The review will be done as the first phase of an already planned core services review. At a meeting on Monday, Nov. 14th, CAO Paul Allore recommended to councillors that the Township’s 16 committees be reduced, and all the committees have a maximum of one council representative.
“16 committees, in my opinion, and that of the senior staff, is very difficult to manage for a small municipality like Scugog, and what I have been thinking about as we go forward, is some continuity on these committees that overlap,” Mr. Allore said.
In regards to the recommendation to limit councillor representatives on committees, Mr. Allore explained in his report, advisory committees are “intended to be a vehicle for consultation with the public, and to obtain honest, community-based feedback from residents.” The report goes on to state when Councilors play too large of a role on a committee, it can “ serve to intimidate and discourage opposing views within the community.”
Mr. Allore also found there have been times Councillors, not appointed to a certain committee, have taken part in the discussion during those committee’s meetings. His report stated this “has led some committee volunteers to comment that in certain cases, committee agendas and decisions are being driven primarily by members of Council” rather than the citizens on the committee.
According to the report, out of the 16 Township committees, seven have two councillors sitting on the committee, three of them have three council representatives and six committees have just one councillor.
However, Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett voiced his opposition to having just one councillor on each committee, quoting a section of the Municipal Act which states committees can be a mix of councillors and residents.
“It doesn’t say councillor, it says councillors,” he said.
Councillor Kett also said some committees are having trouble getting quorum, stating, a decision to limit committee appointments now would be “foolish.”
But Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew told Councillors “the system is broken” and said Council needs to do something about it.
Council approved a motion moved by Councillor Drew to have the committees and their composition reviewed, as phase 1 of the core services review, and that a report be brought back to Council by April 30th.