Service Desk in Victoria Hall Lobby

In 2019, it was proposed to move the Concert Hall Box Office to the lobby of Victoria Hall. It would also be a reception desk and function as a Visitor Information Centre. The estimated cost was $40K.  At the time, Council decided to defer the project primarily because of budget considerations. But at the Committee of the Whole meeting on 27 November, 2023, Council approved spending $15K on a “Centralized Customer Services Desk located within the front foyer of Victoria Hall in the current location of the existing Security Desk”. The idea was to have a single point of contact for all Town Departments. Requests and complaints would be input at the desk into a data base so as to give a better understanding… Read complete articleService Desk in Victoria Hall Lobby

RCMP Musical Ride coming to Cobourg again

Subject to Council approval (which was provided unanimously), the Musical Ride by the RCMP will be coming to Cobourg on Saturday 22 June, 2024. They were a great success when they last visited Cobourg on the 9th of June 2012 (see photos below).  There will be bleachers set up in Donegan park and the cost is estimated at $20,000 with ticket sales also at $20,000. This is based on an estimated 2000 people attending with a ticket price of $10. The 32 horses would be stabled in the Roseneath fairgrounds – it has not been announced where the riders would be housed – presumably in a hotel in Cobourg.  At the Committee of the Whole meeting on 27 November, Director… Read complete articleRCMP Musical Ride coming to Cobourg again

Budget for 2024

At their meeting on 13 November, Cobourg Council accepted the recommendation of the new Treasurer Adam Giddings, to set the target for the 2024 Operating budget increase at 6%. Then assuming a growth in the tax base of 1%, the resulting increase in the levy (the amount we pay) would be 5%.  Adam says that previous increases have not quite kept pace with inflation so there is a small catch up in the 5% figure.  Adam says that the alternative is a reduction in services – he does not discuss improvements in efficiency or productivity. The next steps in the budget process will be provided in the Committee of the Whole meeting on 27 November. There will be two public meetings: 1) to… Read complete articleBudget for 2024

New Governance Approved by Cobourg Council

At a special meeting on Monday, Council made a number of key decisions on Governance and then approved the change.  The current system using coordinators and several advisory committees was not seriously discussed; instead details of the new system proposed by staff were thrashed out.  I counted five significant decisions but there were more, albeit minor ones.  Mayor Cleveland was in good form and did a good job organizing the debate.  He started by asking councillors in turn to say what they wanted to change from the staff proposal.  Then after debate, there was a motion and vote for each “change”.  Described briefly, the new system changes the way Councillors and Council meetings are organized to be more like how… Read complete articleNew Governance Approved by Cobourg Council

Police Canvass Community re Safety Concerns

Cobourg Police say that “concerns raised online about community safety and crime … do not align with the reports we have been receiving” so they conducted a community canvass in the east end of Cobourg. They wanted to “hear directly from residents about their community safety concerns, learn about any unreported crime, and look at how we can address concerns or bring issues to the appropriate community partner to be able to address the issue.” The problem is that people feel unsafe but it seems that this is not reflected in crime reports – so it’s good to see Police being proactive and trying to understand the concerns. Police have not yet said specifically how they will react to information learned except that… Read complete articlePolice Canvass Community re Safety Concerns

Mayor announces Town Hall Meeting

As Mayor Lucas Cleveland said at Monday’s Council meeting, people only want to hear about one issue: the encampment.  It’s all consuming. “No-one is paying attention to other good things being done by Council.”  However, Lucas responded to this and spoke about what is happening on the encampment.  He said that the community seems to think that Councillors are burying their head in the sand but “that is not at all what is happening”.  Further, “this council is working with every single member of the community involved: Police, County, Province, MPP and MP”.  “It’s not a simple problem.”  But “Council cannot come forward with information that’s being discussed in closed sessions.” “Council has to follow certain rules and regulations and… Read complete articleMayor announces Town Hall Meeting

Town proposes joint DBIA program for Homeless

In 2023 budget deliberations, Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty moved that staff be directed to use funds allocated to address the Opioid crisis ($35k) to “explore options for outreach support service towards the Town’s Homeless response.” At the DBIA management meeting on 6 November, Brent Larmer presented a “Welcoming Streets and Neighborhoods Pilot program” to respond to this direction. Not everyone is happy with this plan. Basically, it would require hiring someone to patrol downtown and look after problems “that do not require police intervention, with a longer-term vision to achieve an increased sense of safety and inclusion in the downtown core.” The intent is to improve the relationship between Business Owners and “community members experiencing homelessness or facing mental health and/or addiction challenges”. Brent… Read complete articleTown proposes joint DBIA program for Homeless

Mayor Cleveland Updates on Encampment via Cogeco Interview

The encampment at Brookside continues to be the single biggest concern of Cobourg’s residents.  Many people look for leadership from Mayor Lucas Cleveland and also want more communication from him.  About a week ago, he said “time for a message” to the public but the Town’s communication “news” page did not provide anything.  However, Lucas did communicate via Cogeco’s “Municipal Matters” shown on channel HD700.  These are interviews of Port Hope and Cobourg’s Mayors and politicians with several repeat date/times for viewing.   A link to the Cogeco schedule is below.  There are a couple of problems with this:  1. Not everyone gets their TV via Cogeco and  2. Not everyone views these programs.  However, Cogeco does put extracts from their… Read complete articleMayor Cleveland Updates on Encampment via Cogeco Interview

NHH Announcements

There is so much negative news these days that some positive – or at least not negative news – is welcome. Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) is celebrating its 20th anniversary – the first patient was accepted on 22 October 2003.  Some of the celebration was interrupted by a Covid breakout but that is now over – although a tour of the Hospital was postponed.  Over the past several months, two initiatives were worked on: 1) a new branding – a fresh look for their web site, Facebook page, Twitter, Linked-in and letterhead and 2) a partnership with Northumberland County Archives and Museum (NCAM).  Both of these were announced in a Press Release on November 8 – plus on the web… Read complete articleNHH Announcements

Community Comments on Strategic Plan

In June 2023, Council drafted a new Strategic Plan and then in October decided to ask citizens to comment.  Now at the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on November 6, Council will be asked to approve the final plan. Before that vote, staff will report on what was learned from the citizen survey.  Although 257 residents looked at the survey page, only 64 actually completed the survey – that’s a small sample of the 3,337 registered users on  Seems few people care about the Strategic plan.  See resources below for the full report by Kara Euale, Communications Manager.  But few responses or not, they will guide Council and Staff on priorities.  However, the good news is that CAO… Read complete articleCommunity Comments on Strategic Plan