DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog has made several decisions regarding the future of their advisory committees.
At a meeting on Monday, October 2nd, Township clerk J.P. Newman presented the results of a core service and efficiency review, on all of the Township’s advisory committees. There were 16 recommendations in Mr. Newman’s report for council to consider.
One of the recommendations that was passed was to disband the Youth Advisory Committee.
“Unfortunately, we’ve just been unable to maintain membership in this committee,” Mr. Newman said, adding that there is a group called the Teen Advisory Group which meets at the Scugog Memorial Library.
As well, council decided to change the composition of the Accessibility Advisory Committee, from 11 members to 9 members.
“We currently have three vacancies on that committee, so we’re not actually removing anyone. Reducing it from 11 to 9 just makes two of those vacancies go away,” Mr. Newman told Councillors.
Some of the other recommendations council passed include: committees no longer receive an automatic $2,000 budget; the Heritage Permit Sub Committee be disbanded and all their responsibilities go to the Heritage and Museum Advisory Committee; and a request be made to the advisory committees to hold their meetings during the Township’s business hours if possible.
Council also decided to defer some of the recommendations, to a council meeting on Monday, November 27th. One of those deferred recommendations was to merge the Blackstock Recreation Committee, the museum portion of the Heritage and Museum Advisory Committee, the Public Art Committee, the Sports Hall of Fame Committee, and the Canada Day Committee, to form the Parks Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee.
Mr. Newman explained, those committees would remain intact but would instead act as working groups for the new Parks Recreation and Culture committee rather than committees unto themselves.
“I think we are putting too many committees into one,” Ward 4 Councillor Wilma Wotten said.
Councillor Wotten also said the Blackstock Recreation Committee did not have a chance to discuss the possibility of a merger.
“I have spoken to at least three of those members and I can say that they are all against it,” she said. “They feel that the voice of the community will be lost.”
On the clerk’s comment about the committees becoming working groups, Councillor Wotten said the Township would be “muddying the waters even more.”
Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew later made a motion to defer the decision on this recommendation.
“Clearly this [recommendation] is causing a lot of concern. The questions and the comments are very good. The amalgamated groups really do not have a lot in common with one another,” she said, adding the recommendation “needs some work.”
Council also decided to defer a decision on whether to disband the Phase 2 Waterfront Steering Committee, and add their responsibilities to the newly named Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee.
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