Adjustments to council compensation

Aurora Town Council on Tuesday endorsed recommendations by staff and the Council Compensation Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to adjust the annual compensation for the role of Councillor to the 60th percentile of the market comparator group and increase the vehicle allowance. Council voted to maintain the current compensation and severance allowance for the role of Mayor. A report by staff summarizes findings from the Council Compensation Ad Hoc Advisory Committee and notes that council compensation at the Town of Aurora over the last few years has fallen behind when compared to 18 other municipalities in close geographic proximity to Aurora. Council also endorsed recommendations from the committee that participation in the OMERS pension plan be extended to councillors and that councillors be provided severance of one month per year of continuous service to a maximum of 12 months. The Council Compensation By-Law will also be updated to include a review prior to the end of each term of council and in the future, any additional change in compensation will be implemented for the following term of council.

Expanded pickleball opportunities to continue

Town Council endorsed recommendations from staff that the expanded pickleball opportunities offered to residents as part of a pilot project in 2023 continue in 2024 to support growing interest in the sport amongst Aurorans. The expanded opportunities, which were supported by Council, include additional drop-in indoor pickleball hours at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex and an outdoor court schedule at Fleury Park and Normal Weller Park that includes designated pickleball hours. The staff report to Council indicates future pickleball opportunities through new park development, amenity upgrades and park redesign.

Dog waste pilot project becomes permanent service

Town Council adopted recommendations from staff that the Dog Waste Container and Diversion Pilot Project become a permanent service. In 2022, with Council’s endorsement, staff implemented inground dog waste containers in Town parks and along trails. This was done to help address the problem of dog waste being thrown into regular waste receptacles – instead of correctly into the organic waste stream – which created unpleasant odours and required frequent removal, with the waste ultimately ending up in a landfill. Staff reported that the inground waste containers resulted in a significant reduction in pet waste being thrown improperly into waste respectables. Staff hope to expand the program further in the coming years.

Aurora Town Square Business Plan

Town Council received the 2024-2026 Aurora Town Square Business Plan, with the financial implications of the plan to be inserted into the draft Operating Budget as part of this year’s budget cycle. The Aurora Town Square Business Plan outlines how the dynamic community space will operate over its first three years of operation, including details about programs and services, revenue and expenditure projections, evaluation, benchmarking metrics, and more.

Motion on cannabis stores

A motion put forward by Councillor Harold Kim and adopted by Council requests that the Government of Ontario no longer accepts any further cannabis retail applications for Aurora and reevaluate its formula for how many cannabis stores are permitted in a municipality. The motion notes there are currently 13 cannabis retail stores in Aurora, and that many are located in close proximity to schools and daycares. The motion also notes that the long-term vision of the Town’s Official Plan is to support active and healthy lifestyle choices to complement a complete community.

Motion on crosswalk at St. John’s Sideroad and McKinley Gate

A motion put forward by Councillor Ron Weese and adopted by Council requests that York Region construct a crosswalk at St. John’s Sideroad and McKinley Gate to allow safe pedestrian traffic, with York Region funding the cost of the crosswalk. The motion notes there are currently no crosswalks offering safe

pedestrian access to the south side of St. John’s Sideroad, a regional road, for the numerous families that reside in the Brentwood and Aspen Leaf subdivisions, adding that traffic has increased on St. John’s Sideroad due to recent and planned residential and institutional development.