Oshawa to consider Strong Mayor powers at Monday’s meeting for 2024 budget talks

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Published September 23, 2023 at 9:30 am

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter will be exercising his new Strong Mayor powers during this year’s budget deliberations, with the timelines for getting the 2024 Operating and Capital Budget and Nine Year Forecast to be determined at Monday morning’s Council meeting.

Carter, along with the Mayors of 25 other big cities in Ontario, were given expanded powers as part of a housing pledge to the Province to build 1.5 million homes by 2031, with 23,000 of those future homes slated for Oshawa. The new powers came into effect July 1.

The Strong Mayor powers and duties include responsibility for the budget, the right to veto certain by-laws passed by Council and the power to appoint a CAO, among other new capabilities. The legislation also allows Carter to get certain motions approved with just one-third support, which in Oshawa means four votes instead of six.

Under the legislation the Mayor must inform the Clerk and each member of Council in writing of their intent to exercise their veto, along with a written reason for the veto.

Council would then need a two-thirds majority to override the veto.

Oshawa councillors will be selecting one of three options for the budget process:

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter

Option 1 – Reduce Timelines set out in the Legislation to Complete Budget by December 15

Council could reduce the number of days to consider amendments from 30 days to 21 days and choose to meet on November 24, November 30 and/or December 1 to present and discuss proposed amendments.

If Option 1 is selected, the Mayor has agreed to shorten his time to review the amendments from 10 days to 5 days. Should the Mayor choose to veto any amendments, he would then provide notice of any vetoes by December 6. To meet the December 15 deadline, Council would shorten its time period to attempt to override a veto by a vote of two-thirds of Council from 15 days to nine days.

Option 2 – Maintain the current timelines set out in the legislation and complete the Budget by January 2, 2024.

If Option 2 is chosen, the Mayor will present the budget on November 10 and Council may choose to present and discuss amendments on November 30, December 1 and December 8.

Following that meeting the Mayor will have 10 days to veto any of the proposed amendments and would then provide notice of any vetoes by December 18. Council would have until January 2 to override a veto.

Option 3 – Alternative timelines (as determined by Council). Should Council wish to choose alternative lengths for the timelines, direction in the form of a resolution must be made to identify which timeline the members wish to shorten and by how much.

The budget item is the only issue on Monday’s agenda, which begins at 9:30 a.m.

The Mayor has directed municipal staff to prepare the 2024 budget to present to Council on November 10.

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