Unfinished Business – November 2020

Cobourg Council is still struggling to keep up with unfinished business – on September 20th I reported on 16 items on the list with half of them running late.  In particular, in February 2020, the Library Board asked for an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to define “who does what” with a due date of 20 June 2020.  At the Council meeting on November 2, the board sent a memo to Council that asked, in essence, “What happened?  This is now  urgent!”  Their memo gave an example of the failure of an HVAC unit and Town staff were not very helpful in dealing with it – they basically suggested that they should look after it themselves (with a contractor) despite having no expertise in that area.  (See their memo in Links below).

Cobourg Library
Cobourg Library

The only comment by Council was a question by Councillor Emily Chorley to CAO Tracey Vaughan as to the feasibility of their requested new timeline (1st March 2021).  Her response was that it was doable but that negotiation timelines are hard to predict because they depend on how close the two parties are in their positions.  Tracey said that the first meeting would be on the 5th of November and while it’s good they have started, one wonders what happened in the last 9 months. Tracey said that she would have a better idea of a timeline after the first meeting.

Since the last Report on this blog about unfinished business, only one item has been actioned and therefore removed – clarification as to when Transit Fares and Parking would no longer be free.  That means that 15 previously reported items of unfinished business have NOT been completed.  No doubt the reason Staff would offer is the disruption caused by the pandemic and some related staff reductions (notably no CAO).  Whenever a list of “To do’s” is being reviewed, a useful thing to do is to set (or perhaps re-set) priorities.  If nothing else, this will help in making decisions on budgets for 2021.

The list of Unfinished Business from the Council’s Agenda is in the Links below and short descriptions are in the earlier post so let me simply list the more urgent items.

  • Review of Transit including what is being done in Innisfil and Okotoks and with accessible taxis – this report would impact mid and long-term plans for the Transit service in Cobourg
  • Review with Police and the County the placement of Emergency shelters such as Transition House. The re-zoning of the Woodlawn for use as a rehabilitation centre may be a related concern.
  • Establish a workable MOU with the Library
  • Draft and Flood Mitigation and Response Plan – what happens if we get flooding in 2021?

Most of the others can wait although that’s probably a matter of opinion.


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Canuck Patriot
7 November 2020 9:15 am

Since the arrival of the new CAO there appears to be a flurry of new development activity.

Many of these projects have been idling, wasting time, energy and resources for far too long. The question is why and are we about to see a culture change in the mindset of Town Hall?

Reply to  Canuck Patriot
8 November 2020 9:59 am

That’s 2 questions by my count.

6 November 2020 8:22 am

It seems funny that the Police , Fire and Emerg. departments all suggest they are ready & able as they are ,to deal with the / any additional burden the Woodlawn Rehab might put on the community , but they all have their hands out to Deputy Mayor Seguin for more money and staff or equipment once again

Reply to  Sandpiper
8 November 2020 6:28 pm

Maybe they dont think it will be a burden.

Liz Taylor
6 November 2020 12:13 am

It was announced on Chex News by Premier Ford that there is a new budget directed at COVID-19. Further funds have been allocated to municipalities (town councils) to assist in revenue short falls. Hopefully Cobourg will receive a portion of this allocation. The library is a very important community resouce for Cobourg.

5 November 2020 10:56 pm

When a project is behind schedule it is usual for management to allocate additional resources or the non-performing staff are replaced with others who can complete the work. I guess those options don’t apply when everyone is “working” from home.

Reply to  Dubious
6 November 2020 8:18 am

Not Working from home in this case if no one dealt with the HVAC

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Sandpiper
6 November 2020 1:01 pm

Working from home – City of Toronto was paying people that were sitting at home. Much later the policy changed – should an employee be sitting at home they were offered two options, take an alternative work assignment such as working in Shelters or Homes for the Aged or be laid off. Why would it take so long to make an obvious decision? For a place that prides itself on fair policies it is amazing at tax payers’ expense the promotion system is based on seniority, not qualification. The person who passes an exam with the most seniority gets the job not the person who stood number 1. Here it is not as clear as to who is working at home and who is sitting at home

Reply to  Liz Taylor
7 November 2020 8:22 am

I suggested this to the Mayor and Planning ByLaw dept back in May
and July but the head of planning indicate that was not possible ??? and a new person would have to be hired , Well with all this free time they still have not caught up or address most of the issues on their desks Most not requiring any face to face encounters