This stood in contrast to the theme of another key agenda item: a discussion about increased transparency through the use of a new computer software program “Service Tracker”.
Council only met once in August and last Tuesday Mayor James Brose presided over the three-hour meeting with Councillors Melvin Berndt, Doug Buckwald, Janet Reiche-Schoenfeldt and Maria Robinson in attendance.
In July and August, council meets once per month rather than the usual biweekly meetings, which will resume on September 7th.
At the August meeting, residents phoning in through Zoom had to decipher what was being said by whom through a fuzzy audio connection. A live video broadcast of council meetings is unavailable due to lack of bandwidth; however, a video recording of the meeting was posted on the township’s YouTube Channel on August 23rd.
The meeting featured a delegation from Nadir Amlani who spoke about his purchase of the Pine Tree Motel on the fringe of Eganville. He said he worked for a large multi-national and worked with rural areas to develop opportunities and was looking froward to being in the Ottawa Valley. He pointed out the support from CAO Andrew Sprunt encouraged him to buy the property.
“We want the community to grow with us and we want to grow with the community,” he added.
He was welcomed to the community by council members.
“Something we strive to accomplish at this table is to be much more welcoming to multicultural living and I think it really helps our community as well because of some of the flavours you will bring to our community that will enhance some of the services we have already,” Mayor Brose said. “We look forward to doing what we can do to help your business grow as well.”
Council also discussed the software “Service Tracker”.
“The purpose of Service Tracker is to give council really accurate data,” CAO Sprunt said. “To track what’s going on.”
The software allows township staff to track every call and website request that comes through the service tracker system, generating summaries by theme. The system is being built out to eventually include total staff time spent on requests and the associated costs. Service Tracker will allow council to see trends of community priorities and requests.
“I think that over time, having that kind of data will make our decision-making process so much stronger,” noted Coun. Robinson.
At 8:03 p.m. council moved onto item 15, described in the agenda as a moment to discuss “personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees; litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board.”
Council then proceeded to spend approximately an hour and 40 minutes in a closed session, with community members phoning in through Zoom listening to a short loop of music while waiting.
Council adjourned the meeting at 9:48 p.m.
Christina Vietinghoff Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader