The Committee of the Whole agenda was relatively short this week and included:
- Oak Bay Parks and Recreation – Commission minutes were received and generated some good questions, positive comments and discussion. The Commission is busy and reported out on a variety of its programs and initiatives. Information about ongoing tree-planting, program activities, Carnarvon Park re-development and general program revenues was shared and I appreciate the detail provided in these minutes. I voted with Council to receive the minutes.
- Report on WiFi in Oak Bay – the Deputy Treasurer submitted a detailed report about making WiFi available in public spaces in various parts of Oak Bay; a lengthy discussion ensued about accessibility, budget considerations and significance of this technology to enhance information access/capacity for municipal staff and the general public. The report presented three options and I voted with Council to support Option 1, a proposal/request from Shaw Cable to provide free WiFi for Shaw customers only (approximately 55% of Oak Bay residents are Shaw customers). This would be through an agreement with the municipality to use our infrastructure in exchange for a revenue fee from Shaw to Oak Bay. Staff were asked to prepare a draft agreement with Shaw, conduct due diligence on Options 2 and 3 (involving Telus too) and return to Council with more information related to costing, design, pros/cons of private vs. public access and upgrading services. I support this technology and know that our efforts in this area are consistent with other communities across the region and the province. Stay tuned…
- Other Items involved land use decisions and four out of five applications were approved and will return to the next Council meeting for the next step in the approval process. The fifth item involving the Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s off-site servicing agreement with Oak Bay, will involve further negotiation and oversight by the Mayor and Oak Bay engineering staff, in consultation with the municipal Treasurer and the owner.
Just So You Know —
When Council members vote on agenda items, the Chair calls the question, “All those in favour” and “Any opposed?” Council members normally raise their hand to indicate their vote, in the affirmative or in the negative (yes or no). But when Council members do not raise their hand, that always indicates an affirmative vote (yes).