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Four new Downtown BIA board members appointed by council

Brandon Houston, Cassie MacKell, John Miller and Kathie Ondercin will be filling the four vacant seats left by resignations earlier this summer
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Downtown Collingwood on a cloudy morning. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

Four new members have been appointed to Collingwood’s Downtown BIA Board.

During a special council meeting on Wednesday night, councillors voted to appoint Brandon Houston, Cassie MacKell, John Miller and Kathie Ondercin to fill four vacant seats on the board left by the resignations earlier this summer.

"I am very pleased with the outcome of tonight's Special Council meeting and the new director appointments to the BIA Board," said Deputy Mayor Keith Hull, BIA Director and Council/BIA Liaison.

"Thanks to Clerk (Sara) Almas and her department for a very successful public recruitment campaign that resulted in numerous excellent candidates making this evening's decision a very difficult one. I am hopeful that the other applicants will consider serving as a sub-committee member as part of the BIA.”

Four members of the board resigned in June: Alex Yuen, Carolina D’Andrea, Susan Holden and Bradley Matthews. After the resignations, Almas joined the board to conduct a review of the BIA.

The BIA board asked the town to help recruit new board members.

In her report to council submitted in July, Almas said the resignations were the result of “frustration with issues related to the organization and operations.”

To read out full story on the report, click here.

On Wednesday, Almas confirmed that she would be staying on the board for at least a year or longer, if deemed necessary.

The Board of Directors consists of nine members in total: eight members elected from the downtown business community and property owners qualified to be members of the improvement area, or nominees of corporations assessed, as set out in the Municipal Act.

The BIA board provides recommendations to the corporate and community services standing committee, oversees a budget funded by BIA properties that is typically over $500,000 for the improvement, beautification, and maintenance of municipally owned lands, buildings, and structures in the area.

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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