In brief, here are four items of public interest that were discussed during the July 2019 City Council meeting. The full agenda can be accessed here.
Public Engagement Policy
In the past, the City has taken a more informal approach to public engagement with a focus on tools and tactics, as opposed to strategies and outcomes. The growing complexity of municipal public policy issues, combined with the integration of new technologies and globalization of knowledge is changing how citizens interact with cities and provide input on those complex issues. These changing expectations strongly suggest that the City requires a more strategic approach to public engagement.
Fundamentally, a public engagement process will encourage transparency, gather input from residents and stakeholders to enhance the project, and communicate how this input has influenced the outcome. A new Engagement Policy was approved and can be found as agenda item 10.6.1 on pages 26 - 71. It will come into effect September 1, 2019.
2020/2021 Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget Property Tax Options
At the June 17, 2019 Governance and Priorities Committee meeting, the Administration presented that a 3.94% and 4.17% property tax increase for the years 2020 and 2021 respectively was required in order to maintain existing services, correct the Waste Services budget shortfall and begin the phase-in of funding required for a city-wide organics program. At this meeting, Committee directed that a lower property tax be targeted for the two years. This report provided options to achieve the revised target.
City Council directed the following 6 of 9 options to be included in the budget:
|Options||2020 Mill Rate Impact||2021 Mill Rate Impact|
|Option 3 – Gas Tax Allocation to Organics Program||(0.13%)||(0.13%)|
|Option 4 – Allocate MMSW Funding Towards Waste Deficit||(0.19%)||(0.19%)|
|Option 5 – Defer all Bylaw/Policy Required Inflationary Allocations||(0.15%)||(0.17%)|
|Option 6 – Longer Phase-in of Remai CBCM||(0.04%)||(0.04%)|
|Option 7 – Defer Recovery Park Phase-in||(0.10%)||-|
|Option 8 – Major Transportation/Bus Rapid Transit Funding Plan Adjustments||(0.10%)||(0.10%)|
These six options will be included in the Preliminary Business Plan and Budget document resulting in the proposed property tax increase of 3.23% and 3.54% for 2020 and 2021, respectively. The report can be found as agenda item 10.5.1 on pages 14 - 25.
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls - Calls to Justice
City Council approved a recommendation to have the Administration review the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and identify options for how the City of Saskatoon can respond to the Report’s Calls for Justice that are within the City’s jurisdiction, in a fashion similar to the existing review that has been undertaken for the Calls to Action of
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Upon completion of the review, a report will be presented to City Council with additional information.
More information about the update can be found here as agenda item 14.1 on pages 134 - 138.
Appointment of Integrity Commissioner
Bylaw No. 9537, The Code of Ethical Conduct for City Council Bylaw, 2019 requires City Council to appoint an Integrity Commissioner.
The duties and responsibilities of the Integrity Commissioner are set out in section 84 of the Bylaw and include:
- Provision of advice and recommendations to members of Council on questions of compliance with the Bylaw.
- Preparation of written materials for use by members of Council, and content for the City’s website, regarding the role and the ethical obligations and responsibilities of members of Council.
- Deliverance of educational programs to members of Council and City staff regarding the role and the ethical obligations and responsibilities of members of Council.
- Receipt and investigation of complaints under the Bylaw.
City Council approved the recommendation that Mr. Randall Langgard be appointed as the City of Saskatoon’s Integrity Commissioner until December 31, 2021, with an option to renew for further one-year periods.
More information about the update can be found here as agenda item 11.2.5 on pages 129 - 131.