City to hold two Special meetings of Council on Tuesday - start at 12:30

News 100 redBy Staff

March 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City will meet on Tuesday to take care of some necessary business and revise the rules around meetings so that they can meet as a Council in a conference call.

There will be two Special Meetings of Council – they start at 12:30.

One to focus on the Burlington Hydro line of credit (The city owns the hydro operation) and a second meeting to make changes to the Procedural bylaw.

Due to COVID-19 and public health concerns, delegations will not be permitted at this time. The City Clerk will accept written submissions by email at clerks@burlington.ca. Received written submissions will form part of the public record, and be distributed to members of Burlington City Council.

First meeting:

Item 1 on the agenda:
Burlington Hydro Operating Line of Credit
Approve the increase to the Hydro operating line of credit from $10 million to $20 million and; Direct the Mayor and Clerk or other designated signing officer to sign any necessary documentation including agreements, subject to the satisfaction of the Executive Director of Legal Services and Corporation Counsel.

The Shareholder Direction to Burlington Enterprise Corporation is a document that sets out the accountability, responsibility and relationship between the Board of Directors and the Shareholder. Article 5 of the agreement deals with actions requiring Shareholder Approval. Under the agreement, the Corporation or any Subsidiary must seek Shareholder approval to borrow money in excess of $10 million over existing debt levels.

Burlington Hydro Inc is seeking approval to increase the operating line of credit from $10 million to $20 million as a precautionary measure against cash flow/liquidity issues that could arise if any of the corporation’s large customers experience issues in paying the hydro bills during the COVID 19 pandemic situation.

Item 2:
Remuneration and expenses paid to Council and appointees for 2019
Receive and file finance department report F-06-20 regarding remuneration and expenses paid to Council and appointees for 2019.

Items to be considered at the second Special Meeting of Council:

Amendment to Procedure By-law Remote Participation and Electronic Meetings
Staff are recommending a Procedure By-law amendment which enables Council, during a declared emergency, Provincial or Municipal (upper tier or lower tier), for its members to participate in Council and committees of Council remotely. The members participating remotely may be counted in determining whether a quorum of members of Council are present to conduct the meeting and may participate in meetings closed to the public.

Given the unique situation presented by COVID-19 and social distancing, the Municipal Emergency Act includes a provision which allows for a local council the authority to convene a special council meeting, to enact the necessary procedure by-law amendments electronically with members participating remotely being counted towards quorum.

Below are the highlights of these changes:

• New definitions for Electronic Meetings, Emergency, and Emergency Management Act.
• Ability to conduct a regular, special meeting of Council or a meeting of a Committee of Council, electronically with remote participation during an Emergency.
• Authority for a member to participate remotely, be counted towards quorum and to participate in voting.
• Ability to convene into Closed Session with remote participation.
• Confirmation that electronic meetings will have the same notice provisions as outlined for in-person meetings and the public will have access to the open portions of the meeting.
• Provisions on how the City Clerk will administer delegation request and written submissions.

Full council

How these meetings will be run:
Staff are proposing an alternative way of administering the Speaker’s list, that is simplified due to remote participation of members. Instead of queuing in, the Mayor/Chair would go through each ward and ask if they have questions or comments. Practicing this form of speaker queuing may streamline the process. Other municipalities are proposing several complex systems, which involve a member emailing or texting the Mayor/Chair or City Clerk/Designate during the meeting each time they would like to speak.

In an electronic meeting, the rules of procedure as outlined in the Procedure By-law will still apply, the guide is provided by the City Clerk as a simplified way of using the technology to conduct the meeting. Once the by-law amendments are approved, the Clerk’s Department will post the guide to the website and ensure that the posted document is kept up to date with any changes.

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1 comment to City to hold two Special meetings of Council on Tuesday – start at 12:30

  • Penny Hersh

    Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    To protect the public and City staff and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, all City facilities including City Hall will be closed to public access effective Monday, March 16 to Sunday, April 5. All drop-in programs listed in the calendar are cancelled under the current plan until the week of April 6, 2020. Public festivals and event listings in this calendar may no longer be valid as posted. Please contact the event provider directly to confirm.

    To learn about the latest updates on actions taken by the City of Burlington visit http://www.burlington.ca/coronavirus

    For further COVID-19 information, please visit Halton Region Public Health http://www.halton.ca/coronavirus.

    What part of this does our City not understand? Residents are told to stay home, yet councillors feel they can meet? How many people will be in attendance, including the Mayor, councillors, clerks, staff to answer questions, technical staff?

    I understand that perhaps to pass some things council has to meet, but does this matter have to be decided now? Not everyone shows symptoms, but are still contagious. This is the reason why health professionals are telling people to stay home.

    On the city’s website it indicates that residents can submit written comments, how many residents are even aware that these meetings are taking place, and just what is being discussed?

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