New Cobourg Council Completes First Year

At the last Council meeting in 2019 on Monday December 2, several councillors mentioned that it was the anniversary of their inauguration so it seems appropriate to review highlights of their achievements in 2019.  There were of course a number of minor items and a number of contentious items – but only certain ones will be remembered.  If you are looking for a theme, I’d suggest there is now more concern for the environment, affordable housing and transparency.  All the new Councillors made their presence felt but it’s difficult to label them with what they favour – not to mention politically risky. The world of Cobourg was of course not just what happened at Council – see the list of all articles under the menu item “list of posts”.

Highlights of the New Council’s first year

Topic Description Date
Council meetings were re-organized Starting times were fixed and a Q & A forum added to Committee of the Whole meetings 4 Feb
Advisory committees were re-organized Notably to create an “Environmental and Climate Change Advisory Committee” (later Environmental was changed to Sustainability). 6 Feb
Water Park Voted Down It was previously approved in 2018 but that happened too late for it to happen in 2018. Concerns about liability and public support for the idea were the reasons given. 20 Feb
Financial help approved for two Rental Housing projects Balder Corp at the Corner of William and University and Trinity Housing Corporation 1 April
Strategic Plan finally approved Download here from Cobourg Internet.   I can only find a draft copy on the Town’s official site. 30 April
Memorial Arena closed There is talk that it might be a possible place for community events.  An ad hoc committee will be created to help decide its future but there’s no word on that yet. 30 July
Launch of Communication web site: Engage Cobourg This uses software called “Bang the Table 14 Aug
West Harbour expansion A motion was passed to eliminate the possibility of the expansion of the Marina into the West Harbour. Provision or not of a boat lift was not resolved. 16 Aug
Stephen Peacock went on Medical leave He vacated his position as CAO and a process was adopted to replace him.  This including naming Treasurer Ian Davey as Interim CAO.  5 Sept
Councillor pay increases Subject to Budget approval,  significant Councillor pay increases were approved 10 Sept
Adopted a Cultural Plan The long-awaited Cultural Plan was released and approved.  Few questions answered, just direction provided. 7 Oct
Campground and East Pier decisions Recommendations by the Waterfront Master Plan were adopted 18 Oct
Sidewalk construction Priority Plan  Approved After a 2 year delay, a plan deciding which sidewalks would be built and when was approved. 24 Oct
Opioid Crisis Work on actions resulting from a Round Table discussion about the Opioid Crisis    14 Nov
Climate Crisis declared Subject to budget approval, one person will be allocated to develop an RFP for a consultant to develop a Sustainability Plan by 2021. 20 Nov
Lights back in Victoria Park  This was based on recommendations by a special Ad Hoc citizen’s committee 24 Nov
Banning selling of Water bottles at Town events Subject to as yet unscheduled Public engagement and as yet unapproved spending on two outdoor water bottle filling stations 29 Nov

Omitted from the above are the items on budget deliberations for 2020 since these are not yet decided.  However, it is notable that the budget process under the new Deputy Mayor is earlier, more transparent and with a clear goal set from the beginning.  Stay tuned for more on that.

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Gerinator
11 December 2019 7:31 pm

Excellent list John. It certainly important to keep new challenges in sight, eye on the prize so to speak. However its also important to celebrate the dragons slain and or improvements to policy, procedures and processes. Congrats on this anniversary and wish you the very best for your second term. Ahem, lets hope for success in your Budget 2020 deliberations and objectives.

Old Sailor
11 December 2019 9:17 am

Congrats of successfully completing year one. Being a new Council member is like joining a new Board of Directors. Lots of questioning and listening in the first year and leading in subsequent years. Stay away from the shoals and weeds which will slow your motion to a standstill. Keep your bow pointed to windward in open water and for goodness steer keep clear of a “Peters Rock” collision.

jimq
Reply to  Old Sailor
11 December 2019 9:53 am

Sorry to be so picky, but the correct name is Peter Rock, not Peters. Yes, it’s a common mistake in Cobourg & Port Hope. Link – http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/community-stories_histoires-de-chez-nous/cobourg-harbour_port-de-cobourg/gallery/peter-rock-light-tower/