Dean Hustwick leaves for CAO job in Brock

Brock Township announced on Tuesday Sept 29 that Cobourg’s Dean Hustwick is leaving his position as Director of Community Services and going to Brock Township as their CAO.  He will start in his new position on November 2.  Dean joined Cobourg’s staff on April 4, 2016 with his previous position being COO of Sport Alliance Ontario.  The announcement says that Dean is an accomplished and highly skilled leader with a reputation for transforming operations, driving innovation and improving organizational performance. Brock Township is located approx. on the east shoreline of Lake Simcoe with major Towns being Beaverton and Cannington.  Population in 2016 was 11,642. It is the smallest Township (by population) in Durham region. Dean is quoted as saying: “I… Read complete articleDean Hustwick leaves for CAO job in Brock

CIP Public Meeting

Launched at a public meeting on December 5, 2019, the Affordable and Rental Housing Community Improvement Plan provides a legal basis for the Town to subsidize housing.  On Monday September 28, another Public meeting (chaired by Nicole Beatty) explained to Council and the public what was being proposed and asked for public feedback.  The “in-person” audience was about a dozen but more would have watched proceedings via You-Tube streaming. Public meetings allow for citizens to support or oppose the idea but in this case, I counted seven presenters, all in favour.  Nobody objected although as Keith Oliver pointed out, this is only a framework or pathway.  Council has yet to approve it and allocate budget.  Although subsidized housing is a… Read complete articleCIP Public Meeting

Virtual Concert at the Cobourg Loft

You’ve heard of virtual concerts and seminars (webinars) where you watch at home on whatever screen size you have.  But you are missing out on the group experience where you are with others. In the Covid-19 era, you have to be socially separated but cinemas have been operating successfully in this fashion for a month or so. Michael Pepa moved to Cobourg from Toronto a few years back and brought with him his Les AMIS classical Concerts with world class performers. He was initially planning concerts in St. Peters but was stymied by their roof problem so he moved to the Cobourg Loft. A full program of concerts there was interrupted by the pandemic but he has found an innovative… Read complete articleVirtual Concert at the Cobourg Loft

Financials for First Half of 2020 Now Available

The agenda for the Committee of the Whole Council Meeting on October 5 includes a report from Treasurer Ian Davey that provides details of the financials for the period to June 30, 2020.  The usual format indicates how much of the budget is left for Revenues and Expenditures but for comparison purposes, he includes the 2019 report for a similar period.  As expected, the numbers are heavily impacted by the effect of the pandemic but revenue is also severely impacted by unusually high successful tax appeals resulting in tax refunds of $1.3M.  Of this, $600K hits Cobourg.  The biggest amounts go to Home Depot and Walmart who had major refunds from 2017, 2018 and 2019.  Surprisingly, the net impact on… Read complete articleFinancials for First Half of 2020 Now Available

Deputy Mayor Disappointed with Financial Reports

At Monday’s regular Council meeting, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin spoke out about the lack of any reports on the status of Cobourg’s Financial status and the impact of Covid-19 on the Town’s Finances.  Without that she said it was very difficult to plan for the future of our Town.  Since her statement was given as part of her “General Government Coordinator report” there was no chance for a rebuttal but no doubt Ian Davey will point to his dual role as Treasurer and Interim CAO.  But you have to wonder why in this age of computers, snapshot reports at quarter end could not be provided in a maximum of a few days.  Businesses do that regularly; why is it so… Read complete articleDeputy Mayor Disappointed with Financial Reports

Message from Northumberland County Hospital CEOs

Northumberland has done better than average in the pandemic but there has been an uptick of cases in Ontario and the CEOs of Northumberland’s two hospitals decided it was important to communicate with the public. Unlike most posts on this news blog, their statement is provided unedited or summarized: Statement from Hospital CEOs With the concerning uptick in COVID-19 cases in Ontario, infectious disease experts, health care providers and public health leaders are strongly encouraging Ontarians to stay vigilant and do all in our power to follow the public health measures that will help to minimize spread, keep our province functioning and avoid wide-scale illness and even death. On September 13, the President of the Ontario Hospital Association also issued… Read complete articleMessage from Northumberland County Hospital CEOs

Council’s Unfinished Business

The good news is that the Council’s agenda now includes a list of unfinished business from previous meetings which is much improved and very comprehensive.  The bad news is that the list is long and many items are overdue.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting the list had 15 items with seven overdue or running late.  At each council meeting, this list is now reviewed with new dates often (but not always) assigned.  No doubt the Covid-19 virus is a major reason for the delays although no specific reasons are provided when the list is reviewed.  The items cover topics ranging from Affordable Housing to Taxi Licensing to Downtown Parking – some have been on the list for well… Read complete articleCouncil’s Unfinished Business

Province and Feds Help Fund Transit

People ask why do we have full size buses and not small ones or even ones like those used in Okotoks?  (See link below to earlier article). Well I don’t have an answer but if spending Council money is the problem, then the Federal and Provincial Governments are helping big time to buy replacements for existing fleets.  Today, MPP David Piccini announced the support being provided to Cobourg and Port Hope via the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.  Cobourg’s 2020 budget included $160K (contingent on a grant) to replace a Wheels bus, $230K in 2021 for one regular bus and $460K in 2022 to replace two more regular buses – total $850K.  The grants for Cobourg are $496,182 from the… Read complete articleProvince and Feds Help Fund Transit