Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Nov. 19, 2012 meeting of Penticton Council.

Creative community partnership launched

Artist Margot Stolz and Shatford Centre Okanagan School of the Arts executive director Jane Shaak officially unveiled the inaugural art installation in the Council Chambers. The west wall in the newly upgraded room will serve as space for the Shatford Centre and Penticton Art Gallery creative community to showcase the work of local artists in a rotating display.

Margot's work consists of original encaustic designs on 20” x 20” birch wood panels and includes images of the historic Shatford Centre and other heritage buildings in Penticton. The title of this exhibit is “Encaustic Nostalgia.”

Live-streaming enhanced

Live-streaming of Council meetings is now available for all digital devices with the City of Penticton Council Chambers upgrades complete. The new streaming system launched Nov. 19 is platform agnostic, allowing citizens to view the video stream on all technologies and devices and easily take part in the democratic process.

The overall quality of the streaming should also improve with the installation of the Taiden Digital Conference System – a digital microphone system that is more sensitive to sound, allowing those watching Council proceedings to hear discussion better whether in person or online. Penticton is among the early adopters of the Taiden system, which was recently selected by the United Nations for its proceedings.

Better at Home program introduced

United Way community developer Myrna Tischer presented to Council on the Better at Home Program, which aims to help seniors live independently and remain connected to their communities. Ms. Tischer also extended an invite to a representative of Council to attend a community and key stakeholders meeting set for Friday, Nov. 30.

Deer report received

Penticton Council received a staff report that is an update to the urban deer management program. Staff conducted a fall count of urban deer within its boundaries on Wednesday, Oct. 31 under the guidance of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Management. Approximately 25 staff and community volunteers met at City Hall were teamed up and drove nine specific routes. The fall count indicated 49 deer were alive within the urban residential area of the City, compared to 20 deer in the spring. Ministry staff uses a formula that calculates the local urban deer population that shows an un-hunted population of resident city deer would expect a 50-50 mix of bucks and does. Counting only one buck and 23 does assumes there were at least 20 more deer alive on Oct. 31 (70 in total).

Energy study presented

Council considered a report on the Energy Saving Loan program and whether green jobs could be created to allow people to make improvements to their energy systems to help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Willis Energy Services reviewed the potential market for energy retrofits, a business case for implementing a loan program and outline impacts on the labour market. The report provided 11 findings, including a four-year business case. Council approved the setup of an electrical energy savings loan program for residential homeowners with the 2013 electrical budget including an interest rate allowance to be charged to participants in the program to be set at a level to make the program cost neutral.

Council schedule endorsed

According to Council's procedure bylaw, the City must give a yearly schedule of the dates and times of regular Council meetings. Regular meetings are held the first and third Mondays of each month starting at 6 p.m. The exception to this rule is when the meeting falls on a statutory holiday or during a conference, when the meeting is held the next day.

Notice of motion for Dec. 3

Coun. Helena Konanz made a notice of motion under Section 71 of the Local Government Act to establish the number of qualified nominators required to make a nomination for office as a member of Council to be 25. The motion will be considered at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Infrastructure funding

Coun. Gary Litke put forward a motion that Council write to the federal government requesting that federal infrastructure funding for local governments be given a choice of funding arrangements, not limited to public private partnerships. The motion highlights that municipalities are facing an infrastructure funding shortage, and that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has launched an eight-week campaign to ensure the 2013 federal budget includes an infrastructure plan that meets the needs of communities. The motion also calls for the resolution to be sent to opposition critics and local members of Parliament, and that this resolution be sent to UBCM and FCM for consideration at the next respective conventions.

Birch townhouse considered

Council considered first reading of a rezoning amendment and development permit for 695 Birch Ave. The change from small-lot residential to low-density multiple housing zoning would allow for the construction of a four-unit townhouse development.

Penticton Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 116 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.