|James Gordon was the lead-off delegation addressing|
Council and really set the tone for the night with his
wonderful presentation (watch here)
It has to be said that this is a stunning turn of events given that the full bylaw passed unanimously at the committee level.
This gives the community another chance to help staff and councillors get this bylaw right. And hopefully staff have got the message that the bylaw as written is not one that is acceptable to the citizens of Guelph - a complete rethinking is required.
The hasty retreat left a bit of a mess behind, however. In fact, those in the gallery were not quite sure what exactly had happened after the Council votes were recorded.
What Council actually passed regarding 'nuisance parties' was somewhat unclear. Yes, they wanted that section to remain, but the final text of such a bylaw was of course not immediately available. So, effectively, Council voted that staff should redraft and implement a 'nuisance parties' bylaw. It would have been much better had Council voted for staff to redraft such a bylaw and then bring it through committee to Council before its implementation. This could easily have been done before the fall when large student parties have the potential to cause problems.
And how will this new 'nuisance parties' bylaw fit together with the other provisions yet to be revised? Will the entire bylaw have to be re-opened to combine them? No one knows.
The suggestion from staff was that it will be spring 2014 before the full bylaw (whatever that now means) will come back before committee and Council. Given that timing, this could easily become a hot election issue if not handled carefully.
We have a lot more information to share on this issue - this is actually 'Part I' of a multi-part blog post to come over the next several days.
For now, we'd just like to offer thanks to all of those who wrote letters to councillors, made presentations and filled seats in the gallery on Monday evening - it clearly made a big difference.
For another perspective, you can find Scott Tracey's Mercury article on the Council vote here.