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

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Proclamations

TL;DR – Cancer bad; Poetry good

As Mark Callanan gets up to read some poems, Mayor “Doc” O’Keefe asks, in the most casually Newfoundland moment of the meeting, “Who’s your father, Mark?”

Ask and Ye Shall Receive … Some Land for Trucks

19 Shoal Bay Road was granted crown land and the permission to build accessory buildings and to store trucks, loaders and other heavy equipment used for paving. Townies will know this road as “the crappy way in to ‘the spout’” along the East Coast Trail.

Cllr. Collins confirmed that the use of the land “should be no problem,” and from Google satellite views it looks like it is already a popular spot for truck storage. 

Telecommuting is the Future … and the Future Sounds Like It’s Under a Quilt

Deputy Mayor Ellsworth is still working from home as he convalesces after surgery. Using this as an opportunity to test the accessibility of council meetings, he discovered last week he couldn’t hear the mayor. This week we discovered we can’t hear him.

Slightly Muffled Take-aways from the Community Services and Housing Committee Report

  • City keeping definition of “senior” at 65+ for discounts on city recreation etc. Cllr Hann would prefer it be 55 or 60. But it isn’t.
  • City supports the concept of finding funding for the long suffering Affordable Housing Study. Mayor O’Keefe re-orated his comments from last week about the importance of affordable housing. This week doubling down with “lack of adequate shelter and housing is at the root of all problems in our society.”
  • The $50,000 request to finally fund Audible Pedestrian Signals at crosswalks was referred to the Finance and Administration Committee to be batted around for a while. No big deal. We wouldn’t want to step into the modern age too quickly. I mean, we wouldn’t want to get hit by something we didn’t see coming. And since the sidewalks are impassable 5 months of the year why bother with safe crosswalks?

Building Permits Granted For:

  • Sheraton in Cavendish Square
  • Patio Deck for O’Reilly’s
  • Former “Junk” Retail Shop (which is now listed as “restaurant”)

Expenditures

Three of the biggest items paid this week were the perpetual road salt (~$302,000), a “legal claim” to Newfoundland Power (~$122,000) and “petroleum products” from Harvey’s Oil (~$243, 500). The three of these together make the city sound like a sexy industrial bathhouse.

Go-‘Round 

Cllr. O’Leary

Recommended that the public works committee check out this letter from The Telegram which suggests a longer term solution for our pothole epidemic.

She also wants the fact that another city has instituted a $5.05/month bus pas for those in need passed on to Cllr. Collins to examine for feasibility for our Metrobus. Mayor O’Keefe piped up, “Council has already made that decision!” O’Leary shot back, “this is new information so I would like it to go forward to that committee.” 

Cllr. Breen 

Announced that the winter on-street parking ban outside centre city will be lifted over night on April 6th. So there will be no more ticketing as of 12:30am on Friday April 7th. He, sadly, clarified that he is not promising there will be no more snow, but the ban is lifted regardless. 

Cllr. Puddister 

Continues his fight for reasonable freedom from oppressive ticketing and asked that the city exercise some discretion in regards to ticketing people who don’t use garbage bins/nets/blankets during the upcoming storms.

Galgay admits, “I never used mine this week!”

Puddister, keeping a perfectly straight face, looks at staff legal, “note that Jonathan Galgay of Airport Heights didn’t use his.” 

Cllr. Lane

Cheers on facade improvements downtown. 

Mayor O’Keefe 

Along with the mayors of all the capital cities, O’Keefe is writing a letter at the request of Canada 150 describing “what makes us a unique Canadian city.” He says he went with “the people! We have the friendliest, most outgoing people in the country.”

I suppose “The misery!” or “Damn that Smallwood, damn him to hell” were already taken? 

And that was truly the shortest meeting ever.

I will be leaving all this misery (I mean friendly people!) behind for a few weeks to bask in a little sun and some big league sad politics down in my USA homeland so I suggest you follow Happy City on twitter while I’m gone to keep up with municipal shenanigans.

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