In the almost one year that I have been actively attending Council Meetings for the Town of Orangeville, I can honestly say that I have never attended a meeting that wrapped up so quickly! In fact, my husband was shocked when I walked in the door before 8pm! The meeting was a mere 47 minutes long…and a TON of ground was covered!
Proactive Budget Planning
One of the Hot Topics on the agenda was Reserves…yup, that dirty word again! At the last Council Meeting on September 14th, Council had requested that the Treasury Dept provide Council with a report that would provide information regarding reserve adequacy and the Treasury Dept did just that. In a very detailed report for council, a recommendation was made requesting Council to include a reserve contribution of $1,263,255 in the 2016 operating budget as well as providing direction to staff to continue the cumulative contribution of 1% of the Town’s tax levy annually.
Councillor Wilson was quick to speak in favour of this and to move the recommendation….needless to say, that was quickly met with criticism from Councillors Garisto and Kidd. Both of them stated concerns about adding this reserve amount without having seen the proposed budget yet and both wanted to wait until budget time to start the reserve discussions.
Deputy Mayor Maycock was chairing the meeting in Mayor Williams’ absence and explained to the concerned Councillors that this is typically how it goes.
The motion passed almost unanimously, with only Councillor Garisto voting against it. It appeared as though Councillor Kidd “accidentally” voted yes as was evident in his body language immediately after the vote moved past him.
Treasury also presented Council with 3 proposed budget meeting schedules and Council successfully passed the schedule which will begin on December 7th with a budget presentation and will be followed by budget discussion which will be held on January 11th and 25th and will continue on February 8th and 22nd. Those meetings will all be held at Town Hall from 7pm-11pm…so mark your calendars now!!
I am happy to see that there is some preplanning going into the 2016 budget…and I hope to see more of it in the upcoming months leading up to the Budget Presentation on December 7th. I know that I, for one, am not mentally prepared to attend budget deliberations that run into May again this year and I am hopeful that by getting some of these talks out of the way now, it will reduce the number of budget meetings needed to approve the 2016 budget. What do you think?
There has been ongoing presentations to Council in regards to the construction of Bravery Park and most recently at the Sept 14th meeting, Council was updated on the site plans and fundraising progress. The cost to build this park is estimated at $335,000 and after fundraising, there is still $260,000 left to raise and the plan is to build the park in 3 phases. At Monday’s Council Meeting, another presentation was made to Council requesting that the Town of Orangeville take over the construction and planning of the park.
Councillor Bradley raised concerns about the possibility of hitting contaminated soil while putting down foundations for some of the proposed structures and she requested that the Bravery Park Committee come back to Council with more information before they make any decisions. Over the next while, they will come back to Council with the environmental study.
Information Item gone wrong
As is common practice every couple of months, the Economic Development Dept presents Council with information regarding New Business in Orangeville. Councillor Kidd used this as an opportunity to question the way that the Town is registering business and put into question why they don’t charge businesses for this service. This started a heated discussion between Councillor’s Kidd and Garisto who began, yet again, bringing up campaign platforms to defend their arguments.
Councillor Kidd feels as though businesses should be paying ‘their fair share’ and was quick to bring up his concern with a Councillor who ran on a platform of zero percent who is against bringing in new revenues. This put Councillor Garisto on the defensive about businesses in Orangeville already paying too much as it is. Councillor Garisto went on to state that he also ran on a platform that he would protect the business that is currently in town and work to bring in new business.
The next Town of Orangeville Council Meeting is set to take place on Monday, October 19th. What is the likelihood that we will see another meeting that is under an hour?!??!?!?