Suzanne Séguin running for Deputy Mayor

This morning, Cobourg councillor Suzanne Séguin filed her nomination papers as a candidate for Deputy Mayor. There was no public event but she issued a Press Release outlining her campaign commitments and her credentials.  In January 2017, Suzanne was selected to replace Councillor Larry Sherwin who resigned in December 2016 (see post in links below).  In mid 2014, she moved to Cobourg from Prescott where she had served as Mayor and was immediately involved in many Cobourg community organizations.  In addition, Suzanne and her husband Gerry Brown operate Lighthouse Press which recently published a well-received book about Cobourg by Rob Mikel.  As a Councillor, she has been busy on several committees and has made her presence felt with some dissent on key issues.

Platform and commitments

Suzanne Seguin
Suzanne Séguin

In her Press Release, Suzanne said she is running:

  • “…on a promise of public engagement, especially when it comes to the Town budget, increased use of evidence based decision-making and a commitment to doing the hard work necessary to implement municipal decisions that keep Cobourg thriving.
  • “…to build on the dedicated work of John Henderson and to further strengthen evidence based decision-making and public engagement in Cobourg.”

Further:

  • “We live in an incredible community and I have the experience and commitment to put in the long hours necessary to keep it that way.”
  • “My time serving in municipal government has given me tremendous respect for the process of local government;
  • “Working closely with residents, businesses and local industry on issues that impact people’s daily lives, has cemented the values that I bring to the table – openness, dedication, honesty and transparency. If elected deputy mayor, I will live these values when making decisions for the Town of Cobourg.”

Experience

  • Séguin served for three years on Council in the Town of Prescott, chairing the Finance and Economic Development Committees. She then served as mayor for a four-year term.
  • A former board member of the Cobourg Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • Former CEDAC representative on the Downtown Coalition and Downtown Marketing Partnership
  • Former board member of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) for Cobourg and East Northumberland.
  • In 2017 she was co-chair of the marketing committee on the Canada 150 Organizing Committee in Cobourg.

As Community Services Coordinator, she is currently on the boards of

  • Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA),
  • Cobourg Public Library,
  • Art Gallery of Northumberland
  • A liaison to the Cobourg Farmers’ Market.
  • A member of the Armistice ’18 Committee
  • Member of the newly formed Master Cultural Plan Steering Committee.

Also

  • Member of the Rotary Club of Cobourg
  • Member of 100 Women Northumberland.

Séguin believes that Cobourg’s council and staff can work together with citizens to achieve a stronger, more sustainable community.

Currently, there are enough candidates to fill all positions with none extra.  That is, if an election were held today, all candidates would be acclaimed and there would be no need for an election. That is probably unlikely so we can expect there will be more candidates – you can see an updated list of those who have filed to run for Council here.

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Eastender

So let me get this straight. A non-elected member of Council could possibly become a non-elected Deputy Mayor? And a non-elected Councillor could again become a non-elected Councillor?
My goodness!

Walter L. Luedtke

Thank you Ms. Seguin for offering to take on what is arguably the most arduous job on Council.
I am not sure though she means by ‘evidence based decision making’.
Does ‘evidence’ mean facts or loudly touted opinions by noisy minorities.
Sometimes political leadership means being ahead of public opinion rather than behind.
But thanks again!

Suzanne Seguin

Hi Walter, Thank you for acknowledging that the role of Deputy Mayor is an arduous job and takes many hours of research, reading documents and talking to Cobourg residents about the budget and general government. Evidence based decision making, in my humble opinion, is knowing the facts as best as you can, doing the research on each issue, reading staff documents for the background on these issues, talking to residents for and against each issue and making a decision on what is the best course of action. The job of a member of Cobourg Council is to represent all the residents here, both the minority and the majority. Listening is the key.

Deborah OConnor

Another member of the Old Boys Club – this one in a pantsuit. Is there a NIMBY cause she hasn’t pandered to yet? That speaks to the very opposite of “evidence based decision making” I’d say. She won’t be getting my vote!

Suzanne Seguin

Hi Deborah, Actually I don’t even own a pantsuit and rather dislike the term Old Boys Club. Women represent 50% of our population and contribute quite a bit to Cobourg as seen in the many volunteers, business owners and dedicated residents who express their opinions on a multitude of subjects. I do strongly believe in evidence based decision making which is why I have always listened to the people who live here and contact me with a concern, and voted when I feel their voices have not been heard at the council table. Anytime you want to meet to talk, please let me know.

Greg H

I do not agree with Deborah’s harsh indictment of Councillor Seguin as being one of the old boys. Recently she was the only councillor to vote against acceptance of the waterfront study, mainly because the other council members would not agree to the removal of the marina expansion plans. At the last election all the candidates were against the proposals for marina expansion. Councillor Seguin made up her own mind and was the only Councillor who would not agree with the old boys.

Durka

I agree with Deborah in terms of there being evidence of this councillor giving into NIMBY pressure and scare tactics rather than using reason and facts.

Fact Checker

For clarity, Durka, would you please provide an example of the behaviour that you are concerned about

Durka

https://www.cobourgblog.com/news-2018/sidewalk-priority-policy-questioned/

Suzanne Séguin asked: “Why give them a sidewalk if they don’t want one? Maybe we didn’t get the policy right”

In this case the town did a very thorough review of the sidewalk policy and established a methodology moving forward that was intended to be concise and set in stone. One group of NIMBY’s walk into council and it became…meh they don’t want it, why build it, based off of frivolous reasoning and emotion. Not only that but it ostracizes just about every bit of offical plan as it pertains to sidewalks.

Say What?

I imagine it also puts staff in an awkward position.
Council instructs staff to come up with a policy.
Staff come up with said policy.
Council endorses said policy.
Then a councillor goes against the said policy.
Staff must be wondering why they even bother.

Bill Thompson

I believe its called having an opinion and not just following the “party line” or is that called not being a “team player” in this council ?

Dubious

Perhaps because staff like receiving a pay cheque?

Just Wondering

Perhaps the objections weren’t based on frivolous reasoning and emotion, but on fact. There was no traffic study done, it wasn’t a major road and it had little traffic. I’d say Suzanne got it right, the policy was probably wrong. Good for her.

Say What?

As I understand it, traffic volume has nothing to do with the decision to put sidewalks in.
It has everything to do with road classification.
This council mandated early in it’s term that all arterial and collector streets will have sidewalks on both sides and local streets will have a sidewalk on one side.

Bryan

Council mandated? What if Council got it wrong. This council seems to have forgotten who they are supposed to represent…..US, the residents, Perhaps they should try doing what the residents want. In Northwood Road’s case the RESIDENTS didn’t want a sidewalk. The policy has no factor or criteria for considering resident preference. Suzanne got it right, The policy is flawed.

Deborah OConnor

There’s more than just sidewalks. There’s her support of those opposing a housing densification plan on College Street when our rental vacancy rate is 0.5%.

Then there’s voting aginst re-zoning in New Amherst to build a French language high school. Next on the list is a vote against the waterpark, followed by another vote against our Harbourfront master plan.

Say, aren’t these all the same positions taken by the Cobourg Taxpayers Association? I’ll ask again, has Councillor Seguin ever seen a NIMBY cause she hasn’t pandered to yet?

Fact Checker

Harbourfront Master Plan? Now you’re just making things up.
A vote against the floating water-park (a monument to managerial incompetence). Fortunately, as fate and dumb luck would have it, the floating water-park has been “delayed”. So also have the serious accidents and lawsuits that will surely come with this “gift” to the Town.
Kid in critical condition in an elite Toronto hospital after an accident on Barrie’s floating water-park. Can the lawyers be far away?
In the UK, 10,000 serious accidents per year involving similar equipment.
And let us not forget the thirty pieces of silver.

Albert

The Barrie incident was serious indeed, but police are still investigating.
Calling this an ‘accident’ seems premature.
Be sure of your facts, fact checker.
And
Could you give us the source of this alarming stat – 10,000 serious accidents in the UK – fact checker?
And are we talking about the same equipment or similar equipment. There are many types of ‘water rides’.
Thank you.

Fact Checker

Accident? What else would it be? Perhaps you’re suggesting this act was deliberate. Do you have special insight into this?

Tim

I’ve read stupid comments on this blog but “Calling this an ‘accident’ seems premature.” is breathtaking in its idiocy.

Deborah OConnor

Here’s the link that proves I did NOT make up Councillor Seguin voting against the Waterfront plan. I don’t fabricate statements, I relay FACTS.
https://northumberland897.ca/news/2018/7/5/waterfront-plan-accepted-with-consultation-amendment

Bill Thompson

Too bad the council doesn’t follow your example of relaying “facts”

Dubious

Deborah, do you favour expanding the marina into the west harbour? If you want to keep it for the rest of us to enjoy then Suzanne got it right, again.

cornbread

I would suggest that Ms. Sequin has more smarts than you on these issues.

Dubious

Opposing densification is another great example of getting it right. Why should we destroy a heritage neighbourhood because some bureaucrat at Queen’s Park thought it might be a good idea? Have you considered that these are OUR yards that a tiny minority of special interest groups wants to destroy?

Susie-Q

Dubious, I agree with you 100%!! Well said!

Bill Thompson

I believe you’ve got the meaning of Old Boys Club a bit confused .
Unless I’m mistaken, the meaning describes those with a position of power through political/financial/organizational associations etc., A term used with their type of influence is usually referred to by others as ” are you surprised.? ,” Done deal ” or “you can’t fight city hall ” etc.

Tim

Thank you, Deborah, for providing that sickening little list of things — housing densification for College Street, the French highschool, the waterpark — that Suzanne Séguin had the courage to vote against. All admirable decisions on Ms. Séguin’s part. She is one of the few councillors in this town who has a capacity for thought.
You’re such a good human being, Deborah, it’s a shame you’re unable to follow some of the reasoning behind many honourable positions taken by the CTA. But, you’re not alone. As Russell said: “Most people would rather die than think…”

Ben

She agreed with them when Cobourg gave away future tax sharing and sold the services to Hamilton Twp for peanuts ,even though she had some misgivings when it was pointed out to her. If she becomes the budget chief she will need those forgiven dollars for Cobourg’s budget not Hamilton Twp’s!!

Bill Thompson

Viewing the number of Down arrows on this subject it appears there are many of the Old Boy’s network faithful who are still willing to continue on having the same old same old closed shop membership.and its disastrous policies over too many years.
It took a very long time for the Provincial incompetents to finally get the boot ,now hopefully the Municipal level can be returned to the people and next year the Federal.
Things are looking up after far too long !

Ben

With only ten days before the close of nominations, I don’t see any of the ‘moaners’ on this site putting themselves forward, why not. If all you are going to moan do it somewhere else or get in the race.

Paul Pagnuelo

Nominations actually close at 2:00 p.m. on July 27th.

Greybeard

Have you ever lifted a finger helping this town. Bill?

Bill Thompson

I might ask you the same question …Greybeard
Have you ?