Happenings at the Region — as of January 31 2019

Welcome to the end of January 2019.  To say that it has been cold outside is, well, an understatement.  I thought a recent picture of Niagara Falls provides a good look at what it is like.

Kudos to Niagara Region and Town of Lincoln staff for the work they have done to keep roads and traffic moving in our community over the past two weeks of interesting weather.

I also give credit to the waste collection people — I can tell you without a doubt, I don’t think I would like to be out working in those temperatures.

GENERAL COMMENTS

Most of the initial organizational items have been done by the various committees and coming into February, the real work required at the Region will now be gearing up.

Mayor Easton and I have been meeting on a fairly regular basis — we do have some differences on items, but we try to make sure we have both well thought positions when it comes to the things that directly affect the Town of Lincoln.

I provided to Lincoln Council a report for their meeting January 28 (unfortunately I was away).  I look to my friends at the Town to provide their input on issues of mutual importance and, I will say, the new YouTube channel showing Council meetings is really quite slick showing their meetings.

Town of Lincoln YouTube Channel  (Link)

NPCA

The new Board is in place (officially as of January 7).  As a Board, we have had three meetings, including the AGM on January 16 and a full board meeting January 23.  In my opinion, progress is being made.

As has been noted and is available publicly:

  • approval has been given to hire an interim Clerk position, a role that is critical to public organizations
  • two committees have been struck — CAO recruitment and NPCA Governance
  • Regarding recruitment — the process has started and is aiming to have a new CAO in place by late March
  • the NPCA presented their budget at Regional Council January 31, with Regional Council asking for some additional details

The following article appeared in the St. Catharines Standard today (February 2):

https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9156293-region-defers-npca-funding/  (Link)

BUDGET

Up to this point:

  • presentations have been done to Regional Council on capital (5.15%), which I have previously discussed
  • a workshop on operational initiatives and departments undertaken
  • water and wastewater has been reviewed (more discussion below)
  • Regional ABC groups (NPCA, NRH, Court Services, Police Services) have presented their information

As an example of what was provided, the following is the Police Services presentation we received (note that it is pdf format and is approx. 1.7M in size):

Police Service Board Presentation – January 31 2019  (PDF)

This is an interesting budget to handle — we can question values but in the end, Regional Council really does not have lot it can do to alter or adjust the budget request.  I will say, however, that the Police Chief did a good job outlining and defending this budget.

More to come soon.