About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Committee of the Whole Preview - What's on the Agenda for the April 3 Meeting?

Public Services and Corporate Services will both have items before this month's committee, and that includes some high profile items like the election signs bylaw, updates to the taxi bylaw, and the introduction to the process for the transit service review.

PRESENTATION: Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award - To be revealed.
PRESENTATION: Guelph Wellington Oral Health Action Committee - Convened by the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, the OHAC is asking council to pass a resolution to request of the Premier of Ontario to include oral health as a basic need covered by OHIP, and to call on the provincial government to expand public oral health programs for low income adults and seniors. Similar resolutions have been passed by 17 other municipalities in Ontario.
PRESENTATION: Community Health Van - A combined effort of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health, and the Sanguen Health Centre, the Community Health Van aims to improve the lives of those who are homeless or have unstable housing, and to help those that suffer from additions or mental health issues in a non-stigmatizing manner. Organizers will present statistics from their efforts so far, which covers a wide-range of services including the distribution of food, clothing and hygiene products; testing for hepatitis, HIV and syphilis; referrals to social service and counselling; harm reduction; sexual health support and education; flu shots and vaccines; overdose prevention and naloxone; and, "hundreds of cups of hot chocolate." Since October, the van has received 1,366 visits from 666 unique visitors.
PRESENTATION: County of Wellington Play Time Update - As of January 1, several consolidated municipal service managers and district social services administrative boards, including Ontario Early Years Centres and Child Care and Resource Centres, where combined under a new umbrella called EarlyON. EarlyON covers many different areas including early learning and child development, specialized services for children and families, and community services like food banks, clothing cupboards and access to social services. EarlyON will be doing public engagement about their services sometime in the fall.
PS-2018.05 Transit Advisory Committee Terms of Reference - In a timely move, the City is updating the Terms of Reference for the Transit Advisory Committee on a couple of different fronts. TAC will now be made of 11 members including 4 regular users of transit, 2 at-large community members, and 1 each representing mobility service users, University of Guelph students, the U of G administration, the Guelph and Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, and the Guelph Youth Council and/or high school students. The new TAC will focus on issues including bus passes and affordability, capacity and routing issues, information flow, and community issues, and at the start of the next term of council their priorities will include accessibility, communication, customer service, fares, routes, growth, and the Regional Transit planning. TAC will also work with other City of Guelph agencies including, but not limited to, the Guelph Seniors Association, the Downtown Guelph Business Association, and the Guelph Neighbourhood Coaltion.
PS-2018-06 Regulation of Election Signs - The City has heard you, and your concerns about the number and placement of election signs throughout Guelph during election times at all levels, so just in time for the coming provincial contest, we've got a new election sign specific bylaw to consider. Among the new regulations are the requirement for campaigns to remove all election signs within three calendar days after an election, and a limit of one election sign on private property no bigger than 0.7 square metres (or 8 square feet). On commercial and industrial property each candidate is allowed one election sign, placed no closer than 3 metres (10 feet) from the property line, and where should not interfere with pedestrian and traffic safety nor the entrance or egress from the property (there is an exception for properties bigger than 500 metres where more than one sign per candidate can be posted). Also, you can't put an election sign on the property of any City park, utility, or facility, you can't put an election sign alongside any official sign, and you can't place an election sign where it can be confused or interfere with a traffic signal or signalling device. You also can't put an election sign in any median, traffic island or roundabout, they can't be illuminated, and they can't feature the logo, corporate image and trademark of the City of Guelph. In addition to any nomination fees, staff is also recommending that each campaign pay a $150 sign deposit that will be returned once all signs are removed with 72 hours after the end of the election.
PS-2018-09 Taxi By-Law Review and Regulation of Vehicles for Hire - Fun fact: the City has regulated taxis since 1943. Until recently, it was the Guelph Police Service than managed the regulation of taxis in Guelph, but that responsibility reverted back to the City last year, which means it's time for a bylaw review. A working group was formed to look at the existing bylaw, and a public survey was undertaken to get some feedback on what changes should be made, but the group has run into some difficulty getting clear direction. For instance, the group couldn't agree that a brick and mortar office that was open 24/7 was a necessity. They also couldn't agree that the City should regulate the number of taxis, limos and ride shared vehicles that can be on the road, and only half of the survey takers said that it should be on the companies to screen their drivers to make sure they're suitable for employment. Along with those that took the survey, the City consulted Red Top Taxi, Canadian Cab, Guelph Taxi, and Uber. Staff will take committee feedback to further inform the creation of new amendments to the bylaw, and a new schedule to regulate the licensing of vehicles for hire.
PS-2018-10 Transit Business Service Review Overview - The third and final service review pilot will soon begin,and the subject is Guelph Transit. The scope of the review will look at operations, specifically conventional, mobility, and specialty services (like the community bus), and the administration side of Transit including planning and scheduling, customer service, fare review and the route review processes. The service review will not look at routes, fares and fees, fleet maintenance and operations, and working with third party services like Metrolinx. There will be a public engagement component to the review of course, and you can be on the look out for that in the fall. The finished report is supposed to come back to council in January 2019.
PS-2018.07 Community Paramedics Projects and Sustainability - With a growing region, the number of emergency calls to Guelph and Wellington are increasing, which is creating a lot of pressure on paramedics. This is where paramedicine programs come in. Between referrals to appropriate care, health clinics in Wellington County Housing, Remote Patient Monitoring, and home visits to frequent 911 callers has an noticeable effect in decreasing the calls to 911. Funding for these programs comes from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN).
PS-2018.08 Guelph/Eramosa Fire Contract - The City of Guelph provides Fire Suppression Services to the Township of Guelph/Eramosa and it's time to renew the contract. The City is hoping to get an increase from the Township in terms of their contribution to the budget of Fire Services, which for 2017 was $216,279, or 0.9 per cent of Fire Services' $24.6 million budget. On a per capita basis, citizens of Guelph/Eramosa pay $44.92 versus $185.40 for people within the City of Guelph, and negotiators are going to be looking to see if they can even that out more. The City is hoping to have a new agreement in place in advance of the 2019 budget process.
CS-2018.38 Corporate Records Retention By-Law Amendment - Unsurprisingly, the City of Guelph keeps records, and there are standards and regulations meant to guide the corporation on how those records are to be organized and archived, and it's called the Corporate Records Retention By-law, which was last amended in 2014. The changes being considered by committee include clarifying the responsibilities of the City Clerk in archiving, updating retention periods for current legal and business needs, the creation of new records categories, updated category descriptions, and other organizational changes. There are also new standards that create a clear process for the destruction of City records to ensure accountability and transparency when shredding is required.
CS-2018.11 2018 Property Tax Report - This is the final calculation for the charges that have to be made for property taxes starting in June.
CS-2018.12 2019 Budget Schedule and Process Change - As you're surely aware, there have been some issues discussed in council about how the annual municipal budget is delivered and deliberated. So what will change? The Capital Budget and the Non-tax Supported Budget will not be presented together, more instructions and parameters will be applied to the Budget Message Board, a Budget information session will be held in January 2019, and their will be four separate budget presentations with the Tax Supported Operating Budget continuing to be presented apart from the Local Boards and Shared Services Budget. There will also be three opportunities for public delegations. Delegations for the Non-tax Supported Budget and the Capital Budget will be heard on presentation nights, while delegations for the Tax Supported Operating Budget and Local Boards and Shared Services Budget will be heard on the same night. Approval of the budget will happen over three nights: one for Non-tax Supported Operating, one for Capital, and one for the Tax Supported Operating and Local Boards and Shared Services budgets.
Notice of Motion provided by Councillor June Hofland - In a move to follow-up on persistent issues revealed at the Transit town hall, Councillor Hofland is asking council to consider reinstating the #3 Westmont route to half-hour, all-day service as soon as humanly possible.

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