Month: May 2018

“We have some more things to talk about”

In a previous post we pointed out that the agenda for Monday’s CoW meeting was a bit thin, well it’s not now. Additions to the Agenda are coming: 

  • A presentation, from the CAO Town of Cobourg presenting the 2015-2018 Annual Strategic Plan Update,
  • A memo from the Treasurer/Director of Corporate Services, regarding the Victoria Hall Clock Tower Clock Mechanism replacement,
  • A memo from the Treasurer/Director of Corporate Services, regarding the 2018 Roof Replacement Projects at the Henley Arcade and Building 7 – Public Works/Parks Facility,
  • A memo from the Emergency Planner, regarding a Memorandum of Understanding with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit for Use of the Cobourg Community Centre as an Emergency Mass Health Protection Clinic,
  • And a memo from the Secretary, Cobourg Heritage Advisory Committee regarding a Heritage Permit Application, 202 Church Street, Cobourg (submitted by Keith Colterman on behalf of Anne Marie Cummings) (HP-2018-010) regarding restoration and reconstruction of a front porch.

The first presentation (the presentation about the Strategic Plan) will be the kickoff to the reelection campaign for all of the undeclared incumbents. After all who of them cannot help but boast that they have completed most of the plan they wrote three years ago. Accomplishments – that’s what is needed by these folks.

 

Another Candidate declares: Randy Curtis, a longtime Cobourg local has declared. Randy also tried to get on last year when the Town advertised for people to fill the vacancy. Suzanne Seguin was the successful appointee that time. Good luck to Randy this time. More details will appear on the candidates’ page when they become available.

The first sign of the campaign

The sign of a good and well run campaign is usually a plethora of signs. Being first with the signs was always the hallmark of a great campaign manager and the man that ran the past NDP campaigns was a master at it. Murray Weppler knew the best locations and his house list was as long as his arm. Consequently the first day of his campaigns was a sea of orange.

Unfortunately local Councils in their wisdom to control ‘visual pollution’ and create a neutral tone for any campaign have restricted the timing and placing of signs in campaigns. No more large signs on visible public property and definitely no signs on boulevards and streets. But as we see in this pic there will always be ‘rogue’ signs. At a cost of at least $5.00 per sign we cannot imagine why such resources are wasted in this way.

Entering Cobourg from the 401 yesterday evening this sign was the first sign encountered. Pity it is illegal and we shall see how long it lasts in that spot!

Two days later

copyright Toronto Star

OK we did watch a bit of the debate, enough to see the trend that has been established by the pundits. Ford was wooden, Wynne was battered and defensive and Horwath was moderate and poised.

The exit polls confirmed this with the results showing that Horwath was the winner, but will it count? Immediately the media pointed out that the format was not good – just because it was not traditional doesn’t make it bad!

Nope the story two days later was that the Fordies had paid actors to gin up the crowd. But it wasn’t the Fordies but the local candidate who had organised that effort. Again Ford spun dross into gold, “Why would we do that everywhere I go we get standing room only!”

So where are we now? Horvath up, Ford stays where he was and Wynne still in third! Hope this isn’t the way for the next twenty-nine days.

The view from seat number eight

“Mr Chair (in  a CoW meeting one addresses the Chair not the person in it), a short agenda tonight but due to the law of inverse proportion – the length of the agenda is inversely proportional to the length of the meeting, it’s going to be a long night.”

Two presentations one to a successful sports team and one from a successful local media guru. Seven motions and the usual puff announcements from each Councillor. Of the seven motions three should be worthy of debate as they are new to the public and may be controversial.

The first up is the Ad-Hoc committee on Council remuneration read it here . We wrote about it a few days ago in a post called “all that work just to maintain the status quo” . Somewhat cynical the post the post was critical of the way the committee did not get to the issue and took the easy way out and recommended that Council stay in the middle of the pay chart. The question here is: will the Councillors actually say something about the report or will they just vote to get it off the table. We know that at least one Councillor thinks the job should be full time and paid accordingly, but now that she is not running again will Councillor McCarthy tell the truth? After all there is an election coming and who wants to be tagged with voting for a hefty raise or asking for a job?

The second report is a report from the Cobourg Police Services Board called: ” Memorandum of Understanding-Business Services Unit-Non-Taxation Proceeds” Yep and the rest of the report is just as hard to read and understand check it out for yourself here. For an organisation that wants to be understood as one that communicates well this report is tough reading due to the way it is written e.g “The risk of continuity of extraordinary proceeds coupled with the preference to insulate the community from acute fluctuations in the municipal tax base results in both streams of funding (taxation and non-taxation) remaining synchronised, though independent, for their distinct purposes.” really means “we are in a risky venture and want to keep the profits separate or else taxpayers may take a hit!”

That’s the reason for this MoU. The CPSB is making a killing at the moment with its Business Unit and it may collapse at any time if the Feds or the RCMP change their operations. So a means to keep the money away from the budgeteers at City Hall has to be devised.

The third report is the memo from the Planning and Sustainability Advisory Committee that asks for a report from the CAO on how to obtain the resources to do the jobs they should have done in past years. This report “Memo – Planning Secretary RE Sustainability Resources” points out that in their efforts to direct the way to a Sustainable Cobourg the Town has to follow through on previous efforts, the Committee quotes:

Past and Present Impacts
•  Despite taking many significant actions over the past decade, the Town has also missed
opportunities to complete plans, deliver and communicate. Examples include:
•  Cobourg’s 2010 Climate Action Plan — a draft plan was prepared and accepted by Council, registered with theFederation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) as a ‘draft plan’; and activities implemented. Yet, the plan was never registered as a ‘final plan’ and was not well communicated nor were additional actions/ongoing needs considered in an updated plan.
•  Cobourg’s Corporate Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan — was prepared by Public Works in 2014. The Plan called for the town to produce an annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emission Template for operations. To date, we’ve not been able to find a single report published for Cobourg.
•  Community Energy Planning — Cobourg has been a leader in community energy. Many past examples exist, perhaps starting with LED traffic lights a couple of decades ago; and more recently, renewable energy implementation at our waste water treatment plant, public, commercial and residential buildings. However, recently, we were unable to respond to suggestions (by a community partner) that Cobourg participate in a national community energy planning and scorecard pilot project being implemented by Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST-Canada).
To date, Cobourg has not completed — or even started — Municipal Energy Planning, a value added activity supported by both federal and provincial governments.

On to the Coordinators’ reports and then the meeting should be over, notwithstanding additions to the Agenda.

 

Five days in

Five days into the 2018 Cobourg Municipal election we have two candidates: Adam Bureau – running to be a Councillor, and Jaine Klassen Jeninga – who wants to a re-elected School Board Trustee.

This information comes from the Town of Cobourg’s website – congratulations for being so prompt let’s hope the updates are immediate. Check the page out here.

First Impressions:

Adam Bureau needs no introduction to Cobourgers. If you don’t know him look for a big guy who stands on the street, outside his store, a lot of the day. He is a successful business person who has operated a ‘buy and sell store’ for ten years. In Cobourg’s downtown ten years is a lifetime – congratulations Adam. Announcing his intentions on Monday at 11am in front of a reported crowd of thirty people, he told them why he wants to be on Council. It seems that any advertising and publicity is not really needed as his Patron Mr Bill Patchett and Bill’s fundraiser – Ed Zylnik, will do it all for him. Looks like a rebel establishment candidate to me. It will be neat to find out what he really thinks about the issues.

Jaine Klassen Jeninga is seeking her third term? and her ‘weebly’ page is here. She lives in Alnwick/Haldimand and is active in musical affairs in Port Hope at St John’s Church. 

Five weeks to go and is anybody really interested?

Boredom, indifference and “who cares?” These appear to be the attitudes of the electorate, and we will see the contrast between the last Federal Election and this year’s Provincial one. The federal election was too long and the Provincial election will prove to be too short.

The BurdReport thinks Kathleen Wynne and her Libs were dead meat a year ago and would have been defeated easily by Patrick Brown, but Doug Ford kinda evens out the equation. We wish that the NDP and Andrea Horvath had emerged from their safe spot of anonymity months ago. Once when asked on a fundraising call “where is the policy?” the answer was, “we have it but not releasing it yet – the other folks might steal it!” A stupid answer.

So what do we think now? One the campaign is too short – nobody can get known in twenty-eight days. Two, Doug Ford is the unknown factor and the dread of what he might do in his “Common Sense Revolution 2.0” could pull voters back to the other side. Which other side depends on Andrea Horwath. In her third election campaign and she is still the groundhog – pops up every so often and then disappears. This is not a way to establish presence.

So the main question is – are there enough Wynne-Haters to form a majority government?