Annual Review by Mayor Henderson

On New Year’s Day in most years, the Mayor, Council and senior staff welcome citizens to a Levee event at Victoria Hall where everyone can mingle. But this year, the event was virtual although it featured the usual players: The Concert Band of Cobourg, Town Crier Mandy Robinson, Poet Laureate Jessica Outram and Mayor John Henderson. The main event was the Mayor’s review of the highlights of 2020 – and there were quite a number.  John listed them grouped by Department with accompanying photos. The resulting video on You-Tube was “premiered” at noon on New Year’s day with about two dozen people watching it live.  Others can now watch it on the Town’s You-Tube site or embedded below. Although John and the video production team did a great job, I miss what he might have predicted for the year ahead. A view of the upcoming year was always a feature of the speeches of previous Mayors. Fortunately, Dominik Wisniewski at Northumberland News filled that gap with a report of an interview with the Mayor.

Dominik reported that John gave five priorities for Council in 2021:

  1. Rental and affordable housing – Particularly as supported by the recently approved CIP. This is a County responsibility but most councillors seem supportive of this direction. Article with description.
  2. Municipal service delivery review by KPMG which details cost efficiencies. John expects a report from staff on recommended specific actions at the Council meeting on January 25. (Details here)
  3. Accessibility Plan – described on the Town’s web site here
  4. Rehabilitation of Cobourg’s Waterfront – It is planned to do preliminary work in 2021.
  5. Review of Transit System – John described Cobourg’s current service as a “crème de la crème transit system”

See Dominik’s full report in the link below for more detail.


Virtual New Year’s Levee – 2021

26:21 minutes – Video by Chris Oliver at Cobourg’s CCO productions

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Liz Taylor
3 January 2021 2:29 pm

Public transit anywhere is never fully paid for by ridership. During COVID 19 it has been used much less but so has the show or any public gathering place. As a town grows public transit comes in. For the nay sayers perhaps you could petition Council to put a by-law in stating anyone without a car can not move to Cobourg. It is a sign of economic health if a town grows to the point of providing public services such as transit.

Reply to  Liz Taylor
3 January 2021 8:37 pm

If service is proven adequate and reliable over time, people get used to the idea that they might not need a car, and transit ridership increases. In theory at least.

Last edited 21 days ago by JimT
Ken Strauss
Reply to  JimT
3 January 2021 9:21 pm

Why should the usage of public transit be a goal in a small town like Cobourg?

Liz Taylor
Reply to  JimT
3 January 2021 11:28 pm

Jim – I haven’t found the bus service bad – I never expected the TTC when I came here but it was one of the reasons I chose Cobourg just as many others will – retired people, people with children, people without a car for one reason or another and businesses thinking of setting up – employee transportation! And the TTC wasn’t always that great – recall the downtown line later – sardine city. Glad you support public transit here – forward thinking – change is sometimes hard for people to accept.

Last edited 21 days ago by Liz Taylor
2 January 2021 5:24 pm

Does our resident Poet Laureate actually compose poetry for appropriate occasions as was the traditional way in centuries past?
Just wondering.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
2 January 2021 9:54 pm

It’s a requirement.

Bus Boy
2 January 2021 1:37 pm

“Crème de la crème transit system” is a little dubious. For a town of Cobourg’s size it is decent, but a once an hour looping transit system is about as poor as it gets in the grand scheme of things.

Reply to  Bus Boy
2 January 2021 4:52 pm

And completely unnecessary.

Reply to  Dubious
3 January 2021 9:46 am

Unnecessary? You are lucky you have a competent bus system. Obviously you have a car.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Conor
3 January 2021 10:07 am

A cab ride in Cobourg costs about the same as a bus ride and is far more convenient. The difference is that the rider pays for the cab and the taxpayers pay for the bus. As usual, Conor prefers to have others pay.

ben burd
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 January 2021 11:35 am

Do you really think that it costs me $2 to get the mall from anywhere in the Town in a cab?? Dream on!

Reply to  ben burd
3 January 2021 12:22 pm

Do you really think that it costs $2 to get the mall from anywhere in the Town in one of our buses?? Dream on!

Reply to  ben burd
4 January 2021 8:35 am

If Time means / translates to money and a direct ride to your front door without walking to and from the Bus stop weather permitting where ever it may be , and being able to transport your goods such as groceries, then yes you can get around town far more cost effectively and comfortably by cab .

Reply to  sandpiper
4 January 2021 8:37 am

and 2 or 3 can go for the price of 1 in a cab

Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 January 2021 1:25 pm

That cab ride you are referring to must have been taken in 1955.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
3 January 2021 2:33 pm

OK, I’ll try to clarify.
To me the “cost” of a publicly available transit service is the sum of: operator’s salary, car/bus purchase, maintenance, fuel, insurance and profit (for a cab).

The “charge” is what I pay directly. For a cab ride the “cost” and the “charge” are the same ab about $10-15 depending on distance and other factors. This covers everything including profit for the cab company. For a Cobourg bus, the “charge” is about $2.50 or less depending on age of rider, monthly vs individual ticket, etc.

The difference between “cost” and “charge” for a bus ride is added to our property taxes even if we have no bus service in our neighbourhood.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 January 2021 4:19 pm

All I can say is you hate paying taxes for services provided. Let them walk.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Conor
3 January 2021 6:13 pm

More accurately, I hate paying for services not provided. Many areas of Cobourg are far from a bus stop. There is no service to most of New Amherst. There is no service to East Village. I live in the city limits but more than 2km from the nearest bus stop. 

Liz Taylor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 January 2021 6:53 pm

Ken then you are advocating for expanded transit service? As Cobourg grows the service would expand. Some areas will be serviced last as they are multi-million dollar homes with multiple car ownership. West Park residents are advocating for more home parking owning multiple cars beyond the one parking spot they say is allotted. However for such a large development I am sure public transit will expand evenutally to that area.

Reply to  Conor
3 January 2021 8:01 pm

And you love our free beach!

Reply to  Ken Strauss
4 January 2021 3:51 pm

I concur with your thesis above but just to nit-pik – 3-4.5 km cab ride is 11$ (without tip) one-way and that is without encumbrance i.e. best price. So the round trip cost/charge excl tip would be 22$. This is not inexpensive in my mind.

Reply to  John Draper
3 January 2021 4:24 pm

Two sets of people are using the word “Cost” to mean different things. One takes it to mean what you pay and the other to mean the cost of providing the service.

That was intentional on my part John. At least you got it.

Last edited 21 days ago by Frenchy
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 January 2021 4:21 pm

comparable price, if you DON’T TIP?

Reply to  Bus Boy
2 January 2021 5:30 pm

Think of our transit system in the same way Louis B. Mayer is said to have regarded his high blood pressure: “…it’s a damn sight better than no blood pressure at all”.

Last edited 22 days ago by JimT
George Taylor
Reply to  Bus Boy
3 January 2021 8:24 am

you want a better house? you pay for it? you want better transit, you pay for it?

Reply to  George Taylor
3 January 2021 9:45 am

Would it be proper and appropriate if the riders paid at least 50% of the cost of their ride? Perhaps we should have a town vote on this subject…or one more expensive outside survey at least.

Reply to  George Taylor
3 January 2021 10:08 am

What kind of nonsense analogy is this? You want the pot hole in front of your house repaired? You pay for it? You want to go for a walk along the boardwalk? You pay for it? You want to get heart surgery? You pay for it?

The ironic thing is, transit is user paid to a certain extent. How about all the services that you enjoy?

George Taylor
Reply to  Ahewsonator
3 January 2021 4:25 pm

YES ENJOY (AND PAY FOR!) directly or indirectly?