Following are SPN’s takeaways from the Council of the Whole, and Regular Council Meeting, both taking place on May 9, 2016. If I missed or inaccurately noted information, please accept my apologies and feel free to leave the correct information in the comments below. DISCLAIMER: The REAL final version of events must be drawn from official minutes or the video(s) of the meetings, available at Sooke.ca. This is merely a dash of my notes to give you a bird’s eye view of the SPN take-aways. -Britt Santowski/SPN
Council of the Whole
- New room configuration, removing the middle aisle in the public gallery section. This new configuration made it difficult for some members of the public to come to the Table to address Council. Eventually, a path was cleared by members of the public. That’s just an observation, nothing to do with the content of the meetings.
- All Councillors and Mayor were present.
Lee Boyko from the Sooke Regional Museum presented on his document (see COW agenda) where he spoke to Community spaces in Sooke, particularly the Community Hall.
Generally, all present supported the idea of refurbishing the Community Hall which turns 80 next year. Logins noted that the community needs extended beyond what the Community Hall could offer.
Lee Boyko noted that the Community Hall does not qualify for Heritage Status because Sooke does not have a heritage act.
Two motions were made:
- “That staff examine possible grants and funding opportunities for refurbishment of the Community Centre and provide a report to Council.” Carried unanimously.
- “That staff provide a report to Council on the creation of a Heritage Bylaw.” Carried unanimously.
- Nicky Logins called for the opportunity to reach for the low-hanging fruit. We don’t have a public picnic bench, readily available public bathrooms, or water access. We need to collaborate more with the school districts and SEAPARC, and have greater municipal participation.
- Ellen Lewers: Spoke to an image on a vision board. [SPN Note: I’m not doing her presentation justice; the board must be seen to be fully grokked; I’ve included a photo I took at the Rotary Auction below.]
- Mary Brook: Noted that a lot of households missed in the census. 5.5% got missed. The statistics are important for understanding community needs. If you got missed, refer to her publication, the Sooke Voice News, where she details how to acquire an access code.
Regular Council Meeting, 7 p.m.
The mayor opened Regular Council Meeting with the announcement that Teresa Sullivan has been formally hired as CAO by Council.
D-1 KPMG – Audited Financial Statement Staff Report
- Auditor, 2015 financial report essentially complete. Saw some improvements in processes and communications.
- Motion: “That Council Receive the DRAFT 2015 Audited Financial Statements for information.” – Carried unanimously
D-2 Terrance Martin – Boat Launch Operations Contract Delegation
Had issues with staff’s summary of Boat Launch Operations (See RI-2 Public Boat Launch Community Services Agreement Staff Report). Martin is looking to increase earnings from Boat Launch operation. He wants council to direct staff to put in the necessary time to spend with him, to fully understand the boat launch operations.
Martin also said that removing him as the Boat Launch Operator could impact this year’s Consultants Invitational Fishing Derby, as they are dealing with burned out volunteers. Martin’s work at the Boat Launch allows him to be an available resources for the Consultant’s Invitational Fishing Derby.
[SPN note: Martin actually said a lot more from written notes: he spoke quickly so as to fit it in to the time allotted. Dear reader, please appreciate that my short summary does not do justice his arguments and presentation. SPN invites Martin to submit his presentation for publication with SPN. If and when we get it, we’ll post that separately. -Britt/SPN]
PUBLIC QUESTION AND COMMENT PERIOD (10 minutes – 2 minutes time limit per person)
- Gail Hall: RA5: Hall said the appointment of Deputy Corporate Officer (along with the creation of the Director of Corporate Services position), as far as she could determine, were not in the district bylaws. According to Hall, Bylaw 398 would need to be amended to include Deputy Corporate Officer and Director of Corporate Services, as Bylaw 398 establishes the roles of the staff.
- Loretta Deutcher: Deutcher was concerned about the price of print agendas, saying that the price is out of reach for some, and adding that not everyone has access to computers. “I hope that council will consider reviewing that. It’s a barrier.” [SPN NOTE: We noted earlier, “Monday’s regular Council Meeting full agenda will cost you $57.50 (230 pages at $0.50 per double-sided page).”]
B-1 Bylaw No. 633, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (600-23) – 7105 Grant Road West Staff Report
- Moved to adopt this motion Carried unanimously
B-2 Bylaw No. 637, Zoning Amendment Bylaw (600-25) – 7109 Grant Road West Staff Report
- Moved to adopt Bylaw, Carried unanimously
B-3 Bylaw No. 635, Sooke Core Sewer Specified Area Amendment Bylaw (147-26) – Sooke Core Sewer Specified Area Proposed Boundary Adjustment for 7105 and 7109 Grant Road West Staff Report
- Moved to adopt Bylaw, Carried unaimously
Bylaws 639 and 640 (Financial Plan and Property Tax Rate, respectively)
- Motions to rescind, change, and re-read Bylaw 639, Five Year Financial Plan and Bylaw 640, Property Tax Rate. Both passed. Logins opposed the final reading of 639, as her questions about the Fire Commissions budget had not been answered.
The Mayor noted that a Special Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, May 11, to discuss bylaw 639, the Five Year Financial Plan (Agenda).
REPORTS Requiring Action
RA-1 Development Permit and Development Variance Permit Application for 6689 Goodmere Road (Lot1, Section 10, Sooke District, Plan 26588) Staff Report
- That a Development Permit be issued for 6689 Goodmere Road
- That a Development Variance Permit be issued for 6689 Goodmere Road as outlined in the the May 9 2016 staff report.
- One gentleman stated that parking is an ongoing issue for that area, and did not support the application.
- A neighbour supported the application, and appealed to Council to address parking in that part of town.
- Diane Bernard spoke to the necessity of Council supporting small businesses in town. “This proposal is perfect. It’s clean, it’s green.” She called on Council to support the applicant. On parking, Bernard said, “We need to look at ways of getting people out of their cars.”
- Shelby Fisher said she spoke with people who work at the Church, there’s never been any battles with the church.
Also noted was that Council had received 20 letters supporting the application, and one in opposition to it.
The Mayor said that she and the CAO have been having conversations about parking and drainage in Sooke. Report is in the time to come.
Both variance applications were approved by Council, both carried unanimously.
RA-2 Rhodonite Eakin Drainage Replacement – Award Contract Staff Report
- Carried unanimously
RA-3 CRD Draft Regional Growth Strategy Staff Report
“That staff be directed to prepare a letter to the Capital Regional District with key issues identified in the May 9 2016 staff report, in order to provide feedback on the 2016 Draft Regional Growth Strategy” (RGS)
Council discussed the many problems with the document, and Mayor Tait noted it will be a few drafts before we can get there.
RA-4 Sooke Program for the Arts Recommendations Recommendations
- That Council withdraw from the Canada 150 Mosic project and that staff be direct to send a letter to all who submitted artwork and return their renderings. Carried unanimously.
- That the Sooke Program for the Arts Committee Terms of Reference be amended as submitted. Carried unanimously.
Mr. Drew Johnston, Chair (Sooke Program for the Arts Committee), recommended that Sooke withdraw from the 150 Mosaic project, and that the $2,500 deposit be refunded. He noted that Sooke might be able to re-purpose some of the submission at some future time.
RA-5 Appointment of Deputy Corporate Officer Staff Report
“That Council appoint Patti Rear as Deputy Corporate Officer for the District of Sooke to act in the absence of the Corporate Officer under section 148 of the Community Charter.”
REPORTS For Information – Council, Committees, COW and Commissions and Staff (CAO, Development Services)
RI-1 Mayor and Council Reports (Verbal)
Reports were given, and all were very busy. Kasper, having given a longer presentation last time, decided to give Council a break this time and didn’t report.
CAO gave her reporting, noting she was working on parking issues. She also noted that the library building should happen sometime in September to October, 2018.
RI-2 Public Boat Launch Community Services Agreement Staff Report
The motion on the table was to receive the report (which was passed, with Pearson objecting). Most of the discussion was about what happens after the report is received.
Pearson noted that this seems to be talking about this at the wrong time of year. Fishing season is upon us. This is about the 5th year in a row we’ve been talking about it. “I don’t know what the answer is. It’s been well looked after and maintained over the years. It’s worked reasonably well. What are we looking to do?”
The CAO noted that it would make more sense to have this work done in house. The boat launch and the fishing derby are not connected. She said that staff will do the work. “
We’re of the belief we don’t need someone down there full time,” said the CAO.
Mayor Tait pointed out that much of the work was carried out in the early morning hours, and one weekends and long weekends, times that staff typically don’t work. The CAO assured Council that Staff were currently working out the hours of operation, and that they (the Staff) will be coming forward with suggestions, varying standard working hours allowing for coverage on weekends and off-hours, etc.
Bev Berger was willing to give it a try, doing it in-house. “Let’s see what this looks like,” she said, noting that that was her same position when they opted for the contract. If it doesn’t work, Berger suggested it be put out to contract again.
Pearson argued that it’s not just a dock, it’s also an economic generator. He wasn’t comfortable without a concrete plan in place, especially now that we are going into fishing season.
Councillors Kasper, Reay and Logins were content to trust that Staff knew what they were doing. Reay said, “We’ve trusted the staff to do the report, they know what they issues are. I’m trusting the staff.” Kasper concurred, and added that he would like to see strict by-law enforcement (fines) for those who don’t pay.
The Report was received by all, with Kevin Pearson opposed. Passed.
Council made a motion to match the funds that were collected by the District (the Firehall is taking donations) to a maximum of $5,000, to Fort McMurray. The funds, which would come from Council Contingency, would be donated through the Red Cross which would then be matched by both the Alberta and BC provincial governments. So, if Sooke residents come up with $5K, that would be matched by the District and become $10K. With equal $10K matching from the province of Alberta and the Government of Canada, Sooke’s residents’ original $5K in donations would bloom to $30K.
CORRESPONDENCE for Information:
CI-1 Information and Correspondence Received April 20 – May 4, 2016 Correspondence
Past SPN Council Meeting take-aways
- Nov 28 Takeaways: Financial Plan discussions cancelled, calls for more victim services funding, and oh so much more
- Takeaways Oct 11, 2016: No UBCM report; fire equipment expenditure (previously removed) now approved
- September 12 Council Meeting Takeaways
- District of Sooke quietly hosts Special Meeting
- SPN Takeaways: Regular Sooke Council Meeting, July 11, 2016
- SPN Takeaways: June 27, 2016 Regular Council Meeting
- SPN Takeaways: Regular Council Meeting Monday June 13, 2016
- SPN Takeaways, Regular Council Meeting May 24, 2016
- SPN Takeaways of the May 9 COW and Council Meetings
- Why keeping an eye on municipal council matters. A lot. SPN observation from March 14 Council meeting
- SPN Takeaways from the April 25 Council Meeting
- SPN take-aways from the April 11 Council meeting; Kasper returns CRD Director position to Tait
- Mar 29 Council Meeting – SPN takeaways
- Regular Council meeting displayed fine example of the money-shuffle spin, March 14 SPN Takeaways