Info Laden Meeting at County Council
The Municipality of Cumberland Council met via zoom for its first meeting of 2021 tonight and the new councillors were treated to a heavy dose of background information.
The meeting opened with three presentations:
- Representatives of the Cumberland Forestry Advisory Committee updated council on their most recent activities.
- Beth Peterkin then provided an update on the work of the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark Committee.
- The Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing provided an explanation of roles and responsibilities of Council.
Four By-Laws were given public hearings, two were for requests for rezoning, with a third for a development agreement. The fourth public hearing was the Sewer By-Law which was amended to include the option of monthly payments for the local improvement charge.
The public hearings are an important step for all four by-laws to be finalized in a second reading. Council voted to hold second reading at the February 3, 2021 public council meeting.
The Director of Finance, Andrew MacDonald, introduced council to the Financial Sustainability Strategy, the 2021/2022 budgeting process and the 2021 Assessment Roll.
Council approved the Reimbursement Policy for members of council and the chief administration officer. The only changes to this policy were to update the terminology from Warden/Deputy Warden to Mayor/Deputy Mayor.
The first reading was given to an amendment on the land use by-law for rezoning. A public hearing will be held February 17, 2021 on the matter.
During the coronavirus pandemic, all public hearings continue to be virtual with the option for residents to write-in, call-in or zoom-in to provide comments. A deadline for comments on the by-law will be provided in an official advertisement.
Councillor Jennifer Houghtaling asked council to consider a territorial acknowledgement for future meetings of council. Council requested a presentation on the indigenous history of Cumberland County.
Mayor Scott led a discussion to standardize committee reports. This may help improve transparency in communications for the committees, citizens, council and staff.
Council approved a $3,450 grant to the Southampton Community Centre, pending their renewal with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies.
Council discussed a marketing initiative called Nova Scotia Starts Here to draw attention to Cumberland’s integral role as the entry point to Nova Scotia.
A review of the final financial statement for the 2020 municipal election showed the process was conducted under budget.
Councillor Houghtaling led council through a discussion on the importance of the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipality’s resolution regarding extended producer responsibility for disposal of printed paper and packaging. Staff were directed to send a letter to Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment expressing council’s support for the resolution to be implemented.
Council approved an early retirement plan for Rennie Bugley, the county’s Chief Administrative Officer. A committee was struck to begin the search for a new CAO with the support of a recruitment agency.
The Manager of Organization Development and Innovation, Allie McCormick, ended the meeting with a piece of good news. The Municipality of Cumberland was recognized as a 2020 Employee Recommended Workplace. The award recognizes workplaces with a proven healthy environment that supports employee well-being.
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