Township Watch - January 24, 2013

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This edition of Township Watch is again being sent to current members and some past members.  If you are the latter, we would love to have you once again as current members. You can join through our web site (, or by contacting us at 705-765-0022.  Memberships renewals will be valid through December 2013.


New Chief Administrative Officer

As 2013 begins, the MRA would like to welcome the Township of Muskoka Lakes new Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Christopher Wray.  Although Mr Wray did start at the Township in mid December this was his first week at the municipal council table.  

Exotic Animals

The New Year began with a long council agenda of zoning applications, 15 by-laws, as well as Senior Management Reports.   Among these many by-laws were the Exotic Animal by-law and its licensing by-law.  Dr. N. Guha, owner of Guha’s Tiger and Lion Farm delegated on behalf of his business.  He explained to council that prior to moving to Muskoka in 1994, he spoke to the Township to ensure that his animals would be welcome and was told they would be.  He feels that his animals are “extraordinary to the township”.  Dr. Guha asked to be allowed to keep his animals and added that he feels he is being “bullied out” of the Township.  As both the above by-laws did pass third reading members of the public who have animals who are now deemed to be “exotic”, have 60 days to make alternative arrangements for their pets.  Those who fall under the category of a Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary have 180 days to apply for a license at an annual fee of $500.00.

Cell Towers

A by-law to authorize a licensing agreement between Bell Mobility and the Township regarding a new cell tower in Torrance was signed at Monday’s meeting.  The new cell tower will be 200 feet high and carry Bell, The Township’s Emergency Services and Core Broad Band.  Although a date was not provided, a public meeting will be held prior to its construction.

Revised Meeting Schedule

On December 17th, 2012, District Council voted to amend their council meeting by-law to allow a trial period of six months for once a month meetings.  As reported in our December 2012 Township Watch there has been discussion at the municipal council table regarding altering their meeting schedule from every three weeks to once a month.    After minimal discussion amongst Township Councillors, the municipal schedule was also altered by a vote of nine to one.  Councillor Nishikawa voted against the by-law as she believes she was elected to represent her electorate at the Council table every three weeks. This change was made without a trial period as Mayor Murphy said the schedule could be revisited at anytime.  This new meeting schedule begins in March 2013.

Committee Appointments

At the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday January 15, 2013 new committee appointments were announced.  Although the Chair and Vice Chair of some committees remained the same, in many instances they changed positions.  The biggest change is that Councillor Nishikawa who was Chair of the Planning Committee has been removed as the chair and is the new Chair of Parks, Trails and Libraries.  With this change Councillor Nishikawa stepped down from the Heritage Committee as she feels someone on the Planning Committee should be the liaison.    New chair of Planning is Councillor Burgess.  On the Finance Committee Chair Burgess changed places with Vice Chair Furniss.  On the Administration Committee Chair Furniss was replaced by Councillor Kruckel.  Councillor Baranik has been appointed to Committee of Adjustment replacing Councillor Burgess.

Public Budget Meetings

Public meetings regarding the 2013 budget will be held during a Committee of the Whole meeting on January 29th at 9 AM, a Special Council meeting on February 4th at 7 PM, a Committee of the Whole meeting on February 19th at 9 AM and at a regular council meeting on March 15th at 9 AM.

Code of Conduct

The MRA would have hoped that after the negative publicity the Mayor received following Mr. Greg Knights letter, her conduct around the Council table would have improved.  Yet, we continue to hear comments such as ~ to an applicant “I asked for an answer not a dissertation”, “I am the one asking questions not you” and to a fellow councillor “if you can do that without rolling your eyes”.  It is rather unfortunate that when this unprofessional behaviour occurs that “point of order” is not called and apologies are not offered!

Next Township Council Meeting will be held the week of February 4th, 2013.

The MRA wishes everyone a safe and happy 2013


Upcoming Events - Monthly Calendar

TML - Committee of the Whole
Apr 11, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Apr 12, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
MRA - Board Meeting
Apr 27, 2019 9:00am to 1:00pm
MRA - AGM 2019
Jul 20, 2019 10:00am to 12:00pm
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