Municipality Of Northern Bruce Peninsula Council Meeting Minutes (Electronic) June 25, 2020 SPECIAL (Strategic Planning Review, Current Strategic Plan, Vision Statement, Mission Statement)


MEMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Milt McIver, Deputy Mayor Debbie Myles, Councillor Laurie (Smokey) Golden, Councillor James Mielhausen, Councillor Megan Myles

STAFF PRESENT: Peggy Van Mierlo-West, Chief Administrative Officer, Cathy Addison, Deputy Clerk, Tessa Swanton, Administrative Assistant 


All members of Council were present in the council chamber and the meeting was held via zoom, an electronic platform, for members of the public to attend. 


Mayor McIver called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m. and Council members were reminded to disclose any pecuniary interest and the general nature thereof that may arise during the course of the meeting.


Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #27-01-2020 Seconded by M. Myles

THAT the content of the agenda be approved as presented. Carried


There are no Minutes to adopt for Special Council Meeting No. 20-27, June 25, 2020.


There is no Public Meeting for Special Council Meeting No. 20-27, June 25, 2020.


There is no Delegation for Special Council Meeting No. 20-27, June 25, 2020.


1. Strategic Planning Review

• Current Strategic Plan

• Strategic Plan Priority List

• Vision Statement Review

• Mission Statement Review

Peggy Van Mierlo-West, CAO, stated the following information pertaining to the Strategic Plan process:

The intent of today’s meeting is to receive further input from Council;

The vision statement, mission statement and other ideas relating to the culture of Northern Bruce Peninsula (NBP) will be presented to the public by means of a survey for comment;

The Management Team and the CAO will review comments and report back to Council;

The Strategic Plan is proposed to be completed by the end of the summer;

Determine if the priorities and goals are still relevant in the plan;

The vision and mission statement have been separated from one another, as the current plan only contains one combined statement;

The Management Team was tasked with preparing both a vision and mission statement, then remaining staff were asked to rank their favourite statements, the top three (3) of each have been highlighted for Council; and

The public will also have an opportunity to provide feedback on the statements.

The CAO and Council proceeded to review the current priorities as outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Priority #1 – To maintain a well-managed and fiscally responsible municipal government 

A strategy needs to be incorporated for financial stability policies;

Possibly hire a consultant to conduct an organizational review of the Municipality, Management believes this review can be done in house;

The review will identify staffing gaps and communication gaps, this can be completed by October;

There will be a page on the Municipal website dedicated to Strategic Plan information where all presentations, documents, etc. will be posted for public viewing;

The Strategic Plan will need to be a fluid document and change according to the needs and requirements of the Municipality;

Annual reviews of the Strategic Plan will take place in August/September;

Keys to effective planning include being willing to question the status quo;

How do we budget and create reserves for projects;

Currently, the Strategic Plan is between the “agree on priorities” and “write the strategic plan” stage;

Staffing levels, resource development, technology and facilities need to be considered;

The Municipality is operating on a very lean staff and staff are very busy, with summer projects approaching in preparation for the season, additional resources may need to be considered;

Focus on skills, succession planning and training for staff;

A business plan will be included in the upcoming budget;

The Management Team has been discussing quarterly reports, the quarterly reports from all departments will be combined into one corporate report moving forward; and

Council agreed with all goals under this priority.

Priority #2 – To conserve and protect our unique environment while encouraging well managed growth

Attainable and affordable housing, limited rentals;

More developments (multi-unit housing/apartments) in the Tobermory area;

Decrease the minimum square footage for new developments in the zoning by-law;

Short term rentals contribute to higher market prices making it difficult for young families to purchase properties;

Develop a sustainable housing strategy;

Collect an inventory of rental housing through a registration process when applying for a short term rental license, if implemented;

Consider allowing duplexes and multi-unit housing developments on more properties;

A more flexible range of housing options;

Look at servicing options in Lion’s Head and Tobermory;

Improve the attainability for long term rentals (annual lease agreements);

Improve the economy, encourage/ contribute to “people live where they work”;

Amend the zoning by-law to include the above changes;

The next generation on the Peninsula does not have the same opportunities in terms of purchasing homes as the older generation;

Majority of people are working in the tourism industry;

Winters are hard on the mental health of citizens;

Year round and part time jobs are important to improve mental health;

The Meeting Place offers programming for seasonal workers and have hired a project coordinator;

Prepare environmental assessments for when grants become available for servicing options;

Go to the Province and other levels of government for financial assistance;

Look at partnership options;

Meet with developers;

Determine where sanitary sewer lines can be placed; 

Examine growth in various areas;

What other areas of the Municipality require infrastructure;

Asset Management Plan and Roads Needs Study will be completed;

Requirements for recreational programming, are facilities available;

Can people afford connecting to services, water or sewer;

Determine exact costs for hookups;

Attend delegations;

Comply with Bill 108; and 

Look at the Tiny Homes Guide from the Province.

Priority #3 – To enhance the health, safety and education of our community 

Schools are very important to the community and should be included in a priority;

Healthy communities consist of a grocery store, recreational activity and education;

When a school is gone, then families leave the area;

Need more community hubs;

Explore partnerships with higher educations;

Possibly partner with the University of Guelph, options relating to agriculture, tourism and environment;

Program and satellite campuses;

Speak with the school board and see if they need support;

Keep the Tobermory school open, the bus ride is too long for young children;

Incorporate the daycare into the school building;

Continue supporting local daycares;

The Meeting Place operates out of a portable, but it is heavily used, make sure it is up to standards;

The Tobermory school is a large building with a little population attending;

The Safe Communities Committee advised that there is a new program coming to Owen Sound for addictions, coordinate with those groups;

A report will be presented at the next regular council meeting regarding the Community Safety and Well-being Plan, the dates have been extended to complete the plan;

Priority #4 – To develop and promote cultural and recreational opportunities

The Recreational Master Plan is to be updated next year;

This priority may fall under “safe and vibrant communities”;

Facilitate recreational programming, what does this include;

Make sure that programs are accessible when approving community grant applications;

Identify what programs are missing;

Ensure a wide range of programming for all ages and abilities;

The Municipality does not have the staffing to provide programs;

The Municipality does not have the staffing to provide programs;

Minor hockey and ball are available; 

Be strategic if the Municipality decides to undertake operating a program;

The Tobermory tennis courts are busy;

Entertain use agreements with individuals who wish to operate programs out of Municipal facilities; and 

Yoga and VON Smart classes are fully booked.

Priority #5 – To encourage citizen involvement

Include this priority in the updated plan;

Public consultations for 2020 will be different than usual;

Create a PowerPoint video with commentary to be posted on the website, then allow the public to participate in a survey;

Greater social media presence;

Social media policy;

Implement a communications plan;

Audio-video upgrades to the council chamber; and 

Consider Facebook as a communication tool.

Strategy #6 – Develop and implement economic development strategies for the Municipality

Make the priorities more outcome/process orientated;

What does Council think is important to making the Municipality successful;

More year-round jobs are needed;

The north end of the Peninsula is heavily focused on the tourism industry;

The community can become vulnerable when poorly diversified;

More diversification regarding year-round employment and growth is needed for families;

Diversify the economy;

Attraction and retention of young families;

Age friendly community from youth to seniors;

People are attracted to living in the Municipality, but they need to make a living;

Assist those working through planning application processes;

Add the word “resilience” in terms of the economy;

Support our businesses and the economy as a priority;

Support a resilient economy;

Shrink down to only four (4) priorities;

Strong and resilient economy;

The Economic Development Manager is currently a part-time position performed by the Manager of Community Services;

Use the Economic Development Strategy to address issues;

An impact may not be achieved right away in terms of seeing results from Economic Development projects;

Attract more knowledge workers, market for the area;

Separate knowledge workers from entrepreneurs and remote workers;

People can work here online and the internet needs to be improved;

The Lion’s Head Cowork space is a good organization who just recently achieved their non-profit designation;

Working at home may become more popular;

Update the website to include sections for a business directory;

Touch base with key organizations on an annual basis;

Develop a database of businesses and determine what they need; and 

Support local businesses.

New priorities were noted as follows:

Transparent and responsible government that provides effective and efficient services;

Safe and vibrant communities;

Sustainable environment and infrastructure; and a

Strong and resilient economy.

The following discussion was noted relating to an organizational review:

List responsibilities for every member of the team and see if there is any overlap in job responsibilities;

Review job descriptions;

Interview staff within that department;

Discuss with Council the overall view of the organization;

Weekly management and administration meetings;

Review assets and budgets;

This could result in new or tweaked positions; and 

The Parks and Recreation Department and Building Department may need additional staff.

There was a break in the Council Meeting at 11:04 a.m.

The Council Meeting reconvened at 11:16 a.m. 

Council discussed the vision statement. The following was noted:

The vision statement is a short statement;

Where do we picture the Municipality in twenty years;

Staff liked the word “wild” to describe the Municipality;

There is a diverse culture in the area;

Family orientated;

Lots to explore in the area;

NBP- Natural, Beautiful, Progressive;

The top three (3) statements from Management and any Council suggestions can be presented to the public; and

Maintain rural identity.

Discussion relating to the mission statement included the following:

When you are audited, you may be required to relay the company mission statement;

Should also be fairly short;

Working together, leadership, sustainable services, responsible government, vibrant communities;

Tell citizens what we offer and what we are responsible for;

Working together to build vibrant communities through collaborative leadership and sustainable services;

Have the public tell us what they think the Municipality’s mission is;

The CAO will draft a Strategic Plan survey and present it to Council for review;

The survey will include questions on education, schooling, attainable housing and zoning; and 

Launch a website for Strategic Planning and develop a video, include the survey link on the “know before you go” media releases. 

There was a break in the Council Meeting at 11:43 a.m.

The Council Meeting reconvened at 12:30 p.m. 

2. Communication Plan Review

• Draft Snapshot

Considerable discussion ensued with respect to a Communication Plan. The following was noted:

An engagement survey was distributed to staff and the Management Team;

Current communication tools include the website, newspaper, media releases, weekly newsletter, word of mouth, email blasts, municipal partnerships, weekly team meetings;

The Fire Department has requested a Facebook page and the Community Services Department would also benefit from a Facebook account;

Options for new communication tools include social media, the purchase of an app, alternative website, vlog casting and pod casting;

Each option has a resource associated;

A social media account will require monitoring, determine if comments will be enabled;

Some good aspects to social media;

Can post public education aspects for the Fire Department;

Special events, Covid-19 updates, facilities, etc. can be posted;

Concerns with social media is inconsistent procedures, the absence of policies and lack of resources;

Make sure citizens are heard and will receive a response to emails/calls;

Citizens enjoy seeing information in the newspaper format;

Boost participation in the public process;

There is no communications position currently, one (1) person from each department will be responsible for communications from that department;

Ensure they are trained to properly communicate in the same type/level of writing

The CAO will be the lead for communications;

May want to consider creating a position for communications;

The Communications Plan will be brought to Council for approval;

If communication with the public is successful, then the amount of email/phone inquires will be reduced;

The website is difficult to navigate and is complaint driven, not department driven;

The website will be reviewed and reorganized;

Determine how each demographic receives information;

Facebook live can be used;

The Short Term Accommodations (STA) page did not receive many comments; 

Share a survey monkey link through the website;

Maintain the current communication tools with the addition of a Facebook and Twitter Account;

Set expectations for responding to social media comments; and 

Determine if staff have the capacity to operate Facebook and Twitter, at this time.

3. Review of Current Performance Review process

• Current Policy

• Review of Updated Staff Policy

• Review of CAMA Review Policy for CAO review

The below points were discussed by the CAO and Council:

Performance review documentation needs to be updated;

Performance reviews should not be feared;

Starts a conversation for improvements and succession training;

An annual and 6-month review will take place;

A goal setting document will also be completed;

A progressive discipline policy was drafted;

Best practices were pulled from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) regarding the CAO performance review;

Review duties, the contract, review goals and set goals for the following year;

Quarterly reports from the CAO regarding performance was suggested;

A third party can be involved in the CAO performance review;

The previous CAO performance review documents worked well and were easy to use;

Some outside factors can contribute to if goals are achieved;

Closed Session conversation can occur at anytime pertaining to the performance of the CAO; and 

The results from the staff engagement survey will be presented to Council during the 3-month CAO performance review.

The Deputy Clerk left the meeting at 1:39 p.m.


Mayor McIver brought up the topic of local beaches. Councillor Golden mentioned that all community beaches have been closed in South Bruce Peninsula (SBP). She said that she has received comments that the beaches in Northern Bruce Peninsula (NBP) should 

be closed, that social distancing is effective at the beaches and that a staff presence is important. Councillor Golden expressed concerns with Dunks Bay Beach as it is very busy and by-law enforcement staff need to be present. She also mentioned that Black Creek Provincial Park (Sandy Beach) is busy and should be monitored even though it is not a Municipal beach.

Councillor Myles stated that there should be cost sharing or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding Black Creek Provincial Park and the Lion’s Head Provincial Park (cliff area) between the Province and Municipality. 

The Deputy Clerk returned to the meeting at 1:43 p.m.

Council was in agreement to monitor the beaches this coming weekend and re-evaluate next week.


There is no Correspondence for Special Council Meeting No. 20-27, June 25, 2020.


Moved by J. Mielhausen Resolution #27-02-2020 Seconded by L. Golden

THAT the following listed by-laws be given 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading and enacted:



There is no Closed Session for Special Council Meeting No. 20-27, June 25, 2020.


There is no Closed Session for Special Council Meeting No. 20-27, June 25, 2020.


Moved by D. Myles Resolution #27-03-2020 Seconded by M. Myles 

THAT the meeting adjourns at 1:45 p.m. Carried