CTA Open House

The Cobourg Taxpayers Association had their Open House this afternoon in the Trinity United Church hall.  CTA 285It was well attended with most if not all councillors in attendance as well as a couple of Candidates for Council and a good number of citizens  The CTA asked everyone to use green or red dots to agree (or not) with several hot questions.  The only one where Council seemed to agree with the CTA was on the subject of Council Pay which was partially resolved on Monday when Council reversed course and gave Councillors a significant raise.  Paul Pagnuelo of the CTA made the case for an increase at a delegation to Council and when Councillor Debra McCarthy made the case for an increase she referred to his recommendation but wanted to phase it in (see Link below).

Listed below are the questions asked and the response of those attending – see photos below to see the basis for the responses (I may have missed a couple of questions on the Waterpark – sorry!).

CTA Question Response
Should Cobourg Councillors be paid more than the minimum wage? Yes
Do you want the Marina to expand into the West Harbour? No
Should the Town buy a very large, unprofitable, boat lift machine at an estimated cost of more than $800,000? No
Do you think the Town’s Plans follow the residents’ wishes as expressed at the waterfront consultations? No
Do you want the Town to focus on attracting more tourists to the Waterfront? No
Should Council allow a question and answer period? Yes
Are you OK with secret meetings? No

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Frenchy

Ending his remarks on a serious note, Trudeau thanked the journalists for their work, stressing the importance of an independent news media that holds governments to account.​

We don’t have independent news media here in Cobourg so who should hold the local government to account?
Do you think the local government should be held to account?

John Draper

Frenchy
You are wrong. There are multiple news sources online in Cobourg who are independent and not beholden to anyone -that includes this site.

Frenchy

Do any of them hold our local governance to account or just dutifully rebroadcast their press releases? Is there any investigative journalism here in Cobourg that dare tries to hold our local government to account?

Tim

No.

Kyle

Actually Pete Fisher’s Todays Northumberland is trying.

https://www.todaysnorthumberland.ca/2018/05/23/lets-get-back-to-fighting-crime/

But, for not just posting thier press releases he is being frozen out by Police and Police Services Board. This is what happens now when small media outlets do not tow the line.

Ben

Move on over to here: http://burdreport.ca and see if it toes the line?

Frenchy

Thanks Ben, I forgot about your blog. Just signed up for email updates.
One of the first things I noticed was in regards to the $160,000.00 funding to the AGN. More than half of this will come from everybody’s favourite slush fund… HOLDCO.

Frenchy
Lydia Smith

The CTA would like to thank everyone for coming to our Open House on May 23– especially the young people. Thank you to all the volunteers who made our event a success. Thanks to all who gave very generous donations. We would especially like to extend a warm welcome to our 20 new supporters.
Lydia Smith
President
Cobourg Taxpayers Association

Walter L. Luedtke

LOL!
Looking at John Draper’s ‘crowd’ photo above, I see only grey heads.

Wally Keeler

especially the young people

Understandable pandering. Trying to make up a lack in their demographics. Most of their policies regarding Victoria Park and tourists has zero appeal to young people.

Tim

Your shameful propensity for ageism is distorting your power of perception.

Wally Keeler

PRZT! Try some genuine wit if you are able. Your Timwits are insufferably prosaic.

Cobourg Person

Wow! Way to go!

*rolls eyes*

Eastender

Why was this meeting held on a weekday during working hours?
How many working poor taxpayers attended? (They would be easy to spot; young, maybe in a work uniform, puzzled why no-
one is speaking for them)

Bill Thompson

That same question of council meetings being at 4PM weekdays (working hours) begs the same question does it not, or is that rationale only applicable to CTA meetings ?

Dubious

I note that the presentation of the Final Waterfront Plan will be at a public meeting at 1:00 p.m. on June 4th. That allows precious little time for additional resident input and is certainly not a great time for those who still work. Perhaps you should let Dean Hustwick and Councillor Darling know your feelings rather than complaining that the CTA didn’t schedule an open house at a convenient time. Remember, Hustwick and Darling are your employees!

Pierre

Bill, maybe the CTA could have taken the lead and held the open house in the evening, allowing more people to attend.
You point out what the Council does, but why not show some different comment, such as “yes that would be a great idea to hold in evening, and we will look into this.”

Bill Thompson

A public volunteer non profit organization is not the equivalent of the town council /staff (elected/ paid employees) .who are elected to conduct business for the benefit of the town and its taxpayers and to ensure public awareness and participation is a major consideration as the town makes the policies.
Perhaps you should direct your question to Councillor Darling and Dean Hustwick re the Waterfront Development Plan results being held at a public meeting at 1PM on a working day.
I assume you have no problem with that decision considering the majority of the public will be at work and unable to attend.and public input is paramount to the final decision I’m assuming.

Wally Keeler

Poor decision by Darling and Hustwick to hold the meeting at 1pm. Likewise a poor decision for CTA to hold their meeting in the afternoon, if their motive was to get more eyeballs to see their precious policies. Failure on both accounts.

Walter L. Luedtke

The CTA questions were ‘rigged’ in so far as they only dealt with the navel-gazing concerns of the this tiny, elderly in-group.
The Planning & Sustainability Advisory Committee made an excellent report to Council dealing with climate change, Public Works (including storm water management), urban forest management, comprehensive energy management and full implementation of the Official Plan.
None of these topics interest the CTA in the slightest.

chuck

let me see if i understand, a group of concerned citizens surveyed themselves on their pet topics and found they all agree with each other. well alert the press.

Wally Keeler

darn good summary

Walter L. Luedtke

Whhhhooooosh! Gurrrrgllle!

Wally Keeler

“Do you want the Town to focus on attracting more tourists to the Waterfront? No”

Of course. The CTA is opposed to all the summer jobs for aspiring students that tourists bring to Cobourg. If they want to stop tourism then they should propose solutions for all the students who will not be able to pay their tuition expenses. CTA is so retired they have forgotten what it needs to be young. Few grew up in Cobourg and are ignorant of the economic dynamic that advantages Cobourg youths insofar as the waterfront is concerned.

Bryan

The question says “attracting MORE tourists”, nothing about stopping tourism. Please provide even one example of the CTA being “opposed to all the summer jobs…”

Wally Keeler

They opposed the waterpark. That included a good number of student jobs. And for what? A view that doesn’t exist. What has the CTA ever done to promote more summer jobs for students? Huh?

Kyle

Summer jobs? A good friend who owns a restaurant franchise tells me getting students to fill positions is extremely difficult and that is occuring in most local employment sectors.

Tim

I’ve heard the same complaint. Years ago kids would pick berries, prune trees, mow lawns, paint fences, clean yards, do anything to make a buck. Working in a restaurant or a hotel was considered a steady and very desirable summer job. Not these days. In this grotesque celebrity culture we’ve created, many students look down their noses at the minimum wage.

Wally Keeler

years ago, kids were hippie dips. Your comment sounds like a creaky antique.

Tim

Better creaky than soft-headed. I’m tired of hearing about young people frolicking, bonding and networking at the beach. No one can grow up in Cobourg without the lake moulding their psyche. When I was a kid, every day after lunch, I’d put on my swimming trunks, grab a towel and spend all afternoon at the beach with my friends. When I was a teenager, I used to wander down to the beach alone, just before dawn, to sit shivering on the cold sand and watch the morning being born as the soft, pastel streaks of sunlight brightened the sky and gradually warmed the sand around me. I know the pull of the lake and I know the beauty of the lake, which is why the thought of the Waterpark turns my stomach. I am happy that the CTA are against it, just as they are against other ludicrous additions to this town like a French-only school. They’re organized and they provide logical arguments for their positions, not that the Cobourg Council is ever open to common-sense or reason. As for summer jobs for students, I’m tired of that mantra, too. It’s not up to the CTA or anyone else to… Read more »

Wally Keeler

I’m glad you are sick and tired of frolicking and waterparks. Prepare yourself for more of the same. I don’t care about your feelings. I care about facts. Such as $29,000 coming to the Town each year. Go to the West beach for your view.

Dubious

Elections are coming. Perhaps the replacement Councillors + Mayor will respect the people unlike several who are currently on Council.

Tim

$29,000 is not a fact, Wally, it’s a projection.

Dubious

Consider that $29,000 is less than $2/resident or less than 0.1% of what Cobourg’s government spends each year. I’m happy to contribute a coffee from Tim’s to cancel the water park!

Wally Keeler

Dubious juggles bits of Tim to produce a miscalculation.

Tim

You’re starting to sound like you’re grasping at straws.

Wally Keeler

very unsound comment Tim bit

Dubious

Please explain the nature of my “miscalculation”.

Wally Keeler

Quite a reasonable projection at that. I also project that you will continue to whine and wail about young people frolicking and funning and sunning on a public beach.

Tim

Young people can do all the frolicking and funning and sunning on a public beach they like, they don’t have to be bouncing off a slimy, gaudy eyesore like a bunch of monkeys to have fun, especially when it diminishes other people’s enjoyment of the lake. One thing you can rely on is that the providers of that degraded form of entertainment will profit much more than this town ever will and one lawsuit if someone is seriously hurt will obliterate $29,000 in short order.

Wally Keeler

The owners of the waterpark will pay the liabilities, not the Town. And yes, it is fun to bounce on things like a monkey. FUN! Lots of children and teens and young families having FUN FUN FUN! The fuddy duds can go to the west beach enjoy the lake. Btw, it is more accurate to describe it as slippery rather than slimy.

Wally Keeler

I have a good friend who owns a restaurant (not franchise) and he tells me that getting students was easy and they stay for the summer. Anecdotes.

Linda

The Town of Cobourg has been a resort town since the 1860s. What has changed?

Kath

I count 20-30 responses to each question. Such a small group of like-minded individuals. Nothing wrong with banding together with people of your own beliefs and interests, but the amount of time they take up at Council meetings and how much space this Cobourg News blog is dedicating to them is certainly not consistent with their small size. Cobourg is made up of such a rich variety of people, This one tiny group of mostly retirees (sorry CTA I couldn’t come to your open house because I have a full time job) is just not representative of the whole. I’m already rolling my eyes at the claims they will now make about knowing the will of the people based on 25 responses to loaded questions.

Walter L. Luedtke

Give them the benefit of the doubt, Kath.
Make it 31 tops.

Wally Keeler

Consultant question: The top three reasons you do NOT use the waterfront.
Biggest word, CROWDS.

The only time that crowds come to the waterfront is for nine days in a 365 year: the Canada Day, Civic Holiday and Labour Day long weekends. That works out to 2.5% of each year. Small potatoes. Small inconvenience. Pettiness reigns. The waterfront is crowd-free 97.5% of the time.

MORE SUMMER JOBS FOR STUDENTS! This is something the CTA cravenly ignores. But then again, no one on the CTA is under 30.

Kath

I agree with you, Wally. And in addition, why shouldn’t we have crowds coming to our beautiful beach? It’s a wonderful spot to visit in the summer with your family, and everyone has a right to enjoy it. What do the naysayers propose, we erect a fence and you have to show your Cobourg citizen’s ID card to get in and enjoy it?

Wally Keeler

Exactly Kath. The CTA seems to be abysmally ignorant of the part that our waterfront plays with young people. It’s a place where Cobourg youths meet youths from other distant communities, play with them, frolic, etc. Summer romances, broken hearts, networking with other students. The waterfront is Cobourg’s greatest educational institute; Often it’s where our youth get their first kiss, first drink, first toke, first … After dark the waterfront is a parent-free zone. Free range youths away from the fuddy-duddies and tut-tuts. This is invaluable as a community, for the bonding. The networking among young people is valuable. Not only do they get summer jobs to help offset tuition costs, but network with tourist students from the city and prep for sharing flats as they start university. It went on before my time and goes on now. These community dynamics cannot be measured in terms of nickels and dimes, so the CTA has never addressed this dynamic let alone recognized it. They make no mention of young people in any of their propaganda.

Bryan

When has the CTA suggested fewer student jobs?
The canteen still needs to be staffed. Lifeguards are required. The grass has to be cut.
These are all required regardless of the number of people on the beach.

Do you have a point that you can actually support with evidence?

Wally Keeler

When has the CTA ever promoted more student jobs?

Bryan

It is not the CTA’s mandate to advocate for student jobs, either more or less.
Why don’t you try for once providing a direct answer to the question asked?
Your response clearly demonstrates that you don’t have an answer, instead you duck the question by asking another question that further demonstrates your inability to contribute anything constructive to the discussion.

Wally Keeler

MORE SUMMER JOBS FOR STUDENTS! This is something the CTA cravenly ignores.”

Mandate or not, the CTA has presented no policies that would increase summer student jobs. THAT is a FACT. Deal with it.

Wally Keeler

Bryan commented, “It is not the CTA’s mandate to advocate for student jobs…”

Of course it isn’t. The CTA doesn’t have a mandate for anything. Dismissive as you are, there are a lot of young families with teenagers in Cobourg and they care about summer jobs for their students. This is a community concern and whenever the CTA talks waterfront, they never include summer student employment, either maintaining it nor increasing it; however, their opposition to the waterpark did not address the number of student jobs that project would have gained. Insofar as this project is concerned, I am glad that the CTA lost and Cobourg students won more employment opportunities.

perplexed

These sort of Direct to the Point questions are exactly what is needed in this Town
No misinterpretation or subject to Councils Reinterpretation .
Yes or NO simple isn’t it !
None of this bouncing the ball for years and Thousands spent on studies until Council
can show the response the want or need to achieve their goals ,

I like it DIRECT to the Point

Wally Keeler

Does the CTA have a plan to increase student summer jobs?

Cobourg Person

What a disappointment! All questions appear to be close-ended. The CTA should have asked open-ended questions so that residents could share concerns and the CTA (and potential Councillors) could gather more information.

I also find the question “Should the Town buy a very large, unprofitable, boat lift machine at an estimated cost of more than $800,000?” quite absurd. The facts regarding the boat lift are presupposed by the question and it narrows the respondent to a single answer.

Bill Thompson

I think for anyone who attended the Waterfront Development Plan meetings ( show of hands please ) you’d realize that direct concise questions are what is asked.of those familiar with the subject .at a CTA meeting like this.
Familiarity with the subject counts for a lot.
Multiple choice answers are for those who choose to judge from the sidelines instead of attending the actual meetings and becoming knowledgeable of the known facts.
Perhaps those commenting on this meeting should put the number of WFDP meetings they attended in 2017 rather than just being keyboard observers.
My number ….4

Walter L. Luedtke

LOL!
You always come away from these meetings with your pre-conceived opinions fully intact.

Wally Keeler

Familiarity with the subject counts for a lot.

Concerning Victoria Park, how many generations of your family played and frolicked in that park? How familiar are you with the cycles of the waterfront and youths, familiar with the dynamics that placed Victoria Park DNA in those born and raised here. The countless generations of day-care children caterpillered to The Park in their colour coded tshirts. The grass stains and skinned knees and all the other Polysporin injuries. Yes, I’d say familiarity with the subject counts for a lot and I have discerned from CTA actors that their familiarity with Victoria Park is as shallow as a fingerbowl. Victoria Park is not just a business.

Frenchy

A little too dramatic Wally.
Fond memories, sure. DNA… not so much.
And… still using the word frolic too much. Write a poem about it and get it out of your system.

Wally Keeler

Your comment is peurile and advances nothing except to display your personal animosity towards me. Noted.

Old Sailor

From my reading, the town’s waterfront plan was based their findings from an online citizen survey, a survey of businesses and stakeholders, and multiple public meetings. Not just a one hour put a coloured dot beside a loaded question survey.

gerinator

Old Sailor you may be correct about the survey. My understanding is that the Survey details have not been made available and the questions had their own bias. I’d also like to point out that many large capital Projects in the Water Front Plan were UNCOSTED in all of the “multiple public meetings” and the public was somehow expected to fall in line with this plan/strategy.

gerinator

CP understand the concern about the directness (y/n) of the Q’s asked. Sharing is good, enables discourse and clarifications. However sharing takes time and the Town has earmarked huge sums of taxpayers money to pay for capital projects that flat out don’t make sense given the information at hand (i.e. provided by the Town) despite already tabled objections by citizens in Cobourg. So to your example of the boat lift – there is nothing on the books that shows that there is a return on this investment to the Taxpayers, only information we have is: That there are 200 boats that could be serviced by this lift and that subjectively there may be an increase in tourism and that subjectively there maybe some quality of life improvements to Town folk. Does this really make any sense to you? Therefore there is a full court press being applied by the CTA and other citizens to get the Town to either provide hard facts relating to how financially this expenditure (and others) will benefit the entire citizenry (not just boat owners) or DROP IT. So yes direct and close-ended questions were/are necessary. Volume (of persons, of objections, of delegations) seems to be… Read more »

Fact Checker

CP Would you prefer the Town’s version….an essential for survival, unobtrusive, profitable boat lift…..

As to open-ended questions….They were fine for the waterfront consultants to use, but not the CTA. Please explain the double standard.

I noticed that there were other means to share your concerns…the blue forms. Did you use these to ask your questions? Or perhaps send an email to the CTA outlining your concerns and requesting a reply?

Cobourg Person

There is no double standard. Maybe the CTA could endeavor to be better than the waterfront consultants.

No, I didn’t use the blue forms. My point was that I expected the open house to be more of a discussion, an open forum to share thoughts and ideas, not filling out a blue form. But that was my expectation and it’s okay that you didn’t expect the same and are satisfied with the event.

I would actually enjoy having a discussion with anyone regarding the Town of Cobourg. As a life-long resident of Cobourg, I sincerely love this Town. However, when I have had discussions with the CTA members in the past, I have found them to be derisive and petulant, and therefore I feel any contact with them is pointless.

Fact Checker

There were CTA people at each table and there was lots of discussion, some quite lengthy.
Where were you?
Why didn’t you join in?

Cobourg Person

See my previous comment regarding CTA’s demeanor.

Dubious

Of course an answer presupposes the facts. The Waterfront Survey provided the fact of the estimated $800K cost. What is your issue with that fact? What non-singular answer do you feel would be appropriate to such an absurd expenditure? The harbour expansion has been rejected by the people and by two votes of Council. It is rather simple: NO means NO.

Walter L. Luedtke

LOL!
The CTA making nice and transparent.
But how typical – 9 rigged questions, 7 NO.
You really can’t get more negative than that, no?
Would have been an opportunity to introduce the CTA candidates for Council and Staff.
After all, CTA director Ken Strauss (His Dubiousness?) told us taxpayers that the the entire Council and Town Staff should be replaced.
The CTA website election clock is ticking!

Wally Keeler

In earlier times when Ken did appear under his real authentic name, his perceptions were dubious.

Dubious

Perhaps you would be willing to repeat the “rigged” questions and explain how they were rigged. Was erroneous information provided. Would you be happier if the “rigged” answers were YES? Everything that the CTA does seems to make you see red.

Pierre

30-35 people max, do not make a very good representation of a town of 19,000. I agree with Kath’s comments above.

Dubious

Did our usual CTA bashers — Wally, Walter and Debra — participate? The Open House would have been the perfect opportunity for them to count supporters!

Wally Keeler

I had much more important things to do.

Kim

Difficult to make a meeting in the middle of the day, when most Cobourg Taxpayers are at work.

Wally Keeler

Perhaps it is indicative of their lack of understanding of Cobourg dynamics. With all their collective intelligence focused on an outreach event, this simple fact escaped them.

Ben

Perhaps scheduling the event on “retirees time” had something to do with the minimal turnout – sorry had to work. Put an evening event on and see if turnout improves.