Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

Context

In January 2017, Haldimand County approved their first Economic Development Strategy.  An action listed in the Strategy referenced the establishment of an Economic Development Advisory Committee. More specifically, under section 7.4 the action reads:

Additionally, it is intended that this committee will take on a planning advisory role as required through the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015 which amended the Planning Act (‘the Act’).  Moving forward the County is required to take on a number of process changes to implement the legislation one of which is the mandatory requirement for the Council of every single-tier municipality to appoint a Planning Advisory Committee (PAC).  The Act requires that the membership of the committee shall be chosen by Council and is to include at least one resident of the municipality who is neither a member of municipal council nor an employee of the municipality.  The Planning Advisory role of this committee will be to deal with planning matters that are identified by Council.  It is at the discretion of Council to define how wide or narrow the mandate is to be.

Committee Name

The name of the committee is the Haldimand County Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee (Committee).  The name is suggestive of the committee’s role which is to assist business development within Haldimand County and the implementation of Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism strategies.  Further, the Committee will also provide advice/input into major strategic planning initiatives that will have an impact on economic development within the County.

Mandate

  • To provide local perspective, guidance and expert strategic direction to assist in the implementation of Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism strategies.
  • To serve with a focus on provision of advice, community input and recommendations for the direction of the Economic Development and Tourism agenda.
  • Work with staff to promote the County to prospective clients to demonstrate alignment between local government and the business community.
  • Function as the statutory Planning Advisory Committee and will provide advice/input into major strategic planning initiatives that will have an impact on economic development within the County such as land supply and servicing strategies and Official Plan updates.

Overview

This Committee is to be a formal Advisory Committee of Council and will make recommendations directly to Council.  The Committee is comprised of a group of individuals who are volunteering their time, knowledge and commitment to ensure Haldimand County is receiving the best advice on moving actions forward contained within the County’s Economic Development and Tourism strategies and on various larger scale strategic planning initiatives. This includes prioritizing the timing of implementing actions as well as identifying those actions which are not having the desired positive results.

The key role of the  Committee is to offer advice, perspectives on what is happening within Haldimand County’s business community and feedback on the success of Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism strategies.  The Committee will provide input on the proposed annual divisional work plan as well as the proposed operating and capital budget to be submitted to Council for final approval.  The Committee will also function as the statutory Planning Committee.

The Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee Chair should report twice annually to Haldimand County Council on the progress that is being made on the implementation of the Economic Development and Tourism strategies.

The Committee is not responsible for implementation of the actions in the strategies, human resources, financial and budgetary spending, technology and day to day operations of the Economic Development and Tourism division or the Planning and Development division as these role belongs to staff.

Role of Haldimand County Staff

The Economic Development and Tourism Division is responsible in assisting and working directly with the Haldimand County Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee.  Staff’s responsibilities include:

  • Work closely with the Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee to develop and implement annual work-plans that align with the 2017 Haldimand County Economic Development and Tourism strategies and to provide regular updates on the progress.
  • Request guidance and seek input from the Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee relative to key strategic municipal investments that support/promote economic development.
  • Provide budget related information relevant to strategic priorities in the preparation of the Strategies implementation plans and where necessary the Economic Development and Tourism Division annual work-plan and budgets.
  • Advise the Committee of economic development opportunities and engaging the Committee members in assisting with promotion, marketing and meeting with potential client investors.
  • Provide briefings and necessary materials relating to the various planning projects/initiative put forward to the Committee.
  • Provide overviews of the various Provincial interests, policies and regulations applicable to the project/initiative.

Committee Composition

Members will be selected based on the individual’s specific expertise within Haldimand County’s economy.  The committee shall consist of a minimum of 5 members up to a maximum of 7 individuals, exclusive of Council, and shall include:

  • (2) Council representatives on the Committee as appointed by Council who will act as the Committee Chair and Vice-Chair
  • 1 Representative from the Grand Erie Business Centre (included in the 5 – 7 members)

The remainder of the committee shall be made up of key business leaders selected by Council with businesses representation from across the various sectors to ensure broad expertise and perspective.  This could include representatives from:

  • Agriculture/Agri-business
  • Real Estate/Industrial or Commercial Development
  • Hospitality/Tourism
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail/Small Business
  • Representatives from the community or other Partner Organizations with an interest in Economic Development/Tourism

Members shall be appointed by Council.  Members (including members of Council) will serve a four year term to coincide with the term of Council.

Committee members can serve a maximum of two consecutive 4-year terms.  After a break from membership on the Committee, an individual will be eligible for re-appointment to the Committee.

Other individuals may be asked to attend Committee meetings to provide insights and guidance on a project by project basis due to their expertise in certain areas of the Haldimand County economy.

Roles and Responsibilities

The key role of the Committee is to offer advice, perspective on what is happening within the Haldimand County’s business community relative to initiatives undertaken to implement the Economic Development and Tourism strategies.

Some of the core responsibilities shall include:

  • Advise on the implementation of the 2017 Economic Development and Tourism strategies including – priorities and the annual Divisional work program.
  • Providing insight and advice to Council on strategic investments that further economic development and growth.
  • Advise on industrial and commercial land requirements, general zoning and use policy, municipal infrastructure and marketing strategy, and other County policies and programs which may impact on the County’s ability to implement the 2017 Economic Development and Tourism strategies.
  • Consult with stakeholders and community organizations and to actively encourage coordination and cooperation.
  • Participate with Staff and Council at tradeshows, conferences and with prospective clients to promote business investment in the County.
  • Assist the County in promoting economic investment by working closely with the federal and provincial governments.
  • Further, the committee will also function as the statutory Planning Advisory Committee and will provide advice/input into major strategic planning initiatives that will have an impact on economic development within the County such as land supply and servicing strategies and Official Plan updates.

Responsibilities of Individual members of the Committee shall include:

  • Attendance at meetings.
  • Preparing for the meeting by reviewing material provided and/or consulting with stakeholders regarding issues.
  • Participating in discussions and activities.
  • Carrying out tasks assigned to them.
  • Soliciting suggestions and resources from the community and elsewhere.
  • Actively encouraging financial partnerships with individuals, organizations, businesses and government, as part of Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism strategies and Implementation Plan in an integrated and collective approach, with the assistance of County staff.
  • Attending as part of any delegations to Council.

The Chair shall report twice annually to Haldimand County Council on the progress that is being made on the implementation of the Economic Development and Tourism strategies.

The Committee is not:

  • Responsible in any way for the general review of development-related applications made under the Planning Act.
  • To respond to any media enquiries related to Haldimand County and the Committee. These will be forwarded to the Chair or County Staff.
  • To use any information obtained for personal or business benefit.
  • To make any purchases or accept any revenue on behalf of Haldimand County or the Committee.

The recommendations of the Committee are advisory only.  County Council may consider any advice or recommendations of the Committee, but is in no way bound by such recommendations.

Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection to Privacy Act:

Members of the Committee will act in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information contained in application forms and information circulated to the Committee, and to ensure that the personal information is used solely for the processing of the application and the making of a recommendation to Council.

The legal requirements detailed in the Planning Act; Municipal Act; Municipal Conflict of Interest Act and Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act govern the Planning Advisory function of the Committee.

Resignation and Dismissal:

  • If a Development Advisory Committee member is absent from three consecutive meetings without justification, the Chair of the Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee, in consultation with staff, will ask the member whether or not they intend to continue as a member of the Committee or resign.
  • Members wishing to resign their appointment shall submit a letter of resignation to the Manager of Economic Development and Tourism. Upon acceptance of the resignation, Staff in consultation with the Committee will initiate the aforementioned appointment process to fill the vacancy.

Meetings

Rules of Procedure/Order:

  • Quorum will be considered to be a majority of the total number of members on the Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee.
  • In the event that a quorum is not present within fifteen (15) minutes after the appointed time of the meeting, the names of those present will be recorded and the meeting will commence in the absence of a quorum. Minutes will be taken and distributed as usual.
  • In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall conduct the meeting. If neither is present, the Board shall appoint an Acting Chair from amongst those members present.

Schedule/Location of Meetings:

  • The Committee will establish a meeting schedule, setting out the time and place for meetings at the beginning of each year. All meetings will be held within Haldimand County.
  • Meetings shall occur on quarterly basis, at minimum. Where necessary, special meetings may be scheduled as required.
  • Adequate provision for accessibility shall be made by the Chair of the Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee and relevant staff to ensure that meeting locations, agenda and minute formats, communications and conduct of meetings be accessible, to ensure maximum participation and quality customer service. Reference may be made to the provisions of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and similar legislation, policies and guidelines.

Access to Meetings/Closed Meetings/Pecuniary Interest:

  • Committee meeting minutes shall be available to the public upon request.
  • All meetings shall be open to the public except as allowed through Section 239 of the Municipal Act.
  • If a member has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, the member shall disclose the pecuniary interest and shall not take part in the discussion of the matter, nor vote on the matter.

Budget and Financing

  • Any expenditures for the Committee shall be authorized by the Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.
  • All related revenue and expenditure transactions will follow Council approved policy. Requests must relate to specific activities approved in the Committee’s mandate and work plan.
  • Members of the Committee do not receive remuneration. If approved by the Staff Liaison prior to the expenditure being incurred by a member, a member may submit a receipt for reimbursement of specific expenses related to Committee activities.
  • Pre-approved expenses to attend tradeshows, conferences or client meetings will be reimbursed.

Recommendations

  • Minutes of Committee meetings shall be forwarded to Council, for information.
  • Recommendations of the Committee shall be forwarded to Council by way of written report, to be considered at a Council in Committee meeting.

Changes to the Terms of Reference

All changes to the Terms of Reference require Council approval.

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