REPORTING · 29th December 2010
It was certainly a busy first meeting on Monday, December 20 for new Councillor Corinne Scott. She brought forward several recommendations to the way Council is run and was even promoted to Acting Mayor during a motion made by Mayor Joanne Monaghan.
As Council was moving to set their borrowing bylaw for 2011, a bylaw to make sure the coffers are not depleted before they receive their revenue for the year, she suggested Councillor Rob Goffinet could not give the motion three readings.
“I was under the understanding that revenue bylaws, and maybe Walter [McLellan] could provide clarification, that any revenue borrowing type bylaw would have to be given third reading at a separate meeting, not all three readings in one night,” said Scott.
McLellan, who was acting Manager, was unable to clarify this issue and he asked if it was something she saw in the act. Scott confirmed it was in the local government act. With that stated Council moved to give the motion only two readings.
Under reports, Scott delivered a presentation on her activities in the community since being sworn in. This is something most Councillors do not do unless they are reporting back on a specific meeting such as Bob Corless reporting back on his attendance at the Regional District Kitimat Stikine Board meeting.
Scott had written a letter of resignation from the Advisory Planning Commission which has three seats available and encouraged people to apply. She mentioned the hospital foundation and a meeting with the Harbour group which is trying to form a society as a means to promote business development in Kitimat.
When it came to the Statement of Accounts for November, Scott said she was amazed when she saw the report listing all the cheques Council has written out in the last month. She expressed concern she could not see where they were on their year to date budget. She wanted to know if they were over budget, under budget or on target. Councillor Gerd Gottschling agreed with her suggestion for interim reports.
McLellan, suggested a lot of the money gets spent during the construction season so the report would show they were half way through the year and three quarters of the way through the budget. The departments have to watch to make sure they are on track. He suggested a quarterly update.
She said she was not finding fault with the report as a lot of work went into it but it would be more valuable to know the status of the budget as it would give the Council an idea of where they were. McLellan joked the statement of accounts had no value other then entertainment value on the television.
Councillor Bob Corless said they have tried to get rid of the Statement of Accounts several times but Councillors use it to hold people’s feet to the fire. He claimed many of the questions asked could have been asked before the meeting but they, referring to some fellow Councillors, wait until the meeting.
Scott made a notice of motion at the end of the statement of accounts to have the administration provide Council with samples of the year to date budget on a monthly basis.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff and Councillor Randy Halyk who usually go through the statement thoroughly were not present.
“I felt it was an excellent meeting, I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Scott. She added she felt Monaghan runs a very good meeting and the experience of being back in a Councillor position was better then she expected it to be. She complimented Monaghan on running a good meeting and the Councillors for speaking in turn.