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There are two items of special interest on the Regular Council Agenda of October 15th, 2019 that we would like to bring to your attention.

The first item is: 13.31 CAO Report

"Public Question Period for Council Meetings"

For the detailed report from the CAO clink on this link

Read our CCHT Chairs' response below:

Dear Mayor Cane and Councillors,

Regarding CAO Anderson's Report CAO 2019-09, item 13.31, we wish to respond as follows.

Mr. Anderson suggests the public has input every four years at election time.

That is not valuable public input in decision making, rather it is selecting the decision-makers.

There is no forum for input at public meetings, only the one way dissemination of information. The only forum currently is presenting a formal delegation in advance, with notice and permission before the agenda is published. There is no concurrent way to ask questions or provide comments on agenda items before council. Delegations are limited to one topic, one time, and are not questions nor comments on a variety of agenda topics over time.

Committees only cover specific matters and the entire council is not always present at committee meetings to hear concerns or questions from the public.

Individual councillors may not share with the others questions 'Or comments made to them privately by members of the public.

Surveys and feedback buttons only exist on the website. The significantly important Strategic Plan Review survey was so poorly presented with a tiny response time that only 2 people responded! These tools should be presented in the Communique, by email, news and alerts, on the pixel board, in the newspaper, as well as provided in the agenda of council meetings. We believe most, if not all, council members want this feedback but are hindered by the current process that does not provide it.

Staff providing information is not the public having the opportunity to ask questions or provide comments. Communication is two way.

Mr. Anderson provides a newspaper article of a 2011 experience. It appears Caledon council did not have a proper process, or if they did it was not appropriately managed. Has he spoken to staff or council to ascertain their current experience in 2019, 8 years later? That isolated situation is not the typical experience of all the municipal councils in Northumberland County who have questions and comments during their meetings.

When council provides time for their citizens to ask questions and express concerns or comments, it is a face to face dialogue and direct communication. It is up to each council member whether those conversations 'truly help inform the decision-making process".

Hamilton Township council has unanimously supported this request and has control over their own meeting process.

Best Regards,

Faye McFarlane, Chair

We would appreciate your support by either showing up at the meeting next Tuesday at 1 pm at the township office, and/or calling your councillors (see numbers below) to advise them that you support our request for a Public Question Period at all council meetings.

by Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -  Disappointment with Hamilton Township’s 2017 budget process sent members of the Citizens Council of Hamilton Township ratepayers’ group to the drawing board to come up with something better.

At Tuesday afternoon’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, board member Faye McFarlane shared the group’s ideas on what would bring clarity and transparency to the process.

“We are not satisfied with the budget process that occurred in Hamilton Township in November and December of 2016,” McFarlane told councillors.

By Robert Washburn on Consider This

mcgovern davison

The Citizen’s Council of Hamilton Township Ratepayers Association President Vince McGovern and John Davison join Consider This Live expressing concerns over budget details, lack of documents and other concerns as part of the Drive Time on Northumberland 89.7 FM.


Winter can be the most difficult time for low income families.  Here is the link to a Northumberland News Article regarding the new Service Ontario Helpline 211 set up to assist families:

Please take time to read this and pass on to families you may know who are in need.