Council Preview

By John Swartz

Monday’s Orillia council regular meeting starts at 4 p.m. There will be a deputation to get things rolling. Sgt. Matt Stoner of the Orillia Opp and Insp. Veronica Eaton will in to discuss the new ‘Community Mobilization Table.’

Table?  No, the City is not buying some specialized kind of furniture requiring a presentation to proceed. In this case it’s also not an organized representation of a bunch of numbers. Table is the new bureaucratic buzzword replacing committee.

From the OPP perspective, they are talking about a new Community Mobilization Unit. The stated purpose is to have a, “Dedicated team to focus on community issues with the goal of developing strategies to connect community partners, promote community safety activities and reduce calls for service.”

They have a nice collection of graphics, but one has an interesting comment bubble. In the accompanying image you’ll note one of the bubbles says “Identify risks and social disorder.” Given intense scrutiny of police activities across North America over the past year one hopes they meant “Identify risks OF social disorder,” which is a different thing. Since the general intent of the presentation is to outline how the OPP can reduce police involvement (calls) and instead work with other agencies to head off problems before they become problems requiring dispatching police, maybe they meant the latter.

The community issues being addressed with this plan are socio-economics, addictions and mental health, “To develop strategies of identified high crime and traffic areas and engage, educate and enforce with the objective of community safety. The goal of this team is to promote public safety and reduce crime and traffic related incidents within the Orillia Detachment area.” This is something downtown merchants and residents have been talking about for years.

Making Room In The Executive Suite

The City of Orillia got by for decades with having a Treasurer. It needed to. It’s one of only two occupational positions all municipalities are required by law to have. Nominally this would be the top of a food chain in the organizational structure, however it was bumped down a level of prestige and the City’s treasurer, Lockie Davis, now has someone to report to instead of council. That person is Amanpreet Singh Sidhu, the new – as of last year – general manager of corporate services/City Solicitor.

Davis, retired as treasurer of Innisfil last November and then took the Treasurer’s job here earlier this month. Sidhu came to Orillia in July last year from Midland where he held a similar position.

Today council will appoint a new deputy treasurer, a newly created post. Angela Anderson, who comes here from Perth where she was treasurer, will be confirmed by council to the post today.

Other Business

The report from last week’s committee meeting is routine, but it should be noted council authorized staff to create a 10-year plan to convert existing gardens, or create, to pollinator gardens and submit it to the 2022 budget. There are no consent agenda items and in by-laws 2 Hunter Valley Road has been sold to 5006426 Ontario Inc. There is no information for how much, or who the buyer is and what the intended use will be.

The regular council meeting is a video conference and the chamber is closed to the public. The public can watch it live on Rogers TV.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia; Image Supplied)


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