Unfinished Business – June 2022

The Agenda for every Council meeting includes a report on Unfinished Business.  This is a list of items that Council has directed staff to do but that are not yet done – it includes an update by staff on the status of each item.  Some are quite old but there is usually little comment about it from Councillors with one recent exception: Councillor Emily Chorley twice asked about how many Cannabis stores were in Cobourg and what could be done to regulate them so at the CoW meeting on May 30, Brent Larmer responded to this request; therefore one item came off the Unfinished Business list.  Essentially Brent reported that there are 4 stores authorized to open and one still being considered and that there is little the Town can do to regulate stores – it’s a Provincial matter governed by the AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario).  See Brent’s report in Resources below.

But other items are slow to be actioned.

Unfinished Business Summary

Item numbers refer to links to a related article – see Resources below.

Meeting Date & Motion Description Action Due Date & Status
Social Planning and/or Community Development Advisory Committee
(Item 1)
Research a possible Advisory Committee to determine how affordable housing fits within a municipality’s strategic plan. Working with the County June 2019
No status reported
Emergency Shelters Downtown Cobourg
(Item 2)
A delegation expressed concern to Council re crime levels near Transition House. Working with the County and Cobourg Police.  A Police report was lost. February 2020
Status: Overdue
Affordable Housing CIP
(Item 3)
Council to prioritize and expedite approvals for development projects that increase the supply of purpose-built rental housing, smaller unit sizes, secondary units, and mixed-ratio builds.  Also identify surplus lands for this purpose. A list of possible available properties was identified, an ad hoc advisory committee was formed and a survey conducted with a report supplied to Council. March 2021 then April 2022
Status:  On Track
Private Transportation Regulating By-law
(Item 4)
Develop regulations for Uber and other “Private Transportation Companies” plus invite and engage new and existing businesses to operate Accessible Taxis in the Town of Cobourg. Development of a new By-Law was put on hold by the pandemic.  Taxi companies previously interested in providing accessible taxis have not been heard from. No date specified
Status: Overdue
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
(Item 5)
Action the report from the
Sustainability and Climate Emergency Advisory Committee regarding the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations .
Matter was discussed at the 2022 Budget Deliberations and concluded that more information is required on public’s uptake on the usage of EV units in the Town. No date specified
Status: On Track
AirBnB regulations and enforcement. Short-Term Rental Accommodations (STRA)
(Item 6)
Look into the possibility of licensing.  Interim report on 25 Oct 2021.  Include community Engagement. No date specified. 
Status: On Track
Municipal Accommodation Tax
Provide an analysis of the implementation of a Municipal Accommodation Tax as part of regulating STRAs. No action reported No date specified. 
Status: On Track
Anti Idling By-law
Staff to develop an Anti-Idling By-law and education plan. No action reported 1 March 2022
Status: Behind
Accessibility issues on the Northumberland Mall Property
Planning staff to follow up with the landowners and Council to be updated on the outcome of those discussions. No action reported No date specified. 
Status: On Track
Volunteer Recognition Policy
Staff to draft a Volunteer Recognition Policy for Council consideration and report on the proposed Walk of Fame Volunteer Recognition display at the CCC. No action reported No date specified. 
Status: On Track
Development Charges Addendum Process
Update the Development Charges Background Study and By-Law. No action reported September 2022
Status: On Track
Rezoning Daintry Crescent to Parkland
(Item 7)
Rezone (some of) Daintry Crescent to Parkland and that a plan for new signage, trees, benches, pathways and accessible features be drafted and costed. No action reported May 30 2022
Status: On Track
Municipal Council Remuneration Review
(Item 8)
Staff to conduct a formal review of Council remuneration for the 2022-2026 Term including the engagement of a compensation specialist to a maximum of $5,000 and present back to Committee of the Whole on June 20th, 2022. No action reported June 2022
Status: On Track

This is my first report on Unfinished Business in 2022; there were 4 such reports in 2021 and two in 2020.  It’s good that Brent goes to some trouble to list and report on them – previously it was just a list with no details. The summary above does not indicate the responsible department(s) but the full list does.  Legislative Services is at least partially responsible for 6 of the items with Planning a close second at 5.


Related Reports on Cobourg News Blog

  1. Changes recommended for Advisory Committees – 23 Jan 2019
  2. Neighbours Unhappy with Transition House Usage – 27 November 2019
  3. Report on Municipal Land for Affordable Housing – 8 November 2021
  4. Cobourg’s Taxi Regulations to be updated – 25 January 2020
  5. Installing more EV Chargers in Cobourg – 5 July 2021
  6. Licensing AirBnbs in Cobourg – 21 Oct 2021
  7. Will Daintry Crescent Park Happen? – 25 January 2022
  8. Council Salaries Debated – 8 March 2022

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Wally Keeler
16 June 2022 10:30 am

Unfinished business oversight re the Seven Feathers virtue signal has returned to the crosswalk on Albert Street behind Victoria Hall. A dismal failure last year because it was made in haste. This year, the burgundy crosswalk was jack hammered out of existence and replaced with a white concrete base on which the stencil was laid and the paint applied.

How much did this cost? It’s important to know how much taxpayers paid to have dirty tires run over it multiple times a day. It will be repaired annually ($$$$) forever more.

11 June 2022 8:03 am

It is good to have the Unfinished Business list to know what has not been done and to check progress. Priorities can change with thing like a global pandemic. Good news that the pandemic seems to be over and we can get to work on other things. Dealing with the climate emergency (Wally mentioned it in the comments. To be fair to Wally he noted the town declared an emergency). It would seem to me emergencies should have a high priority. The town should be doing all it can to help the climate. Work has started on rebuilding Victoria St. It is necessary to upgrade sewer and water pipes but will it be done in the most climate friendly way? Will there be new sidewalks on both sides built to the new wider standards? This will mean less green space and more concrete. Will the road be wide enough for the snow plough (Mathew St. is not from what I was told)? Will there be a loss of on street parking causing more parking issues? Hopefully somebody at the town learned from the problems with other reconstruction projects. Hopefully the town is considering the climate emergency with everything they do. If not then why declaring an emergency?

7 June 2022 12:51 pm

The Unfinished Business list looks like a summary of all ‘problems’ that our Public Servants haven’t figured out a way to either say they solved with either a TAX or a By-LAW. When they do–these will transition to ‘Accomplishments’…at all of our collective expense and inconvenience.

For a community our size–I wish we would pass a By-law that for every new By-law being created, another has to be eliminated. This would give pause and consideration to the real severity of the issue at hand.

There should be no pride in having the most By-laws passed; or taxes created– enforceable or not. Most of the things that work for our community & all of us, remain untouched by enforcement.

7 June 2022 8:48 am

How many current ‘Gas Stations” in town are prepared to install electric charging stations for automobiles. How many ‘New Business” electric charging stations have been applied for at this point in time. It is not the town’s responsibility to provide electric charging stations at town taxpayers expense for the few that can afford a 100% electric vehicle. It is about time that the playing field is leveled and electric vehicles start paying road tax, carbon tax plus a couple of other taxes included in the price of gasoline.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
7 June 2022 10:01 am

for the few that can afford a 100% electric vehicle.

On top of all the freeloading re taxes, there is the further subsidization of ev purchases.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
7 June 2022 10:38 am

Furthermore, the ev charging station at Lakefront Utilities offers free electricity. The Hibernia / Albert parking lot provides free electricity. Venture 13 also provides free electricity. All are on municipally owned land. Is the Town keeping a record of how much electricity is being used each year so that taxpayers can know what they are paying to the benefit of a few, a very few.

The Town proposes more ev charging stations; one dual charger near the trailer park; one dual charger on the municipal parking lot behind the downtown LCBO, and two dual chargers at the CCC. More FREE ELECTRICITY?

Talk about freeloaders! Did any of the Town taxpayers vote for this parasite ripoff? Ask our municipal candidates and vote for those who support ev users paying for their electricity.

I pay to power up my electric mobility scooter. The same for all the other elderly and disabled scooter users.

Stan G
Reply to  Wally Keeler
7 June 2022 2:09 pm

The charging station at Hibernia & Albert has solar panels. I have no idea if they provide enough electricity to offset whatever is used by those charging their cars, but I figured it should at least be noted. Perhaps future charging stations should have a similar setup.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Stan G
7 June 2022 3:47 pm

good to know

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
8 June 2022 3:21 pm
7 June 2022 8:29 am

Re Cannabis question and response: “..there is little the Town can do to regulate stores – it’s a Provincial matter governed by the AGCO..” and this is a technocrats response. The reason for why this is the case is because both Staff and Council, in the day, accepted the Provincial offer of 10K$ and GAVE AWAY the Towns prerogative, and obligation, to plan and develop as they see fit. Maybe 5 Cannabis shops is not enough, maybe 25 is more appropriate; who knows. So, in my mind, this is the precursor to the current planning/development environment where the Ford government has decided that a Minister will have (ala OMB) authority over munis planning going forward. Council needs to make a request of its Staff to prepare a position paper whereby they assess todays, with a projection of the future, planning and development environments and their controls.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Gerinator
7 June 2022 3:59 pm

Let the wonders of capitalism decide the fate of pot shops. Too many and the marginal ones will die a natural death. We don’t need to regulate them, the shop owners won’t stick around if they’re not making a profit. Even a good socialist like me understands that.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Deborah OConnor
7 June 2022 9:45 pm

Nailed it.

Reply to  Deborah OConnor
8 June 2022 2:33 pm

Even “good socialists” recognize the law of supply and demand.

Reply to  JimT
8 June 2022 5:48 pm

Where we differ JimT is in the disposition of the profits!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
9 June 2022 11:47 am

How much profit should remain to the individual who created the wealth? 90%? 10%? 50%?

Where do you draw the line between disincentivizing and incentivizing creators?

Last edited 5 months ago by Wally Keeler
Reply to  Wally Keeler
9 June 2022 6:27 pm

Good question Wally, anxiously waiting a reply.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Frenchy
10 June 2022 9:14 am

Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) are also still waiting for a reply.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
10 June 2022 10:37 am

How much profit should remain to the individual who created the wealth? 90%? 10%? 50%?”
Good question – who created the wealth? Was it the inventor, the adaptor the thief of ideas or the people who did the work so that the “individual” can claim all the credit, and presumably all the profit.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  ben
10 June 2022 1:34 pm

Elon Musk created reusable rockets. He gets all the credit, not the workers who followed his instructions. They were paid hefty wages for their obedient services, but they are not creators. They did not generate wealth out of airy nothings — Musk did that.

So tell us how much of Elon’s (The Creator) profit do you think should be taken away from him 10% 50% 90%.

A creator has an idea of a new product or service that will enhance other people’s lives. He hires workers (who are not creators) to manifest the creator’s idea. They don’t create, they obediently follow instructions. If the idea generates wealth, the workers get a piece of the pie, but the whole pie is not their idea, it is the creator’s idea, so the creator gets all the credit to name the pie after themselves, rightly so.

Political parties and their sycophants are uncreative because they do not generate wealth. Creative people generate wealth. So how much should be taken away from creators?

The creative Elon Musk doesn’t own a bunch of mansions or yachts or fleets of private jets. He doesn’t give himself a salary. He has been known to sleep on the factory floor because he is driven with a powerful creative force. The profits he earns is reinvested in more and more creativity.

He creates jobs jobs jobs by the hundreds of thousands. Workers don’t create jobs, politicians don’t create jobs.

So how much $$$$$$ do you think should be taken away from creators?

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  JimT
10 June 2022 7:57 pm

Isn’t that exactly what I said?

Reply to  Gerinator
8 June 2022 5:02 am

This is also happening in every town, city, whatever in Ontario. People talk as if the pot shop explosion is a unique to Cobourg phenomenon. It’s not.

Reply to  Ahewson
11 June 2022 12:28 am

What may or may not be unique to Cobourg is its gutless response to the 10K Trojan Horse. Perhaps the ‘every town, city’ had more sense and more cynicism about Trojan Horses.

Wally Keeler
6 June 2022 8:49 pm

The Sustainability and Climate Emergency Advisory Committee is on top of things re EV charging stations.

Obviously there seems not to be the EMERGENCY about this or action would already have been taken.

Perhaps something more modest, such as inventory all the landscape devices (lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, etc) that should be electric by the end of the year. Look into an electric Zamboni for the CCC. (Kingston adds new electric Zambonis to Invista Centre | The Kingston Whig Standard (thewhig.com)Each new Zambini costs about $90,000, about one-third more expensive that a propane-powered equivalent, but is expected to cost about $7,000 a year less in fuel and maintenance costs.”) Electric snowplows for sidewalks. Electric street sweepers.

The Town declared an EMERGENCY but are lazy on this file.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
8 June 2022 9:27 am

Where can I get free electricity for my electric lawn mower and weed-whacker?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  JimT
8 June 2022 11:07 am

Charge up your ev at one of Cobourg’s free electricity stations, drive it home, then siphon from your ev.

Old Sailor
6 June 2022 8:20 pm

Should ignored agenda items just time out after six months? How important can they be at that point in time? I assume that with an election coming up certain Councillors, like the Mayor, do not want the last agenda item, fair market remuneration for Councillors to be considered before the election. It might encourage some better qualified candidates to run for Council positions.