Corp Comm Connects

Newmarket council 'not rushing' to return to in-person meetings: mayor
July 15, 2021

Town is still weighing options as neighbouring Aurora eyes September return

The Town of Newmarket is still considering options on the return to in-person council meetings as the province advances reopening.

The province moves into step 3 of its reopening plan Friday, July 16, allowing for indoor social gatherings and public events for up to 25 people. The municipality said it has yet to make a decision on when in-person meetings will return, and council meetings are still electronic for now.

Mayor John Taylor said it took time for the municipality to shut down its facilities and it will take time to reopen things.

“We'll get there,” Taylor said. “Not going to rush to in-person council meetings. September is a very busy month for us.”

Municipalities across York Region are grappling with the return to in-person work. Town of Aurora CAO Doug Nadorozny told a June 15 general committee that staff are targeting September to return to in-person council meetings there.

He further said York Region municipalities are working together on the future of municipal work after the pandemic.

“Taking lessons learned from the pandemic and how we might offer more permanent changes,” Nadorozny said. “In the interests of a more efficient organization.”

Newmarket has held remote council meetings since June 2020.

Town corporate communications specialist Cassandra Papas said, “The Town of Newmarket is currently exploring all options as we continue to monitor the environment while following provincial and public health guidelines.”

Taylor said the municipality is also working toward reopening its other facilities, including the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, currently a vaccination centre, and Newmarket Seniors' Meeting Place, which is being used as a COVID-19 testing facility. He said they are working with health partners to find alternative locations, so those facilities could reopen when possible.

“It is our hope we can get both of those open into the fall as well,” Taylor said.