Perth councillors went at it claws and nails (figuratively speaking) on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Committee of the Whole when a report on canteen leases was raised.
In both June and July of last year a Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued for the operation of the canteen at the community centre; there were no responses. Just two months later, in September, Miro Krsmanovic asked for and received a five month lease and has been operating the canteen since October 2017.
In November of that year an RFP was issued for the operation of the canteen at Conlon Farm. Krsmanovic was the only respondent, and after much discussion and some opinionated debate, the motion was passed in principle (four for and three against) for the mayor and clerk to sign a lease with Krsmanovic to operate both canteens – community centre and Conlon Farm – for a period of three years starting May 1 2018.
Mayor Fenik asked if people can actually make a living this way. Shannon Baillon, director of community services answered that “[staff] will support him in any way we can.”
Councillor Jim Boldt spoke on Krsmanovic’s behalf, noting he was one of the hardest working individuals he knew. Councillor Ed McPherson added that “if we are asking him to work for [the Town]” we should agree to the motion.
Last summer there was some consternation surrounding food vendors at Conlon Farm on Canada Day — they would not be allowed to sell the same sort of fare, that is they couldn’t both sell hamburgers and fries.
One of them would have to sell something else, for instance, sausages on buns.
Councillors wanted to know if the same issue was going to surface this year. Baillon said there is a Canada Day clause in the contract.
Councillor McPherson asked if this would “harm” Krsmanovic, and if so councillor Riq Turner asked if Krsmanovic could be given a “veto?”
Mayor Fenik argued that Canada Day should be an opportunity for any business person to do business and that “we shouldn’t lock ourselves in. It should be at our discretion.”
Baillon will bring a clarification to council on Feb. 20.