Item No. & Description IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1 – Art Gallery Security System Yay 8 – 0 Consent
2 – City of Windsor homelessness program Yay 8 – 0 Presentation/Delegation
3 – Purchase of crane Yay 8 – 0 Consent
4 – Purchase of sewer vacuum Yay 8 – 0 Consent
5a – Council appoint Integrity Commissioner Yay 8 – 0 Delegation
5b – Appoint LAS Ltd. As Meetings Investigator NAY 5 – 3 Debate
6 – Corporate Asset Management Plan Yay 8 – 0 Presentation
7 – Mobile Strategy Update Yay 8 – 0 Consent
8 – Lou Romano chemical requirement Yay 8 – 0 Consent
9 – Willistead Manor catering contract Yay 8 – 0 Consent
10 – Open Enwin board meetings Yay 8 – 0 Delegation
11 – International Children’s Games Yay 8 – 0 Discussion
12 – Winter Classic banners Yay 8 – 0 Consent
13 – Windsor Police Services Yay 8 – 0 Consent
14 – Sewer rate update Yay 8 – 0 Consent

*Consent items are non-controversial items that are mostly administrative issues—housekeeping—that are adopted without debate.  For example: City Council accepts the Mobile Update Strategy report

**Minority (dissenting) votes are in bold.

BRIEF SUMMARY & NOTES ON HOW I VOTED

Aside from a spirited discussion on the reorganization of Fire and Rescue Services brought forth by the delegation of firefighters, most of the items on the agenda were consent items (a.k.a housekeeping) that did not require a debate.

I–along with two other Council Colleagues–voted NAY on Item#5B.  Rather than appoint the company LAS Ltd. as the meetings investigator for the City at a cost to taxpayers, I felt we should use the services of the Ontario Ombudsman, which is used by over 100 municipalities and is FREE.

A very interesting issue came before Council on Monday, January 6th.  The Jewish Community Centre (JCC) was asking Council to extend the tax-exempt status it was granted on its property in 1960 to include additional adjacent property the JCC was considering purchasing and turning into green space.  This was an interesting issue to be sure. For me–as one of two Councillors who voted against the extension of tax exempt status–the central issue was equality: the path to tax exempt status should be the same for all organizations. Here’s the critical fact: community organizations seeking tax exemption have to go through MPAC–an independent body established by the Province of Ontario–and NOT city council.  Most exceptions to that standard practice were granted before 1970…long before MPAC was established in 1997.  Hence, even though the JCC does exceptional work for the betterment of our community, my decision was based on the fact that the same process should apply to all organizations.

Here is an article from the Windsor Star that summarizes Council’s decision: article.