CITY HALL – Special committee on committees picked and ready to work
The four-person committee charged with reviewing terms of reference for other committees will get down to work in April and May.
Coun. Kelly Hall, the deputy mayor for March, was given the task at last week’s special council meeting of picking members for the committee. He was supposed to pick three, and surpassed that with four instead.
At yesterday’s regular council meeting (Tuesday, March 28, 2023) Hall asked the four one by one if they would serve. It was like something out of a Rose Ceremony on The Bachelor TV show.
First, he asked Coun. Mike O’Reilly if he would serve as committee chair. “Yes, I accept,” O’Reilly said. Then he asked Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson, who also accepted.
Then, Coun. Nancy Bepple. Then Coun. Margot Middleton.
Hall said he’d also talked to other council members and invited them to submit their ideas on revising terms of reference to the committee.
Coun. Katie Neustaeter praised Hall for his “collaborative and respectful” approach, as well as for his work and his “consideration” in picking the committee members. Maybe she doesn’t realize it, but every time she offers such enthusiastic kudos for the work of others on council, it sounds like a dig at the mayor, who has been criticized for not being collaborative.
The committee has the authority to adjust the terms of reference but the Community Charter gives the mayor the authority to establish standing committees and to choose who sits on them. It’s expected the special committee will return with a recommendation to the whole of council that new terms of reference include a process for choosing members of the public to sit on the committees along with councillors.
In practice, that could mean a public application and selection process could be adopted, but the mayor would still have the power to make the final decision.
One thing the special committee could change without the mayor’s say-so is how committee chairs are chosen. Under existing procedures, the mayor makes that decision; removing several council members from their chair positions was one of the things that angered the councillors.
– Mel Rothenburger.
Is there going to be a committee to check the the legality and constitutionality of the committee to establish the committees? Sigh