General Purposes Committee Meeting Minutes - January 5, 2004



General Purposes Committee





Monday, January 5th, 2004


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Rob Howard
Councillor Kiichi Kumagai (4:04 p.m.)
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.










It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on Monday, December 15th, 2003 and on Tuesday, December 16th, 2003, be adopted as circulated.











2005 Tall Ships Challenge
(Report:  December 16/03, File No.:  7400-20-TALL1) (REDMS No. 1092103)



The Director, Parks Operations, Dave Semple, indicated that he had nothing further to add to the report.  Discussion then ensued among Committee members and Mr. Semple on:




when notice should have been given to the American Sail Training Association (ASTA) that the City would not be hosting the 2005 Tall Ships Challenge event, and whether the City was in a position to request that Richmond be given the first right of refusal for the 2008 event




whether the City wanted to hold a Tall Ships Festival and whether the City should be withdrawing its support for the 2005 event




the cost to the City of retaining the first right of refusal ($35,000 US as well as the costs for coordinating and producing the event)




whether any enquiries had been received by staff from the business community about sponsoring the 2005 event




the need to amend the staff recommendation to reflect that the City was withdrawing its support for the 2005 ASTA Tall Ships Challenge.




the estimated in-kind costs for the Richmond 2005 event and the need to run an open and accountable event so that taxpayers were totally aware of how much money was being invested




whether the City's position with respect to the 2008 event would be jeopardized by not hosting the 2005 event




the negative impact which the hosting of Tall Ships events in other cities in and around Richmond (Victoria and Tacoma, Washington as well as possibly Port Alberni and Anacortes, Washington), could have in reducing the number of visitors to the Richmond event.




During the discussion, Councillor Steves expressed his opposition to the proposed recommendation, during which he spoke about a previous recommendation relating to the 2002 event that the City host a joint event with the City of New Westminster, and he commented that the City could pursue this option. 



He also spoke about (i) the world wide recognition which the City could achieve in hosting the 2005 event; (ii) the reluctance of Council to loan the Richmond Tall Ships Festival Society the requested funds to hold the event; (iii) the negative impact which the 2005 ASTA event (ships sailing into Victoria and ports in Washington) could have on a scaled-down Richmond event; (iv) the City of Vancouver Symphony of Fire event and how in-kind costs were handled for that event; (v) how other cities which hosted Tall Ships events dealt with in-kind costs, and (vi) how the cost of the proposed event compared to the cost of recent renovations to City Hall. 



In response, the Mayor stated, with regard to in‑kind costs, that it was the responsibility of Council to ensure that Richmond residents were made aware of the true cost of the event. 



The Mayor also spoke about the conditions which the Tall Ships Festival Society had submitted to the City, over and above the request for funding, including being named on the City's liability insurance policy without saying who would pay for that; and assurance that the Society would not have to assume responsibility for any additional debt, which would result in the City being obligated to pay for these costs.  He also commented on the comparison made to the cost of holding the Tall Ships event to the renovations recently completed at City Hall.



Discussion continued briefly, with Councillor Steves commenting further on the handling of in-kind costs; the need to attract economic development to the City and the risks involved in promoting business in the community.




It was moved and seconded



That the City of Richmond withdraw support for hosting the 2005 ASTA Tall Ships Challenge.






OPPOSED:  Cllr. Barnes




It was moved and seconded



That a letter be sent from the Mayor to the American Sail Training Association releasing first right of refusal for hosting this event.







Discussion ensued on the 2005 Tall Ships Challenge event and when staff would be reporting to Committee on how to deal with the 2008 event.  Comments were made that information was needed on the success of Victoria and other venues with respect to the 2005 event, before making a decision on the 2008 event.  As a result, the following referral motion was introduced:




It was moved and seconded



That the question of the viability of the 2008 Tall Ships Challenge event be referred to staff for an interim report to Committee.



The question on the motion was not called, as staff were requested to (i) investigate the method of how the 2008 event could be undertaken as the City‑run and volunteer host options had proven to be unsuccessful, and (ii) comment on a potential cost structure.



The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED.








Strategic Financial Planning Process
(Report:  December 31/03, File No.:  0970-03-01) (REDMS No. 1109734)



Chief Administrative Officer George Duncan briefly reviewed his report with the Committee.  Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on the proposed planning process, during which the following issues were addressed:




how, and if, the proposed process would relate to the current budget discussions and whether any principles and policies adopted for the 2005 budget would be applied to the 2004 budget




the need for (i) a definition of core business as this term related to the existing Local Government Act and new Community Charter, and (ii) a list of core businesses and other services provided by the City which were not included in the City's core delivery service




how the Committee would deal with the questions referred to in Mr. Duncans report




the impact which the decisions made in relation to Mr. Duncans questions could have on the results of the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services service delivery review




the impact of the adoption of the Sustainable Financial Plan on future property tax increases and City operating costs




whether the review of the questions proposed by Mr. Duncan would be philosophical or realistic discussions




whether any consideration had been given to user payments rather than including taxes for services received in the tax base




the rationale for the number of questions which dealt specifically with the issue of property taxes




whether the meetings on the questions contained in Mr. Duncans report would be (i) on-going or specifically set, and (ii) held as part of the Finance Select or General Purposes Committee meetings




how the City's relationship with other bodies, such as Richmond Health Services, would be dealt with, as part of this planning process.




During the discussion, staff were asked to provide a list of those areas which could form the City's core business as it was felt that this list would be beneficial during the future discussion on Question No. 1.  The suggestion was also made that each Councillor provide their definition of same level of service.




It was moved and seconded



That the introduction of the strategic financial planning process through which the City will transition from the current Five-Year Financial Plan to the Sustainable Financial Plan, (as outlined in the report dated December 31st, 2003 from the Chief Administrative Officer), be endorsed, and that the following be added as Questions 8 and 9, respectively:




Policy of user payments vs. inclusion in tax base for services received; and




Appropriate definition for Same Level of Service.







It was moved and seconded



That the matter of the relativity of residential, commercial and industrial tax rates and related information, be referred to staff for report to a future meeting of the Finance Select Committee.







Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on when the first meeting of the strategic financial planning process would take place, and it was agreed that the Monday, February 2nd, 2004 meeting of the General Purposes Committee would be dedicated to dealing with the questions outlined in Mr. Duncans report.








It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (5:30 p.m.).








Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Monday, January 5th, 2004.



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerks Office



07.16.04 14:36