Special Meeting of Council Thursday Morning

By John Swartz

Orillia council will have a special meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. The meeting was called by Mayor Steve Clarke. At time of publishing an agenda has not been published as is customary.

The stated purpose is to deal with waterfront parking and boat launch access.

Many residents have voiced concerns there are too many people coming from out of town to use our parks. Indeed this writer was at Tudhope and Kitchener Parks on Sunday and they were both quite busy. The number of license plate holders advertising GTA car dealerships was so great keeping count was difficult.

Clues to what might be on the agenda were found in a video Clarke published Monday here.

“I will be asking council to contemplate short term measures the City can put in place to address the use of parking and boat launches by visitors during COVD-19 to protect the safety of our citizens for the summer and I will also be asking council for support having staff report back on a longer term strategy on this very issue,” Clare said.

He said he has been out riding his bike and visiting municipal parks to see firsthand what is happening.

“I’ve witnessed some wonderful behavior,” he said, “but I’ve also witnessed what I would describe as irresponsible behavior that we simply cannot have during the ongoing pandemic. I want insure our residents that our bylaw officers in conjunction with the OPP are patrolling our parks.”

He had two messages, one for Orillians, one for visitors.

“We’ve worked really hard to keep the community safe,” said Clarke. “Although we typically welcome our visitors to our community with open arms as they are a vital part of our local community, our number one priority right now is the health and safety of our community.”

“If you are visiting our beautiful Sunshine City you must make sure that you are being a responsible guest.”

The meeting is public, though chambers are closed to the public. You can watch it on RogersTV.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)


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