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2006 Agendas & Minutes

September 5, 2006 Minutes

City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

General Purposes Committee





Tuesday, September 5th, 2006


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie, Chair
Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Cynthia Chen
Councillor Derek Dang
Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Sue Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Rob Howard
Councillor Bill McNulty
Councillor Harold Steves

Call to Order:

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





It was moved and seconded



That the matter of a “Tall Ship at Steveston” be added to the agenda as an additional item.











It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on Monday, July 17th, 2006, be adopted as circulated.












(Report:  Aug. 31/06, File No.:   03-1085-00) (REDMS No. 2015951)



Discussion took place among Committee members on the proposed policy, with the following comments being expressed: 




such a policy, if adopted, could give the impression of an ‘open door’ for any organization which required funding




without the proposed policy there would be an open door; the policy would provide guidelines for all to follow and would be a good fiscal financial practice to introduce




while the intent of the proposed policy was understood, it was felt that the appropriate time to deal with this matter might be following the completion of the review of the grants policy process.




the proposed policy would help to set City direction relating to outside financial requests, and would make the City be more accountable for its actions with regard to such requests.



During the discussion, information was provided that the Grants Committee would be reviewing the grants policy process on September 11th, 2006.  Comments were then made about the openness and transparency of the grants policy and how emergency situations were dealt with through this process. 



Discussion continued, with questions being raised about whether the proposed policy would enhance the existing policy, as it was noted that an emergency situation was an extraordinary circumstance impossible to predict.  Comments were also made about the need for flexibility, and concern was voiced that the proposed policy would be an impediment to the current process.  Concern was also expressed about the impact which the policy, if adopted, could have on the City’s budgetary requirements.



During the discussion, support was offered for the proposed policy.  However, comments were also made about the current City Grants Policy, the requests for funding which had been received from organizations outside of the grant process, the impending review of this policy, and whether the City needed another policy.



As a result of the discussion, the following amended motion was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That the report (dated August 31st, 2006, from Councillor Cynthia Chen), regarding Financial Assistance, be received for information.






OPPOSED: Cllr. Chen










(Report:  Aug. 30/06, File No.:   05-1400-20-02) (REDMS No. 2007462, 2009209)



Fire Chief Jim Hancock, accompanied by the Director of Human Resources, Mike Pellant, commented on the implementation plan and briefly reviewed the staff report.



Discussion then took place among Committee members and staff on:




the proposed fire fighter training requirements on inter-personal skills and the on-going cost of $307,000; whether the three day training requirement would ever become redundant; whether the training could be accomplished for less cost through the elimination of backup provisions, and a reduction in the number of required training days and the proposed 2% staff fringe costs




the rationale for providing staff replacements for the three days of training




the percentage of the budget being spent on fire fighter training and how this compared to the City as a whole and to other fire departments




whether the IAFF Local 1286 have been involved in the development of the implementation plan; and how the plan fit within the collective agreement




how the success of the implementation plan would be determined, and the importance of benchmarking




the reintegration of the women firefighters into the Department work force




the need for an additional Deputy Chief, an Office Manager, and an Administrative Assistant




the hiring standards to be used by the Department when employing new recruits




the proposal to remove the Battalion Chiefs from the IAFF bargaining unit into management; the Department’s practice of promoting, and how promotion would take place in the future




the Fire-Rescue Department and the need for positive marketing




the importance of an effective training program to achieve the desired results, and the steps which would be taken to implement the plan.



(Cllr. Steves left the meeting at 4:56 p.m., and returned at 4:58 p.m., during the above discussion.)



During the discussion, advice was given that the cost of $307,000 was not the cost of training, but rather the cost of replacing fire fighters while the training was taking place.



A request was made during the discussion that in future, more detailed information be provided on budget percentages.  A request was also made that justification be provided to Committee on the proposed training costs to determine if the training could be accomplished in a more cost effective manner.



Reference was made to Part 2 of the recommendation, which indicated that staff would report on a quarterly basis to the Community Safety Committee, and the suggestion was made that the report should be made on a monthly basis.  A brief discussion ensued on this matter, during which Cllr. Barnes, as Chair of the Community Safety Committee, suggested that an oral report could be made at the monthly Committee meetings as part of the Manager’s Report.



It was moved and seconded




That Council receive the Richmond Fire-Rescue Review Implementation Plan and consider the funding requests required to implement the plan as part of the 2007 budget process.




That staff report to the Community Safety Committee on Richmond Fire-Rescue’s progress on their Review Implementation Plan monthly to the end of 2007.












(Report:  August 31, 2006, File No.:  01-0153-01/2006-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 1990009)



The Manager, Policy Planning, Terry Crowe, accompanied by the Director of Transportation, Victor Wei, advised that he had nothing further to add to the report.



Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on the proposed recommendations, with several Councillors voicing their objections to Recommendation No. 2, ‘That the City of Richmond recommends that a future third runway be located in the foreshore west of Sea Island, with appropriate mitigation.’ 



Reference was made to issues addressed and action taken by the City thirty years ago as they related to the airport and questions were raised as to whether staff could review this action.  A comment was made that aircraft noise would be acceptable if it meant that the Sea Island foreshore could be retained.  The suggestion was made that the small aircraft currently accommodated at the Vancouver International Airport could be relocated to the Boundary Bay Airport in Delta or to the Abbotsford airport.



Staff in response to the concerns expressed, commented on the requirement that the Vancouver International Airport Authority (VIAA) complete a master plan, and information was provided on the preparation of the plan, the proposed expansion of the airport, and the issues which were addressed in the master plan to make the airport operation more effective in the future.  In response, support was offered for the proposal made during the discussion that smaller aircraft be relocated to other airports. 



Questions were raised about ‘appropriate mitigation’ and how this could be achieved.  In response, staff provided information on the action which could be taken to offset the impact of the proposed third runway.



During the discussion, comments were made about the aggressiveness of the recommendations contained in the Airport Master Plan, and concern was expressed about whether the wording in recommendation no. 3 was strong enough to get the City’s point across. 



Further opposition was voiced about Recommendation No. 2, with comments being made that a third runway was not necessary and that regional airports should be utilized to a greater degree than was presently occurring.  Concern was also expressed that the VIAA was concerned about the City’s view that a third runway was not an option. 



Discussion continued briefly, with comments being made about the impact of a third runway on the City; mitigation which might be provided, and the growth of the airport.



As a result of the discussion regarding recommendation no. 2, the following amended motion was introduced:



It was moved and seconded



That Recommendation No. 2 (as presented in the staff report) be reworded to read as follows, “That the matter of the third runway be referred to staff for further analysis, including the need for a further runway, and the impacts of all the runway options including the south runway and the foreshore runway, and that the VIAA be advised accordingly.”







It was moved and seconded



That, (as per the report dated August 31st, 2006, from the Manager, Policy Planning, and entitled “City Comments - Vancouver International Airport Draft 20-Year Master Plan”):




The comments in Attachment 1 (to the report dated August 31st, 2006, from the Manager, Policy Planning), except for Section 5.4 regarding the runway, be approved and forwarded to the Vancouver International Airport Authority (VIAA);




The City advise the VIAA that it does not support taking existing transportation capacity away from non-airport users, such as designating part of the existing lanes on the Arthur Laing Bridge, Moray Channel Swing Bridge or the Airport Connector Bridge, for exclusive use by airport-traffic, and additional VIAA and City collaboration is required;




The City request that Transport Canada, with the Vancouver International Airport Authority and the other regional airports, prepare a Regional Airport Strategy; and




The City and Vancouver International Airport Authority continue to work together to better integrate Sea Island, Middle Arm and City Centre land use, transportation, transit, servicing, flood protection management, infrastructure, amenity and environmental planning.







It was moved and seconded



That the City request that the Vancouver International Airport Authority and the Department of Transport rename the Vancouver International Airport to be the “Vancouver/Richmond International Airport”, to be reflective of a shifting regional emphasis and Richmond’s premier role in the development of the Asia Pacific Gateway trade, commerce and relationships.












(Report:  Aug. 25/06, File No.:  11-7000-00/Vol 01) (REDMS No. 2014155)



It was moved and seconded



That the joint application by the Richmond School Board and the City of Richmond be approved for $40,000 to undertake step 2 of the School Community Connections program, targeting City Centre and Hamilton as priority areas for consideration.



Prior to the question on the motion being called, information was provided that the School Board would be dealing with a similar resolution at its next meeting.  Further information was provided by the Director, Recreation & Cultural Services, Kate Sparrow, that the application was in response to a provincial initiative to encourage partnerships between schools and local governments to better utilize school facilities for community uses. 



Ms. Sparrow explained that staff from the City and the School District were considering ways to improve the use of schools based on community feedback, however there were challenges related to cost.  Ms. Sparrow further advised that future discussions would examine creative solutions to provide broader community access to local schools. 



A brief discussion ensued among Committee members, during which the request was made that the Committee be provided with information on all possible projects as there could be a way to address potential costs.  The request was also made that the School District union also be involved early in the discussions because some of the proposed projects had union implications.



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









(Report:  Aug. 16/06, File No.:  09-5000-00/Vol 01) (REDMS No. 2014848)



It was moved and seconded



That the City sponsor the BC Crime Prevention Association Annual Training Symposium in the amount of $10,000 to be taken from the Council Contingency account.











Councillor Harold Steves advised that the sailing vessel “Brora Thor” was available for purchase, and suggested that this ship could fulfil the vision of the Britannia Heritage Shipyard waterfront plan to obtain such a ship for display and other uses.  Material circulated by Cllr. Steves to the Committee which provided information on the ship is on file in the City Clerk’s Office.



It was moved and seconded



That staff be authorized to examine the vessel “Brora Thor” and to report to the Committee on the potential for acquiring the ship.



The question on the motion was not called, as Cllr. Steves provided further information on the “Brora Thor”.



Discussion then took place among Committee members on the possible acquisition of this vessel and whether it would be maintained as a static display at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard or put to use as a sail training ship.  Also addressed was the question of how staff would value the worth of the vessel.



During the discussion, staff were requested to include in the report on the potential for acquiring the “Brora Thor”, information on (i) the impact of such a ship being moored at the Britannia Heritage Shipyard from a tourist and environmental point of view, and (ii) how the acquisition of the ship would fit into the City’s waterfront plan.



Discussion continued briefly on the proposal, during which concern was expressed about the use of taxpayers’ money to acquire the vessel because of other expenses being faced by the City at this time.



The question on the motion was then called, and it was CARRIED with Cllrs. Chen and Howard opposed.









It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (6:15 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 Tuesday, September 5th, 2006



Mayor Malcolm D. Brodie

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerk’s Office


9/6/2006 5:56:59 PM