TBM working to establish advisory committees

The Town of The Blue Mountains is one step closer to finalizing its committee structure for the next four years.

At its committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 27, council received and reviewed a number of reports from CAO Shawn Everitt about the following committees: committee of adjustment, parks and trails advisory committee, transparency and accountability committee or task force, agricultural advisory committee, grants and donations advisory committee and economic development advisory committee. The transparency and accountability committee or task force and the parks and trails advisory committee would be new committees for the town.

On the committee of adjustment, council voted 7-0 in favour of a plan to make the composition of the committee entirely members of the public. In the past, the committee consisted of four members of the public and one councillor. Going forward, five members of the public will comprise the committee of adjustment.

On the parks and trails advisory committee, Everitt recommended that before this committee be formed it first be a working group of council to take a look at options and terms of reference. Everitt said the working group could make recommendations to council about whether it should be a task force, committee or advisory group. Councillors Paula Hope and Alex Maxwell volunteered to join Mayor Andrea Matrosovs on the working group.

On the transparency and accountability committee, Everitt again recommended a working group to look at the idea. The CAO said he had reached out to the town’s integrity commissioner Suzanne Craig for more information on the proposed committee.

“She provided great advice,” said Everitt, adding that he had consulted with the City of Vaughan, which has such a committee in place.

Hope will be joined by councillors June Porter and Gail Aridel on this working group.

“This is an extremely important committee/task force to do,” said Porter.

On the agricultural advisory committee, Everitt recommended multiple changes to the group including a reduction in the number of public members from nine to six, reducing the number of meetings to three per year and the committee ceasing to review development activity. The full list of recommended changes can be found in the CAO’s report here.

Ardiel and Maxwell volunteered to serve on the committee. Council also held off implementing changes to the committee and instead will advertise for up to nine members from the public, with the possibility of a meeting every month with the exception of December.

Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon will once again serve as the chair of the town’s grants and donations committee.

“This is my background and a passion of mine,” he said.

Once selected, the committee will continue operating as it has in the past. Council made one change to its terms of reference. The committee will be able to hold fundraising events with the approval of council.

Bordignon, Hope and Ardiel will represent the town on the economic development advisory committee. Council voted to move from two members of council serving on this committee to three. Everitt also recommended a reduction from the maximum of nine members of the public to six.

The committee of the whole recommendation on the various committees will return to council for a final decision on March 6. Once that decision is made, advertising will begin for community volunteers to serve.

Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca