All Committee and Board Members need to re-apply

With the end of the Council Term, it’s not just Councillors who are subject to change but also Advisory Committee and Board members.  There are 2 boards and 9 committees with nominally 64 new members required.  If you read the fine print (actually the by-Law) you will see that re-appointments are possible since Council is empowered to decide and it’s hard to imagine that 64 citizens who have never been on a committee will emerge.  On Thursday, the Town issued a call for applications to all the boards and committees and said all positions were vacant.  But Council ultimately chooses so if incumbents apply, they may well be re-appointed.  But as we have seen in the last 4 years, there… Read complete articleAll Committee and Board Members need to re-apply

Police Update – October 2022

Cobourg Police are continually improving their reporting but you have to look for it.  Apart from their annual report, they have also recently published their budget before it’s approved and now they have added reports that give detailed Statistics of their activities more regularly. (See Resources below for links to articles about what they did previously).  Currently, Communications Coordinator Lisa Munday issues a limited bi-weekly report (that’s every second week, not twice a week) but if you look at Police Board meeting Agendas on escribe, you can find detailed reports that cover recent months.  My review below of the “August 2022- CPS Monthly Operational Report” as available in the Agenda for October 18 will give you some idea of the… Read complete articlePolice Update – October 2022

Unfinished Business – October 2022

One good initiative that Brent Larmer brought to Council a while back was a detailed follow-up on unfinished business with a tracking report included in both CoW and regular Council meetings.  That’s the positive.  However, these are rarely discussed at meetings – presumably councillors must read them at some other time.  A review of the 16 items reported in October shows that most are late with some originating early 2019. It’s likely that Staff would blame Covid and under-staffing for the delays but maybe Council could spend time prioritising these items.  Or maybe the fact that items are late indicate that staff are giving them low priority?  In any case, action items should either be actioned promptly or a decision… Read complete articleUnfinished Business – October 2022

Cobourg News Blog Report – 5 years

About 10 years ago, Cobourg Internet started to include Cobourg News on its web site and allowed comments. But the technology was limiting so a new separate site (this site) was launched in September 2017 and continues to this day. For some reason that I can only speculate at, the site has become a community forum with the audience continually growing. Not all comments are positive but unless they break the rules of the blog, they are encouraged in the interest of free speech. A statistic from the last few days is interesting: 48 different people contributed the last 100 comments! Some posts attract a limited number of contributors but others get a widely diverse audience. But let’s look at… Read complete articleCobourg News Blog Report – 5 years

Cobourg Election Shakeup

Lucas Cleveland campaigned with a promise to lead instead of manage and to do things differently. Although he has no Council experience, he’s now our new Mayor, narrowly defeating incumbent John Henderson.  And that’s not the only change:  Nicole Beatty beat incumbent Suzanne Séguin for the Deputy Mayor’s position.  In Council, there are two new councillors: Miriam Mutton and Randy Barber – although both have had some previous experience as Councillors (Miriam in Cobourg in both 2006 and 2010 and Randy Barber in Markham). Full vote numbers are below.  I was surprised with three results:  Nicole Beaty beating Suzanne Séguin and both Michael Sprayson and Mark Mills losing. The only certain thing that can be read from the results is… Read complete articleCobourg Election Shakeup

Culture on Back Burner in Cobourg

It seems that “Culture” is no longer something that concerns residents of Cobourg.  There was a time when it did.  On June 25, 2018 Council decided to award a contract for $65,000 to consultant MDB Insight to prepare a Cultural Master Plan and after 2 public meetings and consultation with Cobourg’s “culture” organizations, a Cultural Master Plan was presented to Council on 15 October 2019.  Council passed a motion asking staff to bring recommendations forward to council.  We are still waiting.  To be fair, the plan was vague – other than improving communication and promoting what we already have, there was no grand new idea although there was vague talk of looking into “a Town-operated multi-purpose cultural facility, which includes… Read complete articleCulture on Back Burner in Cobourg

Police Budget for 2023

Setting of the Cobourg Police budget is not interrupted by the Council election so their timetable means that their 2023 budget will be ready for approval in November 2022. On Monday, the Police released a draft budget for public feedback – “draft” because it’s not yet approved. I don’t recall this being done in previous years. It’s only the operating budget but in recent years Capital items have been funded from their Business services. The key thing to note is that “Funding from the Town of Cobourg Tax Levy is currently estimated at $6,913,302, a 3.89% increase from the contributions for 2022.” Most of the Police cost is salaries and that has increased because of “contractual requirements”. It’s an easy… Read complete articlePolice Budget for 2023

Comparing this Election with 2018

Municipal elections are held every four years and a lot changes in four years so I thought it would be useful to review the issues in the 2018 election.  Did Council follow up?  Are they the same concerns? No surprise, homelessness was an issue but allowing Cannabis stores was hardly mentioned.  I identified 7 other issues and asked Candidates about them.  Some things got resolved or died.  I have not heard any discussion on expansion of boat slips into the West Harbour, buying the Park Theatre or an open Q & A forum at Council meetings (more detail below).  But Tourism was being debated and Holdco’s transparency was criticized.  The candidates were different but of particular interest is what the… Read complete articleComparing this Election with 2018

Concert Band of Cobourg

The Concert Band of Cobourg is celebrating their 180th anniversary this year with a video featuring their history and relationship with the Town of Cobourg.  The video does a good job and includes many interesting historical photos. Their Directors of Music Roland G. White from 1970 to 2000 and Paul Storms since then are mentioned but there is no mention of other notable individual band members.  Even long time Drum Major Tom MacMillan is not mentioned. (More below).  Another omission is the spin-off of the New Ventures Band in 2014 which, if I remember correctly,  was envisioned as a way to groom new players for the aging Concert Band.  Perhaps the omissions are because it would be impossible to mention… Read complete articleConcert Band of Cobourg

Debates by Candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor

One of the ways voters get to evaluate candidates in any election is when they debate.  Cogeco has interviewed Candidates and that’s good (see Resources below) but better is if candidates battle each other in a debate.  The Chamber of Commerce had a Meet the Candidates event where participants could ask their questions but the result was not recorded and available to the public.  Sustainable Cobourg will have an event on October 14 but it’s focused on one aspect – sustainability.  But the best format is head to head debates with candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor and that’s what Cogeco has now provided.  On October 6, Cogeco taped debates and showed them on their Community Channel (see Resources for… Read complete articleDebates by Candidates for Mayor and Deputy Mayor

Tourism in Cobourg

One of the issues that people in Cobourg sometimes debate is whether we want Tourists and if so, do they actually help Cobourg’s economy or not.  In 2018, Cobourg hired a contract person, Bryan Mercer, to help increase Tourism – one of his accomplishments was to set up the web site “Engage Cobourg” and another was to get some Tourism metrics (see below).  Increasing Tourism was a strategy initiated by Dean Hustwick, the previous Director of Community Services but since 2018, there has been little follow up. The latest Strategic Plan barely mentions Tourism – “Consider Arts Culture and Tourism Division” gets relegated to “OK to defer” status.  Further, significantly increased parking fees were initiated to help control beach crowds… Read complete articleTourism in Cobourg