St. John’s city council live blog for Nov 22, 2010

Every week, Andrew Harvey live tweets live from St. John’s city council chambers. Follow him at

Andrew Harvey here to bring you the blow-by-blow of your city council at work.

The gallery is again guest to striking transport workers from Metrobus. They are looking for the city to intervene to end their strike.

They may be barking up the wrong tree coming here. Council seems to have no appetite to step into what they do not see as their fight.

O’Keefe has arrived, and the meeting has begun. All here but Colbert and Galgay.

Sheilagh O’Leary is moving to rescind the previous motion to amend development regulations in regards to the Signal Hill proposal.

The motion was rescinded quickly, without so much as speaking the words “signal hill”.

They are discussing a proposal for a 6-story Condominium on Tiffany Lane. This is beside Kenny’s pond.

They are looking for approval-in-principle for this. The proposal includes 52 indoor and 13 outdoor parking spaces.

Hanlon: “My concern is that we are not involving the public in this.” she says it is a good proposal, but the public need to be involved.

Apparently the proposal does not specifically require a public hearing as it is a permitted use for the area.

O’Keefe does not seem to want to delay this vote, and says Hanlon could go ahead with a public awareness meeting.

Duff says that while she knows that this is a permitted use for the area, she herself does not have enough information. There is no site plan included in what she got.

Duff is concerned about the impact on a nearby school and church.

Hann: “I can’t believe what I’m hearing”, he says in reference to other councillors “there is no reason we should not let this go ahead”

Hickman reiterates that this plan was approved in 2005, and has not changed substantially since.

Duff has made a motion to defer the proposal for one week so that council can get more information.

Motion to defer denied, Breen, Hann, Tilley, Collins, and O’Keefe against.

Proposal approved, with Hanlon voting against.

The city is being asked to help fund the creation of Bannerman Park Foundation Inc. a citizen group to help inform changes to Bannerman park

This non-profit will help to raise money to implement upgrades to the Park. The cost they need now is only $70 for incorporation.

Hann wants to know what the costs to the city will be. Duff says they are looking for $15k for this year, subject to availability.

There is also a long-term ask here which Hann is trying to get at. Duff says the cost will not be known until they decide on what they want. Now I see, the foundation would be created to fund-raise, and cost-share improvements to the park.

Collins wants to know why there will be 3 or 4 members of council on this board, and he is the only member on the Bowring park foundation.

O’Keefe says he wants to look at the funding mechanism here. He says that Bowring Park foundation is not an automatic 50/50 cost sharing.

O’Keefe says it is not clear to him that this 50/50 funding would not be automatic, and wants it explicitly stated.

Breen says that the last time any significant money was put into Bannerman park was the 1970’s for the ball field.

Council voted to help in the creation of this foundation, but with the stipulation that any funding requests must be approved by council, as is the case with the Bowring Park foundation.

Republic of Doyle is asking to film at city hall! O’Keefe says he can make himself available.

O’Leary is bringing up concerns with eastern health workers smoking on public property around long pond.

O’Leary: Dialogue has been going on for some time and there has been no action. “It is on our property, and we have to do something about it”

O’Leary says we need signage, receptacles, and enforcement. O’Keefe is asking for the cost.

O’Keefe: “We’re not going to be the cigarette police.” he says we put $15k [$1,500 — corrected amount] into the butt it campaign, and it went “up in smoke”

O’Leary was hear to say “that is a terrible reaction” to O’Keefe’s cynicism, and reluctance to take action on this matter.

O’Keefe brings this back to that it is a budget item. “It’s not a terrible reaction, it’s realistic reaction”.

O’Keefe: “Signs are not going to make a difference, I don’t think they are going to make a difference”

O’Keefe and O’Leary are having a spirited argument about this, and the effectiveness of signage.

Hann says he agrees that something needs to be done in those areas, but an “attitudinal change” is needed, and that can’t be legislated.

Hanlon says that at the Northeast Avalon Regional Economic Development Board they are concerned as to where the Province’s Regional Plan stands.

There is no new information from Duff, or city staff on the regional plan, and it is still in the Minister’s hands.

The Economic Development association is also developing a local foods map. If you sell local food, get in touch to be included.

Hickman says that the city should look at putting a west end pool into the same location as the new proposed school for the west end.

Duff says that in the recreation plan they are looking to include some community-based organizations in the design if the school.

Duff says they should setup a meeting with the Dept. Of Education to discuss the design of new schools.

Collins is asking what time people should be putting garbage out. Staff says 6am is the earliest it should be out.

O’Keefe takes note of the bus drivers again, and hopes for a quick resolution to their impasse.

That’s all folks. Tweet you next week for more council craziness.


  1. Sheilagh O'Leary · March 4, 2011

    Andrew, just as a point of correction….the amount that thew City put into the Cigarette Butt Out campaign downtown was $1,500 not $15,000. Miniscule in the scheme of things. Cheers!

  2. Andrew Harvey · March 4, 2011

    Thank you very much for that Sheilagh, I may have misheard O’Keefe. I do remember hearing him on the radio the next day in an excerpt from your discussion with him on the matter, and I think he said thousand, not hundred. It’s hard to say whether it was me making a mistake (which I do often), or O’Keefe with a slip of the decimal point which conveniently helped make his point.
    Either way, thanks for the correction, and if Dennis O’Keefe (or anyone else who heard it on the TV or radio) would like to clear up what he said, he (/they) is welcome to.

  3. Sarah · March 4, 2011

    I just wanted to add some information about the new guide to local food, mentioned by Councilor Hanlon.
    In partnership with the Regional Economic Development Boards of the Avalon, “Buy Local! Buy Fresh!” will be published in March 2011. It will showcase farmers, markets, roadside stands, and agricultural events. It’s a great way to connect consumers and local food producers, and we are actively looking for more producers to be involved.

    Please contact Sarah at the Northeast Avalon Regional Economic Development Board for more information.
    Telephone: (709) 753-5554

  4. Andrew Harvey · March 4, 2011

    Thanks for the information Sarah.
    I was wondering about that, and it all goes so fast in the meeting I wasn’t sure I even got the name of the economic development organization.
    Anyways, thanks for letting everyone know about this, it sounds like a great initative.

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