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Trillium Ford

Non-resident surcharge now off the books, but councillors warned it was a problem

Posted April 11, 2017

New Tecumseth council's efforts to play hard ball with Adjala Tosorontio ended with a wimper last night in an 8-2 vote to cease charging local user groups a 20 per cent surcharge on all memberships, registrations, social rentals, and group parks and facility bookings.

Last month, Patrick D'Almada, New Tecumseth's Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture, told councillors the Town was having difficulty collecting the non-resident surcharge which had gone into effect in September 2016 following Adjala Tosorontio's opposition to paying more than $100,000 per year on behalf of its residents. Negotiations between the two communities - Ward councillors Marc Biss, Paul Whiteside, and Shira Harrison McIntyre made up New Tecumseth's team - failed to reach an agreement, and moved to implement the surcharge.

Mr. D'Almada's March report to council showed the Town invoiced $26,944.37 to all its user groups, and of that, $19,197 remains in arrears. At the same March meeting, about a dozen representatives from the various organizations told councillors that having them collect the charges from their registrants would have negative consequences. Council that evening in committee, voted 9-0 to end the surcharge (councillor Biss was absent). But he was in attendance last night and spoke against ending the charge, and along with Ward 5 councillor Donna Jebb, voted against it.

But a chain of emails, reproduced below, obtained by Free Press Online as part of a freedom of information request, show councillors were warned its implementation would not be a simple process, and required a dedicated staff position to administer.

(Also note, all the emails are copied to all councillors. In May 2016, the integrity commissioner cautioned council in a working information session that "email and text chains involving at least a quorum of members, can be construed as an 'improper closed meeting." In fact, many of the emails obtained by Free Press Online through the FOI request are copied to all councillors).


From: gakins@newtecumseth.ca
Sent: August 24, 2016 1:59 PM
To: council@newtecumseth.ca
Cc: pdalmada@newtecumseth.ca; BHolly@newtecumseth.ca; mbrown@newtecumseth.ca; HReid@newtecumseth.ca
Subject: Non Resident user fees

Good day,

Please be advised that Non-Resident User Fees have been implemented for all non-resident users of Town of New Tecumseth parks and facility bookings, pre-registered programs and membership options effective September 1, 2016. Notices have been posted for public information as of July 20, 2016 within facilities, social media, Recreation Leisure Guide, rental permits and email communications to the public.

Future discussions are planned with all user groups and leagues to implement the non-resident fee to their organizations. Implementation is expected to be in place for spring 2017.

Gail Akins
Manager Recreation & Culture Services

From: J.J. Paul Whiteside
Sent: August 24, 2016 2:08 PM
To: Gail Akins;gakins@newtecumseth.ca; Town Council 2014-2018 <council@newtecumseth.ca>
Cc: Patrick D'Aimada <pdalmada@newtecumseth.ca>; Brendan Holly <BHolly@newtecumseth.ca>;
Heather Reid <HReid@newtecumseth.ca>; Michelle Brown <mbrown@newtecumseth.ca>
Subject: Re: Non Resident user fees

Thanks Gail for the status update. Are the leagues who rent ice time paying the non resident fee effective the start of the fall ice season 2016?

Regards
Paul

J.J. Paul Whiteside, FCPA, FCMA
Ward 3 Councillor
Town of New Tecumseth
705-333-7447

From: gakins@ newtecumseth .ca
Sent: August 24, 2016 2:19 PM
To: pwhiteside@newtecumseth.ca; council@newtecumseth.ca
Cc: pdalmada@newtecumseth.ca; BHolly@newtecumseth.ca; HReid@newtecumseth.ca; mbrown@rfewtecumseth.ca
Subject: RE: Non Resident user fees

Hi Councillor Whiteside,

Thanks for your question. Please note many of these groups use various provincial sport registration systems which make adding the non-resident fee a challenge (e.g. Ontario Minor Hockey Association). Staff will be working with groups over the next 8 months to determine the most effective way of collecting non-resident fees.

Regards
Gail Akins
Manager Recreation & Culture Services
From: J.J . Paul Whiteside
Sent: August 24, 2016 2:25:12 PM
To: Gail Akins; Town Council 2014-2018
Cc: Patrick D'Aimada; Brendan Holly; Heather Reid; Michelle Brown
Subject: Re: Non Resident user fees

Hi Gail
It was our understanding from Patrick when we were negotiating with Adjala Tosorontio that non-resident user fees would be collected from all individuals and/or leagues no later than beginning with the ice season in the fall of 2016.
So as I understand it now the non-residents will get another reprieve from paying non-resident user fees for a whole other ice season.
We were expecting to receive non-resident user fees for at least a portion of 2016 and for the full year 2017 and thereafter.

Regards
Paul

J.J. Paul Whiteside, FCPA, FCMA
Ward 3 Councillor
Town of New Tecumseth
705-333-7447
From: pdalmada@newtecumseth.ca
Sent: August 24, 2016 4:22 PM
To: pwhiteside@newtecumseth.ca; gakins@newtecumseth.ca; council@newtecumseth.ca
Cc: BHolly@newtecumseth.ca; HReid@newtecumseth.ca; mbrown@newtecumseth.ca
Subject: Re: Non Resident user fees

Councillor Whiteside,

When we were negotiating with Adj-Tos, I indicated to the Councillors on the negotiating committee that it would be fairly straight forward, but require additional administration, to collect the 20% non-resident fee for individual facility bookings, memberships and registrations where our system can identify the individual who is registering or booking space, and I provided the potential revenue based on information available in our database.

I indicated that it would be a challenge collecting the individual non-resident fee from user groups as we would be relying on their registration systems, which we do not have access to. Staff have discussed a few approaches to collecting the non-resident fees from user groups, but would like to have further dialogue with the groups, in order to implement a process that is efficient and effective for all parties, and avoid resistance/pushback from the groups.

I was out of the country on vacation when I saw your initial email, and was planning to respond when I return on Monday August 29, as my Out of Office indicates. I asked Gail to reply in the interim after your second email request, and provide information on the work that her team has completed for the September implementation. Gail and her team are not familiar with the details discussed during the negotiations. I am available to meet with you on Monday August 29, prior to the AMA Task Force meeting, if you would like to discuss this item further. Please confirm.

Patrick.

From: J.J. Paul Whiteside
Sent: August 28, 2016 6:12 PM
To: Patrick D'Aimada <pdalmada@newtecumseth.ca>; Gail Akins <gakins@newtecumseth.ca>; Town
Council 2014-2018 <council@newtecumseth.ca>
Cc: Brendan Holly <BHolly@newtecumseth.ca>; Heather Reid <HReid@newtecumseth.ca>; Michelle Brown <mbrown@newtecumseth.ca>
Subject: Re: Non Resident user fees

Hi Patrick

Yes, Marc and I would like to chat with you further re this matter before the AMA meeting on Monday evening.
We will be there for 6.30 pm.
Paul

J.J. Paul Whiteside, FCPA, FCMA
Ward 3 Councillor
Town of New Te
cumseth
705-333-7447

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