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Subsequent to the inaugural Council meeting on Monday 15th of December, the Town has released a Press Release with more specifics (see below for a link to download the entire document).  The three major changes are a review of coordinator system, a change to the scheduling of Council meetings and during January an active seeking of public opinion on Strategic Planning.  The Press Release lists the coordinator roles of the Councillors but not the advisory committees.  These are unchanged from 2013 (list below) except for the addition of a “Downtown Cobourg Coalition” whose role will be to coordinate Downtown Vitalization actions. This committee will be approved by the Council at an early meeting in January.

Coordinator System

Phase one
Mayor Gil Brocanier in cooperation with Deputy Mayor Henderson, Council, the CAO and the Municipal Clerk, reviewed the coordinator system and made adjustments with the goal that Council will be more integrated with staff and better informed on all subject matters.

This change will be:

Coordinator reports will be at the beginning of Committee of the Whole meetings [instead of at the end] Coordinators would report on their respective areas of town operations and advisory committees [see which committees at link given below] and will provide other members of Council the opportunity to ask questions.  More emphasis will be given to questions to coordinators from other councillors.

This is an interim step that will provide council with time to review alternative governance models.  Before the Governance model is reviewed, councillors/coordinators will be expected to understand what the town staff do together with their policies, budgets, procedures and issues.

During their strategic planning sessions in February, Mayor Brocanier and Cobourg Town Council will review the governance model to be used.

Phase two
Brocanier says that:

…. revised governance systems can range from a coordinator system, where each Councillor has a set portfolio, to a committee system, where Councillors share responsibility of all subject matter related to the Town. There is also potential for the development of a hybrid of both. Two full days of strategic planning have been set aside in February. The first day Council will discuss the strategic direction for the Town. The second day Council will finalize discussion from day one and will review the coordinator system. 

Scheduling of Council Meetings

It is proposed to change the frequency of council meetings to provide coordinators with additional time to review the meeting agenda and ask staff and/or fellow Council members’ questions. At present time, Cobourg Town council meetings run on a weekly schedule, with Committee of the Whole and Regular Council Meetings occurring every other Monday. The Town issues the council meeting agenda on the Thursday prior to the Monday council meeting leaving coordinators little time to review and ask necessary questions.

The proposed schedule would see Committee of the Whole and Regular Council meetings occurring on consecutive Mondays, however, leaving one week at the beginning of each cycle where Council has time to review the agenda. This scheduling would also provide members of the public with additional time to review the council agenda and ask questions or attend meetings of interest.

Citizen Feedback on Strategic Planning

During the January council meetings, citizens are invited to voice their opinions and suggestions and be a part of decisions.  Their input would be at least considered for incorporation into the Town’s Strategic Plan for 2015-18. For this purpose, time will be provided during the first four meetings in 2015.

The announcement says:

Each citizen who is interested in voicing an opinion, concern or sharing a suggestion on the strategic priorities of the Town will be provided five minutes at the beginning of council meetings to speak. This will also allow for comments regarding the coordinator roles. Please note, all other delegations scheduled for the selected council meetings will be 10 minutes as per the Procedural By-law.

Those who would like to make a delegation during the January council meetings are asked to contact the Municipal Clerk, Lorraine Brace at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 905-372-4301.

The first four council meetings in 2015 will be held on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Victoria Hall, 55 King Street West.

Meeting dates are:  
Monday, January 5th Committee of the Whole
Monday, January 12th Regular Council Meeting
Monday, January 26th Committee of the Whole
Monday, February 2nd Regular Council Meeting

 

References and Downloads