Popular Cobourg News Blog Posts

As we come close to the end of 2022, I would like to thank people who have shown appreciation for this news blog.  I see it as not only a news service but as a forum for the community to express their opinions about the issues of the day.  Many people tell me they read the blog to see what people are saying.  Others tell me they avoid the comments because of all the negative opinions. I know that many Councillors and Town staff look at the site although they rarely comment – the Town does of course have their own “engage Cobourg” site which collects opinions on a limited number of issues. The big issue of 2022 was the Municipal… Read complete articlePopular Cobourg News Blog Posts

Warning by Cobourg Police

This message needs to be circulated: The Cobourg Police Service (CPS) is alerting the public after receiving reports of distraction thefts in Cobourg and neighbouring communities. In one instance reported to police, a man approached a woman in a parking lot of a north-end business and asked her for directions. While the woman assisted the man, another person entered her vehicle and stole her bank and credit cards from her purse. In another instance, two men approached a woman loading her vehicle. One man told the woman he thought something might be wrong with her tire, while the other man entered the car and removed a wallet from a purse on the passenger seat. Distraction theft is when someone steals… Read complete articleWarning by Cobourg Police

Productive First Council Meeting

The Council meeting on Monday night was the first real meeting of the new Mayor and Council.  It started with a technical glitch with the sound that delayed the start for 30 minutes and then went on to discuss the items on the Agenda.  First was a motion to suspend appointments to advisory committees and coordinator roles pending a review of Governance – as described in a previous post, see Resources below. In response to questions from Councillor Miriam Mutton, Brent Larmer explained that there would be staff research and public engagement and the whole process would take until the end of the first quarter (but no external consultants).  Brent noted that a change to standing committees would require a… Read complete articleProductive First Council Meeting

Council Debating Governance

When KPMG issued their Organization review (or was it the Service Delivery Review?), they included a recommendation that the current governance be reviewed – that is, should Cobourg continue with the assignment of coordinator roles to Councillors or should it use a system of “Standing Committees” similar to that currently used by Northumberland County? This would mean there would not be Committee of the Whole meetings – instead a few (3?) councillors would be assigned to responsibilities (e.g. as Coordinators are now) and they would meet in separate meetings. Chaired by one of the Councillors and getting input from relevant staff, they would develop recommendations for action by a regular full Council meeting. The committees would not have citizen members… Read complete articleCouncil Debating Governance

Cobourg Objects to Ontario Bill 23

On November 28, there will be a special Council meeting to decide several key items.  One of them is that Cobourg strongly objects to many parts of the Ontario Government’s Bill 23.  CAO Tracy Vaughan and Director of Planning and Development Anne Taylor Scott are asking Council to object to parts of Bill 23.  There have been multiple demonstrations against the legislation (e.g. outside MPP Piccini’s Port Hope Office), particularly protesting changes to environmental protections, but Cobourg Staff are also concerned that the changes favour developers and will do little to help make housing more affordable while increasing the burden on the taxpayer.  The report by Anne provides a detailed analysis of the problems (see Resources below) but I will… Read complete articleCobourg Objects to Ontario Bill 23

Christmas is coming to Cobourg

The radio stations are already playing Christmas music and stores are starting to push Christmas merchandise.  To most people, Christmas is no longer a religious event but is instead, at best, a time for family get togethers and gift giving and at worst a commercial event.  One of the ways people now celebrate Christmas is by going to a concert or a public Christmas event or two – and Cobourg does a good job of these.  I know of ten concerts and two special Cobourg events:  The Santa Parade and the lighting up ceremony for the thousands of lights in Victoria Park and the Waterfront.  But unless you are on top of what’s happening, you might not know about them… Read complete articleChristmas is coming to Cobourg

Covid and Flu Update for Cobourg

Covid is mostly a problem for seniors – in Cobourg, 65% of Covid Deaths have been for people aged 80 or more and there have been no Covid Deaths for anyone younger than 39.  Since Covid statistics were first collected, in Cobourg, there have been 1303 confirmed Covid cases; 53 of these were hospitalized and there have been 12 Covid deaths in Cobourg.  Covid cases are now at a steady rate: according to sewage measurements which started in 2022, Covid peaked in April and August in Cobourg.  But now there is another problem and it’s primarily with flu like and respiratory diseases amongst young children.  In the HKPR Health region, from 28 August to 15 November, 15% of Visits to… Read complete articleCovid and Flu Update for Cobourg

Council Inauguration 2022

Tonight, there were more than 100 people in Victoria Hall to witness the swearing in of the new Council and the new Mayor’s inaugural speech.  Lucas was impressive and his speech was not too long.  The meeting included not only the necessary ceremonial aspects, it also included the first order of Council business which was to appoint the Mayor (Lucas Cleveland) to represent Cobourg on the County Council and the Deputy Mayor (Nicole Beatty) as the alternate.  Before the meeting started, the Concert Band of Cobourg entertained and then the event started with a piper leading the new Council elect into the Hall.  The band then played the National anthem followed by our Town Cryer Mandy Robinson doing her thing. … Read complete articleCouncil Inauguration 2022

What’s Happening at the Mall

The short answer is “Not much”. I called the Mall Leasing VP and all I got was “No we’re not planning any residential”.  If you look at what they say online, you’ll see that Michael’s is coming soon, that another “pad” is planned next to the LCBO and that there are a lot of vacancies.  Before the pandemic, Rainbow cinema was planning an expansion but right now they are working on reduced hours with two shows on 4 days, one matinee on Sundays and closed Mondays and Wednesdays.  Although many spaces are empty (but not all), some others are getting renovated (see photos below).  It’s not clear where Michael’s is going: Trinity’s map shows them on the East side of… Read complete articleWhat’s Happening at the Mall

Unusual Request for Citizen support

Usually, when people are asked to support a project it means they are being asked for money – but not this time.  Five Counties Children’s Centre (FCCC) has a property in Cobourg at 800 Division Street that has a large “backyard” which would be great if kids in their program could use it but they cannot.  They say that: “There are safety and accessibility issues from a nearby drainage ditch [South boundary] and traffic from an adjacent driveway and parking lot. The vision is to put up fencing and install an accessible playground, sensory play equipment, accessible garden area, gazebo, storage space and eventually a track.”  But all that will cost $255K.  They have so far raised 40% of that… Read complete articleUnusual Request for Citizen support

Are Master Plans followed?

By my count, dating back to 2011, Cobourg has 8 “Master Plans” detailing how staff and Council should manage key Town attributes and features plus there is also a 2019 – 2022 Strategic plan. Some seem to be consigned to a shelf and others are used to rationalize something that needs to be done. But there is no apparent integration of them – e.g. references to Master Plans in the Strategic Plan. In April 2021, Councillor Emily Chorley said: “there are staffing gaps” and “some plans just don’t get done.” A review of the Strategic plan in April 2021 actually wanted two more plans (IT Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan).  The Town’s web site helps a bit – there… Read complete articleAre Master Plans followed?