Road Safety Response Team Recommended

Cobourg Town Staff will recommend at the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting that a working group be established to coordinate the Town’s response to citizen concerns about road safety.  The memo was written by Director of Public Works Laurie Wills and says that there is a need to “streamline a response to road safety concerns as currently there is confusion as to where or to whom these complaints should be directed and there is risk that concerns get over looked or decisions are made without consulting with all of the affected departments.”  She says that “Municipal Councillors, Public Works and the Police Service frequently receive concerns, questions and suggestions from members of the community in relation to technical road safety matters. These concerns range from speeding, no stopping, parking, decreased speed limit requests and the like.”

Laurie Wills
Laurie Wills

Further that:

In order to respond fully to these concerns, the correspondence must be shared with the correct department(s) in order to ensure that all aspects of the concern have been considered and addressed appropriately and that the person is responded to in a timely manner. In order to do this with any consistency, it is critical that there is a formal process and procedure in place to receive, investigate, and respond to road safety matters.

Currently organizing a response depends on who the complaint is made to and it’s not always clear who should respond  and sometimes responses get overlooked.  This is not an advisory committee but simply the creation of a process and a way of ensuring Road Safety concerns are promptly addressed and citizens get an answer.  There would be no citizens on the committee. One of the requirements will be that citizens will be asked to prepare a detailed written summary of their concern and submit it to a new dedicated email address (e.g. roadsafety@cobourg.ca)  The team would meet every six weeks and decide on any action and provide a response.

See links below for Laurie’s memo and the Terms of Reference.

The team composition would be:

  • Director of Public Works, Chair
  • Manager of Roads & Sewers
  • Engineering and Public Transit Administrator
  • Representative from Legislative Services
  • Representative from Cobourg Police Services
  • Representative from the Planning Department
  • Other staff and agency representatives, as needed.

It looks like Laurie is seeing a problem and suggesting a solution which would hopefully improve work efficiency and quality.

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Rob
16 November 2020 10:28 am

I recognize, and for some reason we all accept, the level of urgency within the business of Municipal/Provincial/Federal government does not and will not rival the level of urgency within private business; however a committee calling itself Road Safety, meeting every 6 weeks to only then discuss IF action should be taken does not seem “timely” (to use Laurie’s word). This will likely add to the volume of messages Council and others will receive as any action and response will take approximately 2 months. In what other business is 1 1/2 – 2 months acceptable to receive a response to a safety concern?

JimT
15 November 2020 10:29 am

This approach seems to me to be more a part of the problem than part of the solution: adding another layer of bureaucracy and committees to deal with straightforward issues.
Reduce the bureaucracy, cut through the red tape, put the pressure on those responsible for action instead of giving them another bureaucratic wall to hide behind.
My opinion.

cornbread
15 November 2020 10:08 am

After reading all the submissions on this topic, it appears that we have a bunch of “deadbeats” working and being fairly well paid by Cobourg along with half decent pensions. Hopefully the new CAO will weed out the deadbeats and improve the conditions for our concerned citizens of Cobourg.

Merle Gingrich
14 November 2020 3:01 pm

Laurie, you can do better than that if it’s got to do with safety, all hell can break loose in 6 weeks. If it’s safety we need immediate action. If we have an issue just let us know who to contact, pure and SIMPLE.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Merle Gingrich
14 November 2020 3:52 pm

No they Can’t
That department of Public Work and Engineering has been dealing with the same issues year after year no results or action
Ie : The Storm water and Melting issues in the upper west end of Cobourg
The Town, Town ship of Hamilton and the County have not in 10 yrs been able to
come to a conclusion on where to run that surface water and their sewer lines are at their Max
POOR Planning
So what happens the land and farms to the North of Elgin have become fed up and tired of waiting for the Politicians to do something — 10 yrs now of discussions and review s So they the locals have all installed Drainage tiles by the selves dumping into the ditches across from Canadian Tire .
Should be interesting This spring

Gerinator
14 November 2020 1:08 pm

Sorry but I don’t get the need to “streamline”, organizationally speaking it is adding one more layer to the report/definition/decision/execute cycle. The Town already has a Problem Reporting site https://forms.cobourg.ca/Report-a-Problem and a Complaints/Complements site
https://www.cobourg.ca/en/town-hall/Compliments-or-Complaints.aspx. Each of these are manned, and recorded, by the Clerks staff and they would direct the Problem/Complaint/Complement to the correct department (whom else would know better). The department lead would/should gather the stakeholders together to define/decide the next steps.

The proposed Committee is just another bureaucratic layer; I notice the list of members doesn’t include the requestor. Perhaps its shouldn’t but they are a stakeholder in the initial problem definition.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Gerinator
14 November 2020 1:41 pm

But If you can’t get a response or a persons name to fallow up with — they state they simple didn’t receive it
a Phone number or Hot Line at the Town Hall with a real person with a name assigning a
issue or tracking number to the Concern , Safety issue or Hazzard cold then be referred to
if not handled in the appropriate time or fashion even the department that the appropriate department that the issue was assigned to could be tracked and the department responses could be tracked by the complainant or person reporting the problem . by just putting in their Tracking number . Simple , Confidential or It would be recorded & Town employees might not like that
.

I think Rogers , Bell , Purolator ,the Postal sys all use this type of sys.

Dubious
14 November 2020 11:57 am

…currently there is confusion as to where or to whom these complaints should be directed and there is risk that concerns get over looked or decisions are made without consulting with all of the affected departments.

Ensuring that staff do their jobs and that our little town runs smoothly is the function of the CAO. If a committee is actually required then why doesn’t the CAO simply direct the appropriate staff to participate rather than involving Council?

Last edited 12 days ago by Dubious
Terry
14 November 2020 10:59 am

Three terms in this item – working group, team and committee. Are these one and the same or different beasts. Please define each one and what is expected of each.

Sandpiper
14 November 2020 8:55 am

Sounds and looks like the team will be made up of those departments and Town Employees that are Not Sharing or Responding to Public Complaints Now ! Don’t town employees get paid more for attending such meetings
This is a SMALL Town Can’t 1 department be identified and simply pick up you know Answer the Phone —– or Email the correct person
and send a CC to the Admin just incase there is another employee responsible for Road safety and traffic Not Working From Home .
Keep it Simple I think a couple of Public overseers are necessary they would probably do it with out Pay may be petty cash , and would accurately with out over stating the problem see to it things happen in a timely fashion

Lyle
Reply to  Sandpiper
14 November 2020 9:31 am

So we can’t simply call town hall and be directed to the proper dept. & that dept would act on the problem accordingly without creating another committee ( that would up to 6 weeks to respond to the problem ) If there is a problem with what ever dept. not resolving the situation then they are not doing their job that we r paying them to do get rid of them and hire someone who will.

water watcher
Reply to  Sandpiper
14 November 2020 10:10 am

Great! All attempts at solving issues are good, although this seems a little top heavy, and of course, there’s no citizen representation. There are a number of road/traffic issues, such as the Marina Parking Lot — now raceway and party central— to name but one which have repeatedly been raised to both individual councillors, the police, by-lay officers, etc. for several years. Result? Absolutely nothing. Would be good to know how this committee (ad hoc or otherwise) will be of any use to the average ratepayer trying to get answers or even results? Surely to goodness one person could handle this and liaise with the necessary departments?

Sandpiper
Reply to  water watcher
14 November 2020 10:48 am

Road Safety and traffic is just the Tip of the Iceberg in this town
It take s 3 days to get a reply or response in good times from any department .
Storm water is another issue blockage of Culverts , stream bed Blockage
etc all affecting down stream flow and water course management
” its natural , environmentally sensitive “

Frank
14 November 2020 8:28 am

Thank you for recognizing a deficiency and attempting to provide a solution.