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Last kick at the can: previous council takes swan song in final committee of the whole meeting

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
November 21st, 2011

Three items are on the agenda for the last committee of the whole meeting for the previous council on Monday night in council chambers, 7 p.m.

The night includes a Neigbourhood Facilitator Program from the Transition Nelson Society, an update to the Official Community Plan and the Nelson Police Department’s provisional operating budget for 2012.

Neighbourhood Facilitator Program

Transition Nelson Society, in partnership with Mir Centre for Peace at Selkirk College, is working on a proposal to organize a neighbourhood facilitator program.

The Mir Centre for Peace will provide training for volunteers, gratis. The volunteers would, in return, pledge to provide a specific minimum number of hours to facilitate/mediate any neighborhood issues or conflicts that arise, when requested.

The society perceives neighbourhood as being on a smaller scale such as six square blocks – thinking of the social patterns of walk-able neighbourhoods.

Although initially the program was conceived to help allay fears around neighborhood issues relating to allowing backyard chickens, they quickly realized that the program was ideal to act as a filter for the complaints process in general.

Potentially, complaints could first be referred to the program unless there was clear, immediate harm occurring. As well, facilitators could be available to simply accompany their neighbours if they feel “shy” about letting another neighbour know about a concern they have.

The society hopes to benefit from the experience of community mediator programs in place in several cities including Toronto, among other cities, where the community peer mediation model has been in use for several decades

The society is seeking input from the City in order to structure the training and the program in a way that will be most beneficial for all parties. They have met with Chief Wayne Holland to discuss how this would dovetail with the new bylaw adjudication process, and would also like to work with other City departments where this might prove useful.

Andre Piver, Selkirk College’s Mir Centre for Peace, Randy Jantzen and Coun. Iim Charlesworth of the Transition Nelson Society will explain to council about the Neighbourhood Facilitator Program.

Official Community Plan updates

Dave Wahn and Daphne Powell from the Department of Development Services and Sustainability will present a work plan to incorporate the recommendations from the recent planning initiatives into the Official Community Plan (OCP).

The recommendations are coming from the recently completed; Sustainable Waterfront & Downtown Master Plan, the Path to 2040 Sustainability Strategy, the Low Carbon Path to 2040, the City of Nelson Housing Strategy 2010, the Active Transportation Plan 2010 and the Heritage Register Update.

2012 Nelson Police Department provisional operating budget

The Police Act requires council approval of the following fiscal year’s budget by Nov. 30, 2011.

The 2012 operating budget has been approved by the Nelson Police Board and will be submitted for council’s provisional approval, as both the Nelson Police Association and CUPE collective agreements are in full force and effect, and labour rates for 2012 established.

Labour costs form a significant portion of the public safety budget. Provisional approval will allow the chief constable to move forward in working with City staff to develop the final budget.

The provisional capital budget will be submitted at a later date, in accordance with council’s direction.

Categories: General

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