Motions address efficiencies and procedures

For the second meeting in a row, Erin council had to extend past normal hours in order to go over a number of reports.

Three notice of motions and multiple staff reports were discussed at the April 5 council meeting.

Budget motion

Councillor Rob Smith introduced a motion at the April 5 meeting to direct staff to look into a reward or incentive program to reduce next year’s budget amounts.

“The ideas could be in ways to make services more efficient, to look for overlap and in general get a ground-up perspective as to where we can find savings for next year,” the motion states.

Smith said his main reason for the motion was to let staff working in each department find efficiencies.

“The people on the ground, they would better know where the savings are, where the overlaps are,” said Smith.

Councillor Matt Sammut said his understanding was they could not use incentives.

CAO Kathryn Ironmonger said there are various ways to create incentives, but they do have the ability to do that.

Council voted in favour of the motion.

Rules of procedure

One of two notice of motions put forward by Sammut included a request to remove the ability to suspend rules of procedure except for emergency situations.

Sammut explained he wanted to send a message about the motion that was brought forward abruptly by Mayor Allan Alls on March 1 to suspend public question period.

“The way we handled that one situation was wrong,” he said.

Councillor John Brennan said he saw where Sammut wanted to go with the motion, but added, “I think this is like too big a hammer to nail that small nail into the framework with.”

Clerk Dina Lundy said, “There’s lots of times when you do stray from the rules (without) a waiving of the rules.” She went on to explain there are other alternatives to Sammut’s motion.

“There is a mechanism in the procedural bylaw probably this council hasn’t used called a point of order … It’s up to council to police themselves on their procedural bylaws,” she added.

Sammut elected to withdraw the notice of motion, saying he was satisfied with sending a message.

“That was the message, it was totally wrong and I don’t want to be put in that situation again in the future,” he said.

Replacement of servers

New IT systems administrator Michael Tapp was before councillors to update them on the status of the town’s servers.

The warranty for the current servers expires in June and with an expected price increase of five per cent on April 1, Tapp said the town had to work quickly.

Council approved $20,000 for an upgrade to the servers in the 2016 budget.

Tapp said the town went ahead with the cheapest quote of $16,817 from CDW Canada for two servers and a storage area network (SAN) solution.

“It will bring to us roughly triple the amount of storage that we have for data,” said Tapp. Council accepted the report for information.