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December 15th, 2010:

Ottawa City Committees…

Councilors, new and returning, were assigned their Committees yesterday.

And Ottawans should pay close attention to the Committees’ composition and who is elected to Chair these groups. Council Committees are important components of municipal government. They cover everything from, among others, the Committee of Adjustment (which grants or denies minor variances to the Zoning Bylaw… BTW, I used to Chair the old Township of Humphrey C of A) to the Environment Committee, Planning Committee and now and brand spanking new Transit Commission.

Most of the detail work is done at the Committee level. Staff reports are prepared for discussion and debate at the Committee level. And usually the most important decisions are made here. Following the Committee decision, a recommendation is is put forward to the whole of Council which then decides whether or not to accept the Committee’s decision – and with or without amendments.

Looking at the Committee members, a lot made sense. Chernushenko on the Environment committee – yup. Hume on the Planning Committee – check… and he will likely Chair it again. But then I looked at the Transit Commission and something seemed amiss:

Blais, Bloess, Deans, Desroches, Egli, Qadri, Tierney, Wilkinson.

New transit commission: 5 outside greenbelt, 2 on greenbelt, 1 inside greenbelt – who is Tim Tierney.

I am sure Councillor Tierney will do a great job on the Commission. I think he has a great future on Council. But why is there no one from the core? Given the profile of the OC Transpo ridership, I cannot help but think that having Councillors Clark, Chernushenko or Hobbs wouldn’t have been a bad move! Even Chiarelli or Hume!

Oh well, let’s see how all this pans out over the next 4 years…