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Council meditates on park rules

Two nominations for deputy mayor

By Chet Greason
Staff reporter

According to Councillor Carey Pope at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, a woman in her 30s meditating in a public park at night was approached by an OPP officer and told that if she didn’t vacate the park immediately, she could be fined.

CAO Kevin McLlwain clarified that, in this case, the officer was mistaken, and there is no bylaw that states adults can’t be in a park after dark. One such bylaw did exist at one time, but has since expired. It was suggested by McLlwain that Council revisit this issue and consider reinstating a similar bylaw. He said that the OPP had supplied him with good reasons why such a bylaw would make sense, but that the Committee might have to go in camera in order to hear them.

However, the idea was not well received by Council. “There has not been much damage done at the parks. Why are we considering this bylaw?” asked Councillor Bill Osborne.

“There are shift workers getting done work at 10, 11 o’clock at night and need to walk their dogs,” noted Pope. “I don’t see the reasoning why it needs to be so strict.”

Councillor Don Van Galen reminded the Council that the system of trails and pathways around town were included under parks. “There are shift workers and students getting done the late shift who use them,” he said, adding “I have a real problem with it.”

“What I’m hearing is we need a curfew for kids and that’s it,” said Mayor Steve Grose. “If a lady is doing yoga in the park at night, she doesn’t need to be arrested. If she’s vandalizing something, arrest her for vandalizing something.”

Deputy Mayor nominations

Nominations were held at the Committee of the Whole meeting, with Councillor Pope nominating Lynn Hainer, and Bill Osborne seconding.

Councillor Stephen McCotter then nominated Don Van Galen, with Tony Winter seconding it “just to keep things exciting.”

The decision will be deferred to the next Council meeting with the selection made via secret ballot.

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