‘It’s put us be­hind’

Char­lot­te­town Mayor Philip Brown says it will be a while be­fore coun­cil com­mit­tees can get started

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY DAVE STE­WART Dave.ste­[email protected]­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

Things aren’t mov­ing as quickly as Char­lot­te­town Mayor Philip Brown hoped they would.

Be­cause of the new Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act (MGA), all ex­ist­ing stand­ing com­mit­tees, their terms of ref­er­ence and mem­bers are now null and void.

For the pur­poses of the new coun­cil’s first pub­lic meet­ing on Mon­day night, the for­mer chair­per­sons may present com­mit­tee re­ports any­way. That wasn’t clear on Fri­day.

Be­cause of the pro­ce­dural by­law set out by the MGA, new com­mit­tees won’t be ap­proved be­fore coun­cil re­turns for its reg­u­lar pub­lic monthly meet­ing in Jan­uary.

The makeup of the com­mit­tees will have to be ap­proved at that Jan­uary pub­lic meet­ing and then they can get started.

Es­sen­tially, mu­nic­i­pal gov­er­nance, from a coun­cil per­spec­tive at least, has slowed for the time be­ing in Char­lot­te­town.

“It’s put us be­hind,’’ Brown said Fri­day in an in­ter­view with The Guardian on his first day on the job.

The new mayor said the ex­ist­ing struc­ture should have been left in place.

The for­mer coun­cil pushed the pro­ce­dural by­law through in four days only to have the prov­ince ex­tend the dead­line.

“The pro­ce­dural by­law should have been left to this new coun­cil. We could have been on a dual track, con­tin­u­ing with the old sys­tem (while) look­ing at a new sys­tem. I’m not go­ing to com­plain about it. Let’s get it done.’’

Brown didn’t wait for Mon­day’s meet­ing to get things started. Dur­ing his swear­ing-in ad­dress on Thurs­day, Brown an­nounced that the coun­cil ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, whose job will be to de­ter­mine the makeup of the stand­ing com­mit­tees, will be com­prised of Deputy Mayor Ja­son Coady and Coun. Alanna Jankov. The com­mit­tee will also in­clude Brown and Peter Kelly, the city’s chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, who is in a non-vot­ing roll.

City coun­cil will have the fi­nal say on the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee and the makeup of the stand­ing com­mit­tees.

Brown said he could have waited for a mo­tion from the floor on Mon­day night to nom­i­nate two coun­cil­lors but noted that Coun. Bob Do­iron sub­mit­ted a no­tice of mo­tion on Thurs­day.

“I read it and pre­sented it as part of my speech. We’re ready to go. Let’s get this com­mit­tee in place so we can start putting to­gether com­mit­tee struc­tures, terms of ref­er­ences and cri­te­ria for qual­i­fi­ca­tions and dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

“I don’t want to be wast­ing a month or wast­ing time on get­ting this process go­ing.’’

In re­gard to Coun. Mike Duffy’s re­quest to see whether Do­iron vi­o­lated coun­cil’s code of con­duct by be­ing crit­i­cal of coun­cil in a let­ter to the ed­i­tor in The Guardian re­cently, Brown said Duffy alone can­not seek a le­gal opin­ion.

Brown will con­tinue with for­mer mayor Clif­ford Lee’s pol­icy that le­gal opin­ions can only come from a vote of coun­cil.

“If Coun­cil­lor Duffy wants to for­ward a res­o­lu­tion on Mon­day to go that route, then let him do that. It has to go through the pub­lic meet­ing.’’

DAVE STE­WART/THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town Mayor Philip Brown goes over some pa­per­work with Jill Ste­wart, his ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant, Fri­day at City Hall. His first day on the job con­sisted of two se­niors’ socials and pre­par­ing for coun­cil’s first pub­lic monthly meet­ing on Mon­day night.

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