Engage Cobourg is well used

Despite the departure of Cobourg’s Communication Officer to the HKPR District Health Unit, there’s a whole lot happening on “Engage Cobourg”.  There are currently three active surveys; the one on “Short Term Rental Accommodation” has just closed and a new one on the “Integrated Community Sustainability Plan” has just started (see links below).  The Town is actively recruiting a replacement for Ashley Purdy although last time I looked, the job was not listed on the Town’s web site. The Communication department does have a second person but she is currently on maternity leave!  To help with the crunch, Ashley is helping out part time in addition to her new job.  Gathering input from citizens used to mean Public meetings where there would usually be around 100 of Cobourg’s 20,000 population – but now there’s usually several hundred who respond to Engage Cobourg Surveys.

It would seem that the Town is doing a good job of finding out what the public wants although it’s not clear that the public truly understand all the issues – how can all relevant information be communicated to them?  But inputs to Council come in multiple ways: as well as Engage Cobourg (using “Bang the Table” software), Councillors also get input from Advisory Committees, letters, phone calls, personal interaction and delegations to Council meetings.  (See links below for contact info). But in the end, Council must provide leadership and make decisions.

However, let’s look at the current surveys.

Former Brookside Youth Detention Centre Site
BrooksideStarted 3 February but no end date – Forum.
Council wants to know whether the Town should buy this site and if so, what should it be used for. No price is mentioned but it would have to be many millions. There is no actual survey with questions but instead there is a forum where you can make comments. Last I checked there were 75 comments. The latest update on the status of the property came to Council from MPP David Piccini on 1 February. See Cobourg News Blog report here.

On Demand Transit Survey
Cobourg TransitOpened 8 February 2022; Closes 28 February 2022 – Survey and Forum.
About a year ago, the Town commenced a 1-year pilot project to offer residents on-demand services. I would have thought that the best measure of success would be ridership although that measure might not be ideal because of Covid. However, the survey might uncover ways to make the service better. So far there have been 4 comments on the forum but survey numbers are not provided. The Cobourg News Blog report on the on-demand trial is here. See links below for more on Transit.

Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
ICSP Survey iconOpened 22 February with no close date – Survey plus workshop
In December 2019, Cobourg’s Town Council passed a resolution to declare a climate emergency and as a result work was started on three plans:

  • Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
  • Green Development Standards
  • Green Energy Retrofit Feasibility Study

All three involve consultants and are part of the workload of the Planning Department.  But the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan is the subject of this survey. Go to the Town’s page describing this survey – it includes an overview of all three projects.

There is also a Zoom Workshop on Thursday, March 3 at 5:00 pm – the survey page has a link to sign up to participate.  It uses Event Brite.

In addition there’s a County Survey on Child Care that closes February 28 – see “List of Active Surveys” link below.

Resources

Town web pages

Cobourg Internet Pages

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20 Comments
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Gerinator
24 February 2022 8:47 am

“But inputs to Council come in multiple ways: as well as Engage Cobourg (using “Bang the Table” software), Councillors also get input from Advisory Committees, letters, phone calls, personal interaction and delegations to Council meetings.” and I would add to the list this very Blog. John you have/are doing a great service to the community. Appreciated.

Sandpiper
24 February 2022 8:44 am

I THINK THIS TOWN already has more on its plate than it can Handle
There is so much unfinished business that needs to be finalized before
taking on more . Like the Storm water management issues in the north west
quadrant of town 10 yrs in the works . Sanitary sewage line capacities are an issue all over .
as Miriam stated these issues became a priority requirement under the O P. more than 10 yrs ago so I guess we are just a little behind . Think about Financial sustainability while we are at it .
Do we really need another Town employee who will not have the power or resources to make necessary change s .

MiriamM
23 February 2022 6:28 pm

The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) became a requirement for the Town’s revised Official Plan more than a decade ago. The declaration of a climate emergency in 2019 made such a plan even more important, not to be delayed further.
Here is a definition:
An Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) is any existing or new long-term plan, developed in consultation with community members, to help the community realize sustainability objectives within environmental, cultural, social and economic dimensions of its identity.


Old Sailor
Reply to  MiriamM
23 February 2022 8:13 pm

Miriam

What does “any existing or new long-term plan, developed in consultation with community members, to help the community realize sustainability objectives within environmental, cultural, social and economic dimensions of its identity” mean in simple English? And how would this be accomplished and within what budget constraints?


Frenchy
Reply to  Old Sailor
23 February 2022 9:29 pm

Exactly Old Sailor, political gobbily gook, from a former political.
Bafflegab comes to mind.

MiriamM
Reply to  Old Sailor
23 February 2022 10:14 pm

Here is the link for the definition I used:
https://www.toolkit.bc.ca/icsp#:~:text=An%20Integrated%20Community%20Sustainability%20Plan,economic%20dimensions%20of%20its%20identity.

In simple English, I would say, life cycle assessment not only for products but how we live.

Doing better in more sustainable ways and for the benefit of all community members. We cannot keep doing the same things and expecting different results or expecting someone else will fix it later. Of course, not adapting is also a choice and will likely keep costing more. The whole idea is to shift and make incremental adjustments so that the budgets are used more wisely and assets are leveraged. For example, does the street really need to be widened or can the driving lanes for vehicles be reduced and narrowed so that a bike lane can be painted onto the road and street trees planted for a better experience for pedestrians using the sidewalk and making the neighbourhood cooler in summer? In addition, a certain amount of risk needs to be accommodated, e.g. pilot projects, to test ideas or different standards. And what is an old idea can be new again, rediscovered.

Last edited 3 months ago by MiriamM
Old Sailor
Reply to  MiriamM
24 February 2022 3:25 pm

As commented above, how would this “ICSP” be accomplished and within what budget constraints? We don’t need more touchy feely stuff to spend money on. This is a small town. I don’t think I have ever seen a bicycle in Cobourg on a painted road lane. Maybe we should remove those bicycle lanes since they are not used. Not create a driving disaster like Toronto where cyclists go crazy with their “rights”.

ben
Reply to  Old Sailor
24 February 2022 4:20 pm

Not create a driving disaster like Toronto where cyclists go crazy with their “rights”.”

There are no rights Old Sailor, even for car owners and their self-assumed superiority and sense of ownership. We are all privileged users of the road and to share equally.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
24 February 2022 4:42 pm

Nailed it Ben.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Old Sailor
24 February 2022 4:50 pm

There are painted lanes on King Street East all the way out to the Town limits and I use that lane for my mobility scooter to reach Lucas Point Park. Those painted bike lanes are very handy for those who need mobility devices. It is obvious that Old Sailor has little respect for those who do not drive ice machines.

Frenchy
Reply to  Wally Keeler
24 February 2022 6:05 pm

“I use that lane for my mobility scooter to reach Lucas Point Park. Those painted bike lanes are very handy for those who need mobility devices.”

But always going in the right direction, with traffic, right? Far too many times I’ve seen scooter and bicycle riders merrily going along in the wrong direction thinking they were OK as long as they were in a bike lane.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
25 February 2022 7:59 am

Yes School Master Frenchy, I declare to the good people of Cobourg that I ride my scooter on the right. Sheeesh what an annoying nag you’ve become.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
25 February 2022 4:31 am

Same here, Wally. I sold my last Internal Combustion Engine ice machine almost 40 years ago and moved back to Cobourg because I could get around on a mountain bike.

It’s just that everyone here seems to think that they and everyone else needs to own a gas guzzler to make life at all viable.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
25 February 2022 8:06 am

The street belongs to bicyclists and mobility scooters as much as it does to ice drivers regardless of how condescending some ice drivers can be.

Frenchy
Reply to  Wally Keeler
25 February 2022 8:27 am

Geez Jimmy and Wally, I’m only thinking about the safety of riders like you. Don’t be so bitter, and you shouldn’t be calling people names.
Share the road.

Last edited 3 months ago by Frenchy
Kevin
Reply to  Wally Keeler
26 February 2022 5:09 pm

Yes, gas powered vehicles need to share the streets with a number of other transportation methods. Roller blades, bicycles and scooters are a few of the things that cannot be used on sidewalks. Over the years, non-human powered transportation has become much more powerful. At one time 1 or 2 horse power, quite literally, was the norm. There were accidents with pedestrians then and it took longer to get to a hospital. Everybody that uses the streets has the responsibility to follow the rules. Gas powered cars are very common today but in 10 to 15 years things may be very different. Maybe there will be many more human powered vehicles and mobility scooters than cars on the streets.

Frenchy
Reply to  JimT
25 February 2022 8:46 am

Not a gas guzzler Jimmy… electric baby, electric.
Toot toot! (and don’t forget to signal your turns)

Last edited 3 months ago by Frenchy
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
25 February 2022 12:14 pm

Electric is what I have been driving for many years now, so nag me.

ben
Reply to  JimT
25 February 2022 9:56 am

I guess the car car drivers don’t like you being on a bike, so many thumbs down LOL

MiriamM
Reply to  Old Sailor
24 February 2022 6:47 pm

Old Sailor asked: ‘As commented above, how would this “ICSP” be accomplished and within what budget constraints?’ 
The community decides how the ICSP is to be accomplished and what it will contain. There are templates and sample plans available by other municipalities useful as guides. For our community we need to identify what we are doing well already, identify gaps and new aspects. As for budget constraints, are you asking about the studies or implementation of the plan? For studies, not sure where the budget is earmarked to come from … reserves, outside funding e.g. FCM? Fortunately, municipalities tend to be good about open sourcing. Here is the City of Toronto Green Standards page, for example, design and performance requirements for development https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/official-plan-guidelines/toronto-green-standard/