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! So why are we the electorate bombarded with ill prepared candidates. Wake up candidates you had eight months to do this, why do you inflict your no-names on us if you are not ready?

Despite no-names egos you cannot expect to be elected by the masses if the masses do not know who you are. One or two pathetic All-Candidates meetings, you really should list these assemblies for the farces they are – show your face night – will not give the candidates the exposure they need. So where were you folks three months ago? Where was the attempt to build a profile months ago? All we see is the arrogance of the few who expect the masses to see who you are.

We challenge any reader of this column to recognise any more than five names from the list of twelve hopefuls who want to be a councillor in the Town of Cobourg. With the MSM failing to do their jobs, in the peculiarly rationale of “fairness”, it is almost impossible for a candidate to get ink, and their names in the Press. Consequently what is the level of arrogance, self-delusion and other attributes that the candidates have that will instantly make the voters know who they are. Why do no-name candidates still want to be no-namers with only six weeks to go. Unfortunately there isn’t enough time left in the days to knock on every house in Cobourg. So good luck to the candidates. But even more so good luck to the voters who will be unprepared to vote for the candidates, especially the ones they have never heard of. It will not be an easy job to find out all the info they need to make a decision. But we bet that as usual there will be top tier of candidates who will be getting between 4500 to 3500 votes each a middle tier of candidates who will be getting about 1900 votes and a bunch of the people looking at each other and wondering they got so few votes.

Politics is tough folks and even tougher on candidates that no one knows.

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.

With the news that Paul Pagnuelo has decided to run for the Deputy Mayor’s position it is obvious that the slogan “taxfighter” has entered another stage. Whether Mr Pagnuelo will have any sway, if elected, is debatable – after all he only has one vote and if the coordinator system is still in action the other Councillors will be defending the spending plans of the Staff very diligently, even if only to make themselves look good. So not only will he have to swing the other members of Council to his side but have to implement a culture change at City Hall. A very tall order for one newcomer member of Council.

He states in his press release (click on link to read it here) that Cobourg is a Town of high property taxes. It may be but when City people move into small Town Ontario they are loath to give up City Services – a good library, good roads, leisure facilities provided at public expense – all of these high end urban services cost money. We would say that in the days of ‘just over inflation’ tax increases the infrastructure for a very good life style has been built into Cobourg for many years. Consequently when people like Mr Pagnuelo and other wealthy retirees move into Town for an energetic retirement they will get it. But it has to be paid for – hence the higher level of taxes. We would say if you want to sit on your nest-egg and live the life of Reilly and pay fewer taxes while doing so, do not choose Cobourg. Go to a cheaper place; try Grafton or Colborne or if you want to pay really low taxes for what you get STAY IN TORONTO.

But back to the point, one thing if he is elected, he will save us money right at the start. He commits himself to an “Organisational Review” so that he will know what jobs to cut and what services to diminish. Well we have news for him – it has been done – last year and now sits on the shelf because nobody wants to implement it. It is what Mr Pagnueleo will do on day two is what interests us.

Anyway we do know from experience that nobody gains from the “taxfighters” all we do is lose services, after all when most of the Town’s jobs are directed to providing services for Citizens and taxfighters chop it is services that suffer. The best example of this was in the early Nineties when the Taxfighter from Hope Township took the reins at the County level. Reserves were drained, services were chopped and efficiency was affected all to provide a puny cut in the County levy. In fact after a couple of years Ian Angus and his incompetent CAO were gone and the replacements took ten years to rebuild the organisation and its finances.

All we can do is wish Mr Pagnuelo the best in his efforts to gain the position but caution the electorate that “Taxfighters” do more damage than good.

The view from seat #8

Mr Chair, I rise to speak at the first meeting after the Summer break and want to talk about a few things:

  • We have on the Agenda a very glitzy paper that was prepared in our absence and I would like to congratulate the consultants for doing so after only one public meeting. They have produced a perfect blueprint for the external expansion of the lands surrounding the Community Centre. I agree with all of this but as no costs have been proffered, that is all I am prepared to do at this time. I make the motion that “Cobourg Council thank the consultants for a job well done and table the plan until this ‘shovel-ready’ plan qualifies for the next round of infrastructure funding.”
  • Item IV.2 on the Agenda instructs the Staff to prepare a plan for the “Tannery Lands”. Presumably because the development industry in this Town wants nothing to do with the project it is up to us to get on with it. I would ask why is the Staff doing this in the absence of instructions to involve the public in this important piece of real estate in the middle of our Town? We must ask for, and establish, an ad-hoc committee to study all that can be done with the land at minimal cost, this ad-hoc committee will work with Staff and devise – together – a plan.
  • Item XI.1 Suggests that we adopt the recommendation of Staff and establish this Park as a “passive” park to be naturalised. I would suggest that as the majority of the respondents wanted a use that the Town cannot allow under present policy – an off leash dog park – then we give the maintenance back to the GRCA, abrogate the agreement just signed and walk away,  and let them pay for it.

Thank you Mr Chair I have no feelings on the rest of the Agenda and will vote Yea on all.

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?

Another Roadblock for Mr Sofer to climb over

soferMr Amit Sofer, the Principal of the TVM Group, website here will be gnashing his teeth this morning. His project to build a residential condominium block and new Legion Clubroom will just have to wait a few more weeks for the final approval. Just when he thought it was clear sailing, a request to review the OMB decision has been placed on the desk of the Executive Chair of the OMB.

The First Surprise

MoultonJust a day after admitting that, he the Publisher, of this report did not have a clue who the people would be, who would be chasing the recently announced seat to soon be vacated by MP Rick Norlock up pops a well managed and professional press release from Adam Moulton. Guess what, the Publisher still does not have a clue who this guy is. We know his Dad – very well – Ralph Moulton – he is the fellow behind the Cobourg Canadian Tire, local businessman and contributor to good causes.

Kim Rudd’s early Christmas present

norlockKim Rudd, for those of you who do not know is the nominated Federal Candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada in the next election. I bet she will be pumped by the news that the incumbent MP – a Conservative placeholder who after a couple of terms has moved off the backbench to the middle – has decided to cash in another pension and go back to the Hills of Warkworth to pursue “family things” and good works.

It’s about time

That we put our money where our mouth’s are! On Monday afternoon (11th August) the Cobourg Council will be facing a very large agenda – good job they went paperless or else they would have chopped a couple of trees for this one, – and tucked away in it  is a “Street Naming Policy”. This package of eighteen pages explains the way that Streets are named – after past Mayors and Veterans killed in action in WW1, and names of local Heritage significance. and it gives a list of the names of those on the list and the streets currently named.

A Guest Post about the Marina issue

NO TRESPASSINGCobourg is blessed with a lakefront promenade extending from beach to beach, uninterrupted by private property. Along Victoria Park beach it is easy to step off the promenade to sink one’s toes into the soft flesh of sand. Along the west beach Boardwalk (Thanks bunches for this, Mayor Delanty) it is easy to step off onto rocky sand and the naturalness of its undevelopedness, a sort of meadow meets shoreline romance.

Let’s rehab this man

boggsheadThe man in the pic should be famous – in Cobourg. Having said that I am as much to blame for his lack of recognition as anybody as I was on Council when this was happening. In the eighties when a new subdivision, just off D’Arcy St. was being built the builder, as was policy Council named a cul-de-sac of swanky homes, Boggs Court.

One Hundred Years Ago

Are-you-one-of-Kitcheners-ownAugust 4th 1914, was the day that Canada entered the First World War.

Cobourg was a Urban, market Town of about 5,000 people. It was, and had been for the previous one hundred years, a place for the Military. Not a Garrison Town but one that supported three very active Militia Units.

Sometimes people tell me to get a life

posted by the Publisher:

Have you ever had projects you have started that assume lives of their own? This one of mine has. Six and a half years ago, in the depths of the 2008 recession, I started to track the Statscan pages for local employment numbers. From time to time I have I have referred to the numbers, usually to point out that despite puff pieces from the local MP and other bigwigs, and to look realistically at local social conditions. Now the project has so much data it would a shame not to check every month for differences – hey things should be better after six and a half years shouldn’t they? But apparently not.

This plan needs a makeover

Now that the dust has settled from last week’s discussion of the need to expand the boating services provided by the Town, and it has become apparent that the Consultants involved have little interest in providing any thing other than a Marina expansion it is time for the good Burghers of this Town to step in and get involved in a big way.

A bit of an anti-climax but the message is still the same – be patient


This is the concept from the Parks and Rec Master Plan. Click to enlarge

Yesterday’s Committee Meeting, where the Cobourg Council listened to local resident and Willow Beach Field Naturalists (WBFN) representative Richard Pope ask a couple of relevant questions did not spark the expected fireworks. Armed with one easy question – Why hasn’t the WBFN been contacted by Marina Marina Manager, Paul Gautier, about concerns they have about the Marina expansion, Council had no answers, only soothing promises.