Committee to look at council size

An ad hoc committee being formed to review compensation for elected officials, as well as town boards and committees, also will have a mandate to explore whether Fort Frances town council really needs six members and a mayor.
This detail came up during Monday night’s regular meeting as Clerk Glenn Treftlin asked council for direction as to who would be sitting on this new committee and what its mandate would be.
This was a follow-up to the July 26 meeting, at which time council voted to withdraw an amended benefits bylaw and instead form the ad hoc committee to review the town’s remuneration policy.
Coun. Roy Avis suggested that if International Falls city council was reviewing the number of councillors, it only made sense that Fort Frances do the same.
Council on Monday night also agreed the committee should include five citizen appointees, as well as Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig, treasurer Peggy Dupuis, and Human Resources manager Christine Ruppenstein.
As an ex-officio member of all town committees, Mayor Dan Onichuk also may attend this committee’s meetings if he so wishes.
Advertisements inviting the public to sit on the board will be forthcoming, noted Treftlin.
As previously reported, the withdrawal of the amended benefits bylaw and the formation of the ad hoc remuneration review committee “effectively kills any possibility of us revising remuneration for this council,” Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft had said at the July 26 meeting.
“We want to open the books to the taxpayers of Fort Frances,” he had added, noting the ad hoc committee is a “non-political body” and definitely not a mechanism for “rubber-stamping” pay raises for council.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council:
•referred a request from the Fort Frances Curling Club regarding a taxation rebate to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from the Joy of Life Fellowship Church, on behalf of David’s Deli, for exemption of the use of “bag tags” for garbage from the soup kitchen to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a request from local resident Walter Horban for reimbursement of landfill charges regarding disposal of old rink boards from the St. Michael’s School playground site to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•referred a fee-for-service request for $7,500 from the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•agreed to proclaim the week of Oct. 18-24, 2004 as “Waste Reduction Week in Canada,” as per the request of The Recycling Council of Ontario; and
•agreed to a request from the Arthritis Society and the Arthritis Bluebird Support Club to proclaim September as “Arthritis Month” in the Town of Fort Frances.