Accessible Washroom in Victoria Hall

At Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee recommended that the Accessible Washroom in Victoria Hall be left open.  Currently, it is locked but a key is available upon request.  It seems the EDI committee felt that it was asking a lot of potential users to go ask for the key.  Brent Larmer explained that it was locked to minimize an abuse of it – there have been cases where someone would lock themselves in and stay for an excessive amount of time thereby denying access to others.  Since it has been locked, usage has actually increased. However, despite this, Councillor Beatty moved that the EDI Committee’s recommendation be followed and that the… Read complete articleAccessible Washroom in Victoria Hall

Does Cobourg Use Too Many Consultants?

In 2020 Council hired a consultant to review “Service Delivery” and shortly after (in 2021) also used a consultant to review the Town’s organization. But at Monday’s Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, the Agenda included approval of a consultant (Watson and Associates) for $91K to review user fees as recommended in the Service Delivery review. Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin thought that this knowledge was available from Staff and that the cost was excessive so she moved that the work be done by Staff instead. The rationale for the consultant was that there were not enough Staff resources or expertise and that the report would provide a justification for charges. In addition “it is also expected that the methodology developed… Read complete articleDoes Cobourg Use Too Many Consultants?

Council Policy on Body Worn Cameras

Over the past year, Cobourg Police have implemented a program for Police Officers to wear Body Worn Cameras (BWCs).  The Town separately employs By-Law enforcement officers and the Police agreed to provide 3 BWCs to the town for use by these officers.  The cost to the Town will be $3,907 per year.  These cameras are intended to protect both the Public and Officers when there is public interaction and they are not turned on 100% of the time.  In fact officers must advise the public when they are operating.  The Police have a web page that explains Police usage and at the next Committee of the Whole Meeting on 15 August, Council will be asked to approve a comprehensive 11… Read complete articleCouncil Policy on Body Worn Cameras

Restoring St Peter’s Church

One of Cobourg’s significant Historic Buildings is St. Peter’s Anglican Church.  Like Cobourg’s Victoria Hall it was designed by architect Kivas Tully and like Victoria Hall (in the 1950’s) it now needs major restoration.  It’s not quite the same situation since it’s a Church and not owned by the Town but the Church is hoping citizens who are not Anglicans or even Church-goers will be supportive of restoring this property.  The oldest parts of the building are already temporarily closed and its bells stopped ringing last year. The total cost is estimated at $2.7M and of this, $1.35M still needs to be raised (more below).  The Church has recruited a committee led by Peter Delanty and have launched a fund-raising… Read complete articleRestoring St Peter’s Church

La Jeunesse Choirs  Re-starting

La Jeunesse Choirs was shut down because of Covid but they are now holding auditions – they are currently looking for youth ages 7-18 to audition for their 2022-2023 season. Auditions are being held at Cobourg’s United Church with the next audition day coming up: Saturday, August 13th!  See Resources below for signup link.  Rehearsals start September 13, 2022. Their schedule includes two concerts (one around Christmas) plus a Musical Theatre event in 2023 at Victoria Hall: Disney’s Descendants on May 19th and 20th. Tickets will be available for these events at Victoria Hall’s box office. La Jeunesse Choirs is a dedicated and respected charitable organization whose mission is to support, share and celebrate the diverse musical talents of Northumberland… Read complete articleLa Jeunesse Choirs  Re-starting

Covid-19 Outbreak at Hospital

Today Northumberland Hills Hospital said that “The number of admitted patients at Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) continues to rise as case counts increase in the region.”  Susan Walsh, President and CEO of NHH said: “Sadly, COVID-19 has not gone away.”  The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) keeps track of outbreaks in high risk settings and one of the 11 Outbreaks in the region is NHH. Three of the Outbreaks are in Cobourg – see list below.  According to HKPR, the count of cases in Cobourg is 8 but the Hospital says that “We currently have eleven admitted patients confirmed positive for COVID-19. Some are here because of COVID-19, some came to hospital for other reasons but were found… Read complete articleCovid-19 Outbreak at Hospital

Slow News Week in Cobourg

With fewer Council meetings in the summer and many people taking time off, news is often slow this time of year.  There’s an election coming up but so far there have not been many who have filed as candidates (details below).  Covid is still a threat but there are no lockdowns (details below) – it’s now treated much like regular flu.  The County has some surveys but Cobourg only has its long running survey on Brookside.  The good news is that the Entertainment choices are improving although you might have noticed that we did not have the usual Sandcastle competition this weekend.  Also, Rainbow Cinemas are operating on a reduced schedule – now only five days per week and two… Read complete articleSlow News Week in Cobourg

Monkey Pox in Northumberland

Although the risk is low, it’s a bit scary after our experience with Covid-19. On Wednesday, July 27, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) reported the first lab-confirmed case of the Monkeypox virus in the region. It involves a resident from Northumberland County (no indication whether it’s in Cobourg). The person with the virus is “currently recovering and in isolation”. Also, “the HKPR District Health Unit has also completed follow-up with this individual and has contacted anyone else who may have had close contact with this case, including those who may require vaccination against the virus.” Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health said that “we are notifying and following up with all close… Read complete articleMonkey Pox in Northumberland

Holdco and Lakefront Utilities Report

On Tuesday at 2:00 pm, Cobourg Council had a special meeting to hear a report from Holdco and its subsidiaries (Lakefront  Utilities Inc – LUI – and Lakefront Services Inc – LUSI) on how they are doing. The new chair of Holdco, David Tsubouchi, spoke strongly about the need for better governance and is putting procedures in place to make sure that happens.  This was the only thing that needed significant fixing – all other measurements and performance factors were positive and councillors asked few questions.  LUI chair Gil Brocanier reported that reliability is good and getting better (more below) and that businesses want reliability and are attracted to Cobourg by reliable electricity.  Gil said that only 25% of a… Read complete articleHoldco and Lakefront Utilities Report

County Debates Affordable Housing

Cobourg Council recently seemed to catch on that homelessness and affordable housing are a County responsibility.  One action that came out of the recent Special Council Meeting on homelessness was that two councillors (Nicole Beatty and Aaron Burchat) would make a presentation to the relevant County Committee and then to the full County Council.  This happened at the County Council meeting on July 20.  The County does not record their meetings and I did not watch it live, however, you can see the Agenda item (see resources below). Also, 93.3 News reported that in response to a suggestion to use existing buildings, “Deputy Warden Mandy Martin pointed out that the buildings were abandoned for good reason – often because making… Read complete articleCounty Debates Affordable Housing

Town Experiencing Staff Shortage

It’s not just businesses that are short of staff and experiencing high turnover, it’s also the Town of Cobourg. Looking at the Town’s web site Job Opportunities page, there are four management positions and six temporary or part-time positions. In addition, at Monday’s Council meeting, Planning Coordinator Councillor Nicole Beatty, announced that 3 planning staff are leaving – including Dave Johnson (Planner 1, Heritage). Two of the Management positions stand-out: Dan Taylor was only recently recruited as the Manager of Economic Development but he has left and a replacement is being recruited. The Manager of Planning is described as two possible jobs: either “Development Review” or “Long-Range Planning” – both are needed. The current manager of Planning, Rob Franklin, has… Read complete articleTown Experiencing Staff Shortage