Corp Comm Connects


Municipal committees up and running - Work in progress

Jan. 21, 2015
By Leah Wong

With the second month of the term and the budget process underway, the 2014-2018 councils are getting down to work. For most municipalities standing committee positions have been finalized and the public appointment process for ABCs is underway. This is the final edition of the committee handbook and features Hamilton and Barrie.

With committees struck and agendas set, one council seat in the GTHA seat still needs filling. Mississauga’s Ward 4 seat is vacant after Frank Dale was appointed Peel Region chair in December. The city will be holding a by-election to fill the seat and the details should be final after Wednesday’s council meeting. Staff is recommending an April 27th vote for the by-election and corporate services commissioner Gary Kent is proposing advanced polling dates and locations. The nomination period will open once council makes a decision on the staff recommendations.

Mississauga staff had initially proposed a March 9 by-election to fill the vacant seat. But several council members at a special January 5 council meeting asked staff to report back on holding the by-election on a later date to allow for a longer campaign period. This is the first time Ward 4 has had an open election since 1988 when Dale was first elected. Watch NRU for a rundown on the candidates and the issues.

At the City of Barrie’s first general committee meeting of the new term councillors approved recommendations from Mayor Jeff Lehman on the structure of the city’s committees.

In addition to council the city has a general committee, which comprises all members of council. Each term the mayor recommends a number of reference committees, which report to the general committee on designated issues.

Lehman recommended forming three reference committees for this term of council-community services, finance and corporate services and infrastructure, investment and development services. Each committee comprises four councillors and the mayor, who sits ex-officio, with a chair appointed for the term.

Community services committee comprises councillors Bonnie Ainsworth (chair), Arif Khan, Rose Romita and Peter Silveira. Finance and corporate services comprises councillors Michael Prowse (chair), John Brassard, Khan and Mike McCann. Infrastructure, investment and development services comprises councillors Brassard (chair), Barry Ward, Sergio Morales and Doug Shipley.

At its inaugural meeting in December Hamilton council got right to business by ratifying membership of its standing committees.

Hamilton council addresses municipal issues through six standing committees-audit, finance and administration, emergency and community services, planning, public works, board of health and general issues.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger chairs the board of health and general issues committee meetings. Membership for both comprises all members of council. Membership for the remaining four committees varies. Each has an appointed chair and vice-chair-the exception is planning, which has two vice-chairs-who serve for a one-year term.

Councillor Maria Pearson chairs audit, finance and administration committee and Councillor Aidan Johnson is vice-chair. Councillor Terry Whitehead chairs emergency and community services committee and Councillor Matthew Green is vicechair. Councillor Judi Partridge chairs planning committee, with council-lors Brenda Johnson and Pearson as first and second vicechairs, respectively. Councillor Sam Merulla chairs public works committee and Councillor Arlene VanderBeek is vice-chair.