Mark Clairmont |

BRACEBRIDGE — Bracebridge’s council is about to turn temporary powers over to a non-elected official tomorrow in response the pandemic.

At a special council meeting — to be held electronically Thursday, March 26 — Mayor Graydon Smith and councillors could temporarily delegate authority to CAO John Sission “to exercise any discretionary corporate actions in response to unforeseen circumstances that arise due to the COVID-19 … not already been provided by council until the end of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Pandemic or June 30, 2020, whichever is earlier.”

According to the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting, it also would also allow him:

  • The disposition of any real or personal property of the municipality;
  • Making any expenditures or incurring any other liability;
  • The appointment or removal from office of any officer of the municipality, excluding those set out in s.23.3(1)1 of the Municipal Act.

Sisson, who is due to retire in July, earns $166,596 according the province’s Sunshine List released last week.

Bracebridge CAO John Sisson, who is due to retire in July, would be delegated authority to make any decisions including spending not already made by council for the duration of the pandemic.

A town release Wednesday added that Smith, his council and town staff continue to work “to respond to local needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Council will consider several other items to assist residents including:

  • Amendments to the town’s procedural by-law that governs the proceedings of committees and council to permit electronic participation in meetings (i.e. conference call or video conference) during emergencies;
  • A recommendation to waive the normal penalty imposed on unpaid 2020 interim taxes after the tax due date for a two-month period ending May 31, 2020;
  • The recommendation to delegate special authority to the CAO during the declared emergency to enable the town to efficiently, effectively and immediately manage the fluidity of the current emergency situation and to maintain the daily business operations of the town.

The full agenda for the March 26 meeting is posted on the town’s website or is available through the following link:


Thursday’s meeting will be held electronically, in accordance with section 238 of the Municipal Act, which provides for Electronic Participation where an emergency has been declared to exist in all or part of the municipality under section 4 or 7.01 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Members of the public may observe the proceedings by accessing the live webcast at:

Archived webcasts may be accessed at:

Public Participation in this Electronic Meeting may occur through viewing the live webcast and/or contacting your elected Member of Council regarding specific agenda items at:


Email Mark Clairmont at


Celebrating 25 YEARS of ‘Local Online Journalism’

Follow him at Twitter @muskokatodaily

And on Facebook at

Follow us on Twitter @muskokatodaily

And on Facebook at mclairmont1


Letters to the Editor always welcome:

Let us know what you’re thinking. Click on the Comment button at the end of this story to leave your comments.

Or write a Letter to the Editor …

And … please Subscribe:

Support Your Community’s Newspaper