Structure Altered for 3 Public Committees
By Kirk Winter
Three CKL committees had their makeup altered at the first full meeting of the new CKL Council.
The last Council had made a decision to limit volunteer positions on City committees because of concerns expressed that many of these boards were operating already with well below the number of volunteers they should have, and with the hope to streamline some of the very large committees which regularly become bogged down in “silly squabbling.”
Ward 3 Councillor, and Deputy Mayor, Doug Elmslie, requested that the makeup of the Fenelon Falls Museum Board be returned to the number of members it had in the past. The City was looking to reduce the membership of the Board to four members from nine. Elmslie said that was unnecessary, and the Museum was “blessed with the robust group of volunteers who felt excluded” from the new, much-smaller City-decreed board. Elmslie felt that anything done to discourage volunteers was self-defeating, and would hurt the overall operation of the Museum. Elmslie also said that “many hands make light work” and the larger the group of volunteers involved the less chance there was for Board burnout. After a brief discussion, Council approved a return to a nine member Fenelon Falls Museum Board.
Ward 2 Councillor Seymour-Fagan made a similar proposal regarding the Bobcaygeon Legacy CHEST Fund Grant Committee. Seymour-Fagan wanted to see many different people involved with this committee as possible, and wanted to have a rolling membership where people come and go at staggered times so the committee is never made up of completely new members. Council agreed to increase the minimum number of members to six, with hopefully a regular contingent of seven community volunteers plus the Ward 2 Councillor determining where funds would be spent in Bobcaygeon.
Ward 7 Councillor O’Reilly wanted similar changes with the Lindsay Legacy CHEST Fund Grant Committee. The City had recommended a reduction in the Committee to Councilors O’Reilly and Dunn, and three volunteers from the city of Lindsay. O’Reilly suggested an increase to five volunteers as well as the two Councillors.
Much to the surprise of many Councillors, Ward 5 Councilor Pat Dunn spoke forcefully against that idea, claiming that five volunteers would give too much power to the public, leaving open the possibility of approval for projects that do not fit the CHEST Fund criteria, over the wishes of the two remaining Lindsay Councillors.
When Council as a whole voted on the issue, Councillor O’Reilly’s proposal was approved, with many left wondering what sparked Councillor Dunn’s remarks about volunteers needing more guidance in decision making.