Community Grants Policy

The Policy for Community Grants was set some time ago – see Resources below – but at the budget meetings in February 2023, Council passed a motion to review the Policy to at least make the process more efficient and possibly do away with community grants altogether. Specifically, a motion was passed directing staff to explore options and report back by June 2023. If you look at the video of the Feb 9 meeting, this motion is passed at around the 1:17 mark but it’s not recorded in the minutes. I reported this motion and the list of approved grants in a Post on February 10 titled “Last Year for Community Grants?”. Applications for the 2024 grants are now being… Read complete articleCommunity Grants Policy

Firefighters Museum Update

A memo to Council from Brian Geerts, Director of Community Services, at the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on June 5 will provide an update on what’s happening to the Memorial Arena. In April 2021, an Ad Hoc committee was set up to explore options for what should be done with the Memorial Arena which had been closed in 2019. The first choice was to lease it to the Firefighters Museum which had previously been located in Port Hope. The museum opened in 1984 and closed in 2018 and has been on hold pending finding a new location. Meanwhile, their Facebook page is quite active and they recently announced that “we are now looking seriously at this unused arena… Read complete articleFirefighters Museum Update

Council Debates Transit Hybrid Fixed Route

There’s no move to change to the previous fixed route system but at the recent Council meeting, Councillor Adam Bureau pushed strongly to have a hybrid transit system – at least until enough buses could be deployed. Adam said that currently there are 2 buses when there should be 5 (see below for more detail) and that as an interim measure, one bus should operate on a fixed route with two continuing with on-demand service. Other councillors were not convinced and pointed to a number of problems. Funding for the extra bus would come out of reserves intended to pay for new buses but Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty said that this would go against Council’s goal of setting aside money… Read complete articleCouncil Debates Transit Hybrid Fixed Route

New Parking By-Law

Changes to the Parking by-law caused considerable debate at both the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 15 and the Regular Council meeting on May 23.  Two items were hotly debated: First: The general time limit for Parking on a street – it was proposed to change this from the current 48 hours to 3 hours. Second: Instead of simply banning parking in front of a driveway, it was proposed to require a 2 metre spacing. There were also a number of other changes involving items that had been previously approved by Council such as Waterfront Parking but there was no further debate on those. Brent Larmer said that the 48 hour limit on street parking was not enforceable and… Read complete articleNew Parking By-Law

Province to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

On Friday, MPP David Piccini announced that the Province would provide Northumberland County with an additional $2M towards their Homelessness Prevention Program.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland and all Cobourg Councillors were at the announcement as were representatives from County staff and other County Townships.  Police Chief VandeGraaf was also in attendance.  David Piccini and Warden Mandy Martin were the only speakers. David said that the increased funding would help end the housing supply crisis and help end homelessness and that the Province remains a committed Partner. Mandy expressed her gratitude to the Province – she said that the investment comes at a critical time and she looks forward to continuing cooperation from all levels of Government.  Mandy spoke about the County’s… Read complete articleProvince to Provide Additional Funding for Housing

Update on Customer Service Plan

In November 2020, KPMG delivered a report to Council outlining what residents thought of the services provided by the Town.  Then in October 2022, with Provincial funding, the Town hired Customer Service Professionals Network (CSPN) to take it further and create a “Customer Service Strategy & Implementation Plan”.  They started with another public survey. KPMG’s survey had managed to get 307 responses and CSPN’s got 110. (Another one by the Town got 219, in all cases, not many!). CSPN also surveyed employees, councillors and four public focus-groups. At the Committee of the whole meeting on Monday (15 May, 2023), Shawn Ashley of CSPN presented their report to Council and provided a summary.  The report is in Resources below. A copy of… Read complete articleUpdate on Customer Service Plan

Police Activity Update – May 2023

Cobourg Police regularly provide media outlets such as Cobourg News Blog with a significant amount of detailed information about their activities.  Not all of it gets passed on to the Public but with this update, I’m attempting to do two things: 1.  Summarize recent information so you can better understand what Police do in a typical month and 2. List online sources where you can find out Police information more often. Cobourg Police provide information with regular News releases plus a comprehensive monthly Operations report.  Listed below are links to where you can see this information for yourself and of course you can also follow Pete Fisher’s reports on Today’s Northumberland.  But first, here’s a summary of available information. News… Read complete articlePolice Activity Update – May 2023

Town’s Web site and Communication Failing

The Town’s web site is getting quite bad.  There’s no acknowledgement by the Town but on Friday May 12, major sections of the web site were missing – both the Contact page and the News Centre were down.  Instead, there were announcements on Facebook – that’s pathetic and missing major segments of Cobourg’s population.  One such announcement was that “there will be a Special Closed session Council Meeting on Monday, May 15, at 1:00 pm for an Equity Diversity and Inclusion training session.”  That’s perhaps in response to a motion by Adam Bureau in late April that the Council receive “Harm reduction” training.  Apart from missing pages, other pages are long out of date – e.g. the Heritage page still… Read complete articleTown’s Web site and Communication Failing

County Strategic Plan Survey

It’s not just Cobourg who is developing a Strategic Plan for the next term of Council – Northumberland County is now seeking resident input.  It’s notable that the County is approaching creation of its plan differently – they are starting with a survey instead of Cobourg’s approach of asking for comments on a draft plan.  The survey has only three questions and they are very general – see below.  Compare this approach to Cobourg’s (as outlined in an earlier Post), and Port Hope’s which asks for an update on their 2019-2022 plan and Brighton who are holding four public meetings where residents help create their plan.  But residents of Cobourg are also in Northumberland County so this is a survey… Read complete articleCounty Strategic Plan Survey

Economic Development First Annual Report

When Wendy Gibson retired from her position as Manager of Economic Development in the spring of 2019, she was not replaced. Soon after, the Economic Development Advisory Committee was dissolved and it was thought that the County’s efforts would be enough.  But in October 2022, our (relatively) new CAO Tracey Vaughan hired Daniel Van Kampen as a Manager of Economic Development and he has been quite active; at the next Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council meeting he will present his first Annual report.  His office is in Venture 13 space and he works closely with them but he reports to Director of Planning, Anne Taylor-Scott.  This will be the first opportunity taxpayers have had to see what he is… Read complete articleEconomic Development First Annual Report

Strategic Plan for 2022-2026

Council is planning a different way to create the 2022 – 2026 Strategic Plan.  The previous plan was done by Councillors in an open session and guided by a facilitator, Carolyn Kearns. The 1½ day session in February 2019, ended up with a draft that was then opened up for public comment – and there was plenty of that.  The current budget includes $20K for preparation of the plan although Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty wanted to save this by having staff do the work.  Mayor Lucas Cleveland said that $20K was too little. Others disagreed and the budget ended up with $20K included.  Apparently lost in the debate was the choice of how to create a Strategic Plan. It seems that it… Read complete articleStrategic Plan for 2022-2026