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LETTER: Fallis clears the air about his stance on chamber upgrade

'Basically, I was in favour of essential upgrades but thought they could be accomplished for less than the $500,000 request,' says Coun. Fallis
capital budget monday
During last week's budget deliberations, council agreed to upgrade council chamber. Dave Dawson/OrilliaMatters

OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor ( This letter is from Coun. Jay Fallis regarding the story, published Nov. 25, titled, 'Council chamber upgrades, parking lot work given green light.'
I wanted to submit this letter to the editor to clarify my position on the budget request for upgrades to the Council Chamber.

I was concerned as I thought some may have misinterpreted my most recent position as against improving accessibility components to the chamber.

On the contrary, I am very supportive of making the chamber more accessible. I recognize the challenges that many physically disabled Orillians face and want to ensure that all citizens are able to participate in the local political system.

To clarify the specifics of the discussion, most recently a budget request came forward to make upgrades to the chambers which included adjustments that would improve existing IT infrastructure and accessibility components. In addition to these measures, this request also included aesthetic changes such as new paint, new furniture, and changes to the design of the chamber.

I was supportive of the IT changes. I also requested that staff report back to make further recommendations to improve accessibility of the current chamber. What I was opposed to was supporting aesthetic changes, which in my opinion, represented a complete overhaul of the chamber. Basically, I was in favour of essential upgrades but thought they could be accomplished for less than the $500,000 request.

If you have any further questions about this or other matters, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at: OR 1-705-279-3249. I am always happy to chat further.

Jay Fallis 
Orillia (Ward 3 councillor)