Notes from Port Hope Budget Committee Meeting: September 3, 2019

By Brian Coggins

Request to Upgrade the Municipal and Tourism Websites:

Kate Ingram the Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator and Ashley Strikwerda requested that the Budget Committee include funds in the 2020 Capital Budget to build a new Municipal website that is more user friendly and which would allow staff to make updates to the website when required, rather that having to wait for the provider to do the work.

This will also allow the Municipality to meet the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG Level 2 AA) which come into effect January 1, 2021.

In addition, staff are requesting that Budget Committee give pre-budget approval to begin this process this fall as it can take upwards of a year to produce a new website. The estimated cost of the project is $100,000.

New CAO:

Port Hope Budget Committee was presented with several options for the recruiting of a possible new CAO. At the last Budget Committee meeting the idea of re-instituting the CAO position that was eliminated in 2015.

Since that time, Council has been dependent upon the Management Committee – made up of the Directors – which has been meeting regularly to make the day-to-day operating decisions and to keep Council informed of the those decisions that needed their approval.

The CAO would be responsible for the coordination of the strategic elements that no one employee is currently responsible for, such as the Service Delivery Review in the Strategic Plan. The Human Resources Department has produced a timeline to follow if this Service Level change is to be implemented as part of the 2020 Budget Process, as well as providing guidelines for the potential use of an Executive Search firm or Recruitment Consultant.

Wireless Network Infrastructure Repair at the Mary J Benson Library:

A major failure to the wireless radio system between the Mary J Benson Public Library and Town Hall in July resulted in the necessity to replace their system.

The cost of getting the system back up and running, including the replacement of the existing radios at the Library and Town Hall cost $10,602.01 (net of HST) and staff are recommending that this cost be taken from the 2019 contingency budget.