Town to hire recruiting firm
Councillors agreed Monday to begin the process of finding a new CAO with the hiring of a headhunter — although Coun. Gary Burroughs asked that the term recruiting company be used.
Interim CAO Sheldon Randall suggested the Town should make a list of three or four suitable companies, ask them to submit proposals, and if the proposals and costs are similar, meet with them individually in camera before making a decision.
Coun. Clare Cameron suggested putting out a request for proposals instead, saying council should be looking for the best option, not the cheapest option.
Councillors accepted Randall’s two-envelope process, with proposals in one envelope for councillors to read and discuss, before opening the second envelope, which would include costs.
Cameron stressed the need to get the process underway without delay.
Chamber asking for advance
Speaking on behalf of Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce president Eduardo Lafforgue, who was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting, Coun. Wendy Cheropita asked council to advance the chamber $20,000 on next year’s grant.
Lafforgue wants to set up a marketing booth at the Royal Winter Fair, which opens Nov. 1 in Toronto and runs for 10 days.
He plans to use the space to promote NOTL as an upscale tourism destination, with luxury itineraries, including wine and wellness packages, Cheropita said.
His plans mesh with council’s strategic plan, which lists promoting the town as a priority, she added.
Although several councillors suggested Lafforgue provide a report detailing how the money would be spent, there is a need for speed, Cheropita told them.
“I think it’s really worth it to help the chamber change the nature of who comes to NOTL,” she added.
“In regards to spending $20,000, I’m told there is nothing in the budget. The cupboard is bare,” countered Coun. Erwin Wiens.
The agricultural committee wants money, the irrigation committee wants money, he said, adding, “we have a budget, and we’ve already blown it.”
Councillors agreed to approve the advance in principle, and ask Lafforgue for a report to council on Oct. 7.
Committee to consider accommodation tax
A Town committee has been struck to look into instituting a municipal accommodation tax.
It will include two councillors and four representatives of the accommodation and tourism sectors.
Coun. Clare Cameron, referring to rumours that there has already been a decision made to implement the tax, when in fact discussions are just beginning, suggested the committee work with the community engagement co-ordinator on a communications plan.