By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
After nearly eight years, Oshawa Safe City Partnership has officially been disbanded.
The partnership, established in 2007, was mandated to work with and educate the community on particular safety issues, identify risk factors in the community and work with key partners in the implementation and monitoring of crime prevention strategies.
However, in recent years, the committee had been experiencing several issues including the difficulty of identifying appropriate projects and achieving quorum at their meetings, making the project seem more and more like a “make-work project,” according to a release from the city.
At the meeting of the corporate services committee earlier this week on Sept. 14, a motion carried unanimously to officially disband the partnership and thank all members involved.
“Sometimes, committees are formed, they do their jobs and then it’s time to move on to something else,” Councillor Nancy Diamond says.
When concerns arose earlier this year, council decided to temporarily disband the partnerships and turned to the public for help on what to do next.
A survey went out and was available online in May, and according to much of the feedback, it seemed the public was ready to be done with the Safe City Partnership.
At issue on the committee floor following the disbanding of the committee was a recommendation to hold a public forum in the spring and fall of 2016 to open up a chance for the public to discuss public safety issues.
For Diamond, this completely contradicted the original motion to disband the partnership.
“It is contrary to the results of the survey that took place, all of the input, indeed it is contrary to the conclusion,” she said.
Councillor Doug Sanders sided with Diamond, claiming the Durham Region Police have the mandate to hold public meetings if they so choose.
However, Councillor Rick Kerr disagreed and claimed in terms of accountability and transparency, any chance council has to open the doors for public discussions, they should take it.
“This is simply on, a couple times a year, going out and having a vehicle the general public can give input…I think it’s a good idea,” Kerr said.
The motion for a public open house carried with councillors John Neal, Amy England and Kerr voting for and Diamond and Sanders voting against.