Council stepping away from Chamber of Commerce and marina committee

MORRISBURG – A discussion regarding committees of council, resulted in a number of changes away from the ‘same old way of doing things.’

During a day-long committee of the whole meeting January 10th at the South Dundas municipal centre in Morrisburg, council agreed that it will eliminate the council representative to the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce.

Council also unanimously agreed that the Iroquois-Landing Galop Canal Marina Committee will be removed from being a committee of council and from being part of the operational structure of that municipal asset.

South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner was asked to kick-off discussions regarding the appointment of a council member to the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce.

She asked: “Why do we need a representative on the chamber of commerce?”

She suggested that council should support the South Dundas Chamber of Commerce by participating in its annual general meeting and its various networking and other events, but that a council rep is not necessary.

“It looks like it just sets up the possibility of a manipulation scenario,” said Gardner.

“I don’t think there should be anyone from council on that committee,” said South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells, explaining that it just puts the council member in an awkward position, when the chamber of commerce is asking council for something.

“The rep ends up coming to us and asking for something on their behalf, and that’s just not right. If they want something, they should be coming to ask us just like everyone else,” said Wells.

“It does put the council member in a position to bring their [chamber of commerce] agenda to the council table,” said Mellan adding that he agrees that there is no need for a council rep.

The Iroquois Marina Committee will not have a council representative because the plan is to eliminate that committee.

“It needs to be run like a business,” said South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds.

“The in-fighting there is driving people away.”

The staff suggestion was that the marina should be operated just like the Iroquois Campground, which is municipally-run and has no associated committee. The municipality hires the manager, hires the students, and already holds the lease for the land with Ontario Power Generation.

“It just removes a level of bureaucracy,” said Shannon Geraghty, South Dundas treasurer and chief administrative officer.

“I’m behind that idea 100 per cent,” said Wells.

“It can’t hurt to try it,” said Mellan. “We can’t have another year like last year.”

Council was unanimously in agreement to proceed with the change.

Since you’re here…

… Thanks for reading this article. Local news is important. We hope that you continue to support local news by reading The Leader, online and in print. Please consider subscribing to the print edition of the newspaper. Click here to subscribe today.