Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 11, 2018 Council Meeting Notes: Policing costs, government downloading, and other matters

I posted about land-use matters, and the approval for upgrading Douglas Crescent, which were on the agenda of Monday night’s Langley City council meeting. Today, I’ll be posting about the remaining items covered at that meeting.

Langley City contracts out municipal policing to the RCMP. The Langley RCMP detachment is cost-shared with the Township of Langley. One of the requirements of the contract is to provide approval in principle to RCMP headquarters for the coming year’s policing contract budget which can include changes in headcount. The current plan is to leave the RCMP member headcount the same as this year. Even with no change, this will result in an increase of the RCMP contract budget by $194,489 in 2019. Council supported this approval in principle.

Currently, the Province of BC grants 100% of the traffic fines it collects in Langley City back to the municipality. We use this revenue to help fund the salaries of three RCMP members. The provincial government is looking at amending this grant as it is planning on installing speed enforcement camera at high-risk intersections, and potentially keeping all revenue from those cameras.

Council passed a motioning asking “the Province continue to provide 100% of the traffic fine revenues to municipalities including fines generated by the proposed speed enforcement cameras located at high risk intersections.” If the province does claw-back this grant, it will be yet another example of government downloading with the costs being transfer to your property tax bill.

Council adopted a new “Council Procedure Bylaw.” This bylaw governs council meetings and how members of council can behave at meetings. While most of the changes are housekeeping in nature, the new bylaw explicitly calls out bullying, harassment, negative comments about other people’s character, and generally rude behaviour as grounds for a council member to be asked to leave a meeting.

Council also approved amending the 2017-21 Financial Plan. As another housekeeping matter, once the City receives its audited year-end financial results, it must update the Financial Plan bylaw.

2017-21 Financial Plan amendment. Select table to enlarge.

The Animal Control Bylaw and accompanying section of the municipal fine bylaw know as the Municipal Ticketing Information System Bylaw were giving first, second, and third reading to update wording consistency around having an animal at large. The update also included some minor formatting changes in the fine bylaw.

Council also approved requests from our Fire Chief Rory Thompson to attend the 2018 Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs Annual Conference, and Paul Gilbert who is the Manager of Revenue and Business Systems to attend the Unit4 Business World User Conference.

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