Councillor’s Call Farmers’ Market Board Behaviour “Reprehensible”, Move to Study Citizen Committee Term Limits

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City Councillors on the Governance Review (Accountability and Transparency) Sub-Committee voted to study citi

Councillors object to Market Board Behaviour

During the Governance Committee meeting of January 16, 2016, Councillors reluctantly accepted the resignation of a citizen member appointed to the Farmers’ Market Board. (Video of discussion starts at 13:28)

When Council formed a new farmer’s market board, it appeared the tensions over changes implemented following renovations to the market would decrease.

Instead, the conflict between long-time market vendors and Council became worse when vendors objected to one of the citizen appointees added to the Board by Council.

Vendors objected because the appointee works for the City of Hamilton as an Ontario Works Case Manager and they believed she would vote with the Councillors on the Board because of this relationship.

After much tension, the citizen appointee resigned from the Market Board.

Councillors Lloyd Ferguson and Matthew Green both voiced their concerns about what transpired, with Green saying there is an example of entrenched cultures which can exist on Boards with long-standing citizen members who are reappointed without term limits.

Term Limits for Citizen Appointees

Councillors followed their discussion of the Farmers’ Market Board issue by voting to get staff to prioritize the review of term limits on Citizen Committees.

Councillors are looking to limit citizen committee to two Council terms (presently eight years) to avoid the kind of entrenched culture that exists on some committees and to encourage more people to apply to serve on committees.

Numerous ideas of changes were discussed by the committee. (Watch that discussion starts at 42:45 in the video.)

 

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