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When the new council came in at the beginning of 2015, there were questions raised as to whether the system of coordinators was the best approach.  The initial decision was to run with them for 2015, change the council meeting timetable and conduct a review which was to report late 2015.   That review and report are now complete and John Henderson wants the recommendations to come before council by year end with implementation starting Jan 1, 2016.  There are quite a number of changes proposed but the recommendations do not propose moving away from coordinator system.

Chief Administrative Officer, Stephen Peacock describes the changes in five parts – my summary of his letter follows; download his original below.  I describe it as the way it would be if all recommendations are adopted.  It should be before Council in December.

Governance Model

  • The Coordinator system will be retained since it “allows for greater input and understanding of issues facing Council”.   Adjustments were made “to optimize the effectiveness of the existing system and ensure that all of Council receives information in a timely manner”.  Coordinator responsibilities were also reviewed but no detail given as yet.

Committee of the Whole and Council Meeting

  • The pilot initiative of a 3 week Council cycle will be continued;
  • all Council and Committee of the Whole meetings will be broadcast [separate documents suggest this would be in the first quarter of 2016].
  • all delegations at Council meetings will be requested to provide written submissions outlining their topic and issues including a recommendation if requesting an action from Council for inclusion in Council agenda packages in advance of the printing [that is, publishing] of the agenda; [Currently agendas are published late Thursdays – 4 days before Council meetings and 11 days before C.O.W. meetings].
  • at the Committee of the Whole meeting, each Council Coordinator will remain in their Council seat while assuming the role of Chair for the portion of the meeting for items under their area of responsibility;
  • each Coordinator will have an assigned Councillor as back up;
  • the Committee of the Whole meetings will continue to be held at 7:00 p.m. as is the present practice and with Public meetings to be held 6:00 p.m. as required;  Regular Council meetings to be held at 4:00 p.m. on Mondays;
  • if a Member of Council wishes to have an item or motion placed on the agenda, the member shall  provide an outline of the issue outlining their issue at least 10 full working days prior to the meeting.  This recommendation will dispense with the requirement for a 'Notice of Motion'.
  • 'Announcements' heading to be added to Council meeting agendas to highlight important community events.

Coordinator Meeting

  • In general, Coordinator and staff meetings in general will be held on a monthly basis
  • all agendas are to be produced and circulated to Council in confidence a minimum of three (3) days in advance of each meeting;
  • Councillors may attend other Councillor/Coordinator meetings
  • Coordinator and municipal staff meeting notes are to be distributed as a 'Confidential' document to the Mayor, Council Members and Division Directors a maximum of 10 days following the meeting;
  • Annual schedules of all Coordinator meetings are to be prepared and circulated by the Municipal Clerk.

Municipal Advisory Committee Review

  • Dissolve the Waterfront Advisory Committee and ask the three (3) appointed members if they wish to join the Parks and Recreation Committee. In addition, the Terms of Reference of the Parks and Recreation Committee should be reviewed to remove reference to the review of operations;
  • Once a Cultural Master Plan is available, dissolve CAPS and start an Arts and Culture Advisory Committee.  In the interim, the Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee should assume the CAPS role;
  • Dissolve the Senior Advisory Committee; the Community Services Coordinator will be the Council Seniors Activity Center liaison;
  • Dissolve the Environmental Committee and consolidate it with the Active Transportation Committee under Public Works with a new name and terms of reference (see next item);
  • Establish a Public Works Committee with an appropriate name e.g.  Healthy Communities Committee and incorporate the Active Transportation Committee. Additional duties are to include sustainability and environmental issues associated with public works activities.
  • Rename the Planning Advisory Committee "Planning and Sustainability Advisory Committee".  Additions to this committee's mandate will include environmental planning issues and assistance with completion of the Community Sustainability Plan.

Reports to Council

  • Require that staff use a standard template for reports to Council

No public meetings are currently planned on this subject.  After running with this revised organization for 2016, it would be reviewed at the Strategic Plan review to be held in January or February 2017

The above is my summary - before nit-picking please read the full memo by the CAO – download here.


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