptions for solid bear-proof containers. Emphasis would be on educating—not fining, except as a last resort—the small number who may repeatedly put out their garbage overnight and attract wildlife. Staff was asked to provide a report to the Protective Services Committee outlining a draft Wast Management Bylaw for recommendation to Council.
- Ron Fedosenko presented about the ongoing zoning issue at 6545 Sooke Road (Delegation Submitted Documents). He noted that that property has been used for decades as commercial, and currently each tenant in there needs to have their business licence approved by the District. He wants the building permanently designated commercial. Staff was directed to provide a report regarding the issuance of business license at 6546 Sooke Rd.
- Les Poltak from Friends of Goodmere presented concerns about communicating the improvements pending to Goodmere Road. He said they can’t get any kind of feedback, and meetings with staff don’t seem to happen. He wanted to know where the realignment was going, and when Goodmere was going to be concluded. He was under the impression that Goodmere is a part of planning of the town core development, and as such, deserved more attention.
CRD request for Sooke to opt in to a Regional Transportation Service defeated
The Request for Motion of Support to Establish a Regional Transportation Service (deadline to respond December 1, 2016 Correspondence) was defeated, with Tait and Kasper voting in favour of the motion and Parkinson, Reay and Berger voting against. Primary concerns against supporting the motion was that Sooke’s main artery was Highway 14, and that was a provincial issue. Gains would be minimal.
- B-1 Bylaw No. 647, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (600-32)- 6038 Sooke Road Staff Report carried.
- B-2 Bylaw No. 659, Firearms and Bow Use Bylaw, 2016 Staff Report: Motion was made to receive the report as a draft.
RCMP Quarterly Report: Appeal for more funds for Victim Services in Sooke
Staff Sargent Jeff McArthur noted that staffing was up to speed with the exception of the new position. The position was approved for September of this year, but at the current rate it won’t be realized until next year, as they are still awaiting a federal letter of approval. Council agreed that the Mayor should write a letter to the RCMP higher-ups to see if it can be expedited.
McArthur’s big push was for more funding for Victim Services. The person that was in that position had opted for a job in Victoria because the Sooke position has no benefits. McArthur pointed out that the District is not contributing it’s full share, and there is a shortfall of about $12,000 in Victim Services between now and March 31. If those funds are not found, Victim Services will be curtailed in Sooke. Victim Services is a legislated right for victims of crime.
McArthur said he will be writing a letter to the District, specifying the exact amount they were looking for.
A more detailed report with statistics would come at a later date.
Class 5 Tax Ratio (Staff Report): There was some discussion about taxes in Sooke, and question of who should carry the burden of the increases: residents or businesses. Staff was asked to provide a report reviewing the policy 5.5, revenue, tax and budget polity, 2008.
No member appointment for Board of Variance (Staff Report): It would appear that in spite of advertising in the local print paper for four weeks, there was no qualified applicant. They District would continue advertising on their website, as that would not cost them anything. And, it was mentioned, the District could tweet it out too.
If only there were an affordable wide-reaching advertising option in Sooke…. Must … think ….
Elevator issues: At the last Council meeting, a few attendees got stuck in the elevator. One of them wrote to council asking that the elevator at the District be looked at. Staff was directed to look into replacement costs for the District elevator for consideration in the 2017 budget. This has been going on for 10 years, according to Parkinson. Reay also moved that staff look at service provider for contract, for both elevators at District and Community Hall.
Released in-camera motions
The District released the following In-Camera Resolutions:
- THAT COUNCIL approve a moratorium on business licenses for marijuana-related dispensaries for the District of Sooke, effective immediately; AND maintain status-quo on the regulation of medical marijuana-related storefronts until federal legislation is implemented.
- THAT COUNCIL supports the formation of the new Council Standing Committees for 2017.
Meeting are held behind closed doors (in camera) for specific reasons, as per the Community Charter.