Everything you need to know about Monday’s council meeting.


Historic appointment

Councillor Mohamed Salih was appointed to the London Police Services board on Monday, expanding council’s presence from two to three representatives.

Salih said the historic decision makes him the first black official to be elected to a police board across Ontario.

“I know when it comes to police service boards, we lack — significantly across the province of Ontario — diversity,” he said. “It’s a disappointing factor for me to be the only elected black official on a police service board at this point in all of Ontario, if not all of this country.”

Salih is known for his outspoken opposition to the controversial practice of random street checks, also known as police carding.

“I think that says a lot about some of the challenges that our communities face and some of the voices that haven’t been (at) the table,” he said.”We cannot as a community expect to do better, and want to do better and talk about diversity without actually enacting on it.”

Mayor Matt Brown and Stephen Turner are council’s current representatives on the board.

Smart traffic lights

The city green-lighted a decision to look into smart technology to improve the system that tells traffic lights when to change colours.

The current system, which is considered antiquated by today’s standards, uses time cycles to control the lights at all of the 396 city’s intersections. The cycles vary depending on the time of day.

The new Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) would give traffic lights eyes to ‘see’ and respond to traffic movements in real time. The lights would detect traffic levels with cameras or detectors and the data would be processed by a centralized high-tech hub.

The new smart lights would also address the needs of the coming bus rapid transit system (BRT).

City Council has approved the hiring of a consulting firm to develop a full action plan, at a cost of nearly $136,000.

Mushroom farm

After a two week delay, council referred a request made by a local Japanese mushroom grower back to staff.

Yoshinobu Odaira, CEO of Shogun Maitake Company, submitted an application asking council to allow him an exemption from city by-laws in order to buy a 10-acre plot of farmland in south London.

Right now, the city doesn’t allow for the severance of such a small portion of land.

Source: CBC News