BRACEBRIDGE - Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith was the only dissenting voice as area mayors voted to recommend changing district council meetings to a monthly rotation, from its current three week schedule.
At last week’s corporate and emergency services committee meeting, members resolved to recommend that the bylaw be changed and the new meeting schedule begin on Jan. 21.
Other than Smith, the committee’s members agreed that the move would make sense from cost savings and attendance standpoints.
Smith felt maintaining the status quo is the way to go, saying he thinks the three-week schedule results in greater accountability.
“I believe people perform better in shorter meeting,” he said, adding that he hopes the decision is being made based on good business practice and not on convenience for council members.
It was suggested by Huntsville Mayor Claude Doughty that procurement bylaws be changed to delegate budgeted purchasing decisions to the public works department.
“Budgeted expenses are rubber-stamped anyway, why not delegate to public works?” he asked.
Smith wanted to know what would trigger the public works department to bring an expense back to council if it was going over budget.
“I want to make sure we’re not giving delegated authority to approve a massive overbid,” he said.
Stephen Cairns, commissioner of finance and corporate services at the district, said items that go over budget would have to come back to council.
Council chair John Klinck said the move would meet the ultimate goal of having district business move along in a timely fashion.
Muskoka Lakes Mayor Alice Murphy commented that she hoped the change would engender more community involvement and save taxpayers money.