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
|Council meetings were re-organized
|Starting times were fixed and a Q & A forum added to Committee of the Whole meetings
|Advisory committees were re-organized
|Notably to create an “Environmental and Climate Change Advisory Committee” (later Environmental was changed to Sustainability).
|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.
|Financial help approved for two Rental Housing projects
|Balder Corp at the Corner of William and University and Trinity Housing Corporation
|Strategic Plan finally approved
|Download here from Cobourg Internet. I can only find a draft copy on the Town’s official site.
|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.
|Launch of Communication web site: Engage Cobourg
|This uses software called “Bang the Table”
|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.
|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.
|Councillor pay increases
|Subject to Budget approval, significant Councillor pay increases were approved
|Adopted a Cultural Plan
|The long-awaited Cultural Plan was released and approved. Few questions answered, just direction provided.
|Campground and East Pier decisions
|Recommendations by the Waterfront Master Plan were adopted
|Sidewalk construction Priority Plan Approved
|After a 2 year delay, a plan deciding which sidewalks would be built and when was approved.
|Work on actions resulting from a Round Table discussion about the Opioid Crisis
|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.
|Lights back in Victoria Park
|This was based on recommendations by a special Ad Hoc citizen’s committee
|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
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.