Practicing safe-distancing, Saugeen Shores met in a Special meeting on March 30th (2020).
The municipality is considering ways in which to alleviate monetary stress for residents of Saugeen Shores. According to the CAO, David Smith, “If there are those who have automatic debits for bill payments, they can be halted during this time of emergency to ease the burden.” He also pointed out that the Town’s due Tax date is late May, unlike other municipalities and, therefore, the town has some “breathing room” to decide on any measures.
Mayor Luke Charbonneau had several strongly stressed recommendations, “You must stay home and not travel … into or out of our community. To cottagers, we love you but you must not come here now … our services are under strain … we need people to refrain from travelling … wash your hands constantly … try to shop for groceries once a week … finally, be kind to the frontline people you encounter. I have received a number of calls that there have been instances where cashiers are breaking down at tills. They are under a great deal of pressure and we have to have them going to work. If we make it intolerable for them, we will not eat. It’s an emergency. We are coming into a situation critical in the next couple of weeks … everybody has to be on the same team … we will come out stronger if we all work together.”
He went on to say that, “Police will be enforcing provincial orders if there are groups of more than five. They say that they are prepared to enforce those orders to the fullest extent of the law. Orders from the province come with set fines and criminal charges that can be imposed.”
CAO Smith also acknowledged the Clerk, Linda White, in setting up the town’s first digital meeting as it is completely new for Council and staff.
“The public should be aware that there is quorum here tonight but we can now meet electronically in the future with the passing of the By-laws tonight,” added the Mayor.
Linda White, Clerk, added that moving forward, a mover and seconder of a motion can be either in the room or do it electronically.
“This is a very proactive measure due to the nature of the COVID situation so that it may be possible that Council needs a plan in place so that core services are not disrupted. The intent is to give administration the ability to do the town’s business in the event Council cannot meet,” added Mayor Charbonneau.