January is budget month for county

Martin appointed deputy mayor

The new Norfolk council made several key appointments at its inaugural meeting on Tuesday. These include naming Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin as deputy mayor and Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus chair of Norfolk's council-in-committee meetings for the next six months. MONTE SONNENBERG / Simcoe Reformer

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Budget talks at Norfolk council that are normally complete by the end of the year will have to wait till January.

With seven of nine council members being new to the job, council has agreed to push its rate-supported water-and-sewer budget and 2019 capital budget talks into January.

Once these have been transacted, council will turn its attention to the levy-supported operating budget.

“Everybody’s new,” Mayor Kristal Chopp said Wednesday. “I want to ensure everyone has the time to look over the documents and know what they are voting on. It’s important that people are not pushed into things.”

Council agreed to the budget scheduling at its inaugural meeting this week.

A second resolution was passed Tuesday to help the new council get up to speed on other key issues. This one involves status reports on all contract negotiations involving Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) bargaining units.

Council also took the occasion of Tuesday’s meeting to make several key appointments. These include naming Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin as Norfolk’s deputy mayor and Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus as chair of council-in-committee meetings for the next six months.

Council has opted for experience with the appointment of Columbus.

The normal council cycle involves a council-in-committee meeting where staff reports are debated and resolutions recommended. Council meetings the week after feature the mayor in the chair and a last opportunity to discuss committee recommendations following a week of reflection and public input.

Norfolk’s new slate at the Long Point Region Conservation Authority was also approved Tuesday.

Representing the county will be Mayor Chopp, Langton-area Coun. Roger Geysens, Coun. Columbus and Port Rowan Coun. Tom Masschaele.

The tenure of Norfolk’s current committee-of-adjustment has been extended till the end of January while staff and council members sort through the new applications. Committee members granted an extension include Dennis Tschirhart, Larry Dawson, chair Rick Barker, Dan Ciona, Rudy Stickl, Eric Gilbert and Marcel VanHooren.

Staff had suggested holding the rate-supported budget and capital budget discussions back-to-back Dec. 12 and Dec. 13. These talks have been put off till Jan. 8 with Jan. 9 set aside as a continuation date if needed.

Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 have been set aside for council’s 2019 levy-supported operating budget. Past councils have traditionally held their operating budget talks around the end of January.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

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