All Committee and Board Members need to re-apply

With the end of the Council Term, it’s not just Councillors who are subject to change but also Advisory Committee and Board members.  There are 2 boards and 9 committees with nominally 64 new members required.  If you read the fine print (actually the by-Law) you will see that re-appointments are possible since Council is empowered to decide and it’s hard to imagine that 64 citizens who have never been on a committee will emerge.  On Thursday, the Town issued a call for applications to all the boards and committees and said all positions were vacant.  But Council ultimately chooses so if incumbents apply, they may well be re-appointed.  But as we have seen in the last 4 years, there are some situations where Advisory committees wield strong influence if not actual power (more below).

Generally, members are appointed to serve for the same term as the council – that is, in this case, the term of the current members expires November 30, 2022.

With one exception, committee members receive no remuneration.  The one exception is the committee of adjustment.  Up until the end of this year, Councillors and citizens on the Police Board have been compensated but that has now stopped.

Council role

Apart from choosing who should be on the boards and committees, each committee includes a member of council – generally chosen by their affinity because of their coordinator role. The Mayor is also an ex-officio member of all Municipal Advisory Committees, Ad Hoc Committees and Local Boards.

Committee and Boards

  • Cobourg Public Library Board – 6 vacancies – no limitation on re-appointments
  • Cobourg Police Services Board – 1 vacancy – but Council will likely re-appoint incumbent (and chair) Dean Pepper.
  • Committee of Adjustment/Property Standards Committee – 5 vacancies – no limitation on re-appointments
  • Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee – 10 vacancies
  • Accessibility Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies
  • Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies
  • Transportation Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies
  • Sustainability and Climate Emergency Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies
  • Planning and Development Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies
  • Civic Awards Advisory Committee – 6 vacancies

The number of vacancies shown above (I count 64) refers to the maximum number of citizens who can be appointed.  Committees often have fewer.

There are 2 other committees with no call for new applications: Joint Municipal Election Compliance Audit Committee and Zero Emission Ad Hoc Committee.

Cobourg Internet has a page which provides the names of the current board and Committee members and some idea of what they do.  Go here.

The Town web site also has details of what the committees do.  That’s also where you can access the forms to apply. (Click Vacancies).

Some of the impact of Advisory Committees in last term

  • Memorial Arena Ad Hoc Committee – recommended what to do with the surplus Arena
  • Parks and Recreation Committee – recommended high parking fees near beach in summer
  • Heritage Advisory Committee – recommended denying a demolition permit for 93 Albert (although it soon burnt down anyway)
  • Parks and Recreation Committee provided guidance to Consultant on Waterfront Study
  • An Ad Hoc Committee advised Council on what Municipal land was suitable for affordable Housing
  • Parks and Recreation Committee advised Council on Adult Fitness Park implementation (location etc)
  • Sustainability & Climate Emergency Advisory Committee (SCEAC) recommended that Council proceed with installing eight Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers although Council did not agree
  • Planning and Development Advisory committee helped establish Affordable Housing CIP
  • Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee advised not to permit demolition of the Certo Building
  • The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee pushed for more budget money for trees

Term limit

The governing by-law (008-2109 – download link available in Resources) says:

Members of Advisory Committees shall be appointed for a four (4) year term that corresponds with the term of Council, expiring on November 30 of the year in which a municipal election is held, unless provided otherwise in their Terms of Reference or by a resolution of Council. Committee members may be appointed to the same Committee upon reapplication for a maximum of six (6) consecutive years and may reapply after an absence of one (1) year from that Committee.

Since Council appoints members, and can also over-rule the term limit when appointing, the term limit seems to not have any effect.

Applications close 16 December 2022.  Apply here.


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1 year ago

How about “equality” instead of equity, diversity & inclusion? All lives matter.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  cornbread
1 year ago

Heresy, Cornbread! All caring people favour DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, Equity).

Last edited 1 year ago by Ken Strauss
1 year ago

I sure hope Council “won’t likely re-appoint incumbent (and chair) Dean Pepper” as member of PSB. Council would be best served with a new member of the PSB.
Why not appoint an unsuccessful candidate for Council who had the second highest number of votes. And if they won’t serve, how about advertising this appointment and choosing from those candidates. Mr. Pepper has served well, but it’s time to move on.

Cobourg taxpayer
1 year ago

It’s seems the only way for citizens (taxpayers) opinions to be considered is to serve on one of these committees. Delegations to council have no influence. I applaud all who sit on these committees and ensure that taxpayers opinions are heard and even acted on.

1 year ago

Too many chefs spoiled the broth!

Reply to  cornbread
1 year ago

We elect the mayor, deputy mayor & councillors…why not let them do their job without the sometimes lobbyist committees.

Cobourg taxpayer 2
1 year ago

Another very useful summary from John with lots of helpful links – what would we do without his service?