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Your Councillor’s Role

Otonabee Ward, Your Councillor’s Role

I am one of two city councillors for Otonabee Ward (Ward 1) in the city of Peterborough who represent the residents who live and/or own a business in the ward.

City councillors attend committee and city council meetings, and we also sit on various boards to help govern agencies whose activities are funded by, and provide services to, our tax payers. Each term, councillors are appointed to sit on different committees and boards.

Here is an updated list of the committees and boards on which I sit.

As a city councillor, I also meet regularly with local residents, community groups and organizations to discuss issues and hear concerns.  I meet with residents as often as I can and hold public meetings to let them know about what is happening in the ward and to get their comments and input on issues of concern, whether in the ward or city-wide.

The mayor and city councillors make up the local government for the city of Peterborough. They represent the community and set policies and approve bylaws that are implemented by the city’s administrative staff. City council sets all policies for the city and approves all procedures and major budgets. City staff propose city business through reports and recommend that certain projects be done, but city council makes the final decision whether or not to proceed and can make changes to staff recommendations.

It is my job as a city councillor to review all reports and recommendations made by city staff from the various departments and to make decisions based on that information in addition to receiving input from the public. I also make suggestions and take community concerns to staff about many things in the ward that impact your daily life including transportation, recreation, and environmental issues.

The city’s recently updated website now has a feature for residents to email their concerns and questions about common issues such as potholes, sidewalks, streetlights that need repair, recycling, and tree problems.  To access this feature visit www.peterborough.ca and click on the ‘Report an Issue’ link.

Another important point to emphasize is that city staff are professionals who hold the relevant expertise to work on the day-to-day issues facing the city.  City councillors’ roles are part-time and we do not work at city hall as many of us have other jobs and work commitments.  However, the mayor’s role is a full-time one and the mayor does have an office at city hall.

City Council versus General Committee

Council is the policy-forming and decision-making body of the city of Peterborough. The mayor and 10 councillors (representing 5 wards) are each elected for a four-year term. Meetings are open to the public and also live-streamed on the city’s website at: https://www.peterborough.ca/en/city-hall/livestreams.aspx

Peterborough city council has two standing committees, general committee, and the finance committee, both are comprised of all members of city council. General committee reviews studies and reports to council on all matters, including planning and development applications, brought to it by a number of organizations in the city and by city staff.  Finance committee is convened for quarterly financial updates, and nightly for one week each year to receive input from the public on the next year’s budget, and to review that upcoming budget line by line.  General and Finance committee meetings are open to the public and also live-streamed at the city’s website at: https://www.peterborough.ca/en/city-hall/livestreams.aspx 

City council meetings hear public delegations by residents of Peterborough on issues that have been discussed and voted on in principle by general committee.  A final vote on all issues is made by city council. While general committee does not hear public delegations, planning reports also form part of the agenda, and under the Planning Act, members of the public can speak to these reports. Public consultation for planning issues is advertised 30 days in advance of the meeting in local media and on the city’s website.

The following links will help you to engage and keep informed about the various committees and business at City Hall.  Subscribe to the News and Notices page to receive regular media releases.

News and Notices 

Speaking at Council 

Agendas and Minutes