This post should be fairly short and sweet as there wasn’t a whole lot to report on from Monday’s Council Meeting. I would like to start off by saying “Welcome Back” to Councillor Garisto – after a lengthy leave of absence due to illness, it was nice to see you back and I genuinely hope you are feeling better!
Notice of Special Council Meeting
A date has been set for a Special Meeting of Council – Monday, May 15th at 7pm at Town Hall. The purpose for this meeting is to have the OPP do a presentation explaining how the new billing model will work if Orangeville makes the decision to go ahead with OPP for our policing service. Over the past few months, there has been much confusion as to how much OPP will actually cost the residents of Orangeville in years 4 and later and the hope is that this will provide more clarity.
Councillor Campbell expressed that she would like OPS to be invited to present at this special council meeting as well. Councillor Campbell felt that by including OPS in the May 15th meeting, it would give Council all the information that they need to make their decision on policing before the end of May.
Councillor Kidd was also in support of the meeting on the 15th as he believes that a big part of the problem is that it is hard for residents to understand OPPs billing model and that it is necessary to give the OPP the opportunity to explain. Once that information is received, he believes that council will be better equipped to make their decision on policing. Councillor Kidd also went on to say that if OPS is coming to this meeting, he requests that they actually bring numbers. Mayor Williams asked for clarity on his statement “You said OPS didn’t have the numbers and that OPP did?? Is that what you said or did I mis-hear you?” Councillor Kidd explained his statement that the OPP have come with numbers and that he would like to see the same from OPS if they are going to be in attendance at this meeting. Mayor Williams responded “I’m sorry to contradict you, but no, that’s the whole thing. OPP has not provided numbers, and OPS has – they’re in every budget.”
Councillor Garisto stated that he would like to see numbers in black and white. “I don’t want a big book, I just want the numbers. Year 1 to Year 3? What’s year 5, year 6, year 7? Do they (OPP) have the control? Or does the province?”
Councillor Bradley was in support of having the meeting on the 15th as well. “This is all about information and I don’t think we can have too much information.” she went on to say “We need information. We need the data in order to make the best decision we can.”
Mayor Williams was not in support of having the special council meeting on the 15th and instead he took a different approach to the matter. As the discussion began, the Mayor expressed that he felt that OPP has been given ample opportunity to explain their billing model and that council would likely not gain any further information at another meeting. “I feel like the OPP has been given many chances to provide information.” and the Mayor went on to say “I would move a motion that we make the decision tonight.” The Mayor went on to move a motion to discontinue talks with the OPP and instead continue service with OPS. His motion was with an awkward silence as the Mayor waited for someone to second his motion. After a moment, Councillor Garisto stepped up a seconder. Regardless of having a seconder, his motion was still defeated with only the Mayor and Councillor Garisto voting in favour.
I’d love to hear from you – Do you think Council has received adequate information to make a decision already? Have you sent in an email to Council with your feelings on the issue? Do you plan to attend the meeting on the 15th to better understand the new billing model?