Committee of the Whole meeting held December 20, 2022
Volunteer remuneration to be discussed later
Before the agenda was adopted, Coun. Fern Pellerin requested procedural advice as he wished to add two items to the agenda: a discussion on remuneration for board and committee volunteers, and the addition of one applicant to a volunteer position. CAO Jay Barbeau outlined the proper procedure for making additions to the agenda, noting that for any proposed policy change, the municipal staff would prepare documentation so that council has all pertinent background information before the discussion.
Coun. Kris Rivard noted that “people have already put their names forward” and are likely not concerned with remuneration levels, but the discussion could be brought to the next meeting. Council agreed, so the amendment was put to the next meeting. For the second item, Barbeau said the municipality did not want to deny anyone the opportunity to volunteer, “but we had a deadline… needed to set an agenda, so had a cut off date… Our intention is not to limit.” Council went into closed session to discuss the applications. The applicant was added to the list after closed session consultation.
One full time bylaw officer rather than two part-time
Coun. Daniel Gagné proposed that the appointment of 2 part-time bylaw officers be amended to one full-time officer “so that we may get better interest for this position.” West Nipissing has been without a bylaw enforcement officer for several months. Gagné indicated that while a full-time position would cost more with pension and benefits included, it would help to fill the position, and that having a full-time officer was what administration initially requested. Coun. Kris Rivard agreed, adding that sustaining one person in the position was important for consistency. “If we keep switching, it’s hard to enforce or give recommendations to council for new bylaws or review existing bylaws,” he stated.
Coun. Jérôme Courchesne agreed that the municipality needs consistency on how bylaws are applied, but wanted to know the costs associated.CAO Barbeau and Alisa Craddock, Municipal Treasurer, provided an overview showing that two part time officers cost $99K a year in wages, whereas one full-time officer with benefits would drop to about $85K a year. Craddock also added, “We do have employer responsibilities even if it was part time – it’s a trade off.”
Coun. Jamie Restoule asked if there was an opportunity to have the OPP enforce bylaws. Barbeau responded that when the municipality entered the agreement with the OPP, it chose not to take that option, and there is currently a moratorium on that option province-wide. “They will intercede if there is a public safety issue,” he added, also noting that the Police Services Board did bring the matter forward because of the frustration over hiring challenges. Coun. Courchesne also brought up the matter of shared services with surrounding municipalities. He was advised that currently there’s too much demand locally, but if there’s a need to increase the service to more than one officer, but not enough work for two, that option could be examined, “once we provide you with activity reports.”
Mayor Kathleen Thorne-Rochon asked for the difference in work hours between 2 part-time (42 hours) and one full-time (35 hours). It was also noted by Coun. Pellerin that a vehicle would be necessary. CAO Barbeau responded, “It would be preferable to have a vehicle with the official [municipal] logo” and the estimated cost would “be an extra $15K a year in vehicle and gas”. Council was largely in agreement with Coun. Gagné’s proposal. The matter will go to vote at next meeting.
COVID vaccine no longer required for staff and volunteers
Volunteer boards and committee appointments
Tessier seeks seat on ROMA board
Food bank support