News

Resurrecting rec facility proposal could be tough

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Simcoe Rec Centre arena. (File photo)

Simcoe Rec Centre arena. (File photo)

SIMCOE  - 

Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke suggested last week that the idea of a recreational hub in Simcoe was on the sidelines until at least 2019.

Luke made the comment after the five council members who voted down the proposal declined an opportunity to reconsider their position.

Technically speaking, however, no council resolution is truly irrevocable.

There is a mechanism for this council to change its mind if it wishes to. The formula is complicated and a re-vote would not occur until the end of the month at the earliest if it happens at all.

Norfolk clerk Andy Grozelle described the time-consuming process in an email last week.

For council to get the recreational hub concept back on the rails, Grozelle said someone who voted in the negative last week would have to reverse himself and put forward a notice of reconsideration.

Council members in a position to do so include Simcoe Coun. Doug Brunton, Waterford Coun. Harold Sonnenberg, Port Rowan Coun. Noel Haydt, Langton Coun. Roger Geysens, and Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus.

The resolution would need a seconder and a two-thirds “super majority” to pass. With nine seats on Norfolk council, that means six votes in favour.

Council members can’t table a motion of reconsideration any time they feel like it. Notification of a motion of reconsideration must be presented at a regular council meeting. Council committee meetings are not the forum to do this.

This week’s meeting of Norfolk council Tuesday is not a regular meeting. It is a meeting of council-in-committee.

That means the regular meeting of council Feb. 13 is the earliest opportunity for a notice to come forward. The public notification period for a motion of this kind is two weeks.

Regular council meetings are also the forum where motions of reconsideration are voted on. That means the earliest this council could re-instate the recreational hub concept is Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Grozelle says the process is ponderous for a reason.

“In a general sense, reconsideration is specifically designed to be a bit of an undertaking as the point generally is for councils to uphold their decisions in most instances,” he said.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com