Notes from the Rafters: This Week’s City Council Meeting Recap

Irrelevant proclamations, admitted snobbery from Diamond Marsh, a big win for Beagles, a commitment to financial above-boardedness, and more.

I Proclaim…

The only proclamation this week is for Dalhousie University Black and Gold Day on September 17th, celebrating that University’s 200th anniversary.

Which brings up a question: How are the proclamations generated? How does one get a proclamation? There are many days I would like “to proclaim” many things, and if a simple whoop-whoop for a school in another province is proclamation-worthy, I would like to lobby for a “Charles J. Howlett D.D.S. (Mayor of St. John’s from 1929-1932) is 100% Bang-able” day: a day to wear red pocket handkerchiefs to memorialize our historically bang-able mayor. I have a call in to the Mayor’s office to check the process and will update next week. Let’s do this. Howwwwlett (howled with gusto) 4eva.

Kelsey Drive Reaches (3 extra metres) for the Stars

Council approved an amendment to allow an increase in building height in the “Commercial Kenmount” zone along Kelsey Drive and Messenger Drive from 15 meters to 18 meters.

The Municipal Plan does not have to be changed to allow this. No neighbours have raised objections.

N(tp)IMBY: Not (Those People) In My Back Yard

Council also approved re-zoning a plot of land at 47a Heavy Tree road from “rural” to “residential medium density.” This was done to allow 32 semi-detached “dwellings” to be built behind the single family residences of the original new Diamond Marsh subdivision.

  1. “Dwellings” is a funny word. It is objectively funnier than “houses,” “buildings,” or “residences,” and I thank council for using the term often.
  2. There were objections from neighbours on this one. Three of which can be summed up with one quote from one of the submissions, “At the risk of sounding like a snob, unfortunately, these types of semi-detached dwellings attract lower income residents and that is not the area that we selected when we chose to build in Diamond Marsh.”

The quote proves, for the one-billionth time, that people think they possess some sort of right-of-suburban-values over land beyond their property line where activity on that land would infringe on their ease of parking, view and/or tone and calibre of neighbour.

You can choose who you invite into your home, but not who exists within your line of sight. Take a deep breath, make a Guinness ice cream float, and settle in to this dirty old world.

Cllr Collins, bless his unperturbible soul said, “I’m okay with it.”

Thrift Store Goods and Sundry Land Sales

Beagle Paws will be allowed to operate a thrift store out of 45 Blackmarsh Rd. Now, I’m no fan of beagles, their very nature is anathema to mine, and they look like an annoying disney show on a leash, but I would never disparage their right to be rescued, and a town cannot have enough thrift stores, so yay! 

Audits and Parties

The city will pay ~570k over 5 years for the financial auditing services of BDO Canada.

I’m not sure if that is a good deal or not, but financial auditing cannot be a bad thing, especially in light of recent revelations about spending/fraud at other levels of our government. 

The rest of the council meeting was a few building set-backs/accessory buildings approved, and a list of up-coming events, which will all be repeated/advertised as they come up.

Since I’m not your social planner, go forth to FB Events and to city light poles and have a look for yourselves; how am I supposed to know what you’re into. I’m into ignoring event invites and watching Better Call Saul, and I certainly don’t want to think about Halloween events, road races, or (shudder) parades until I’m in a better mood. Which may or may not happen this year.

Go-Round Highlight:

Deputy Mayor O’Leary asked, again, about how the city can better deal with illegal commercial signage posted on city property.

City Legal staff explained that the problem was enforcement, as it is hard to prove who put up the signs, to which most of council burst out with an implied duh-of-frustration, and asked, “Isn’t it the business advertised on the sign that puts them up?”

Legal explained that, even if you could prove the businesses are responsible for their own signs (and that it is not some local-business-loving-bandits), many of the businesses advertised are not registered, and therefore the city has no official address to use to start enforcement proceedings.

Legal further explained that if you call the numbers advertised on the illegal signs, and ask for an address to start enforcement procedures, they won’t always tell you. In light of which, let us pause and give credit to these local entrepreneurs for not only their advertising savvy, but their legal acumen.

City staff will continue to spend time taking down the signs which legal hopes will, eventually, be enough of a financial deterrent to the sign-bandits to make a difference.

It won’t be.

O’Leary knows this. The rest of council knows this. Staff knows this. Legal says it will look into how other municipalities deal with this issue. Expect the Deputy Mayor to revisit.

Also, Hickman asked the mayor to write a letter of support to the city of Toronto, in light of Ontario trying to interfere in the city’s local democratic processes.

Cllr. Hanlon congratulates the Newfoundland Avengers from the NL Cricket Association on their recent victory. Also, we have a cricket association which is “growing in popularity.” Now you know that.

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2 Comments

  • mixed feelings is my jam.
    Also, fair point. You are right, and I don’t know how either.
    But it’s been a tangly year and I’m still gonna sharpie his face on my denim binder. because: hottie.

  • Mixed feelings here. While Howlett is clearly bangable, if a writer was calling a past female deputy mayor bangable, or a current Councillor, liek Hope Jamieson, it would be totally sexist for reducing a professional to a sex object. I dunno how to be a feminist anymore. Maybe Deming was making this very point, but it’s uncomfortable, maybe.

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