CitySSMA by-election will happen to fill a vacant seat on City Council.  Terry Sheehan left his Ward 2 seat and ended up winning last month’s Federal Election to become the new Sault Member of Parliament in Ottawa.  As a result, a by-election will take place on Februrary 1st.  Four people — David Poluck, John Duke, Derek Crowell and Andy Martens — have declared their interest in running in Ward 2 in the event of a by-election.  That interest was included in Monday’s council addendum.  December 18th was announced as the date for nominations to close.

Eighteen applicants will receive their share of money from the Downtown Community Improvement Plan.  212 thousand dollars will be shared by that group.  Councillor Matt Shoemaker asked if the program was limited to businesses in the downtown core, or if it could be extended outside the downtown.  Planning Director Don McConnell answered that only downtown businesses could apply.  Over the last seven years, 1.5 million dollars in private sector investment in the downtown has resulted from the Plan.

City Council will be looking for any suggestions for changes related to the parking operations downtown.  A four member committee — including a representative from City Council — will look into any changes.  Ward 3 councillor Matt Shoemaker volunteered himself to be part of that group.  He talked about not being ticketed even though he had parked in a downtown lot for more than the permitted maximum time of two hours.  Shoemaker described revenue from parking as the ‘lowest of low-hanging fruit’ and that situations like his are resulting in the city losing money.  Councillors Paul Christian and Susan Myers both suggested prior to Monday’s decision to establish the committee that a metered system where time is purchased would be more appropriate to collect parking revenue.