Waterfront “Guide” Mailed to all Cobourg Households

This week, Canada Post is delivering a brochure from the Town to all 8664 households in Cobourg.  The idea is to educate the public on the merits of the recent waterfront study and of the financial viability of the harbour and marina.  This could be called a new level of transparency but it’s also selling the results of the study.  Some of the issues described are not particularly contentious (e.g. about the East Pier) while others are likely to be election issues (e.g. harbour expansion).  There are in fact two “Guides” available – the four page version that was mailed and the 16 page version available on line.  Both have much the same information but the larger one has more detail.  Both can be downloaded from the links below.

Waterfront Guide cover
Waterfront Guide cover

The key message of the guides is that there was a comprehensive survey of the opinions of Cobourg residents and these survey results are published.  The consultants said that the engagement level of the survey was one that they “have yet to see in their careers”.  Not everyone agrees with the results but they are nevertheless of interest so a summary of the more controversial ones is provided below.

The introduction by the Mayor on the first page thanks the public for their input and points to the large number of workshops and meetings held and Gil says that “objective scoring criteria” were used.  The numbers from the survey are presented as “Fact” and although the results of the survey may be fact, not all would agree that it’s a fact that they represent the opinions of a majority of the residents of Cobourg.  But communicating with all the residents by a mailout is more than has been done on any other issue in recent memory. That has to be good.

A lot of details are provided in the guides – the summary below para-phrases the results in the interest of brevity.  Please consult the actual guides for additional detail.

Selected Statements from Guides

Tourism
Both residents and businesses think Tourism is a good idea.  A majority wanted the Town to “further develop waterfront-based recreation activities as a source of revenue generation” – this seems to be the basis for the recommendation to expand the marina.

Campground
The campground is a profit centre for the Town – over the period 2012 to 2017, it provided a contribution of “$881,096 to the Town’s general revenue to help keep taxes lower.”

Harbour
For most of the year, the harbour is greatly under utilized. Fees paid by boat owners have been subsidizing other users and taxpayers’ enjoyment of the entire harbour.

Marina
The marina consistently operates at a profit and has been subsidizing taxpayers by paying for operating and maintenance costs of the entire harbour.  A majority agreed that the Town should invest in the marina if resulting revenues could finance harbour/waterfront improvements. The economic impact [benefit to the Town] of the marina from 2010 to 2016 was estimated to be $12M.

Dredge (full guide only)
The Cobourg Dredge, known as the Marie Dressler, was purchased in 2009 for $616,000 and is used to remove sand deposits at a significantly lower cost than an outside contract. The equipment is also contracted out to generate revenue to further reduce the cost of maintaining Cobourg Harbour. A secondary benefit of the dredging operation has been the deposit of clean sand on to Victoria Park Beach, resulting in a greatly expanded beach area.

Parking (full guide only)
Waterfront parking brings in almost $170,000 annually (gross) from seven parking lots and meters. After expenses, the profits from this business unit are used to offset waterfront costs.

Food & Beverage (full guide only)
While the Town generates approximately $20,000 from the Victoria Park Canteen contract each year, this profit is more than offset by almost $50,000 in annual maintenance costs for the adjacent washrooms. However, there is significant potential for increasing the revenue from food and beverage at our waterfront.

Hopefully everyone has received and read the shorter guide delivered to their homes – if nothing else it provides a clear explanation of how the Town’s Culture and Recreation Division views the Waterfront.

It’s probably best that I remind everyone of two things: 1) that Council’s approval of the study included a requirement that major projects would include further public consultation and 2) that there will be no major projects from this study until after the next election when there will be at least 3 new faces (Gil, Forrest and Debra are not running again).

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Frenchy

Looks like waLly ran out of g(r)as(s).

GailR

Further to my previous note on a boat travel lift. I regret I did not take a photograph of the travel lift I saw at the Ivy Lea Club Marina because we were driving past and every woman knows how hard it is to get a husband to make an unscheduled stop. However, I see from their website that their boat lift is a 50 ton job. It was totally freestanding on its four wheels, as are all the ones that come up if I google 50 ton lift. They seem to be able to lift fairly hefty boats. If the Town is thinking permanent structure, maybe it could be persuaded to think mobile equipment.

Bill Thompson

The town is already trying to convince the people in purchasing a mobile boat lft at the cost of around $1/2 million dollars for a twice a year usage.

manfred s

kinda goes along the same path as million-dollar firetrucks and mobile command vehicles, eh?

GailR

One thing that was left unmentioned in the Town brochure, of course, was the issue of a mechanical boat lift. Whether the marina can prove the profitability of an investment in one is one issue. Another is that a considerable number of people thought one would be a visual blight. Were they assuming it would be a permanent structure? I certainly was. However here we are in the Gananoque area and we saw one of these things ON WHEELS. Never crossed my mind. So would it make a difference if we were told that it would be in use one week in the spring and one week in the fall, and otherwise it would be tucked away in the boat yard? Or maybe we could rent it out as we rent out the dredger. As I said, this doesn’t address the issue of the cost, but it might make a bit of a difference.

Wally Keeler

The Cobourg Taxpayers Association make their waterfront proposals based on the following fundamentalist belief: “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach” Not only does the CTA believe this, they double downed on it by printing it in bold font. Indeed, they tripled down it by underling it to make the maximum emphasis possible short of shouting in ALL CAPS. It remains their well-rooted fundamentalist belief. The CTA has presented nothing to support their silly assertion. Whereas a highly professional organ who conducted one of the more thoroughly responded surveys in its experience, backed with transparency of their methodology, found a robust 80% of Town residents agree that Tourism is or will be important to the Town’s economy. Only a single digit 9% disagreed. The disparity between the facts presented by the Town compared to the beliefs (non-facts) of the CTA is so wide that it speaks loudly that the CTA is out of touch with the vast majority of Cobourg residents on the issue of tourism. So let’s head into the municipal election knowing what the CTA thinks it believes about Cobourg residents and ask the candidates whether… Read more »

perplexed

Do you ever think about the Fact that the Down Town has not yet turned around despite the Methodology & the Towns Belief that the Beach is our saviour . 10 yrs of this Nonsense and there are still not enough Tourists Downtown to support it , allow the shop owners to rejuvenate it out of their own pockets , or attract and keep new business for 12 months of the yr There is more to Tourism and economic growth than just sticking your foot in the sand and water . The water front is a 3 maybe 4 month operation and income operation The Sand Castle wk end was Busy I counted at any given time between 8 and 13 Bus loads of tourists Dropped off and Picked up at the beach but then you have to be at the Beach to see whats actually happening . The future Round about Idea at the foot of Division would be a disaster both for walkers , bicyles and certainly larger vehicles ie. busses but making the Esplanade a 1 way st to the west from Division. would be a good and safer idea and the loop would then take the… Read more »

sandpiper

They Paint a Pretty Picture Hope fully and I truly believe every one of the Tax Paying Resident in Cobourg is in favour of Good Governance , Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability from all divisions of our Local Govt. Would this then suggest that we are all supporters of a CTA association of one sort or another . With out a group such as the CTA who would ask these concerning questions and bring issues to light that would other wise go unchecked or Questioned . Who else can put in the kind of time it requires and withstand the Ritiquel and CTA type bashing that goes on . You can’t get concerns before the public any more , We don’t have a Local New Paper per say and the investigative reporting is certainly lacking / do we even have investigative reporters for that matter ??? This town as Ken Struass suggests throws out $$ numbers to suit their purposes and justify their agenda constantly, just check into the Marina articles over the last 2-3 yrs . To say it constantly operates at a profit is well ???? suspect Show Me that $ 12 . Million worth of economic impact Please… Read more »

Walter L. Luedtke

After the CTA supporters’ failure to field serious candidates from their own ranks or interest our municipal candidates in an All-Candidates Meeting, a new strategy is becoming clear.
Create a tsunami of muddy waters on the waterfront.

Bill Thompson

How many of the meetings (council/Waterfront Development Plan ) did you attend to form your opinion and get the picture first hand instead of relying on the printed town brochure or is your default being the town decisions are always correct and anyone who differs is “right wing”.?
I think you’ve made it patently clear on this blog what your stance is re the town ,so credibilty is non existent..
The CTA fixation you have is unusual incidentally but that’s not news to anyone on this blog.

Wally Keeler

Really?! You want to get that petty? Well, in that case, how many years have you experienced Cobourg’s waterfront? All your life? Or just a few years.

Bill Thompson

You may want to let the other Wally answer my question to him unless you also speak for him..
Incidentally,how many of those meetings did you attend to acquire first hand information.?

Wally Keeler

I need neither your permission, Billy nor that other Wally’s permission to answer anyone’s question. Really, how petty can you get? Walter will answer the question if he sees fit, irrelevant to any remarks I may additionally make.

Bill Thompson

And my own question to you re your meeting attendance?

Wally Keeler

I’d love to answer your petty question but I seemed to have lost count of the number of times I attended AND participated.

And my question to you is, do you believe that “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach“?

Bill Thompson

Strange how we missed each other at the CCC meetings in one room isn’t it ?

Wally Keeler

Indeed it is strange. Life is like that!

Wally Keeler

And my question to you: “how many years have you experienced Cobourg’s waterfront? All your life? Or just a few years.

Bill Thompson

Relevancy ?

Wally Keeler

And my question to you is, do you believe that “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach“?

Wally Keeler

Get a load of this whopper from the CTA, expressed in its anti-Waterpark missive; “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach” The CTA also put that assertion in bold typeface and underlined it to boot, just to impress with the weight of that FAKE NEWS.

Here is the FACT: 80% of Cobourg residents consider tourists a benefit, only a miserable 9% disagree.

Walter L. Luedtke

Hahaha Wally.
The CTA came to that conclusion after forty-two (42) of mostly their own members placed little dots on question sheets.
These folks always speak for THE PEOPLE.

Wally Keeler

42? Out of a population of 18,000+. Ha ha ha. Well let’s be generous, 42 out of 2,000 who had participated in the survey. We could make a few bucks this election cycle by selling t-shirts that say: Not a 9 percenter We’d have 80% of the population to draw on.

Frenchy

Wouldn’t you have 80% of those who responded to that survey?
See how numbers can get skewed any way you want to present them?
You haven’t got the b_lls to start your own business.

Wally Keeler

Regardless of the BS spewed out against Tourists, you have never presented a single fact to support the contention that Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach

Frenchy

Why should I present anything to support that statement? I didn’t make that statement.
Where have I ever posted that I’m against tourism or tourists? You just make that fake stuff up and keep repeating it here hoping someone starts believing it. Show me where I said anything like that or shut up.

Wally Keeler

“You haven’t got the b_lls to start your own business.”

Oh but I do and I have. YOU skew numbers, not the Town.

Frenchy

You don’t, and a high school newspaper doesn’t cut it.

Wally Keeler

YOU skew numbers, not the Town. Crybaby.

Susie-Q

Given that the current population of Cobourg is just under 20,000 people, that would mean that approximately 16,000 people would “consider tourists a benefit”? Hmmmm, I could be wrong, but I thought the resident responses came in at 2,000. Although 2,000 respondents is considered a good response rate, I would want to hear the thoughts from the other 18,000 people before I believe that “80% of Cobourg residents consider tourists a benefit”. A little misleading, in my opinion. Also, the people who have more of an interest in tourism would probably be more eager to complete the survey.

Gil B

Walter this is a late response as I don’t frequently read the blog because of all the negativity (you and Wally excepted). Three registered candidates are known frequenters of the CTA directors and one of them has their nomination papers signed by all the known self appointed directors. Another candidate also has their nomination papers signed by the known directors, so they appear to have influenced a few people.

Bill Thompson

So much “Negativity” ….as in disagreement with the same old same old for too long.of not being listened to.
People just may have finally reached their limit and speaking up for the first time… just as in the provincial election.
Let’s see what October brings….
Interesting to read the remarks re some new candidates for council from a lame duck mayor still serving in office …….
Speaks volumes.re the state of confidentiality of official documentation….and by the top town official ! .

manfred s

c’mon now Bill, be gentle. Nevertheless, the documents you refer to are likely the nomination papers and it seems that, in the interest of transparency, those should be public rather than confidential anyway. But, your overall point is an important one.

Walter L. Luedtke

Hahaha!
I am starting to catch on secrecy and confidentiality for the CTA, transparency for everyone else.
Figures!

Ken Strauss

Are nomination papers available to the public for inspection? If so, where?

manfred s

call the Clerk’s office and ask them, I’m pretty sure they would know

Walter L. Luedtke

It’s all a big conspiracy Mr. Strauss.
And how is it going with replacing Council and Staff after the next election?
Can you give us a progress report.
Or is that secret.

Frenchy

I call BS on you not reading this blog on a regular basis. I’ll bet you a beer that every current council member reads this blog regularly as well as some of the new wannabes.

manfred s

now what makes you think that, Frenchy? Do you have any particular reason to be so skeptical?

Frenchy

Not skeptical, practical.
First hand news that several read it daily. Betting that if some do, they all do. Why wouldn’t they? Considering the lack of news outlets in Cobourg, you gotta believe that they are tuned in here trying to get a pulse on the goings on and looking to see their name in print.

manfred s

… uhhh. .. I was being a bit facetious, Frenchy. Sorry ’bout that. Nevertheless, I’m as convinced as you, of the likelyhood that they ALL keep a keen eye on the goings on here, whether they admit it or not.

Frenchy

“whether they admit it or not.”
Heh, heh, heh…

Walter L. Luedtke

Would thank you Gil.
That is interesting to know.
So the CTA directors confine their political activity to signing other candidates nomination papers.
Chuckles

Frenchy

See Walter, it pays to be a Pollyanna Cheerleader. You and your pal wAlly get gold stars from the mayor.
Cute.

Frenchy

Few questions for you Gil,
• Are these nomination papers open to the public for all to see?
• Do you have to ask for them or just stroll in and browse around?
• Were you just casually browsing through 275 reference papers for something to do, or were you looking for something specifically linking any of the candidates to the CTA when you were rooting through them?
• If so, why?

Dubious

What does a lame duck do other than root around?

Greg H

This obsession with the CTA is beginning to seem like MCCarthyism. Are we guilty because of association if we know a member?

Walter L. Luedtke

All sort of has to do with transparency and openness in the municipal political process!
Just like one should know who is backing which candidate.
Landlords, developers, builders and yes …the CTA.

manfred s

Walter, sometimes I think that the CTA’s choice of name, while it could well be intentional, is the sticking point. I also wonder if the push-back we see here would all but disappear if they called themselves something less grandiose, perhaps something along the lines of ‘Concerned Citizens of Cobourg’ or ‘Coalition of Concerned Taxpayers’, you get the idea. The name should not imply that they represent all the Taxpayers’ of Cobourg, nor that they speak for the general public. I think that apparent intent rankles a number of people and they want the CTA to know it and stop doing so. I think they play an important part in Cobourg’ political arena and should continue what they do, just not pretend that they are more than what they actually are, a group of concerned private citizens without any sort of mandate.

Walter L. Luedtke

Manfred. my learned friend, allow me to disagree.
When a political action group is formed to push an ideological agenda, it is a different kettle of fish from the Friends of Victoria Hall or the Willow Beach Field Naturalists.
When, in this blog, the anonymous supporters of this group direct a constant stream of innuendo, suspicion, insults, half truths and outright lies at Council and Staff, it is not just a matter of the name.
When a director of this group, Mr. Strauss, calls for replacing Council AND Staff in the coming election, they are more than just ‘concerned citizens’ who want to keep taxes at a reasonable level.
They poison Cobourg’s political climate and that worries me.
Good night, my friend.

manfred s

Walter, disagreement is what generates good discussions and I have no problem with that. Nevertheless, i still think all of the activities of the CTA which you find objectionable would seem far less irritating and perhaps even easier to dismiss if they were coming from one or more disgruntled individual. Lies and inuendo are nothing new here, believe me, I know first hand of that, and most often, little is made of it. Good people know the difference between reality and fantasy so hopefully your worries only seem heavier than they actually are. and yes, a good night and worry-free sleep to you as well, my friend.

Frenchy

a constant stream of innuendo, suspicion, insults, half truths

Something like what your pal walLy does. Relentlessly. Constantly. Over and over and over and over again?
Or even like your hero Gil B did with his little story about Manfred S?

Dubious

Why do you feel that reverence for His Worship and His minions is required to not “poison Cobourg’s political climate”?

Bill Thompson

A name is a name is a name….. It is a group’s mandate that is important .Does anyone know the mandates of the Cobourg Taxpayer’s Association, Canadian Taxpayer’s Association, Hamiton Taxpayers Association ,Toronto Taxpayers etc ? Those members of the public who use their personal time and efforts with no desire of compensation ,only answers re public concerns from their elected officials should be commended instead of attacked by those who don’t put any effort forward except to snipe from behind their computers using information that just may / may not be accurate but a concern for some. Those in disagreement with such associations infer that it is politically inspired which couldn’t be further from the truth. What personal gain is derived by addressing issues by concerned members of the public to get response from their town council. The alternative to wait every four years to possibly have an influence on major decisions being made reflects a “sheeple” mentality. which causes the public apathy which has taken over to such a degree today. No CTA members are running for office which appears to bother Walter for some reason or other the most . Why? A great alternative for those who… Read more »

Miriam Mutton

I will say that at first I found the brochure an unusual mailing during an official election period. However, it prompts two related thoughts unrelated to the upcoming municipal election. First, every citizen of Cobourg is a potential ambassador for their community. Many tourists, including me when I have opportunity to travel, like to find out is special about the place they visit. A mass mailing like this, focusing on interesting facts about a popular destination in the community could a good way to share and inform the community’s stories. For example, during my visit downtown today for various errands I walked passed a couple reading the plaque at the feet of Introibo ad Altare Dei, (yes, I had to look up information on the Cobourg Historical Society web site to get my facts straight), the business man bronze statue on King Street. I spoke to the couple, who I did not know, and said there are other copies of this public art work around the world (Toronto, Philadelphia, Italy). As a citizen I was proud to share the story of this important work of art with visitors. At the bank, customer service at its best. A bilingual teller switching… Read more »

Bill Thompson

A tourist brochure is one thing but a glossy VoteCobourg.ca .brochure with questionable statistics that would be meaningless to “tourists” is another.
A brochure stating the history or places of intetest is quite different from issues /percentages on cobourg waterfront plans as this brochure is about.
Timing is very important and as the election isn’t until October and this is August ,the timing is just a coincidence.and it wasn’t intended to be associated with VoteCobourg.ca ?
Who vetted /approved the final product for correctness for public dissemination?

Wally Keeler

All petty points. Your comments about tourists are more than questionable, they are all too often ludicrous, especially when you characterize town employees in such a sinister manner with your talk of conspiracy coincidences and vetting for any purpose other than election maneuvering. Remove the inherent and persistent negativity and the Waterfront Brochure was printed and distributed to the entire Town so that residents can be provided with the facts, a sort of inoculation against those who contaminate the public domain with fabrications and assertions that Cobourg residents do not want tourists. Such ludicrous assertions all too often comes from those whose experience of Victoria Park is pathetically shallow. I am glad the Town made and distributed the brochure for the sake of Cobourg citizens.

The unassailable fact remains that the majority of Cobourg citizens want tourists. All the conspiracy theories, moans and groans, and denial doesn’t change that historical fact.

Greg H

I find the “Waterfront Guide” to be a misleading and unnecessary communication from the Town of Cobourg. The report is full of FACTS. But most of these FACTS (the report uses capital letters, somewhat like US President Trump) are really a re-statement of previously available material put into a more favourable light. For instance: “FACT. The marina consistently operates at a profit and has been subsidizing taxpayers by paying for operating and maintenance costs of the entire harbour.” What this fails to acknowledge is that when the first proposal for a town-funded boat lift was presented there were no separate accounts kept for the marina, but it was said to be “break even”. Additionally it was claimed the town had to spend money for a boat lift “to make the marina profitable”. In my career as an industrial loans officer I often received proposals stating that business were making a loss, but that more expenditures would magically increase revenues. Unfortunately my colleagues had never actually seen this magic happen. The Cobourg Blog reports on the July 3rd 2018 Council meeting as follows: “Both public presenters and Councillors felt that the study was generally deemed to make good recommendations with the… Read more »

Old Sailor

The Waterfront Guide has 6 years of historical financial data which means that separate accounts have been kept for Marina and for the Campground. Nothing in the Guide looks misleading to me. A marina expansion or the acquisition of a boat lift need to be approved by a future council. Which is reasonable.

Ken Strauss

Other than the slanted presentation of the survey results, the marina finance numbers are a prime example of misleading material. Based on the “facts” presented in the Guide, what is the unallocated balance in the Marina Reserve Fund? How does this amount compare to the balance mentioned by Mr. Hustwick in his presentation to Council?

Wally Keeler

…slanted presentation of the survey results,”

It was an accurate presentation of the fact that the majority of Cobourg citizens want tourists to come to Cobourg. You can stuff your head with denials, but that is a fact of Cobourg life. Get used to it because it ain’t gonna change. You have a shallow understanding of Cobourg citizens insofar as tourists and Victoria Park are concerned.

FACT: 80% of Cobourg residents agreed that Tourism is or will be important to the Town’s economy. A measly 9% disagree. Those numbers will not change because your arguments carry little or no weight to turn that 9% into double digits, say 10%. Your arguments are nothing more than pissing against the wind.

Frenchy

Wally, I think the questions poised were “what is the unallocated balance in the Marina Reserve Fund? How does this amount compare to the balance mentioned by Mr. Hustwick in his presentation to Council?”

Wally Keeler

So go ahead and answer them if it’s important to you. I’m not interested in that.

Bill Thompson

“The introduction by the Mayor on the first page thanks the public
for their input and points to the large number of workshops and meetings held and Gil says that “objective scoring criteria” were used. ”
If that is the case ,how is it that the WaterPark (believe #54 out of # 82 in priority ) was put to the forefront and passed through without the council even seeing the final Plan …..and the mayor’s vote broke the tied councillor vote to approve it ?
Not properly thought out in haste …..no lifeguards to staff it and a strange silence about it…….and now put off for the new council ..
Where would the public find out what the production/ mailing costs of over 8,000 of these brochures cost the taxpayers of Cobourg when the same information is on the town website ?

Wally Keeler

Because not ALL Cobourg residents have the technology to access the town website. Are you suggesting that those without the money for their home technology nor without experience with digital technology, should not be provided with the same information?

Bill Thompson commented, “Where would the public find out what the production/ mailing costs of over 8,000 of these brochures cost the taxpayers of Cobourg when the same information is on the town website ?

If the same “information is on the town website” then why would you ask in the same sentence, “Where would the public find out what the production/ mailing costs …” Talk about incoherence!

Bill Thompson

Cost to taxpayers with brochures…none on website…
Simple …

Wally Keeler

You said, “… the same information is on the town website”

So which way is it going to be? “none on the website” or “is on the town website.”

Bill Thompson

“None”referred to no cost on website vice a cost of brochures.
Again …easy .simple statement

Frenchy

I got it and I have poor reading and comprehension skills.

Bill Thompson

Telephone maybe ……friends etc …?

Wally Keeler

Pathetic. Just like in olden days, reliable, and what would the costs be to have a staff pool to telephone all Cobourg households? What a ludicrous suggestion. The brochure is worth every penny because it informs the Cobourg public to build up their immunity to the coming electoral onslaught of anti-tourist talk from a teeny tiny minority, a singe digit dumpster of 9%. .

Bill Thompson

Another difficult English to English translation required !

“What would the costs be of a staff pool to telephone all Cobourg households “?!? staff pool?

No …..Friends telephoning friends to talk to each other as they do and discussing the waterfront etc during ordinary conversation …

Wally Keeler

Exceedingly unreliable, painfully time-consuming, all the hallmarks of cheap communication, which is the winning point for you. The Town’s brochure contains the unassailable fact that 80% of Cobourg residents believe tourists are a benefit to the Town. It’s enough to burst the bubble of those who foolishly believe in the FAKE NEWS that “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach” If the members of the CTA believe that, then they are sorely out of touch with the majority of Cobourg residents.

Wally Keeler

There is one very important fact missing from all of these discussions, which are usually economic boredumbs. Thousands and thousands of Cobourg residents, children and youths, enjoyed all of the food, fun and frolic that comes and goes all too briefly compacted into two months in Victoria Park. It has always been so since my great grandfather’s day, and will continue to be so into the future. It was a pleasure and an honour to have recited two poems at Kelly’s Homelike Inn last Saturday night. There was a commemoration of Moe Ewart, a Cobourg boy who grew up in our downtown hood. In the heady hippie days, he wrote songs and performed them. Sometimes during that Summer of Love at midnight or later, the hippies gathered in Victoria Park to frolic, and Moe took to the bandshell stage and performed. The moment his creative career was taking off, he became afflicted with a mental disability. He was not forgottten by the baby boomer youth of Cobourg. They flocked to his commemoration at St Andrew’s Church. Moe made his first performannces in Cobourg, at the basement ‘coffee shop’ in the basement of St Peter’s, at the Beach Hut in Port… Read more »

Wally Keeler

Victoria Park Montage, 1968 I’m here, sitting on a bench, facing Rochester wondering where that old man is I saw here late last year the one with ragged pockets containing tales of lint and dust Fog stealths up the beach The cacophony of kids tumbling into each other bounce off foamfested waves into trees like a happy plague of bees Hey Bobby: Bobby! Mom! Mom! Billy just… Mom! Mom! Look at me mom! MOM!!! LOOK!!! The fog was as harmless as Sandburg said I should have remembered – kitten feet. From the waterworks to the coal-coated piers, like beads on a necklace, lovers stroll the shoreline a romantic movie montage their eyes happy as laughter from teetering children tottering on the edge of exhilaration Then there’s the multicolorfulism of groovy hippies, s t o n e d, s c a tt e red like autumn leaves loitering on a green pond of lawn. The wind is perched waiting in the trees to ambush unaware children with random breezes. The lighthouse prophet draped in a toga of white-washed metal weaves waves of worship and wind and gulls on a crest of gust Along the shore waves curl around splinters of sun… Read more »

Deborah OConnor

Thanks for the memories, Wally. I had de-camped to Vancouver for 1968, where I had my glory days in Sanley Park, but I was back for summer 1969 and found the local scene similar, but better because all my friends were here too. Over the years I’ve lived in various cities from one end of Canada to the other, but I’ve never found any to equal the sheer joy that Cobourg always brings to us former happy hippies who morphed into old-timers for this new millenium. Peace and Love, baby, every time.

Wally Keeler

As you may well recall, there was a small group of grumps and groaners complaining about the “unwashed” hippies throwing ‘narcotic parties’ (passing a joint) in the park, sometimes sleeping there overnight, or setting a small bonfire on the beach. Oh the horror, the horror. So one night, Foster Russell, the editor/publisher of the Cobourg Sentinel Star road his car to Victoria Park and noted a handful of hippies on the beach with a bonfire. He returned the next morning to find the hippies gone, and all of their debris in the trash bin nearby. They were just Canadian young people discovering their country, hitch-hiking back and forth. The older generation was screwed up with Reefer Madness mentality, that pot will lead to heroin injections, and other fanciful slanders. So the narcs from the Peterborough detachment often occupied the upper office of the Federal Building overlooking the Park to survey on the hippies. The local Post Office even posted a watch list of particular Cobourg residents who were suspected pot smokers. Victoria Park hosted the artistic activities of Brian Liboiron, another hippie creative that lost himself to mental disease. And piano impressario, Bill (Bat) Sills who was lost all too… Read more »

Walter L. Luedtke

Smiles
Congratulations to Council and Staff and the excellent team of consultants from Thinc Design.
Now of course, we shall hear the CTA chorus with charges of bias, misrepresentation, fraud, electioneering, waste of taxpayers’ money etc etc. Nothing new here.
But it is good to see Ken Strauss, CTA director and aka Dubious (?), re-emerging into the light of day.
Now where were had you gone Mr. Strauss, when a desperate Cobourg turned its pleading eyes to you as a candidate?
And btw. I was severely chastised when I called the CTA “far right”. The CTA patterns itself in all things after the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, including its website design.
Here is a photo of Melissa Mathieson, a director of the CTF: http://www.c2cjournal.ca/2015/08/confessions-of-a-failed-candidate/
She won the endorsement of the National Firearms Association.

Ken Strauss

So now advocating for responsible government that listens to the people is “far right”? God help us!

Wally Keeler

Responsible govt delivered a fact-based brochure to all Cobourg households, regardless whether they are right, far right, left, or far left. The brochure illuminated the FACT that 80% of Cobourg residents consider tourists desirable for the Town. Only an unpleasant 9% disagree. 80% compared to 9% is a wide disparity, that the you continually fail to bridge. The brochure with its facts are in the hands of Cobourg residents so that when they see the baseless arguments that you and a handful of other teeny tiny minority loudmouths that you spew out. How does it feel to be a single digit malcontent on this issue.

Wally Keeler

And btw. I was severely chastised when I called the CTA “far right”.

The CTA had nothing to do with your chastisement. You were chastised for political mediocrity. Terms such as ‘far right’, ‘extreme left’ ‘centrist right’ etc etc are nothing more than cesspools of ambiguity with definitions as flexible as a wet noodle. Those terms are the common coin of political mediocrity.

You don’t get to cavalierly wave your hand dismissively with such a shallow mediocre term that has little meaning and is the lazy person’s ‘argument’ because it relieves them of making a reasoned argument; just dismiss it as ‘far right’ or ‘far left’ I have no doubt that some individuals regard the Northumberland Poverty organization as ‘far left’. These terms are lazythink, and really really mediocre, offensively mediocre.

Old Sailor

Nice to see disclosed the fact that the boaters’ fees cover their share of harbour expenses plus they “subsidize other users and taxpayers’ enjoyment of the entire harbour”. And there is still a residual profit left to contribute to marina capital expenditures.

The financial reporting aspect of the mailing to residents deserves a “luff of the jib”.

Bill Thompson

“Nice to see” that the same biased information is on the town website for public knowledge but a glossy version of the same information printed on the VoteCobourg.ca brochure to each resident of Cobourg is out and out blatant electioneering and at what cost to the public?
Some accidental “back end error” by the town…..
How about offering some swamp land in Florida for sale at the same time ?
.”You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time,but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time “

Wally Keeler

“biased information” is Mr Thompson’s specialty. His argument is cliche-ridden and factless. Really! “swamp land in Florida” and the wearisome “fool” cliche. These are facts?

Mr Thomson claims the brochure is “blatant electioneering”. That is a crock accusation. Which politician benefits from the brochure? The mayor ain’t running again so the brochure wasn’t done for his re-election, nor for the re-election of other councillors. Nor was it done on the behest of the newly running candidates.

I much prefer the factual bias of the brochure than Mr Thompson’s ludicrously cliche-ridden factless bias.

Bill Thompson

Wally
I think you may want to hear what the new candidates stance is regarding the boat lift/marina expansion before you claim my “biased information” comment.
The unelected CAO and staff are definitely not neutral so let’s just wait and see shall we.?

Wally Keeler

You may also wait until the facts are in before you make a presumptuous biased comment in the first place.

Wally Keeler

It’s not a lie Walter; it’s fake news. They tried to persuade our elected representatives with fake news. No wonder the Town had to send a brochure to every Cobourg household when some of their members spread the fake news that Cobourg residents don’t want tourists. Ken Strauss is a leading purveyor of this sort of fake news. 80% of Cobourg residents thinks the arguments put forth by Mr Strauss concerning tourists is nothing more than unsubstantiated petty piffle. The Town took action to protect their citizens from this kind of poison by providing them with a few salient facts concerning tourists.

Wally Keeler

You may recall the recent CTA missive opposing the waterpark in which they declared in bold underlined font; “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach.”

That is a bald-faced fabrication; FAKE NEWS. It is a fact that 80% of Cobourg residents think that visitors are beneficial to Cobourg and only a meagre 9% disagree. Is it safe to surmise that the majority of CTA members foolishly believe similarly to the 9%?

Wally Keeler

“The numbers from the survey are presented as “Fact” and although the results of the survey may be fact, not all would agree that it’s a fact that they represent the opinions of a majority of the residents of Cobourg.” ‘not all would agree’ This is a meaningless assertion. The same could be said that not all would agree that the earth is a sphere, or any other assertion. Unanimity is not required. The surveys received responses in excess of 2,000 people, a fact that the consultants with their wide experience said, “… the engagement level was one they ‘have yet to see in their careers’”. The level of participation by Cobourg residents is certainly indicative of the heart and soul of Cobourg residents in their relationship with the waterfront. It is not something to dismiss. Eighty percent of Cobourg residents agreed that tourism is or will be important to the Town’s economy. A meagre nine percent disagreed. The disparity is wide enough to drive a caravan full of politicians through. FACT: the majority of Cobourg residents want tourists. Seventy-seven percent of business agreed that tourism is or will be important to the Town’s economy. A meagre single digit, seven… Read more »

Ken Strauss

The Waterfront Guide is a great example of how one can deduce different conclusions from “facts” depending on how they are presented. Consider:

Only 31 of the 900 Cobourg businesses surveyed reported that “We benefit from additional trade that is generated by tourists/visitors to Cobourg” and only 6 said that “The sustainability of our business depends on trade generated by tourists/visitors to Cobourg.”

Considering the significant effort that the Town puts into sponsoring tourist events the returns are minimal. Only 21 of 900 Cobourg businesses surveyed reported any benefit from the Waterfront Festival and 17 of the 21 received benefits of less than $5000. For the Highland Games only 20 businesses reported any benefit and 17 of the 20 received less than $1000 of benefit. Tourism was greatly reduced this last year due to high lake levels but only 13 of the 900 business survey recipients saw a decrease in business.

Given these survey results it is ludicrous to claim that tourism is important. For a town that spends many thousands every year to attract tourists one must question the value of the spending!

Wally Keeler

The 900 businesses include lawyer offices, jewellers, furniture sales, mortgages, loans, auto dealerships, lumber yards, etc etc etc. No one expects tourists to contribute anything to those multitude of businesses. The 900 figure has no other purpose than to dilute your argument. The figures you provide are myopic.

So 31 businesses reported benefits. Absolutely appalling. Free enterprise. It is up to business to capitalize on tourists. The income from tourists is not just for businesses. Tourists bring in all of the parking revenue, trailer park revenue, canteen revenue, marina revenue, etc etc, so how about including that in your calculations. Yes Cobourg spends thousands and the comebback includes everything you deliberately omitted. The facts that you spin to launder your pathetic agenda that tourism fails Cobourg is wanting.

Perhaps Dubious would like to enter the discussion to support your myopic view.

Bill Thompson

Let’s simplify the equation…..How many “tourists” visit Cobourg during the summer ?
The harbour is used for four months approximately.
Other than Marie Dressler I can’t think of any cultural/historical
attraction that would draw real tourists.here.
Thousands of visitors come here for sure …….but what is the percentage that even leave the beach/park to browse/shop etc.So we’re looking at at another three/four months and they come fully equipped for the day.
I would surmise that the figure would be so low and not of any significance to justify the continual town outgoing expenditure to attract “tourists” unless of course Parking Fees can be counted as the town’s major tourist income
Wayfinding signs etc to the town and in a town that the whole high street can be walked in a short period of time..
Proper perspective needs to be applied …Can we hope for that with a new council ? Fingers crossed .

Wally Keeler

Thousands of visitors come here for sure …….but what is the percentage that even leave the beach/park to browse/shop etc.”

The Town a few months ago released a study indicating that during the months of July and August the retail district of King Street experienced a 20,000 increase of pedestrians. The Town delivered them to King Street and it is up to each individual retailer to entice them inside for a sale. Would you prefer that zero percentage visit the main street? Would you prefer to work towards increasing the percentage of visitors to King Street? What proposal to you have?

Wally Keeler

“Other than Marie Dressler I can’t think of any cultural/historical attraction that would draw real tourists.here.”

What is a “real tourist”? Really!? Yur gonna make that argument? That kind of argument is all too often expressed by condescending snobs.

So I guess that the thousands of tourists that come to Cobourg are NOT REAL TOURISTS. If they are not real tourists, then what are they? Please explain to your fellow Cobourg residents.

Frenchy

Maybe a “Real Tourist” is something like a “Real Cobourger”.
Those of us who have lived here for 10-20-30-40 years needn’t express our opinions because we aren’t “born residents”.
That kind of argument is all too often expressed by condescending snobs.

Wally Keeler

Anybody can express their opinions regardless of their years in Cobourg. The fact that I was born here 71 years ago gives me a much deeper understanding of Victoria Park issues. I lived it for 70+ years whether you like it or not, and I will continue to make arguments based on my 70+ experience of Cobourg. It provides me with a wide experience of thousands of Cobourgers over the years. I know them very very well. And I know they overwhelmingly (80%) want tourists, whereas a mere 9% don’t. I notice on this blog that the majority of anti-tourist mouths are parachutes that think they know better what the residents of Cobourg want. You, Bill Thompson, Ken Strauss are the 9% armed with fake facts.

Frenchy

Where did you read that I was against tourism? What fake facts have I stated?
Proof please, before you start spitting out false allegations.

Bill Thompson

Visitors …not tourists .

Ken Strauss

No one expects tourists to contribute anything to those multitude of businesses. The 900 figure has no other purpose than to dilute your argument. The figures you provide are myopic.

My figures are no more misleading than those in the Waterfront Guide. You are absolutely correct that “no one expects tourists to contribute anything to those multitude of businesses”. Tourists contribute nothing to the lives of the vast majority of Cobourg residents. Why should everyone be forced to contribute to attracting tourists and be inconvenienced by the resulting congestion and additional expenses for cleanup and policing? Why is it reasonable to force everyone to pay for something that benefits very few residents? I know: It is for the revenue!!

Wally Keeler

Ken Strauss admits, “My figures are no more misleading than those in the Waterfront Guide.” Thank you for that admission, although I would say that your figures were more misleading. Ken Strauss asserts, “Tourists contribute nothing to the lives of the vast majority of Cobourg residents.” What a pathetic assertion, weighted down with absolutes: “nothing”, “vast majority”. Of course your perception is one of $$$$$$ only. Tourists come to Cobourg. A few think it is a splendid place and take out a mortgage. And there is all of the interaction between Cobourg young people and people from outside that will always remain unquantifiable, but I lived the experience with my thousands of fellow Cobourg residents who flock to Victoria Park to enjoy their free-range childhood and free-range youth. And let us note the thousands and thousands of Cobourg residents who flock to Victoria Park for the Fun and Festivities. The vast majority of Cobourg residents voted with their feet to enjoy all of the park’s activities. You, Mr Strauss, are in no position to lecture born residents about the desires of the vast majority of Cobourg residents concerning their Victoria Park. Ken Strauss queries, “Why should everyone be forced to… Read more »

Wally Keeler

Ken Strauss commented, “My figures are no more misleading than those in the Waterfront Guide.

Your CTA missives are exceedingly misleading. The best example is the recent CTA missive opposing the Waterpark in which the CTA spread the FAKE NEWS that Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach.” This wasn’t just an assertion made by the CTA, it was a loud assertion placed in bold font typeface, yet that wasn’t enough; the CTA tripled down on the same fake news by underlining it.

YOU, as a governing member of the CTA, own that ludicrous assertion of fake news. I am happy that the Town issued the brochure to counter the fake news that the CTA is attempting to spread amongt Cobourg residents.

Dubious

Happy to.

What is your rationale for claiming that 2000 survey respondents represent the majority yet the 110 businesses who participated in the survey are irrelevant? Many of the “resident” respondents are not actually Cobourg residents and ALL business respondents represent Cobourg businesses. Even ignoring that fact, 110 out of 900 businesses is over 12% of the businesses and 2000 out of 19440 residents is only 10%. Just because the businesses don’t agree with your biases certainly doesn’t make their responses irrelevant!

Wally Keeler

It should also be noted that tourism is not just a matter of economics. The myopic hang on that point exclusively. Ken Strauss does not address the fact that students obtain a lot of employment experience and money to pay for their tuition. Good spin off for Cobourg students. It happened in my youth and happens today; networking for students. Cobourg youth have been provided with opportunities to make new friends, acquaintances, from The Big City, not just that they are from the big city but that the tourists are far more diverse than our overwhelming white bread mozarella skinned population in Cobourg and our youth get to experience diversity before they head off to a city renown for diversity. I know students that moved to Toronto for college, university, or even job opportunities and moved in with youths they had met in Cobourg during the summer. On top of that, tourists provide opportunities for romance in a more diverse population, broken hearts, or marriage, or anything inbetween. The money spent during the summer is mostly spent for local residents, not for tourists. The Waterfront Festival, Ribfest, etc etc are all done for OUR benefit; tourists are incidental. Much of… Read more »

Cobourg Person

The purpose of local government is not to ensure that students obtain employment experience. Local government’s purpose is to make the lives of residents better.

Your second sentence contradicts the first. Students are residents and employment would make their lives better.

Bill Thompson

“It should also be noted that tourism is not just a matter of economics”
Do you actually think the town also holds that view ?

Wally Keeler

Yes, I do. I say that based on my 70+ years of experience relative to Victoria Park and tourism. That 70 years allowed me to play with a lot of children when I was a child here. I got to play with a lot of teens and youth, publishing their poetry, and publishing a new zine for them as wel as being a reporter for the Cobourg Sentinel-Star. Those children and teens grew up, some moved away, many stayed and developed businesses and families and held office. It’s a big family this community. All of that together informs me that 80% desire tourists as a real fact of Cobourg life.

Frenchy

Eighty percent of Cobourg residents agreed that tourism is or will be important to the Town’s economy.

Seventy-seven percent of business agreed that tourism is or will be important to the Town’s economy.

Forty-six percent of businesses stated that they depend on or benefit from tourists.

“It should also be noted that tourism is not just a matter of economics. The myopic hang on that point exclusively.”

Yet you are the one that started this thread with that same myopic slant… THE ECONOMY

Wally Keeler

Because I know how the trough works to initiate a feeding frenzy. Look, it happened just as I hoped.

Ken Strauss

Please help me to understand. You make ludicrous comments in order to get people to post? What is your actual opinion?

Wally Keeler

You know very well what your actual personal opinion of me is.

Frenchy

I think Ken Strauss meant “What is your actual opinion” of the Waterfront “Guide” Mailed to all Cobourg Households.
I got that and I have poor reading and comprehension skills.

Ken Strauss

My opinion of YOU is irrelevant. I was asking about YOUR opinion.

Wally Keeler

My opinion is that 80% of Cobourg residents desire tourists. That is a FACT. Swallow it.

manfred s

perhaps more accurately described as ‘extrapolation from a limited sampling’ than “fact”

Wally Keeler

Your CTA, Mr Strauss made the Whopper of the Year comment when they asserted in bold underlined font the following FAKE NEWS, “Most of the citizens of Cobourg have indicated that they do not want more visitors coming to the beach.” 80% of Cobourg residents regard that CTA comment as a bald-faced crock.

Wally Keeler

The word ECONOMY belongs to the Town. You are quoting the Town, not me.

Frenchy

I was quoting your post. How would I would I know that you copied someone else’s words and posted them as your own?
Rarely do you cite references to others work, and continually express others opinions and ideas as your own.
I thought you had started to use that checker I sent you. https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/
Even Walter is getting on board with that.

Wally Keeler

petty silliness.