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Committee structure gets second look

by Kris Svela

MINTO - A councillor here wants the town to reinstate its committee structure, at least on a trial basis.

The issue was raised on Dec. 20 by Minto councillor Ron Elliott, who wants council to consider re-instating its fire and protection, public works and personnel and finance committees.

The current practice sees department heads bring issues forward to  council.

Elliott said council would receive more information from a formal presentation by a standing committee.

“Presently these department heads report  to the committee of the  whole,” Elliott said of the once-monthly meeting during which reports are given. He added that format limits the amount of time available for council input and discussion.

“Under our present system, councillors are not involved in the process. We receive recommendations from the staff and are expected to make decisions with little or no discussion. Council appears to be on the outside looking in. We should not be a rubber stamp council,” Elliot said.

He added he is “at a loss” to understand why the public works department - the town’s largest - does  not warrant a standing committee.

He noted there should also be committees for fire and protection, the township’s third largest department, and personnel and finance. He stressed that his proposal was not about second guessing staff members.

“I believe we have excellent staff who serve our community well,” Elliott said.

“Reinstating committees should support our staff and council with decision making and ultimately provide the Town of Minto with strong representation.”

He noted Wellington County and several lower tier municipalities use a committee system.

“I would suggest that council adopt the committee system and after one year make comparisons,” Elliott said.

It’s expected Minto council will consider his proposal in early January, along with a staff report.

 

December 30, 2011

 
 

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