Marathon Council Meeting Dominated by Waterfront Study

As expected, the Council meeting on Monday was mostly about the Waterfront study.  It went from 4:00pm to 9:30pm, heard 12 delegations on the Waterfront study and had an overflow of spectators who stood at the door or sat on the floor.  The intent was to have Council “adopt” the report so that they would have a “framework” to guide future councils and staff on how the waterfront should be developed over the next 25 years – starting in 2019.  It was said several times that the report was not an implementation plan and that each time a recommendation was to be implemented, it would come to council for budget and approval.  However, the 12 delegations were concerned with what was being recommended – especially as it related to expansion into the West Harbour.

The report was over 500 pages and most councillors agreed that they had not had sufficient time to understand all that it contained and also that the public would not have had enough time so a final vote on adopting the report was deferred to the Council meeting on July 3 instead of on June 11.

The Delegations

Jeremy Fowlie
Jeremy Fowlie

Each person who spoke was given 10 minutes then councillors asked questions or commented.  Below is a summary which gives an idea of the concerns that citizens have.  A photo of the first speaker is at right with the others below.

Jeremy Fowlie, Head Coach of Cobourg Dragon Boat and Canoe Club.
Not against expansion if proved necessary but against boat slips on the west side of the centre pier.  Jeremy questioned the Touristics business case and said that consultants Thinc design did not understand the issue since they never came to any Dragon Boat practices.  Jeremy acknowledged that a rep from his organization was on the Steering committee that approved the report but that it was a framework and not all items in the report were acceptable.

Nancy Marshall, Past President of the Survivor Thrivers Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team.
Nancy spoke about the benefit of Dragon boats to Cancer survivors.  She acknowledged that they were one of the non-paying user groups but that they paid – but not to the Town.  Eight of the approximately 30 paddlers live in Cobourg. She said that they were “a visible reminder that there is life after cancer”.

Margaret Bain, Willow Beach Field Naturalists.
She likes Appendix H which supports the West Beach and headland but the report fails to see the benefit of the West Harbour.  She pointed out that slips on the west side of the pier were defeated 2 years ago and that it seems that the wishes of the people were being ignored.

John Geale, Past President, Northumberland Land Trust.
John said that expanding the West Harbour would be detrimental to the natural harbour and “once a natural area is lost, it’s extraordinarily difficult to recover”.

Lydia Smith, President, Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA).
See the link below for a copy of her presentation – the basic message was that public input said that West Harbour expansion was not wanted and that it seemed that input by Town staff was over-riding inputs from the public – e.g. the dot exercise. In response to a comment by Brian Darling that revenue generation (by the marina) was looked at to avoid cost to taxpayers, Lydia said that taxpayers are not looking for revenue generation but Town staff are.  She pointed out that expansion of the West Harbour was voted down in 2015 and said that the Town staff are lacking in Vision.  In  response to a question by Gil, Lydia said that CTA was a non-profit group of like-minded people with 206 members.

Mike Hubicki, Commodore, Cobourg Yacht Club (CYC).
Mike said that the Cobourg Yacht club in general supports the report and that boating is one of Cobourg’s feel good features.  They contributed $165,000 in fees to Cobourg last year.  He mentioned that the club house is available for rental.  As one of the few supporters of the report, Mike had a lot of interchange with Councillors.  He confirmed that the CYC would no longer be operating the lift-out service although they never saw it as a business. If there was no lift available, boaters would go elsewhere – e.g. Bowmanville. Currently 50 now go elsewhere but many would likely return if a travel lift were available. Mike confirmed that the CYC supports a travel lift.  In response to a question from Gil, he said that the typical boat in the club had a value of around $15-$18k and that the typical annual cost of lift-in, lift-out and other services was $2,500 – $3,000 per year.  He said they were “privileged, not elite, like everyone in Cobourg”.

Dora Body, Chair, Cobourg Ecology Garden (CEG) Committee
See link below for a copy of her presentation. Dora pointed out that opinions by residents were given before background info was available so more community engagement was called for in a public meeting.

Dennis Nabieszko, Secretary, Cobourg Taxpayers Association
See link below for a copy of his presentation. Lots of citizens at the Council meeting shows lots of interest – but there needs to be time for both the public and council to read and review the report. He said that Council not staff should set priorities and make decisions.  Debra McCarthy asked why steering committee meetings were not public? Dean Hustwick said there was nothing underhanded but that the steering committee was not an advisory group and not public(!).  Gil said that Council did direct staff.  Brian Darling repeated that the plan was “not an implementation plan” and that every recommendation would come to Council for a decision and that there was lots of time to dissect and analyze before anything was implemented.  It could be months or years before any action.

Gavin McGuire, Environmental Intern and Gudrun Ludorf-Weaver President of Sustainable Cobourg.
Gavin said that slips on the West side of the centre pier were turned down in 2014.  He called for the Marina to get Blue Flag status and pursue environmentally friendly initiatives like renting out kayaks.  Cobourg could become an eco-tourism destination. See links below for the full presentation. 

Bob Fler, Director Learn to Sail Program. 
Bob said that the Yacht club brings added value to Cobourg and it’s the Marina’s biggest customer.  He said that the Marina should be responsible for lift-in/lift-out. He thought that expansion may not be needed, just a re-work.

Vivian Vandenhazel, Cobourg Resident. 
Vivian wanted the east pier reserved for pedestrians; she noted that there are actually fewer boating users so there’s no need to expand; she also noted that compared to Kingston, Cobourg already has a lot more slips than Kingston; she questioned the business case for the travel lift – it should be based on the current number of boats.  She had previously asked “what was the capacity of the beach?” but has not yet received an answer.  She asked that the town please stop treating the beach as a resource to be exploited.

Harold Wontorra, Cobourg Resident
He was planning to make a presentation but had too little time to read the report so was unable to do so.

Director Dean Hustwick’s response

Dean gave a fairly long response to the delegations – here is a summary:

  • Very little direction was given to the consultants by staff – the Town is relying on their expertise.
  • There are 83 recommendations spread over 25 years and it’s up to council to make a final decision
  • Many recommendations are inter-related
  • It is not intended that every aspect be debated tonight
  • Anything requiring funds or staff has to come to council
  • Tourism has been a factor for Cobourg since before Federation and a strong majority believe it’s important for Cobourg
  • The Harbour has been a driver for Cobourg since the 19th century
  • These recommendations will cost millions – either the taxpayer or the marina will have to pay.  It will cost $50k for just a report on the condition of the East pier.
  • The Marina consistently operates at a profit
  • The Marina has been able to accumulate a reserve fund to pay for future capital costs – it now stands at $351K
  • The harbour also brings in substantial revenue to local businesses
  • The campground is also profitable
  • Parking brings in revenue which is higher because of tourists.

Gina Brouwer, chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee added that the report is a framework and will go back to the public as required.

Consultants Presentation

The Consultants then gave their lengthy report with Power Point Slides which were slightly expanded from the one supplied in the Council meeting agenda – which was the same as provided earlier. See links below for the one that was provided.  They emphasized that the 2000 survey responses they received were unprecedented.

They gave a short rationalization for the expansion of the West harbour:

  • Because people want improvements
  • But do not want taxes to pay for these
  • Therefore more harbour activity is required so the marina can pay for the improvements.

The consultants were looking for give and take of the various groups, a compromise between more slips and other users.

They said there is a strong business case to expand and not wanting expansions is an emotional position.  Few of the 2000 surveyed were against marina expansion (Maybe because they thought the issue was closed – Ed).

Final Councillor comments

Gil asked the Consultants whether they would change any of the recommendations after hearing the delegations and the answer was No.

Debra asked if there was a way to charge visitors for use of the Waterfront – e.g. like Parks Canada does for their Parks.  The answer was that it would not be practical.

Gil said that if you don’t want to subsidize the marina, it has to be expanded.  There needs to be compromises.

John Henderson raised the subject that since there had been little time for the public or Councillors to read and review the study, that final approval (adoption) should be deferred to the Council meeting on July 3 instead on June 11.  After debate, his amendment was passed 6 to 1 with Mayor Brocanier wanting no delay since it was not expected to be changed.  The others felt that since there would be no action until Spring 2019 at the earliest, there was no hurry.

Post Script: At the end of the meeting Mayor Brocanier put forward a motion that would “Restrict future delegations on the Waterfront Study to different presenters who had new information only that must be submitted for approval prior to delegation status approval”.  His idea is that he doesn’t want people presenting the same old information.  His motion passed.

Links

Update June 11, 2018

On June 9, former Deputy Mayor Stan Frost sent a letter to Councillors that criticized the Motion that Gil proposed that restricted delegations. He suggested that “restricting/filtering/approving delegations is not something an elected council should engage in. In fact it is possibly illegal.”  He also asked that the issue of slips west of the centre pier be dealt with firmly and quickly. He said that “Many people were quite stunned that this issue came back on the table after having been dealt with previously by Council.”

At Monday’s Council meeting, Gil’s motion was withdrawn.

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Wally Keeler
Frenchy

” At Monday’s Council meeting, Gil’s motion to restrict debate on the Waterfront study was withdrawn.”

Good call Mayor.

Bill Thompson

Mayor’s reason for change of heart . illegal motion perhaps ?
Former Deputy Mayor Frost’s letter just may have had something to do with it. The mayor’s immediate knee jerk reaction to the meeting delay until July 3rd by putting the restriction on further delegations and the vetting of any new ones prior to them presenting reflected a complete disregard for public input
That speaks volumes about the town claims for openness and transparency .
Roll on October !

Frenchy

“Former Deputy Mayor Frost’s letter”?
I missed it, where would I find that Bill?

Frenchy

I wonder if the other 6 council members were as eager in support of the withdrawal as they all were when they scrambled to be the first to be in favour of the original motion put forth by Gil? Geez, their hands shot up faster than volunteers for QC at the new dope factory in town.
Watch the action here at 5:27:12
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZjgCgZtkRs
On another note, it seems the complete 5.5 hour meeting is on YouTube now.

Wally Keeler

Job postings on Kijiji for lifeguards at the Waterpark, https://www.kijiji.ca/v-other-jobs/peterborough/lifeguard/1359470228?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Certified as a Lifeguard (Waterfront preferred)
Previous waterfront experience is considered an asset
Interact and engage each customer in a friendly and timely manner
Come up with new creative ways to promote the new venture
Help with the set up of the Water Park
Help to clean and maintain the Water Park
Help with selling passes and waiver processes with customers
able to be accountable for your actions
Attend all staff training days, development sessions and SWS events
Show up for each shift clean, in uniform and ready to work.
SKILLS AND QUALIFICATION

First Aid and CPR certification
NLS or other Lifeguard certification
Must be 18 years of age an older

Tim

You were very interested in summer jobs for students. It will be interesting to learn exactly how many of these jobs will go to kids from Cobourg.

Wally Keeler

Pursue the issue and find out.

Wally Keeler

Depends on the competence of Cobourg students.

Catherine

Wow…..using certified Lifeguards to be responsible for selling and promoting this waterfront playground; setting it up and cleaning it??? And whose responsibility is it to monitor the number of “paid-for-hours” on the Water Park…….the Lifeguards??? I certainly hope nothing happens that would require the dedicated attention of a qualified, certified Lifeguard (i.e. First Aid; CPR)……it sounds like they will be too busy performing their Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Maintenance and Janitorial responsibilities for the Water Park apparatus instead.

Wally Keeler

Likely to be college or university students earning some summer money for their tuition. Jobs for students are always low rung. Nothing outrageous here.

Wally Keeler

The job posting has received 77 views at this time, so there is interest.

Frenchy

Walter might ask how many times one person may have viewed it, or maybe even how many times you viewed it.

Wally Keeler

Why don’t you let Walter speak for himself? What is the point of your mischief? Why don’t you contribute something positive instead of your petty potshots.

Frenchy

Lighten up Wally, it’s just a joke. I was just trying to get a dig at Walter who questioned how many times I started to watch the YouTube video re: the “marathon” council session.
Thin skin for a warrior.

Wally Keeler

Contribute to the discussion instead of wasting everyone’s time on petty jokes and bad jokes to boot. Go do something beneficial to the Town.

Frenchy

Like pay taxes?

Deborah OConnor

Just for the sake of clarity I’m adding the info missing from Wally’s post about these jobs. The employer is NOT the Town and the jobs are not for the beach. These positions are for the Waterpark itself.

“Summer Water Sports is currently searching for Life Guards for our new floating water park on the Cobourg Beach. Open June 25th till Sept 3rd. 7 days a week!”

Frenchy

Dare to declare.
Will this be THE big issue for the upcoming municipal election?
Nice to see candidates declare their opinions rather than hide behind consultations and wishy-washy bafflegab.
Any of the other candidates, or would be candidates, willing to speak their mind and tell us where they stand on the issue?

https://www.cobourginternet.com/cobourg-news/municipal-election
Johnny Percolides
“I am against any expansion of the Marina first and foremost because the local residents have repeatedly said they don’t want it. It’s time for Municipal government to listen to their constituents and remember that they are voted in to represent them.”

The ultimate survey is on October 22nd.

Wally Keeler

I am not without discomfort about the ‘vetting’ of the content of waterfront delegations. I understand it’s intended to eliminate redundancy, to prevent an filibuster, and not waste the time of taxpayers’ chosen representatives. These are not malevolent motives. I would oppose the motion on the grounds that free speech and democracy are messy, noisy, long-winded, tedious, passionate, etc. but it is a burden that we should endure, because such ‘vetting’ holds the danger of blocking a voice that might have a valuable point, a little crack of light.

gerinator

I don’t like this trend from you-know-who: “Restrict future delegations on the Waterfront Study to different presenters who had new information only that must be submitted for approval prior to delegation status approval”. In other words the current list of presenters ARE NOT to apply for a delegation if they object to substantive parts of the Waterfront Plan AND/OR no new information is presented AND staff gets to approve the content. Well, for starters a new breed of presenters would have to be found where there is significant apathy; and then new information could only be leaked-out of the Steering Committee given the lack of open meetings and strangle hold by staff; and finally this is the same staff under the CAO that would approve the content of any delegation. Seems like a slam-dunk to me – get used to the new, improved West Beach. Also sounds like the Mayor doesn’t want to hear from us (and we know how he feels about Q&A) on this topic, which to me signifies he is running for another term.

Bill Thompson

I’m not a boat owner but my understanding of a marina like Cobourg is solely a mooring /fuelling spot with boat lifting requirement twice a year due to seasonal requirements.
We’re looking at a four /five month boating season with the remaining months unusable.
A private business marina is a marina/Boatyard where mooring,repairs,boat parts shop etc are provided for profit.so would require a permanent liftout capability as a basic requirement to be successful.
Cobourg is not that type …..so far.
Over half a million dollars cost plus groyne construction ,storage requirement not to mention operators ,maintenance etc.for a twice a year function doesn’t appear to make good financial sense ,not to mention the negative impact on the natural /nature /wildfowl aspect of the west harbour and with the associated community organized groups that use it.
I don’t believe the Cobourg harbour is intended to be a marina/ boatyard/ gated community but belongs to the public and community and should remain so.
Looking west to waterfronts going to Toronto gives a good indicator what the future holds for Cobourg if the town gets its way..

Old Sailor

Bill I am not suggesting “a marina/Boatyard where mooring,repairs,boat parts shop etc are provided for profit”. I am suggesting run the marina like a business with full slips, a travel lift and boat storage in two existing town locations.

My question is, as the marina does not want to staff lift in and lift out because of legal liability, and you are recommending they not acquire a travel lift as a remedy, and there is nowhere for boaters to store their boats east or west of Cobourg in the winter, how does Cobourg attract or keep it current boaters in the harbour?

Boats in the harbour or ducks and weeds?

Bill Thompson

Full boat slips of course but hard to do when so many are held open in the hope that transients might need a spot for the night. .
Full Slips in the present marina footprint no problem … gradual creep into the west harbour no way.
Boats in the marina …
Residents live here all year not only a fraction of the year and not everyone goes to the harbour to look at a gated boat parking lot for enjoyment.

Bryan

Totally agree with you that the marina should be run like a business. That’s what it is! The problem to date is that it has not been run that way and has been in financial difficulty for several years. The marina makes a small profit each year but not enough to cover the estimated (marina management) $175K annual capital repair/replacement costs. The shortfall is about $100K per year. You make the argument that the marina needs the TL and winter storage to attract/keep the seasonal boaters and that there is nowhere for the Cobourg boats to go. The numbers don’t support this. The marina has had about 145 seasonal boats each year for the past several years. Of the 145, about 50 are hauled out and stored at the marina. The remaining 95 go elsewhere and return each spring. Turnover is fairly low. Art notes that Kingston has fewer slips. This is not correct. Kingston’s two municipal marinas, Confederation and Portsmouth have 350 and 250 slips respectively. Both are larger than Cobourg marina. Confederation has neither storage nor a boat-lift. Portsmouth has a mobile crane (same as Cobourg uses), a hydraulic trailer and unsecured winter storage. Kingston’s Waterfront Plan was… Read more »

Bill Thompson

Has the town considered the rental of a boat lift twice a year or does that not fit into ongoing marina expansion plans,west harbour creep ?
Cobourg rents out its dredger so I’m sure a boat lift would be available from an outside source and be financially prudent without the financial risk to who ? Not the CYC .The town (i.e) Cobourg taxpayers if the marina can’t maintain payments
Rental option sure beats having a $3/4 million eyesore sitting around for 6/7 months of the year …where ? not to mention the outrageous costs affiliated with it.

Bryan

Interesting idea. Wally should be proud of your “out of the box” creative thinking.
There are some practical matters to consider:
A lift-well would still be required…cost $350-400K
Both a boat-lift and a hydraulic trailer are required. The trailer is easy..continue using the one used now.
The boat-lift is quite large and couldn’t be transported by road without disassembly. The cost of disassembly, transport, re-assembly and quite possibly re-certification would likely make this impractical. Would a nearby marina such as Wiggers rent out their TL for week in peak “boat “move” season, twice a year?

Dubious

Renting a travel lift is probably not viable as Bryan points out. However, what about renting a crane and having the crane operator do all of the work and the liability. Has that option been explored?

Bill Thompson

Dubious
I apologize for the error as I meant a crane rental vice lift as the better option for the boat lifting evolution rather than a lift that sits all year (as it’s not required) with a mind boggling attached financial risk and utilized only twice.

Wally Keeler

“Interesting idea. Wally should be proud of your “out of the box” creative thinking.”

Not pride, but certainly appreciation. It has been a good thread. It is informative.

Bill Thompson

I meant to say lifting crane vice boat “lift”per se re as an option for only a twice a year evolution as the harbour is not,nor is intended to be ,a marina boatyard .

Bill Thompson

Boats in the marina with ducks and weeds in the harbour
Fair share ….

Tim

Ducks and weeds, please.

Dubious

Why is it vital that “Cobourg attract or keep it current boaters”? How many Cobourg residents would be adversely affected? What proportion of residents prefer seeing boats to seeing ducks in the harbour? Just asking…

Art

Some reference had been made recently to Kinston having less slips. That is quite true, in the context of a town-operated Marina BUT Kingston does have other marinas , operated privately , as a BUSINESS and they do have mobile boat lifts! In fact, it’a a necessity, that somewhere within a reasonable distance, there is a lift. So given that we do have a great harbour and marina and need to attract more ” overnight boaters” who often might need a lift out to check hull and/or prop concerns, then the marina should buy a lift and set lift out rates to recover a large portion of capital and operating costs over a 30 yr life span. ALL “users” would have to pay, of course, not just those visiting! I am currently not a boat owner and was never in favour of a major west Hr. expansion.a

Old Sailor

Art, thanks for hitting the nail right on the head re the necessity of a lift in Cobourg.

There really are no places for Cobourg boaters to store their boats other than in Cobourg. For sure nowhere between Cobourg and the Bay of Quinte. Newcastle is a poor excuse of a marine operation with an open unsecured yard. Port Darlington where about 35 Cobourg boats store over the winter appears rammed full (they have two 50 ton travel lifts). And that boat yard is rumored for sale and condo development in the works. Whitby Harbour has a wait list for winter storage.

If we want to keep boats in Cobourg harbour the town should get a lift appropriate to the size of boats in the harbour. Fill all the slips with seasonal boaters, with or without a slip expansion, and store them on the hard in Cobourg using as well the King street town yard. Lift out, lift in and winter storage brings in around $1,500 – $2,000 per boat. Add in hull washing, mast stepping and perhaps shrink wrapping services at $600 per boat. Lets run this like a business.

Dubious

…then the marina should buy a lift and set lift out rates to recover a large portion of capital and operating costs over a 30 yr life span. ALL “users” would have to pay, of course, not just those visiting!

Of course everyone should have to pay for a lift if they use it! Is a “30-yr life span” reasonable? New safety regulations often come into effect with significant costs and most things mechanical require significant refurbishment after even ten years of usage. Also why only “a large portion of capital and operating costs”? Surely 100% of the costs including repairs, operator training, finance costs, insurance costs, etc should be recovered in the fee structure. Who pays if usage estimates are optimistic and the forecast fees are not forthcoming?

Eastender

I guess the CYC does support the boat lift, after all.

Jamie

Were any younger people present at this meeting?

Walter L. Luedtke

Chuckles!
“21 watched it on line. Approx 40 people in council chambers.”
When are some folks going to realize that almost no Cobourg taxpayers care about the ins-and-outs of the marina expansion or boat lifts or dragon boat courses or the costs of consultant’s reports?
Certainly not enough to watch a 5-hour YouTube video.
What Cobourg taxpayers do realize is that Council is doing its best to find a compromise to mollify the various axes being ground about the Waterfront.
Above all, they appreciate that Cobourg’s quality of life is outstanding.
In a coast-to-coast survey of towns and cities, Cobourg came in 113th place, right after Markham and Orangeville.
Not that great, you say?
Look at the ranking of our neighbors:
Quinte West 141
Peterborough 191
Brighton 246
Belleville 277
Port Hope 291 (!)
Hamilton TWP 253
Trent Hills 374
Keep calm Council and Staff and carry on!

Frenchy

“an overflow of spectators who stood at the door or sat on the floor.”

You Tube has the number of views at 164 as of Wednesday a.m., even though you can’t see the whole thing.

Where did you find that survey?

Walter L. Luedtke

How often did you start to watch it?

Wally Keeler

“they appreciate that Cobourg’s quality of life is outstanding.

So does our Poet Laureate, Ted Amsden, as he reads “Musings Upon a Harbour”, Take a rest from the bland gland prose of the gripes, grumps and groaners. https://youtu.be/NTJc02O2zew

Tim

Because you’re not willing to suffer through a 5 hour video of presentations to Council doesn’t mean you’re not interested in the expansion of the marina or the tens of thousands of dollars wasted each year on unnecessary consultants’ reports. Maybe, just maybe, people have caught on that, after hearing endless cogent objections to some ridiculous project, the Council will turn right around and vote in favour of it. I’m afraid what taxpayers realize is that the Council is invariably on the side of business interests and cares more for the comforts and pleasures of tourists than they do for the residents of Cobourg who live and work here all year long — you know, the people who pay their salaries. I think those window wraps you’ve been staring at at York Super Pharmacy have infected you with open-mouthed joy because you’re sounding more and more like the official cheerleader for Cobourg. We have a crumbling pier, too much serious crime, a hospital where they can’t put a cast on a broken limb, low-income housing that is a disgrace by any standard, a shopping centre that is half empty, there is homelessness in our little town, drug addiction, unemployment, many… Read more »

Dubious

If you try to watch the video of the meeting everything prior to the end of Dennis Nabieszko’s delegation is missing. The whole video on YouTube is 3:38:29 long yet the Council meeting went from 4pm until after 9pm so lots is missing.

Ben

Not only did they start late but the audio vanished at 3.09 just as the vote to deferr was being taken. The Town should get a grip and sort this youtube mess out – this is not an isolated incident.

Bill Thompson

Only the last five delegate presentations out of eleven were recorded on the town uTube video of the meeting.
Hardly an accurate account of the marathon length meeting.
Kudos to Deputy Henderson for calling for a delay until a July 3rd meeting to give time for more public awareness/input and stop this headlong town rush in pushing this waterfront issue through .

Democrat

double tap

Frenchy

What happened to Democrat’s original post? It might have been a little rough around the edges, but it was a good (and some might say accurate account) statement.

democrat

The original post appear twice and as I tried to remove the second one the first one disappeared too

I wrote :

Some delay all this means is that next time it turns up at Council the counselors may have read the 500 pages but the speakers who want to speak to it cannot because Council has heard those views before they only want to hear something different so perhaps the only speaker at the next meeting will be the last delegate number 12 who hadn’t had time to assimilate the information and wanted to speak but wouldn’t.

Every old problem begats a new problem in this case we are now it’s stifling participation and debate. in a perfect world delegations would be lined up outside the door to tell Council that they want to speak but they cannot speak and in fact worse than that their remarks have to be vetted by the staff before they even get on the agenda a very sad day for democracy

Bill Thompson

Until the town council starts to fulfill its role and run this town instead of the CAO and sfaff this will be the same scenario ad infinitim
Sell the family heirlooms for a quick profit to spend on some other wheeze and what is/was worthwhile will be gone forever.
When is the town council going to do a role clarification session with its Staff “employees”.and get the chain of command established once and for all?
Maybe starting in October /November ?
We can live in hope .

Walter L. Luedtke

When did you first have the feeling that you are surrounded by a plotters and varmints?
And
Are you running for Council to “drain the swamp”?

Bill Thompson

“plotters and varmints ?”
I don’t recall using those terms.I simply stated my opinion of how I see things.
No need to go back to the kid’s playground language….(if you can resist)),although it seems to be the usual mode from you.
You disagree ? No problem ….
Freedom of speech runs both ways ..get used to it.

Wally Keeler

Quite breathtaking to assert that all of the Town Councillors are nothing more than rubber-stampers for the CAO and staff. They tell Forrest Rowden how high to jump. They tell Brian Darling how far to jump. They tell John Henderson how fast to run. Sure they do. Town staff have gone rogue and hold the council in such thrall that they vote whatever town staff put in front of them. And the Earth remains flat.

Wally Keeler

“stop this headlong town rush in pushing this waterfront issue through .”

The waterfront issue at hand is whether to accept the Waterfront Report for information. That’s it. lots of recommendations spread over a generation. When the time comes that a recommendation is brought forward, there will be public discourse. It’s a town with a town budget, which means that any “headlong rush” to implement all the recommendations is impossible, unless some individual wins the $60 million LottoMax and donates a huge chunk to the waterfront enhancements. Really, there’s no rush happening, relax, watch the grass being cut, and the lightning storms over Rochester at midnight. There’s plenty of time to stop everything one by one, issue by issue..