Congratulations to all and let’s welcome more of the same.

Final_Unofficial_-_pg_1-_FINAL-page-001So here it is folks the official notice. You will see that not much has changed. In the words of the former Deputy Mayor, “It’s great stuff!” But is it? It may be when you have replaced a person “who was not a team player” and “an opinionated person” with people pledged to be not that. And the “usual suspects” dismissed as being irrelevant “because the silent majority had spoken”.

So unless we revamp the system that will take discussion away from the backroom and into meaningful Council sessions we will never know what these “team players” are thinking about the big and small issues of the next four years. Just remember one of the returning incumbents had told a questioner, when asked to comment on an issue and what were his thoughts, replied, “my thoughts are my own!” Same guy has yet to express any words on any of the major issues in the last term preferring to stick his hand up instead. The most passionate remarks from another of the returning incumbents was his loquacious defence of his own position and behaviour. Not a defence of an argument just a rebuttal about some personal criticism. So don’t expect any more public utterings from the old pair. Even if the newcomers manage to stand up with their opinions the end result will be the same – the usual 4-3 split.

So where does that leave us in good old Cobourg? Feeling very self-satisfied, the world did not change and things will motor along very nicely. We at the BR wait to see what the newcomers will do in public discourse, of course we will never know what they do in the backrooms but we predict that they will rather be in the back room than in the Council Chamber, after all that way they only have to meet the public once every four years.

But let’s talk about Port Hope if you want action – hmmmm, rather not after all we live in Cobourg!!!

broc trashtalkHere is the source of the remarks attributed to the reelected Mayor.

Two days to go, if you count today

election snipAn interesting post on FB this morning. So where are the other 73% of eligible voters and will they vote this weekend. Unfortunately Voting Day is now a farce and for all purposes it does not exist any more. The ritual of leaving work early, going to the local polling station and putting an X on a paper ballot has been consigned to the rubbish of history.

So we now have the occasion of pulling out a smart phone or using a computer to do the voting as and when you feel like it in an eight day period. Is that progress? A couple of things have been missed by the avante-garde cheapskates who have reduced the act of voting to a visit to an app , as though it is like checking a facebook page or reading a tweet (something that is done on an average of  two hundred times a day). It is not!!!

Voting is a sacred ritual something, thanks to our weasly politicians, we only get to do every four years and as such should be elevated to a higher plane. In fact one observation this election period is the non- appearance of cadidates, the dearth of pamphlets and other wise invisibility of the campaign. Even the local MSM reduced the campaign to a bunch of crappy questions, that they designed, and filled the pages with for the last week. We know that the local paper is stretched to the limit with only two writers (plenty of fish-wrap though) but they should have at least covered the campaign instead of printing what amounts to public service announcements. For instance will the paper print the fooforah in Port Hope about a Council candidate who has publically switched his allegiance from one leading Mayoral candidate to another despite working with the first candidate for many weeks, and then allegedly having his non-partisan wife claim that the sign switch was her idea? Will the paper print the misogynistic remarks allegedly attributed to  another leading Mayoral candidate? We will be very surprised if they do as either one of the the writers at NToday have been so busy transcribing canned replies to manufactured questions that they don’t have time or column inches to devote to campaign stories.

But back to the denigration of the act of voting and the importance it has in our lives. We do not believe that all of the measures taken this year in Cobourg has fulfilled the democratic mandate. When voting becomes a matter of playing with a smartphone or computer, it does two things – one is that it fails to acknowledge that Voting Day is an important day and secondly it will discourage the older demographic because computers have been involved. The sad thing about this is that we have no way of measuring this. Polls have been abolished and there is no neighbourhood link to the process.

If this is progress we don’t want any part of it and we hope that at least the missing 4,000 voters get off their lazy arses this weekend and open their computers and cast a vote. And to think even if they did that would mean that half the Town could not be bothered to do it – sad.

I do not know who I will be voting for

electionBut I do know who I will not be voting for. If we hear any body else intone “wasteful spending”, “taxes are too high” (without the explanation of a solution), “I am for the people” and other useless election phrases we hear every four years from candidates without imagination or the brains to offer solutions, we will, as a commenter once put here “puke”.

Hands up all those voters who have seen a candidate with a new idea, we have, but mainly it is an idea based on using somebody else’s money. There have been a couple of good ideas about sustainability and how to use the Tannery Lands, but are they realistic?

But we save our criticism for the fearmongers. One candidate for Deputy Mayor is spouting vitriol about Cobourg’s next year’s tax increase. “Cobourg is going to raise taxes by 19%” he wails. But this information is from a budget projection. An email from City Hall explains the process: “The bulk of this increase is reflected in the “Capital Levy” line near the bottom of the page.  For 2014 this line was $545,700 and for 2015 it is showing as $3,450,900 or an increase of $2,905,200.  This by itself would be an increase of 14%.When we come to review the 2015 budget with the new Council, the capital portion of the budget will almost certainly change significantly.  As well, there will be other sources of funding such as federal gas tax and development charges that would come into play to reduce the impact on the tax base.” Last years projection for this was a big one too, but as we know this wishlist gets hacked to pieces and brought into reality, the decision to build a $4million dollar works yard (which covers off most of the increase) will be brought into line, by debenturing and the use of the revenue tools mentioned in the email) or else it will not happen.

Cobourg, unlike Port Hope, is a place of stability, here we bitch about the people on Council not what Council does, although occasionally the public does get riled up, consequently all we will be voting for are new players not new directions. So who do we toss off? We have to remove before considering replacement. I am going to remove the incumbents who I feel have not explained themselves well in the past term, do we really know what some of them think – they haven’t uttered a thought in public for years ……. Placeholders! We need imaginative and thoughtful people, that rules out those who haven’t said much in the campaign that is different from the incumbents. We need a mix of ages on the new Council and we need a gender balance. In other words no more a preponderance of “dead white guys” who are available because they are retired and want something to do. Council work is not  a retirement project!

So it’s up to you Cobourg, let’s meet the new world on Monday evening.

First Impressions

pano2Went to an All Candidates Meeting (ACM) Thursday night and came away with the feeling that on the surface anybody on the platform could do the job of being on Council. But how does one filter out the ‘remainder’ and and leave behind the ‘winners’?

Some lighthearted pics from last night

The candidates on stage
I wonder what they are going to say about me tonight?
I wonder which of these bozos they will saddle me with?
The lonliness of the long distance runner
A slice of the audience
Guy in the red shirt - You do not want to know what I am thinking!
I really am a good listener
I have to get this - it might be an angry condo owner
The candidates' tables


A Guest Post by Anonymous

From time to time we get unsolicited work, this is one of them and it poses a very serious question to all of the Candidates in this Municipal Election. We ask that they watch and then answer the question in the last frame.

This question – “How do we clean up downtown?” was asked last night,

Another pertinent Guest Post

October 2, 2014

Dear Member of Parliament, Rick Norlock;

I stand strongly beside Canada’s robust defence of Israel. I stand as strongly behind Canada’s vocal defence of Ukraine. I also appreciate all of the assorted adjectives and adverbs used to describe the jihadi turbulence in the Middle East.

I depart from any proposal that Canada take up a combat role in that part of the world.

Caught in time travel

In the previous post Wally Keeler started a fine thread about the dust and dirt from the rehabbing of the facade of the brick building at King and Division. The comments did not appear so here is what he sent to me for publication.

The thread starts with the action from the Mayor and Wally’s letter is at the bottom of the thread.

It’s that time of the year – again!

spainWith the election campaign being played out by other people and the Burd’s itchy feet atwitchin’ we will be on vacation for a couple of weeks.

That’s a challenge to all of the readers to fill this post with comments about anything you want to say. Anybody with lots to say will get to be a guest poster. Email and it will get put up for all to comment on.

There is a travel blog on the travel page feel free to check it out, it may not be a regular thing so don’t expect too much it will be a very hectic 17 days but it is hoped that one can get the flavour.

42 days to go before election day

indexAnd we ask if the candidates are ready. Knowing the answer we can say with authority, that most are not. You would have thought that with just over a month to go that little (big really) things would be ready. For instance, how many candidates are banging on doors with the most essential part of their kit – a pamphlet? Not many! How many candidates have their pamphlets? Not many!

Taxfighter 2.0

PaulPag_IMG_1500When Stan Frost, the sitting Deputy Mayor came to Council a couple of terms ago he called himself “the taxfighter”. He didn’t exactly earn the title after this term overseeing a period of high spending and dedication to debt financing, and we still had tax increases instead of tax decreases. Obviously he learned very quickly that it is easy to talk about a tax decrease than to really enforce one.

We are being taken for granted – again

Photo-71-150x150With the news that a parachute candidate is going to be nominated for the upcoming vacancy in the new Riding of Northumberland Peterborough South (NPS) one must notice that the Riding has been shopped around as a ‘safe seat’ by the Conservative Party brass.

Mayor Brocanier should take a holiday

kirkupWhen the news that Don Kirkup, a man of many talents and vocations, hit Mayor Brocanier’s desk yesterday we bet the smile on his face was from ear to ear. This is the best political news that he could have for his campaign to be reelected as Mayor of Cobourg.

And he’s off

The Mayor that is – on his election campaign.

Gil Brocanier kicked off his campaign by standing in front of twenty-one people, five of whom were from the media, and read a statement, click here to read it Vowing to stay the course of his political life – that is to have a job-centred Mayoralty. He does pledge to work with all to make Cobourg a great place to live.

Was it good for you?……

vicparkfood…….The disruption of Cobourg’s mainstreet for many hours in order to shoot an opening scene to a movie that we bet will fizzle, there can’t be that many Adam Sandler fans out there, or are there? But leaving aside the way that the traffic behaved, in total ignorance of the shoot, what was the economic impact to the Town?