- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Since Deputy Mayor Brian O'Leary made a notice of motion at the August 30 City Council meeting, there has been a lot of conversation in the community about his request for a staff report on non-resident parking fees at City parks and facilities.  People have been encouraging their neighbours to contact council members with their views before tonight's meeting, and one resident asked three questions about it in public question period.

So imagine our surprise when Mr. O'Leary announced that he had forgotten that he had already made the motion at the December 3, 2020 Special Council Meeting - and it had carried.  All members of council were present at that meeting for that vote, with the exception of Brock Hamley who was apparently out of the room at the time.  The City Manager, the City Clerk, and the Director of Community Services - who presumably would be the staff person responsible for producing such a report - were also in attendance at that December budget meeting. Yet no one raised any point of order when Mr. O'Leary read his motion and its lengthy "whereas" clauses into the public record on August 30.

Mr. O'Leary pointed all this out himself this evening, ending with "so I'll just wait for the staff report".  Mayor Boddy then went on with the agenda, with no one, including Mr. O'Leary who initiated the motion (twice) asking the obvious question - Why has Council waited more than nine months for a staff report requested in 2020, and when can they and the people of Owen Sound expect to see it?

Here is the December 2020 motion.

 Moved by Deputy Mayor O'Leary S-201203-003
"THAT in consideration of the draft 2021 operating budget, City Council directs staff to bring forward a report on non-resident fees for parking at:

1. Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre; 2. Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre; 3. Harrison Park; 4. Kelso Beach; and 5. Other areas recommended by staff."

 We'll all have to "just wait for the staff report", but don't let that stop the conversation in the meantime, however long that may be.


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