Regular city council meetings will resume on Monday, July 23.
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The annual summer break has ended for Thunder Bay’s city councillors.
Regular scheduled council meetings at city hall were put on ice for three-weeks after concillors instructed administration to move forward with plans to try and flood-proof the city. Despite having no meetings since, mayor Keith Hobbs said he and the councillors have stayed on top of things.
The next council meeting, scheduled for Monday, July 23, is expected to feature a jam-packed agenda. Because of that, Hobbs said it was important for councillors to take time off from the regular meetings and recharge.
“People have to have their holidays otherwise they get burnt out,” Hobbs said. “I’m here in the office most of the time. Our city manager has taken a few days off but he’s been pretty busy. The city is still functioning. It’s normal for council to cease meetings in the summer and give everyone a chance to relax and recharge.”
Hobbs said even without meetings council has been able to stay on top of major issues, like pushing for funding for the Disaster Relief Committee.
At-Large Coun. Aldo Ruberto said he too kept busy and attended a conference for the Sister Cities program. He said he’s happy if he gets a day or two off in a row.
“The majority of councillors are in town or close by,” Ruberto said.
“I was very comfortable with the way things were going. We’re still following up on issues that were presented during the flood, such as abandoned homes, and we’re looking at policy changes. The wheels of motion have been started and things seem to be, on the surface, going smoothly.”
Ruberto said he has a few resolutions he’ll be bring up at the next council meeting. One of those will be taking a more aggressive stance on the city’s transportation plan.
Ruberto wants the city to have the plan complete in two years, rather than the current five-year deadline.
Meanwhile, Neebing Coun. Linda Rydholm said she’ll be bringing two issues to council. They include a motion to provide more support for the province’s efforts in dealing with illegal tobacco sales, while the other will focus on putting together a new infrastructure plan to replace the outgoing Canadian Building Plan, which expires in 2014.
“I think everyone needs a break for a couple weeks at a time,” Rydholm said.
“I`ll be getting my meeting package probably this week so that’s when I start working again; it’s not Monday night. We’ve had or at least I’ve had ongoing meetings with people over the flooding as well as different issues.
She added that city staff also goes on holidays and that council can’t work without them.
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