Coun­cil­lors de­but new town tablets

Bay Roberts coun­cil meet­ings now have a dis­tinc­tive tech­no­log­i­cal flavour

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The Town of Bay Roberts is in the pa­per-sav­ing busi­ness. Each of the mayor and coun­cil­lors had a new tablet at their dis­posal dur­ing a Feb. 12 pub­lic meet­ing.

Bill Sey­mour, the deputy mayor, was wait­ing for his to be set up.

Each tablet had the night’s agenda pre-loaded as a .pdf file. This new mea­sure al­lows for the coun­cil to dras­ti­cally cut down on the us­age of pa­per when pre­par­ing for reg­u­lar meet­ings.

Town clerk Shirley Hawe assem­bles the agen­das for each meet­ing, and usu­ally uses some 1,100 sheets of pa­per by the time she makes copies for all seven mem­bers of coun­cil, plus her­self and other town of­fi­cials.

At a com­bined $2,600, or $380 each, the tablets are not a big ex­pense of coun­cil. There was some $10,000 al­lo­cated in the town’s bud­get for the pur­chase.

Th­ese ad­di­tions to coun­cil come af­ter a trial pe­riod that saw Hawe and chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Nigel

Bay Roberts di­rec­tor of tourism and econon­mic devel­op­ment Ron De­laney.

Black put the de­vices through its paces be­fore coun­cil made the leap.

Bay Roberts now be­comes the first town in the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion re­gion to have th­ese de­vices avail­able to coun­cil­lors, although there is word that Car­bon­ear may not be far be­hind.

Mayor Philip Wood said the tablets al­low for coun­cil­lors to have ac­cess to pre­vi­ous agen­das.

“Be­fore, when they were in­di­vid­ual pa­pers for that par­tic­u­lar meet­ing, but if you wanted to re­fer back to a pre­vi­ous meet­ing or a let­ter or com­ments, Shirley could get them by run­ning out,” he said.

Quar­terly re­ports

At the meet­ing, the town im­ple­mented quar­terly re­ports for each de­part­ment. Di­vid­ing the year up into quar­ters, de­part­ment heads will report on all of the hap­pen­ings in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions on a set sched­ule.

Here is the sched­ule for the first set of re­ports: • Recre­ation — Feb. 26; • Mu­nic­i­pal en­force­ment — March 12; • Pub­lic Works — March 26; This sched­ule will re­peat it­self ev­ery yearly quar­ter.

Up first was the tourism and devel­op­ment, as well as the CAO’s report.

Di­rec­tor of tourism and eco­nomic devel­op­ment, Ron De­laney, read out the report.

De­laney re­ported that the town is gear­ing up for a re-launch of its web­site with an ex­pected launch date to be in March.

“The site will be de­signed for a quicker ac­cess to de­part­men­tal in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

The site will fea­ture links to the town’s Flickr and YouTube ac­counts, as well as the pos­si­bil­ity of a “pull­down” for pub­lic works, a job bank for Bay Roberts. Other high­lights in­clude: • the tourism out­door main­te­nance su­per­vi­sor is now a full-time po­si­tion;

• the tourism of­fi­cer will be­gin work the first week of May;

• the Vis­i­tor’s Pavil­ion will be open for May 24 week­end;

• 88.5 tourism ra­dio will launch May 24 week­end;

CAO’s report

Mean­while, Black pre­sented his chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer’s report the same evening.

“We con­tinue to work through the var­i­ous hur­dles of land ac­qui­si­tion,” he said of the pro­posed busi­ness park.

Bay Roberts is be­gin­ning an over­haul of its mu­nic­i­pal plan, Black ex­plained, to ad­dress is­sues that have come up since its in­cep­tion.

“The process will be­gin im­me­di­ately and may re­quire ad­di­tional pub­lic process de­pend­ing on the re­sponse from the com­mu­nity,” he said.

Other high­lights in­clude:

• the town will be im­ple­ment­ing new ap­pli­ca­tion forms for devel­op­ment this year and will be con­cen­trat­ing on ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic on the var­i­ous forms of devel­op­ment that re­quire per­mits;

• the town plan­ner will be meet­ing with coun­cil to dis­cuss pos­si­ble amend­ments to the MAD Rock CDA area bound­aries.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file photo

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