Council was on the verge of adjourning the final budget deliberation meeting, until Loyalist-Cataraqui councillor Simon Chapelle introduced an unexpected motion.
Chapelle called for half of the Kingston Economic Development Corporation budget, amounting to $1.4M, to be held back until the organization completed an economic strategic plan and key performance indicators to measure the plan.
Speaking to the motion in the deliberation meeting, Chapelle said he had served on the KEDCO board for the last year, and believed he was supposed to be involved in the plan’s development.
“I think Councillor Boehme and I were supposed to sit on that specific committee that did not meet a single time,” Chapelle said.
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Meadowbrook-Strathcona councillor Jeff Mclaren took exception to the motion and was successful in having it deferred until council meets on Dec. 17.
McLaren told Global Kingston the timing of the motion, coming at the end of the meeting, bothered him.
“After everybody had pretty much gone, we’re going to be attacking our economic development corporation,” McLaren said.
McLaren says the language of the motion needs to be cleaned up, as well, saying it referred to an economic strategic plan but councillors were debating the strategic plan.
“So right away there was misunderstanding between what was expected in the motion and what people were thinking it meant.”
McLaren says KEDCO has an economic strategic plan.
“I believe it was called Kingston 2020 and it’s still there, it’s quite available,” he said.
“It hasn’t expired yet.”
Chapelle supported the motion deferrment, as did King’s Town councillor Rob Hutchison, who seconded the motion.
Hutchison says he still supports the motion because KEDCO’s strategic plan is late if it’s supposed to be for 2019.
“We need them to be in line with our strategic plan, which happened in January and we haven’t seen any real progress as of yet.”
During the debate interim, CAO Lanie Hurdle confirmed work on a KEDCO strategic started over a year ago.