Details sought on town hall voting results

Council requests reports, information on issues raised during public meeting in July

  • Oct. 11, 2011 8:00 p.m.

Some of the issues voted on at Ladysmith’s Town Hall meeting in July will be going on to staff for reports and further information.

The discussion about what should be done with the clicker results from those in attendance has been on the government services agenda and council finally addressed the questions at a special meeting.

Most of the questions were sent to staff to compile reports to be given to council at a regular meeting. City Manager Ruth Malli said town staff have a full slate of work to the year’s end and are seeking some sort of guidance on what issues are considered priorities.

Discussion first centred around the clicker results themselves with Coun. Lori Evans pointing out some found the experience limiting with little discussion or dialogue on the issues put before them.

Mayor Rob Hutchins said that while he, too, heard some dissent from people, the majority of the attendees he spoke to enjoyed the clicker.

It was agreed that the results from the clicker results on the liquid waste management would be submitted as pubic input for the plan, since turnout at open houses has been so low. When asked about upgrading from primary to secondary treatment and expanding the wastewater facility, 40 people said they strongly agreed, while 22 said they agree, one person at the meeting disagreed and two strongly disagreed, while 13 said they needed more information. When asked about further protection of the harbour, more people wanted to see additional treatment versus extending the outfall pipe further into the harbour.

Mayor Rob Hutchins came out in strong support of backyard chickens pointing to food security and the rising cost of food are strong drivers to explore it further. Town hall attendees were split on backyard chickens with 32 people in favour, 27 against and two needing more information.

Hutchins noted a lot of background and leg work has been done by other municipalities on the chickens and the work should not be as difficult.

Evans expressed some concern about the chickens attracting dogs and other wildlife such as cougars.

When it came to the issue of cat licensing, Hutchins made a motion right away to table the plan until a later date. He noted the workload and the lack of information done on cat licensing as only one other municipality in B.C., Creston, has made it part of their bylaw.

Coun. Bruce Whittington was not in favour of holding off action on cat licensing, noting it is an issue that has to be dealt with now. Arrant cats, he pointed out, are not only a nuisance issue, but also a health issue, as many cats harbour various diseases and worms on their bodies and in their feces.

Whittington said it is not fair dogs must be licensed but cats are not required.

Coun. Duck Paterson expressed some concern about enforcement of cat licensing, but Hutchins said in his conversation with politicians in Creston, he has been told enforcement is easier than they imagined.

Council decided to address the issue of cat licensing in January.

Council has also asked for a feasibility study on an RV park on the waterfront. The decision was made with councillors Evans and Whittington voting against it. Whittington said he has not heard many people bringing up the issue and did not want to see council get involved in a business. Evans said she wanted to see the plan look at more than just the waterfront.

Currently there is no timeline as to when the reports or decisions will come to council.

Coun. Scott Bastian was not present at the meeting.

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