Last Council meeting of 2017

The last Council meeting of 2017 had no major decisions; we did not see the long-awaited waterfront study, the YMCA merger with the CCC is still up in the air and there were no contentious decisions made.  All C.O.W. decisions were implemented without debate except as noted below. But there was a fuss made over Lorraine Brace on the occasion of her retirement as Town Clerk.  This month the Town service to be highlighted will be Lorraine’s responsibility, Legislative Services.  Lorraine spoke about that as the first Agenda item (see below).  Gil Brocanier then made an emotional speech about how he admired her professionalism, helpful attitude and warm smile and wished her a happy retirement.  Later, all the councillors echoed his sentiments.  Below is a screen grab from the You-Tube streaming of the meeting.   But Wally Keeler got some success as did the residents of Kerr Street with the parking issue.

Lorraine Brace

Lorraine Brace
Lorraine Brace embrace from Mayor Gil Brocanier

In her last official, public presentation Lorraine outlined what the Legislative Services Department does and some of their successes. 

  • Organize and manage elections – moved to fully accessible and lower cost internet and telephone only voting
  • Perform wedding ceremonies – 350 in the last year with up to 4 weddings in a day, some on the beach.  With a fee of $300 there is no cost to the taxpayer.
  • Manages the Phone service – all employees are happy to answer any questions from the public
  • Improved online engagement with the Civic Web and using video for Council meetings.
  • Bylaw Enforcement is improved with a dedicated bylaw enforcement officer.  Also many bylaws have been reviewed and updated.  Lorraine’s replacement, Brent Larmer, proudly showed the bylaw guide which has seen 1400 copies printed and distributed.  It is also available online (and also on Cobourg Internet here) .  Brent said that Cobourg is only the third municipality in Ontario to have a by-law guide.

Lorraine did not mention it but others did – she was the driving force behind the wonderful 1867 Cobourg Day Council meeting re-enactment (details here)

Wally Keeler

Wally presented his concern that the shutdown of the Northumberland Today website caused the loss of valuable community information (details here).  In the end, Council agreed to send a formal letter per his request.

Kerr Street

The ongoing saga of the parking problem for some Townhouse owners at the west end of Kerr Street was resolved.  (Details here)  The owners made yet another presentation and suggested that the developer should pay for the laybys.  However, Glenn McGlashon said that the developer had met commitments by providing what was in the drawings – the implication being that there was no chance the developer would pay.  After much discussion and a couple of amendments to a motion, council unanimously agreed:

  • Option 2 ( involves not moving the sidewalk) would cost $23k (+ $2k to move 4 trees) and should be implemented by the Town with the cost charged 50% to Development Charges and 50% to the Capital budget. (May not be in 2018).
  • Parking to be allowed until the laybys are implemented.

The time frame might be into 2019 since the road is not yet assumed by the Town.

Other low-key items

Also passed at the meeting with no discussion was:

  • The revised Development charges bylaw.
  • The Street naming policy was approved after consultation with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and the Heritage Advisory Committee.
  • Salary increases for non-union employees (1.9% per year for 3 years) were approved
  • A $4.5M loan to finance the Parks/Works building in Northam Park was approved
  • Some refunds of taxes (look for a future post on this subject)
  • A one year extension of the Transit Contract.

And because it was the last Council meeting of the year, all councillors wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Note that all Council meetings in the New Year will have new procedures and a new start time of 4:00pm.  There’s a list of all 2018 meetings here.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wally Keeler
13 December 2017 2:48 pm

Subsequent to the unanimous vote by Cobourg Council to formalize a missive on behalf of the Municipality of Cobourg requesting that Torstar and Postmedia restore access to the digital archives of Northumberland Today and other affected on-line newspapers; CHEX-TV will be broadcasting the issue with me and with the Mayor seperately @ 6pm and 11pm this evening. I received a tip today that a Barrie Councillor has stumbled onto this collateral damage. Now I am preparing to address the Councils of Colborne, Brighton, Port Hope and the County. It is very useful that Cobourg took the lead on this issue.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
14 December 2017 1:05 pm


12 December 2017 11:40 am

Curious that on what he calls a slow news night the designation by Council of the three handsome old buildings on the Kraft site was not mentioned. Perhaps because when the issue first came up he was keen for the Certo building to be demolished.

John Draper
Reply to  gailr97
12 December 2017 11:47 am

The designation of the Certo building was old news and a done deal. I did not mention 100% of issues at the meeting but it was sort of covered by the note that “All C.O.W. decisions were implemented without debate except as noted below.” If you personally saw the state of the Certo building like I did, you might have a different opinion about its suitability for being saved. Not all Heritage is worth saving.

Diane Chin
Reply to  John Draper
12 December 2017 1:10 pm

Not true. Besides cultural and historic considerations there are environmental reasons as well. Demolition creates green house gases. Construction creates green house gases. Landfills are half full of construction materials. North America needs to stop being a throw away society. The greenest building is the one still standing.

Reply to  John Draper
12 December 2017 1:24 pm

Members of the Heritage Committee also inspected the building and had a different impression. As does, apparently, the soon to be owner of the property.

Diane Chin
12 December 2017 10:52 am

Cobourg Council designated three buildings on the former Kraft site, significant in that these buildings are the last vestiges of Cobourg’s industrial past. This is a great day for Cobourg in that we continue to embrace our built heritage, one of the many reasons why we live in such a wonderful town.

12 December 2017 10:13 am

Still begs the question why should the taxpayers pay for the lack of due diligence by the home owners. Anything from the capital budget is money from my pocket, and I do not like it being picked like this!

Lance Armstrong
12 December 2017 9:05 am

Remove trees so people can park their cars. Very forward thinking on the part of the town….

I thought we were trying to create a town within a forest? It sounds nice but actions speak louder than words. What a joke.

Reply to  Lance Armstrong
12 December 2017 9:36 am

I understood that the $2000 charge was to move them not cut them down.

Suzanne Seguin
Reply to  GEC
12 December 2017 9:40 am

You are correct GEC. The trees are young enough to move to a local park.

Lance Armstrong
Reply to  Suzanne Seguin
12 December 2017 9:42 am

Implying the park could’ve used trees in the first place. Ultimately it’s minus 4 trees so we can pander to more cars. Backwards thinking.

Reply to  Lance Armstrong
12 December 2017 10:57 am

Not pandering to autos but alternative to improper plan/communications.