A bid by a Belleville councillor to shut down the city’s grant committee and have the city’s economic development department handle all city grants created a lengthy debate at Monday night’s city council meeting.
Councillor Jackie Denyes cited the case of the recent grant to Berkley B1 fishing tournament as an indication the department was taking over the grant committee’s jurisdiction.
Denyes was referring to Economic Development manager Karen Poste appearing before a special session of the grant committee late last year to present an application for a grant to the major fishing tournament scheduled for this summer at Belleville harbour.
Grant committee chair Councillor Mitch Panciuk said Denyes’ motion was “a silly argument” and that the committee had met in special session to accommodate the timing for the major tournament.
Panciuk said he “understands that if the decisions of council don’t go our way it becomes a passionate topic.” He had “hoped the temperature would go down after a little bit”.
He said the process was followed.
Panciuk noted, for instance, the transit issue of bus passes was recently referred to the grant committee.
Councillor Jack Miller said this was “exceptional circumstances” and the grant committee met and reacted quickly. He said he liked the idea of “flexibility there”.
CAO Rick Kester told council the role of the Economic Development department had expanded to include some tourism and “the role of the office is to bring forward items of importance to the committee”.
Councillor Denyes’ motion lost on a vote of 7 to 1 with Councillor Carr absent.
Canada Day 150 $$$ on hold
An application for an extra $50,000 for Belleville’s Canada Day celebration in Canada’s 150th anniversary year has gone back to committee for some fine tuning.
Grant committee Chair Councillor Mitch Panciuk told city council Monday night it was a matter of a technical nature.
The Canada Day committee is looking for $25,000 as it received last year, plus an extra $50,000 to expand activities, entertainment and fireworks for the Canada 150 celebrations at Zwicks Park on July 1.
The additional money would come partly from the city’s Canada Day Reserve Fund.
Standing by the mayor
Belleville city council has stood by its mayor’s power to appoint councillors to represent him when necessary.
Monday night Councillor Mitch Panciuk introduced a motion at city council calling for a rigid formula for which councillors step in to represent the mayor at various functions.
Councillor Egerton Boyce said he had a concern about limiting the power of the mayor.
Councillor Jack Miller called the motion “out of order” and said he didn’t think council should “handcuff the mayor.”
Panciuk’s motion lost on a recorded vote of 6 to 2. Councillor Carr was absent.