Clarity from Cornell regarding Tiny STR task force comments

·3 min read

Tiny Mayor George Cornell brought up a clarification about the short-term-rental task force disbandment last month, noting that he felt council may have been subject to ‘misrepresentation’ regarding public engagement.

At the recent regular meeting of council, Cornell added an announcement not on the agenda regarding the short-term-rental (STR) timeline.

“I know a lot of folks have been anxiously awaiting this,” noted Cornell, “we do have a special committee of the whole meeting set now, and that is going to be on Wednesday May 11 at 7:00 p.m., and that will be to speak to the recommendations from our (STR) task force.”

Prior to the disbandment of the STR task force as part of regular procedure, CAO Robert Lamb provided an update to Tiny council, asking that members of the public refrain from “sabre rattling” in regards to attempts in influencing the task force committee and members of council prior to recommendations yet to be brought forward to council.

Lamb later told MidlandToday that the task force members did a great job on addressing “a very complex and emotional issue on many levels”.

Cornell took additional time during the recent meeting to acknowledge the emails and public comments received regarding the STR task force accomplishments following its disbandment, wanting to provide greater clarification.

“By no means was CAO Lamb intending to shut down the engagement and the comments from the public,” affirmed Cornell. “I think all of us, including council, were just asking: let the task force do their job, let the task force recommendations come before council and the public, and then we can have a much better informed discussion.

“I see some – I would suggest – misrepresentations of what the intent was.

“If I recall, it was through a town hall meeting about a year ago that the public actually requested that we have a task force, that was made up of various participants including owners, affected neighbours, and council and members of staff… which we’ve done,” Cornell stated.

The mayor added that Tiny council recognized the importance of the topic, and although the task force ended early it was “certainly not before they’d had ample opportunity to listen, provide input, and develop recommendations” for the May 11 meeting.

“This is one of those issues where we have extreme opinions,” Cornell added, “and it is the job of council to understand those opinions and find something that’s suitable for our community.

“Because at the end of the day, in my opinion, that absolutely is what we’re trying to do here, is recognize the impact it’s having on the community and how can we better manage STR accommodations within our community.”

Lamb’s comments received a letter to MidlandToday shortly after from former Tiny councillor Tony Mintoff, who had resigned from that role mid-term citing several reasons including information related to STR accommodations. Mintoff provided information to Tiny, which was accepted without comment from council as a communication consent item at the previous meeting.

Agendas, minutes, and motions from the STR task force meetings can be found in the documents section of the Tiny Township website.

Further information on STR accommodations can be viewed within the short term rental page located on the Tiny Township website.

Archives of council meetings, including short term rental task force meetings, are available to view on Tiny township’s YouTube channel.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca

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