By Sue Tiffin
Published Dec. 11 2018
The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Dec. 6 meeting of Highlands East council.
Councillor Cec Ryall was elected to the deputy mayor position after being nominated by Councillor Cam McKenzie and given a vote of support from Mayor Dave Burton. Councillor Suzanne Partridge who has held the position since 2010 was also nominated for the role by incoming Councillor Ruth Strong. With McKenzie and Ryall voting for Ryall and Strong and Partridge voting for Partridge Burton broke the tie in the in-council election.
A possible short-term accommodation committee received 28 applications for membership with 12 being from the same area and 15 of the applications having rentals. In an address to council after a closed session Mayor Dave Burton read from a statement: “[A]dvisory committees are governed by our procedural bylaw and legislated to follow the municipal conflict. A direct pecuniary interest is one that expressly or unequivocally has an impact on the individual members’ finances economic prospects or property value. The impact may be positive (i.e. The member stands to gain financial) or negative (i.e. The member is able to avoid a loss).”
Based on that information Burton said the municipality would not be proceeding with a short-term accommodation committee.
“This issue has been very [contentious] and provided a divide in our beautiful municipality” he read. “Council as a whole feel that we need more information before we are in a position to decide on what short-term accommodation approach best suits the municipality of Highlands East.”
Council plans to communicate with the entire municipality by seeking input from all Highlands East residents possibly through a survey with results being made public.
“We have an obligation to all those individuals that are affected by problem rentals” read Burton.
He said council will “beef up” bylaw enforcement hire a septic inspector to follow up on the municipality’s septic maintenance program meet with the OPP to discuss noise issues and that an education package for renters would be produced.
“We thank everyone that has taken his or her time regarding this topic” said Burton.
In a closed session at council the following appointments to advisory committees were made:
Trails and Outdoor Recreation: Cam McKenzie councillor; Dale McCrea Peter Wood Barry Lord Gerald Daviau Mary Barker
Housing and Grants: Ruth Strong councillor; George Denny Kathleen Rogers
Economic Development and Business: Cec Ryall councillor; David O’Brien Bill Dodds Barbara Kraus Nataly Mylan Ann Corrigan
Recreation and Culture: Cam McKenzie councillor; Marilyn Wooder Carrol Williams Barbara Haley-Marsh Joanne Burroughs Denise White Karen Polhamus
Environment: Suzanne Partridge councillor; Mike March Roger Williams Nancy Wright-Laking Andrew von Zuben Jim Sangster
Haliburton Land Division: Craig Pettit
Committee of Adjustment: Laurie Devolin chief building official; Tracy Millar secretary; Ken Nobles public member; Craig Pettit public member; Dale Shannick public member
Municipal appointment Crowe Valley conservation authority: Suzanne Partridge councillor
Municipal appointment Upper Trent Water partnership council: Suzanne Partridge councillor
Harvest Haliburton: Suzanne Partridge councillor
Haliburton County Transit Taskforce: Cec Ryall councillor
Municipal appointment Kawartha-Haliburton source protection authority: Cam McKenzie councillor
Municipal appointment Otonabee-Peterborough source protection authority: Cam McKenzie councillor
Municipal appointment Dog Pound Board: Cec Ryall councillor
Municipal appointment Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance: Cam McKenzie councillor
Two bids were received in response to the tender for the Gooderham building department office renovations released on Nov. 5 and closed on Nov. 26. The municipality had allocated $25000 in the 2018 budget for the project but both bid amounts were over the budgeted amount. One from James Baldry was in the amount of $45991 and one from Jay Moore & Darren Wright came in at $57234 both with HST included.
Laurie Devolin chief building officer said the difference in price was due to the cost of the materials being used to complete the project.
Council agreed to accept the tender from James Baldry in the amount of $45991 (including HST).The project will be funded using $35000 from reserves in which $25000 was transferred last year for future renovation costs and $10000 was budgeted for a new filing system and through additional revenue brought in by the building department in 2018 in which $90000 was budgeted and $128123 has been generated to date.
Municipal employees can spend the day of Christmas Eve as they please next year after council by the suggestion of Councillor Ruth Strong scheduled a Christmas closure that will start from end of business Dec. 23 2019 to January 2 2020 at 9 a.m. rather than from end of business Dec. 24.
“I would recommend Dec. 23 I’ve worked many Christmas Eves and it’s not fun” said Strong.
The first Highlands East council meeting of the new year will be held on January 16 2019.