On August 16, FCC Executive Director Arend Kersten attended the most recent meeting of the Open For Business committee. The meeting was convened at Hamilton City Hall after the regular meeting of Council.
The FCC has applauded the creation of the committee – which is chaired by Councillor Russ Powers of Dundas and includes Ward 14 (West Flamborough) Councillor Robert Pasuta as a member. After the committee was struck, Arend first met with Russ and Robert. The FCC then convened a breakfast meeting (with Russ and Robert present) where members were invited to share their ‘red tape horror stories.’ As a result of the input, the FCC spent a great deal of time preparing a brief (complete with specific recommendations) which was then presented to the entire Open For Business committee.
Staff at City Hall prepared a ‘draft’ response to the comments presented by public delegations and sent a copy to the FCC. In time, Arend asked that a ‘final’ staff response be provided to the FCC before the August 16 meeting so that it could be analyzed in light of the FCC recommendations. Arend also asked that – if needed – the FCC be granted delegate status at the meeting so that it could share its thoughts relative to the staff report.
Unfortunately the Open For Business committee did not release the final staff report to the public until some 15 minutes prior to the meeting. It also decided it did not want to hear anything more from the public, suggesting that anyone who wanted to could provide written submissions. This after Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson complained that it was difficult for members of Council to read the avalanche of written material that is routinely provided.
Last Friday, Arend met with Chris Phillips, the senior member of staff who is in charge of the Open For Business file. Chris promised to compare the FCC recommendations to the staff report and get back within the next couple of weeks.
For a copy of the FCC presentation, go HERE. Stay tuned!!