Candidates for Deputy Mayor

The Deputy Mayor in Cobourg is given the responsibility of managing the Town’s budget so is one of the more important positions.  For this election, there are two candidates: Suzanne Séguin for re-election and Councillor Nicole Beatty.  Based on their published campaigns (on their web sites), they have quite different ideas of what Council should be focused on. Nicole has an emphasis on making the Town a good place to live with thriving arts and culture, recreation and heritage and ensuring that everyone has access to meaningful opportunities, services, and experiences.  Suzanne’s emphasis is on minimizing taxes while providing all the services that people need – as distinct from want.  Both want to hear from voters now but Suzanne also plans a weekly news blog when elected.

Both Nicole and Suzanne have useful information on their websites so we can understand who they are and what they hope to achieve as Deputy Mayor.

Both candidates provide personal information:

  • Nicole loves Cobourg and is active in multiple committees and community groups. She says she’s an idea generator, an innovative thinker, a collaborator, and a get-things-done implementer.
  • Together with her husband Gerry, Suzanne owns Lighthouse Press.  She is also active in multiple committees and community groups.  Her web site includes some family photos.

But let’s explore their Campaigns.

Nicole Beatty
Nicole Beatty

Nicole Beatty Campaign Summary

  • Her vision for Cobourg is a community where everyone is welcome and housing is attainable for all
  • Takes a team approach to financial planning.
  • Plan and manage municipal finances and core assets to provide Cobourg citizens with a high quality of life while also positioning the Town for long-term success.
  • Diversify Town’s revenue sources (grants, nontaxation revenue, user fees, etc.)
  • Welcome new industries that provide a living wage job.
  • Invest in responsible and sustainable tourism
  • Encourage business incubation, attraction, and retention initiatives
  • Honour the values of transparency and accountability at all levels of decision-making and policy development
  • Host coffee conversations, drop-in office hours, forums, roundtables, and other formats to keep residents informed
  • Explore the creation of innovative models to rapidly expedite the much urgent need for affordable and attainable mixed-used housing and purpose-built rentals.
  • Collaborate with community organizations, citizens, Northumberland County and the provincial and federal government to design and implement a permanent solution to address homelessness in our community.
  • Invest in active, connected, and green infrastructure and technologies, including bike paths, walking trails, EV charging stations, and a hybrid/electric transit fleet, all while supporting the advancement of the Town’s Transit Master Plan.
  • Advance the Town of Cobourg Cultural Master Plan and Promote, preserve and progress the Town’s rich heritage and history through creative partnerships with galleries, museums, societies and other likeminded groups.
Suzanne Seguin
Suzanne Seguin

Suzanne Séguin Campaign Summary

  • Proven experience
  • She wants to hear from Residents
  • Top priority is a Budget that is fair, responsible and reflects our core values, while keeping our taxes and debt under control
  • A new approach is required for Cobourg’s Strategic plan, so Council gets more done in less time
  • Initiatives will also include: innovative marketing for Cobourg, saving energy in cost-effective ways, and taking another look at transit, parking and fees for town services.
  • Keep costs (and property taxes) as low as possible by avoiding unnecessary costs for items added to the budget without due consideration. Sometimes enthusiasm for a bright idea or pet project can result in significant costs but no useful outcome. The Town of Cobourg can’t be everything to everyone.
  • Will manage “needs over wants”, while ensuring that Cobourg remains a progressive community that serves its residents and businesses and has a sustainable plan for the future.
  • Suzanne will create and publish Inside Cobourg Council.  Published every Thursday it will include information about what has been discussed during Council, committee and advisory meetings. She will invite citizens to give input.
  • Will promote economic development keeping in mind a balance of new or expanded services and asking “How big do we want to be?”
  • Get the Public more involved in the Strategic Plan which is created at the start of the new term then serves as our roadmap. All budgets, motions and ideas that Council reviews MUST be in that plan.  Suzanne notes: “Unfortunately, many of the visions created by this term of Council did not get realized, primarily due to frequent additions and requests by members of Council for projects that were not in our plan.”

Above are extracts from their web sites but they are worth visits since both Nicole and Suzanne provide a lot more detail.

Nicole Beatty’s Web site  https://nicolebeatty.ca/

Suzanne Séguin’s web site  https://www.suzanneseguin.ca/

Cobourg Internet page with information on all candidates.

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Frenchy
11 September 2022 10:28 pm

Google up Suzanne Seguin or Suzanne Dodge, Mayor of Prescott, and what do you find?
Nothing?
Same as me.
How come?

Mrs. Anonymous
Reply to  Frenchy
12 September 2022 6:40 am

Frenchy, I am not sure what you are implying.

The CBC did run a small story about a bullying problem in the town where Suzanne is quoted.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/prescott-residents-fight-back-against-bullies-1.804321

Mrs. Anonymous
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
12 September 2022 6:50 am

Also this: https://www.salemnews.com/archives/cai-opens-ink-plant-in-canada/article_6b915cf0-ba55-5377-bfa2-71f1a15dfb5a.html . There are other articles, these are just a couple of examples.

Frenchy
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
12 September 2022 8:55 am

I’m not implying anything, I was just curious that there is little to no information about her and her time as mayor of Prescott.
What other articles did you find?

Frenchy
6 September 2022 11:12 am

My vote is for Olena, 47.

Phunkeemum
5 September 2022 1:49 pm

Whoever proposes an end to garbage tags gets my vote

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Phunkeemum
7 September 2022 12:12 pm

Phunkeemum, if you oppose garbage tags you should talk to Mayor Henderson. Garbage tags are a county issue and Henderson is our representative on County Council.

Eastender
5 September 2022 1:40 pm

Seguin did everything possible, used every trick to prevent residents
from having a safe, and staff recommended sidewalk in their local area.
Seguin tried to bury that much needed project with study after study
after study. Seguin has proven nothing to me.
BTW, that sidewalk is regularly used, is a compliment to the local area,
and a blessing to those who no longer have to walk on a busy street.

Last edited 25 days ago by Eastender
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Eastender
5 September 2022 2:50 pm

If you mean the Abbot Street disaster then perhaps you should actually look at what was built and the loss of lovely trees. The vast majority of the residents didn’t want a sidewalk. There has never been an accident on Abbot related to the lack of a sidewalk. Adding a sidewalk exacerbates the problem of storm water management. Why do you oppose what local residents want? Why do you favour wasting money on a abomination?

Bryan
Reply to  Eastender
5 September 2022 3:00 pm

Eastender,

You wrote “….to prevent residents from having a safe….” A safe what?
How is Abbott safer? It had zero pedestrian accidents for many years without the sidewalk.
You also wrote “….a blessing to those who no longer have to walk on a busy street…” Wait until winter. Residents will be walking on the safe road to avoid that ice covered roller coaster.

Further “…. tried to bury that much needed project with study after study
after study.” What studies? How many?
Seguin only has 1 vote. It takes 4 to approve something. How did she manage to “bury that much needed project”

Much needed project? Says who? What are the metrics?
The Abbott St residents showed up in force to support a delegation opposing the sidewalk.

Sounds like Seguin was the only one listening to the residents.

Last edited 25 days ago by Bryan
Kevin
Reply to  Bryan
7 September 2022 8:05 am

Yes, DM Sequin did listen. The sidewalk was built but with the benefit this sidewalk, and future ones, being straight with the street. The Abbott sidewalk is, mostly, straight but it does have lots of ups and downs. Some sidewalks in town curve around hydrants and trees. This is no longer allowed as part of a sidewalk policy that is already out of date. One of the criteria for deciding which roads will get a new sidewalk is proximity to bus stops. With on demand buses, proximity to bus stops is not relevant. There is no safety criteria in the sidewalk policy. The concrete the sidewalk is made from required lots of energy to make. There is nothing about this project that is good for the environment including the removal of mature trees. The parking by-law not allowing overnight parking on Abbott is out of date with on demand buses. It is my understand overnight winter parking is not allowed on Abbott to accommodate snow plowing because it was a bus route. The snow plowing priorities are out of date as well. I have mentioned several things the town has direct control over and can improve to provide services more cost effectively.

The other candidate for DM uses lots of buzz words but did mention the Transit Master Plan. The Transportation Master Plan has much information about muti-use lanes. One of these could have be built on Abbott, much less cost, better for the environment, is more “forward-thinking” and is consistent with the Transportation Master Plan. Yet, she voted for a sidewalk. We all know the old saying, “do as I say, not as I do.” She seems to want us to vote for what she says, not as she does.

Last edited 23 days ago by Kevin
Bryan
Reply to  Kevin
7 September 2022 9:38 am

Kevin,
In your last paragraph you wrote “….. she voted for a sidewalk. We all know the old saying, “do as I say, not as I do.” She seems to want us to vote for what she says, not as she does.”

To be clear, the “she” is Nicole Beatty.
Correct?

Last edited 23 days ago by Bryan
concerned
Reply to  Bryan
7 September 2022 11:39 am

Kind of like her reversal on her vote last night now supporting the RFP for User Fees when she didn’t support it the first time around, interesting flip flop I thought.

Kevin
Reply to  Bryan
7 September 2022 6:50 pm

Yes, that is correct.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Kevin
7 September 2022 11:23 am

The Abbott sidewalk is, mostly, straight but it does have lots of ups and downs.”

Looks like a long white ribbon stopped while waving in wind. This is a great location for skateboarders, which is a gradual downslope towards The Lake. It’s a nice long run and the slope provides accumulating velocity. It makes for a fun slalom run.

In the early 60’s the Downshifters Car Club, mostly organized by Louis Stover and friends, put on a soapbox derby on College Street for a three or four year run. Spills and chills and wheels falling off and memories galore.

Wally Keeler
5 September 2022 12:12 pm

Cobourg declared a ‘climate emergency’.

Nicole; Do you believe there is a climate emergency? Why?

Suzanne; Do you believe there is a climate emergency? Why?

What proposal do either of you have to mitigate the so-called emergency?

Last edited 25 days ago by Wally Keeler
Suzanne Seguin
Reply to  Wally Keeler
5 September 2022 1:35 pm

Hi Wally, Yes, there is a climate emergency. One only needs to look at the news every night to hear about global warming, intense heat, flooding and fires out of control. What Cobourg can do about it is another question.

“In December 2019, Cobourg’s Town Council passed a resolution to declare a climate emergency and accelerate a transition towards carbon neutrality within Cobourg in response to the unprecedented global climate crisis. This resolution follows Council’s 2019 – 2022 Strategic Plan.”

The town does get some funding to hire consultants for direction how to proceed. For example “an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) is under development and the Town is also leading two concurrent project to prepare Green Development Standard (GDS) and complete a Green Energy Retrofit (GER) Feasibility Study.” (Source Cobourg Press Release August 2, 2022.)

Municipalities receive 7 cents of every dollar we pay to governments. The Province and the Federal governments get the rest. We do apply and receive funding from the upper tier governments to help with projects above currently underway. Will purchasing electric buses, and town cars help? Can we reduce green house gases with solar panels on the Memorial area and Venture 13 building? Will installing EV chargers around town for the few owners of electric cars help? Can we reduce our dependance on gas and oil to heat our municipal buildings and homes?

Can a town of 20,000 people accomplish what the entire country of Canada has been trying to do for years? My hope is that the experts that the Town has hired together with Sustainability Cobourg, will present a costed plan for one key initiative for each of Council’s next four years that we can actually accomplish and measure results to achieve a sustainable future.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Suzanne Seguin
5 September 2022 3:02 pm

Thanks bunches for that Suzanne. I don’t share the view that there is an ’emergency’, however, it was most appreciated to elicit your reasoning and to be informed of what is happening in Cobourg to that file.

cornbread
Reply to  Suzanne Seguin
5 September 2022 6:08 pm

Cobourg should NOT be in the business of providing electric charging stations for owners of electric cars. Period Amen.

Bryan
Reply to  cornbread
5 September 2022 6:28 pm

Cornbread,

I think that the Town could “provide” EV charging stations:

  • Rent (at market rates) space at Town parking lots to private sector EV charging companies.
  • Provide EV charging stations that charge market rate plus parking, thereby recovering all costs plus make a profit for the Town..

I agree that under no conditions, should the Town provide free or discounted EV charging services.

Perhaps a project for the new EcDev manager, once he/she is hired.

Last edited 25 days ago by Bryan
Concerned Cobourg Resident
Reply to  Bryan
6 September 2022 8:57 am

Bryan

Why should the town provide EV chargers? Just because it is en vogue and it feels good? What’s next free shoes for all Cobourg citizens?

The private sector is more than willing, more than able, and much more qualified than any public body to provide EV chargers in Cobourg.

CCR

Bryan
Reply to  Concerned Cobourg Resident
7 September 2022 11:27 am

CCR,
I don’t have a problem with the Town providing EV chargers as long as it is done on a profitable basis…definitely not free. Market rate.
The private sector however, should be given first crack at providing this service

Concerned Cobourg Resident
Reply to  cornbread
6 September 2022 8:55 am

Agreed!

The role of government should be limited to property rights and human rights.

FYI, Tesla chargers being built at Canadian Tire is a private venture paid for by Canadian Tire.

CCR

Concerned Cobourg Resident
Reply to  Suzanne Seguin
6 September 2022 8:47 am

Is there a climate emergency? Or has this been created by the feds and the UN to increase government controls on its citizenry?

Who stands to gain from a “climate emergency”? Certainly not the citizens…

As an informed politician, you should know that weather modification is a real tool used by the governments around the world since the 1950’s

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_modification

“The greatest danger to the State is independent intellectual criticism” – Rothbard

CCR

Merle Gingrich
Reply to  Suzanne Seguin
6 September 2022 10:11 am

Yes, the world is in a climate emergency, climates do change, but Canada as a 1.6 percent emitter, if we go to 0 percent it won’t make any changes on the world stage,

Cobourg taxpayer
4 September 2022 8:43 pm

Suzanne Seguin has my vote: practical, down to earth, asks intelligent questions but most importantly concerned about the spending of taxpayer’s dollars. Now if Suzanne could get other councillors with the same concern about the spending of taxpayers dollars she may be able to accomplish something.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Cobourg taxpayer
4 September 2022 9:14 pm

It is up to the voters to elect competent Councillors who are concerned about how our property taxes are spent. We cannot get value for our tax dollars without at least four on Council who understand money. From what has been published so far we must elect Suzanne and Michael. Hopefully some of those who haven’t yet revealed their platforms will emphasize how they plan to control spending.

Ken Strauss
4 September 2022 7:00 pm

We have one candidate for Deputy Mayor who wants everyone to be happy, housed and with the latest fads but she never mentions who pays and how much. The other favours providing necessary services while keeping property taxes fair and debt under control.

Based on watching Council meetings and how they voted on expenditures, it is obvious that Nicole has no conception of budgets. Her only work experience has been with charities. She has never had to worry about how to feed a young family. Can we afford to give her control of our taxes?

Last edited 26 days ago by Ken Strauss
cornbread
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 September 2022 8:30 am

Quick answer to your question….. “NO” !

Nicole Beatty
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 September 2022 8:54 am

Ken, I would be happy to speak with you or any voter about my track record and experience managing multi-million dollar budgets and annual financial reporting. Readers of this blog can follow me on social media and visit my website for meet and greets for a chance to come out and ask me questions. The first meet and greet are next Thursday at The El from 430pm to 6 pm. I look forward to meeting with and listening to concerned citizens. Concerning your statement that “she has never had to worry about how to feed a young family,” please be careful when making assumptions about people’s personal lives. My partner, Damien, and I have been trying to have a family for over two years with aggressive fertility treatments with unfortunate results. We are in the process of becoming adoptive parents, which we are excited about. I have three sisters and an extensive peer network who are excellent mothers and fathers raising families in this community. I see their daily struggles and how tirelessly they work to provide for and raise their children. In addition to my full-time practice, a part-time job, and serving as a Councillor, I also volunteer several hours a week, starting and supporting music, housing, and food programs for young families and children. So while I may not be a parent myself, I have a deep understanding and empathy for the affordability challenges of young families in Cobourg. These and so many other reasons are why I am motivated to continue to serve our community Council. I welcome phone calls to 289.251.3171 or questions to hello@nicolebeatty.ca.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Nicole Beatty
5 September 2022 10:57 am

Sounds like your Personal agenda will keep you away from the Job at hand
and spending Tax dollars is not it, The Province handles most of what you speak of
already

John L. Hill
Reply to  Nicole Beatty
5 September 2022 11:13 am

I am not concerned with your family situation. What I find shocking is that you would go to AMO and put forward a position as a town councillor that had not received council approval. Does this not show an undemocratic bent in your perception of public service?

ben
Reply to  John L. Hill
5 September 2022 11:18 am

John was Nicole speaking as a speaker in a plenary session or was she taking a “Cobourg” position – two very different things. One is an opinion on a current topic and delivered as part of the debate, the other is declaring to speak for Cobourg.

If I take your position then any delegate to an AMO convention would have to know two things; one the agenda and two permission to speak on any topic.

Surely if the Town is going to spend to send delegates then those delegates should be allowed to debate in open sessions.

What I would find shocking is that the Town would pay for delegates to be “placeholders” not people who can contribute to debate.

Last edited 25 days ago by ben
Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
5 September 2022 11:51 am

Ben, I assumed that the main reason for Cobourg to pay for Councillors to attend AMO events is for them learn how other towns are addressing problems similar to Cobourg’s.

The confusion regarding the content and context of Nicole’s AMO presentation would be eliminated if she were to post the presentation on her website together with an explanation of how it advanced approved Cobourg policy..

Bryan
Reply to  ben
5 September 2022 8:36 pm

Ben:

My understanding is that Nicole gave a delegation to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing at the August 2022 AMO Convention in Ottawa By its nature, a delegation would be the presentation of a “Cobourg position. 
https://www.amo.on.ca/advocacy/health-human-services?f%5B0%5D=category%3A68
 
As noted on the AMO 2021 website:
–      Delegation meetings are a key feature of the AMO conference. The AMO conference provides an opportunity for members of your Council to meet with government ministers and officials to discuss local issues. 

Delegation applications must be made about 10 weeks in advance: June 21, 2022 or so.

As John Hill notes, Council approval to make a delegation is assumed to have been obtained. Council’s July 4, 2022 resolution 242-22 approved a delegation to the County’s social services Committee.

I haven’t found any evidence of approval for a delegation to AMO. As such, Nicole’s delegation is a rogue action.

Last edited 25 days ago by Bryan
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Nicole Beatty
5 September 2022 2:31 pm

Nicole, my assessment of your approach to the budget process comes from many hours of watching Council meetings and observing how you analyzed and voted on a variety of financial issues.

Specific instances that immediately come to mind are the budget review meetings. The following are the relevant minutes together with the results of the recorded votes:

https://pub-cobourg.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx?Id=49ece3df-9d2d-44b8-9d75-9a743efff7e1&Agenda=PostMinutes&lang=English
 
https://pub-cobourg.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx?Id=49ece3df-9d2d-44b8-9d75-9a743efff7e1&Agenda=PostMinutes&lang=English
 
The analysis on the CTA website is instructive:

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/2021/12/11/cobourg-tax-increase-not-acceptable/
 
The material on Cobourg’s town website is indicative of your approach to financial prudence:

https://www.cobourg.ca/en/business-and-development/resources/Affordable-and-Rental-Housing-CIP/271-21—CIP-Implementation-Plan-2021.pdf
 
Your emphasis on social issues is misplaced. Rather than seeking to be Cobourg’s Deputy Mayor you should be running for Provincial or Federal office where the relevant policies are established and funded. Local municipal governments cannot solve the problems of homelessness or poverty and they cannot afford to try.
.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ken Strauss
Just a thought
Reply to  Nicole Beatty
5 September 2022 3:27 pm

You’ve led us to believe you can solve our problems and you haven’t. I feel stupid because I voted for you last time and should have considered what you were and weren’t saying more carefully. Lots of words, not so much content. The platform that you have been building for yourself has cost this town over the last 4 years. It’s dangerous and sometimes even feels cruel.
You are well-branded and deserve kudos for that. Almost everything you write is about you. You talk about issues, but it’s you at the centre of them.

Concerned Cobourg Resident
Reply to  Nicole Beatty
6 September 2022 11:05 am

Nicole,

Thanks for you concern and empathy. However, public governments should not be concerned with affordability challenges. That is NOT the problem of the government.

As a parent of three young children, I am responsible enough, and I hope that others are to make responsible choices in life.

If you breed them, you feed them.

Everyone makes choices in life. The public coffer is not a purse to subsidize bad private decisions. Sounds harsh, but that is what being responsible is all about, and those who make responsible decisions should not have to “bail out” those who can’t.

Please do not promulgate anymore social programs. It actually hurts the people you intend to help.

CCR

Jeremy
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 September 2022 9:12 am

Your comment that someone requires children in order to know how to budget is ignorant and sexist. I would also love to know how “Nicole has no concept of budgets”, from what I gathered she has significant experience in the public and private sector as well as an educational background in non-profit management. If you took 5 minutes to read her website you would see an extensive history of managing both organizations and budgets.

Your comments in favor of Suzanne are likewise just broad generalizations gleamed from a brief article. Further if you were to actually read the candidates websites, it appears as if Nicole has more relevant experience, especially when it comes to budgets. Having also watched counsel meetings I think Nicole is both fiscally conservative and forward thinking, the two are not mutually exclusive.

Some of us in Cobourg actually care about our neighbors and want to see our town be an attractive place to live and not just struck in the past. Your insinuation that wanting to see everyone “happy and housed” is somehow a bad thing is sad and speaks volumes as to your priorities.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Jeremy
5 September 2022 11:14 am

Jeremy, I’m puzzled by your comments. How is “having to feed a young family” sexist? It is an example of a responsibility that focuses attention on critical financial realities rather than on fluffy, feel good, nice to haves.

I spent more than “5 minutes” reading Nicol’s website and there is almost nothing about “extensive history of managing both organizations and budgets“. Her experience is in working as a paid fund raiser for charities. There is no indication of budgeting experience nor of being accountable for the direction of an annual $60 million dollar budget as would be her responsibility were she elected as our Deputy Mayor.

As most Cobourgians, I certainly care about neighbours and want our town to continue to be an attractive place to live. However, the responsibility of our Deputy Mayor is to ensure that our budget is well managed for the benefit of all residents. It is not to squander tax dollars on expenses that are the responsibility of other levels of government.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 September 2022 11:26 am

“It is not to squander tax dollars on expenses that are the responsibility of other levels of government.”

Ken in this context obviously you feel quite comfortable in avoiding the issue of “street-people” and “homelessness” because in your mind, and you have said this many times it is a County responsibility.

But if the County is not handling it properly and we still have the problem in Cobourg surely you must decide whether Cobourg should help out.

If Cobourg doesn’t then I guess you will still have the problem and the social ills that go along with that.

You must feel pretty good shut up in your comfortable situation knowing that Cobourg is doing nothing about a Cobourg problem.

Last edited 25 days ago by ben
Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
5 September 2022 12:23 pm

Ben, Cobourg’s taxpayers cannot afford to solve the problems that are the responsibility of other levels of government. Rather than expecting Cobourg to pay more, the solution is to elect a representative to County Council whose goal is to have the county do their job. Sadly, our County Council representative is Mayor Henderson who feels that his responsibility is to the rest of the county rather than to Cobourg;.

Eastender
Reply to  Ken Strauss
5 September 2022 1:55 pm

What fads are you referring to? I have reviewed the summary listed above and have found nothing that remotely resembles a fad. Seguin’s summary, however, contains nothing of import. “A budget that reflects our core values”. What does that mean? “Save energy in cost effective ways”. How?