We will never know that the Mayor had to say about his private tree bylaw or what the rest of council had to say about adding bike lanes to the New Street construction tender.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2016


As Standing Committee meetings go it was a pretty full agenda. The afternoon session was full and some significant recommendations were made. One was so important to this council that they held a Special meeting of council to pass a recommendation they had made minutes before – that had to do with the designation of a piece of property in the city core in ward 2.

The Gazette reports on that event elsewhere.

Council Chamber April 2011

The webcast station is tucked away in a corner at the back of the council chamber. It needs an equipment upgrade and better oversight as well.

The evening session had three items that were important:

1 – Memorandum from Mayor Goldring requesting pilot for private tree by-law in Roseland. (DI-01-16)
2 – Report providing enhanced cycling infrastructure options for New Street. (TS-06-16)
3 – Statutory public meeting and report providing information regarding a rezoning application for 2384 Queensway Drive (Habitat for Humanity Halton). (

The meeting did take place and there was some media in attendance. The Gazette chose not to attend this meeting – choosing instead to hear a presentation on what is being done with the Randle Reef – a pile of toxic sludge in Hamilton harbour that is being covered over using $2.3 million of your tax dollars.

We decided we could pick up the webcast and report on the evening meeting of the Development and Infrastructure Standing Committee.

Well – we are not able to report on that meeting – the web cast does not include either sound or the closed captioning.  As of Thursday afternoon – no one seems to know quite why.

Councillor Craven could make ammends and spearhead a drive to get the Freeman Station located in Spencer Smith Park where it belongs. That would mean getting along with Councillor Meed Ward. Can Craven get beyond his problems with Meed Ward and see the greater good for the city?

Councillor Craven chaired the Development and Infrastructure meeting and was not aware it wasn’t being fully broadcast. No one told him. As a former broadcaster that must rankle him.

The Chair of the Standing Committee didn’t appear to know that his meeting was not being effectively broadcast. There is no reason why he should. The Information technology staff didn’t seem to know that the broadcast wasn’t complete either.

The Gazette was able to get through to Councillor Meed Ward who made inquiries – the city manager doesn’t appear to have been in the loop.

This is sort of like a radio station going off the air and no on at the station being aware that no one could listen to what was being said.
The city did add a note to the web site saying:

D&I – Mar 22, 2016 – 6:30 pm
Due to technical difficulties, the evening session of the Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting on March 22, 2016 does not contain audio or closed…

We don’t know of there was a malfunction of the equipment or if it was the web caster who didn’t push a button or if the committee clerk failed to push a button.

The record of the meeting is lost – forever apparently – so the public has no way of knowing what the Mayor had to say about his motion to create a private tree bylaw nor do we know what the discussion was about adding bike lanes to the construction work currently being done on New Street.

The Committee Clerks does take minutes –we are about to see just how completely inadequate those minutes are. We will publish them just as soon as they are available.

The questions one asks is: What’s going on at city hall? We do not believe the failure to capture the sound and the closed captioning was deliberate but we do wonder aloud why someone did not check to ensure that the sound was being captured and broadcast. Is this something the webcaster should have done ? Is it something the Committee Clerk should have done? Should the Committee Chair, Rick Craven have checked, or more importantly, should the webcaster or the Committee Clerk alerted the chair to a problem – and once it was evident there was a problem should the city manager James Ridge not have made a statement and apologized for the screw up?

This mistake points to a bigger problem – the equipment the city uses is ancient and the quality of the broadcast is terrible. The mages are fuzzy and it is difficult to understand just who is speaking at times.

We have a city administration that goes on and on about how well they engage the people picking up the tab – but they rob you of the opportunity to go back and see just what the rascals are doing.

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1 comment to We will never know that the Mayor had to say about his private tree bylaw or what the rest of council had to say about adding bike lanes to the New Street construction tender.

  • John

    The proposed heritage designation in the afternoon session represented far more than the property itself.
    The larger question that gave everyone at the table trouble with was, should the city force this family to except a heritage designation and all the restrictions attached.

    The owners of the property did not want the designation forced on them and delegated to council explaining the issues and hardship that this would have on their family. They even offered to contribute to the city’s cost of having the property moved or use elements of the house in the design of their new home.

    In the end all but one Councilor and the Mayor could not support a forced designation against the owners will. The family can now move forward and build their new home.

    The lone vote in support of forcing a heritage designation surprisingly, came from Councilor Meed Ward.
    From a Councilor that often uses the mantra “Putting Residence First” a decision to force a resident into a situation that would cause hardship to their family, seems very odd, even hypocritical.