To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
The agenda for City Council’s third GIC meeting of the year today includes formally designating the director of audit services as the City’s auditor general, the approval of recommendations from the non-union compensation sub-committee, a presentation from North End resident David Stephens regarding the relocation of Brian Timmis Stadium to Eastwood Park, and a special closed session briefing about the $1-million court ruling issued last week against the City.
There will also be a notice of motion from councillor Sam Merulla “requesting an update from US Steel regarding their future intentions of their Hamilton plant operations. The Notice of Motion will also request an intervention from Prime Minister Harper in an attempt to put Canadian influence back into steel production at Hilton Works.”
Hamilton’s auditor general
Council will debate adding the title of auditor general to the role of its director of audit services during Wednesday’s GIC meeting.
Granting the title to the director enables them to use expanded powers under the Municipal Act (section 223.19) to conduct value-for-money auditing of city departments, city-funded boards, and other city agencies.
Hamilton’s auditor general will be not be fully independent of Council. Unlike provincial and federal auditors, Hamilton’s AG will not be able to launch investigations of their own initiative, all audits will be directed by Council.
Non-union compensation – political staff
The non-union compensation sub-committee met last week. The sub-committee discussed job security and pay for political staff at City Hall.
Five administrative assistants to Councilors enjoy grandfathered job security from pre-amalgamation contracts. Prior to amalgamation, administrative assistants were hired by the civil service.
Today, they are hired by Councillors and considered political staff. As political staff, they are not guaranteed job security if the Councillor they work for is not reelected or resigns.
Councillors discussed guaranteeing their assistants positions elsewhere in the city if they lose their positions.
After much discussion, it was decided to continue with the status quo with city staff noting such a policy would violate the non-political integrity of civil service hiring.
The sub-committee discussed the city’s compensation policies and if those policies apply to political staff. The discussion follows Mayor Bratina’s decision to grant his chief of staff a $30,000. They made the word more clear to include political staff.
Brian Timmis Stadium and Eastwood Park
The City of Hamilton needs to find a new location for the city’s amateur soccer stadium. Brian Timmis is being demolished to mark way for the new stadium district as either part of the a north-south stadium design or the parking lots the City committed to building for the Tiger-Cats organization.
One of the proposals being floated is being the new amateur soccer stadium at Eastwood Park located at Burlington and Mary Streets in the North End.
North End resident David Stephens will be speaking to the committee as a public delegation.
The million dollar ruling against the City
Council will be updated by city staff about the court ruling against the city last week.