Tuesday, May 11, 2010

At the council table - May 10, 2010

On the council agenda last night:
Official Plan Review.
• Boyne Survey Secondary Plan.
• Intensification Study
• Staff and council salary increase

Official Plan
will go to council June 14 for ratification and forwarding on to the Region for approval. However, they can do nothing with it until such as the province approves the Region’s Official Plan Amendment (ROPA 38). So, until that time we live with our current existing plan.

Boyne Survey draft secondary plan, basically still a concept plan, was approved. This will bring a further 50,000 people to Milton. This plan has been in our future for 10 years now. Still to come: financial reports, staging/phasing arrangements, sub-watershed reports, etc., before a shovel ever goes in the ground – expected in spring of 2013 – providing there are no OMB appeals to hold things up.

Intensification Study follow-up report provided more detail on a number of issues. The addition of public art in the public realm; Urban Design Guidelines; density and height bonusing; pre-zoning (the ability to do so, so newcomers will know what is in store on neighbouring properties); height of new buildings on the north side of Main Street (near Thompson) and the stepping back of multi-storey buildings from the street to create a better relationship between one-two storey buildings across the road.

The Staff and Salary increase report proposed a 2% across the board for non-unionized employees and council. For councillors it amounted to $43.33 per month. Milton council is the lowest paid in the GTA .

There are some who say council shouldn’t vote for it’s own pay increase but as I’ve said before, under the municipal act council is responsible for every single action of the town. There is no one else who can vote for a councillor increase except the voter at election time.

As to employees, reviews are annual, and with an across the board increase of 2% it’s barely covering the cost of living increase. Town employees are not unionized and if we let them slip compared to other towns/cities, we stand to lose the ground we have. Our employees are well-trained and well regarded by other municipalities. I had no problem supporting the 2% increase. There are two unions at the town – IBEW (2.5% increase effective March) and Fire (3%, also effective March), I think it makes little sense to withhold an increase to the rest of Milton’s permanent and part time employees.

back to council increases – there was a public group assigned a number of years ago to address council pay because council dragged so far behind other comparable municipalities. It was out of that committee that was the current format of increases geared to town staff annual increase came to be.
In an election year, you can expect anything to happen. And it does. And it did.

We met from 6:30pm yesterday and I got home at 11:30. We covered a lot of ground.

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