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

In conclusion, we are getting a Water Flume!

G-Gay in the FCM

Cllr Jonathan Galgay will represent NL for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. St John’s, Mt Pearl, and Corner Brook alternate choosing a rep every two years. The other councillors all lightly teased Galgay and said they looked forward to his daily reports. I didn’t get it.

Richmond Hill Cottage is Not Saved and Margaret’s Place Has Burnt in its Bed

Council voted to approve a demolition permit, as per their negotiated Memorandum of Understanding with owners of historic Richmond Cottage, though they all made it clear they did so with heavy hearts. Well, all Except Cllr. Puddister, who was “not sad about this.”

The Pudd consoled his mourning colleagues by brushing off any blame from the current council’s back. “It was years ago that council allowed development on the property … so it was death by a thousand cuts.” He spread his absolution balm to the owners as well and said he thought “[they] did their best.”

Indeed. There, there. There, there. “A” for effort. Though your popsicle stick rendering of the eiffel tower leans like it’s in Pisa, you handed it in late after getting two extensions by forging notes from your parents and it looks more like a bridge abutment then a monument to romance and freedom: there, there. You tried really hard guys. That’s what counts, right?

O’Leary was the sole vote against approving the demo permit.

Cllrs. Lane and Hickman both spoke for the Heritage Advisory Committee about what they tried and how they have learned from this experience (Hint: don’t approve any permits contingent on restoration of an original heritage structure until the owners/developers actually restore the structure).

Hickman laid it all out like a pitch to network execs for an updated Perfect Strangers but even less funny, “The Heritage Advisory committee was [points at Cllr Lane and himself] one old guy, one young guy. Two different points of view. We were very enthusiastic but we had some dark days with building losses over the last year.”
If Mayor O’Keefe was playing the Network Exec, Hickman lost the deal when he added, “If we lose sight of [the importance of our built heritage] we will be another Mt Pearl … or Gander.

The Mayor bolts upright, “What’s wrong with Gander?”

“Nothing. I Love Gander… but their heritage is not ours. It’s not built heritage.” Hickman hangs his head with the rest of council as the vote to allow demolition passes.

55-59 Margaret’s Place (Belvedere Orphanage / St. Michael’s Convent) was granted a demolition order as well. This time the city is pushing for the demolition and the owners of the erstwhile convent and girls’ orphanage are nowhere to be found.

The city issued a notice to the owners for demolition due to safety concerns since a fire destroyed much of the building last month. That notice was “not successfully delivered” and “no action to resolve the matter has commenced” according to a decision note from city staff.

The city may go through with the demolition and send the bill to the owners. Though how you get someone to pay that you cannot even serve a notice to I am not sure.

The property was approved for redevelopment years ago but no work had been done for months.

Thomas Pond Hillbillies and Road Runners

The Development Committee (and Council) rejected a request for “mineral exploration” on Pastureland Road (across the TransCanada from Foxtrap Access rd) because it is within the Thomas Pond Watershed.
Cllr Puddister summed up City Hall’s feelings that, “if they did find them, it would be like the dog that got the bus.”

But I’m still curious what “minerals” they were hoping to find out there in the barrens.

Cllr Breen tells us, on behalf of the Special Events Advisory Committee, that “it is the season of road races on Sundays. So there will be some road closures pretty much every weekend now.”

What Law Says the Snozzberries have to taste like Snozzberries?

In a preemptive pot strike, Mayor O’Keefe has written a letter to NL Justice Minister Andrew Parsons asking for “input as to how you intend to amend or create provincial legislation or implement policies and procedures to deal with Bill C-45 [The federal cannabis act].”

Cllr. Hann had brought this up at a previous meeting. Basically, pot will be legal at some point soon, and the city is trying to figure out how they will deal with that, and are hoping the province isn’t dropping the ball. Lucky for them, I heard there is a varietal that is bred specifically to enhance “creativity, focus, and energy.” That’s what my friend says anyway.

Wet Hot Newfoundland Summer

The city will be spending an extra $6500 for some bells and whistles on its new voters’ list management system (already purchased from Datafix-Comprint Systems in April for $75,260). This is notable because:

1. Datafix-Comprint Systems is exactly the kind of boring nonsense name that a super evil multi-national conglomerate ruled by a super-villain bent on destruction of our dominion would choose for its cover company.

2. With the add-ons, this whole voter information and registration tracking system is still more than fifty grand less than the city is paying for the Bowring Park Water Flume (purchased from Sidewinder Capital Corp DBA Waterfun Products Canada Inc. Come on! That is a real name. I did not make that up. Pretty sure we’re going to be buying the city’s new desktops from Worldwide Prestige Superflux Capacitor Corp LLC.)

3. Mayor O’Keefe said he would go first down the Flume if Galgay follows him down because, Doc says “you know he has my back.” Also not making that up.

In conclusion, we are getting a Water Flume!

I’d like to end on “Water Flume.” So I am skipping the Round-up in which everyone just said what you’d expect them to say anyway (they all talked about garbage in one form or another and Doc O’Keefe had his weekly rant about garbage-people who litter.)

There was also a big hoopla for Team Gushue after the meeting which explains why they rushed through the meeting like their pants were on fire. But I still think we should end with :

Water Flumes! You’re getting a Water Flume! and You’re getting a Water Flume! You too! We are all getting a Water Flume!

PS. I’m on vacation for the next three weeks so someone please go to the meetings and report here in the comments each week so I can keep up. I am particularly curious about the application for the savoury packing business at 180 Hamilton. I thought Cllr Galgay had convinced the whole council to crush the dreams of this small business for somewhat opaque reasons but I noticed it is now up on the city website for public comments/submissions and will be voted on (again?) at the June 12th Council meeting. I may be driving down the coast of California in a convertible that very day but my heart and thoughts will be inside the brutalist architecture of my favourite place in this freezing city. I guess it says something about the duality of man, sir.

Written By
More from Emily Deming

Soul Azteka Hosting New Southern BBQ Pop-ups as “Diablito”

They have committed to December 9th and 23rd for the next two...
Read More

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.