Budget for 2024

At their meeting on 13 November, Cobourg Council accepted the recommendation of the new Treasurer Adam Giddings, to set the target for the 2024 Operating budget increase at 6%. Then assuming a growth in the tax base of 1%, the resulting increase in the levy (the amount we pay) would be 5%.  Adam says that previous increases have not quite kept pace with inflation so there is a small catch up in the 5% figure.  Adam says that the alternative is a reduction in services – he does not discuss improvements in efficiency or productivity. The next steps in the budget process will be provided in the Committee of the Whole meeting on 27 November. There will be two public meetings: 1) to hear presentations for Community Grants and 2) to accept “public budget submissions by members of the public”.

Budget meeting time table:

Public Meeting

  • December 4, 2023, at 5:00 pm (For Community Grant Presentations to Council)

Public Meeting

  • December 11, 2023, at 5:00 pm (For public budget submissions by members of the public)

Special Meeting

  • December 12 and 13, 2023, at 1:00 pm (Divisional Staff Budget Presentation)

Strategic Priorities and Policy Standing Committee Meeting

  • January 9, 2024, at 9:00 am (Full-Detailed Budget Review)

Regular Council Meeting

  • January 31, 2024, at 6:00 pm (Tentative Final Budget Approval Date)

Although not explicitly stated, it’s likely that these meetings will be in Council chambers and livestreamed as done for Council meetings.

Note that the “Full-Detailed Budget Review” will be reviewed by the new Standing Committee (Strategic Priorities and Policy) which has all councillors as members.

Presumably, if you want to make a presentation on either Community Grants or the budget, you should contact Brent Larmer at [email protected]  Applications for Community Grants closed on 31 October so these presentations will be by people who have already applied.  The latest policy on Community Grants is here.

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Kevin
2 months ago

From a course on financial management for condominiums this whole budgeting process is flawed. In the budgeting course the proper way to prepare a budget is to look at every expense, decide if it is necessary and then decide on the most cost effective way to provide it. There may be a multi-year contract in place for some services like cleaning and grounds keeping. The budget for these items is already known by the contract. Other things like utilities expenses might have an increase in cost. These items are budgeted based on the previous actual costs with a best guess for the increase. Starting with a target of how much the overall budget should increase by seems very wrong.

There are a couple of reasons budgeting is so difficult for town employees. Their main jobs are not budgeting. A department manager may be very good at assigning workers to tasks, scheduling work, etc. but does not have the skills to do proper budgeting. There is also a couple well known phenomena that do not help. In an organization people generally get promoted until they are working at, or trying to work beyond, their abilities. This leads to people not preforming well and job related stress. Perhaps this is one of the reasons so many police are on leave. Somewhat related is the rule about half of work being done by the square root of the number of people. 10 people do half the work in an organization of 100. If the budgeting is given to these 10 people it might get done properly.

The other big problem is there is no desire to save money by town employees. Most of the ideas coming from the town include hiring more people to provide more services. The recent information desk, the Welcoming Streets program and the proposal to provide snow removal for all sidewalks are examples. When has there been a proposal to reduce staff or eliminate a service to keep costs under control? The institutional mentality is to expand. More services, more jobs for family members and higher taxes. To really make a difference an outside consultant would have to do a detailed audit of all expenses, worker performance, material purchasing, etc. and make appropriate recommendations. But that means an expense to hire a consultant, with a mandate to reduce waste, and a willingness to follow the recommendations. Do we want to do that? Is there a budget for it?

Paul
Reply to  Kevin
2 months ago

I certainly understand what you are saying but the council we elected has to start somewhere with mandate to the town Managers. The process would be to not hire the sustainability Manager and get an outside consultant in to look at tasks involved in each department. This would have to start with some coaching on efficiency improvement and task writing for all the Managers, with insights on how ares can be optimized. They first will have to understand the tasks in their department and the CO’s of completing them.
Starting with the most costly, low hanging fruit is the place to get the best bang for the buck. Managers will have to be mandates to put together an organization can’t for their department with the number of employees and the tasks at hand for each department. Face it there will a lot of low hangers hanging fruit. Managers will have to coached in calculating the cost of performing tasks with a mind set to improvement.
We have to start somewhere as you are correct what we see is a continual build of employees and cost to provide so called services.
Maybe a good transparent community look at what the towns calls services, should be presented to the community so the tax payers can have a say in what we want and don’t want. Ie. a better solution to the cost of policing costs and the CCC. We can look at the town services we are supporting with taxation as the employee cost of providing said services is more than the intake of funds by those using the service.
There are many approaches to take but we have to start somewhere. There are many items that come to mind.

Rob
Reply to  Paul
2 months ago

A quote from the Mayors November Newsletter:

“As we approach the budget process, I have indicated to Council that I will be encouraging an increase in our staff compliment…”

This signals to me, that identifying operational efficiencies leading to fiscal improvements, service reductions/pauses or putting into place a policy mandating that every department identify xx% in cost savings are not on the radar of this Mayor. Every private enterprise in Cobourg is looking at a very financially challenging 2024, closely managing their P&L, augmenting their operations, looking for cost savings of any kind and reducing headcount but not The Town of Cobourg. The rules that government how to effectively run a business do not apply. Demand better!

Are_n
Reply to  Rob
2 months ago

“encouraging an increase in staff compliment”…Me thinks that’s mayor speak for hiring the FT Communications person dedicated to serving his needs only that he demanded in the not so distant past. Why should a part-time Mayor need a full time communications person? Surely there are more than enough people working for the town that this is not needed.

Kevin
Reply to  Are_n
2 months ago

Complement or compliment? My spelling is not very good so I looked up definitions. In the Mayor’s quoted posted by Rob the word complement would seem more appropriate. But maybe the mayor simple wants more compliments given to staff. If staff does a good job at finding savings then Council and tax payers should give them compliments. Why not? I really do not know if there are more than enough staff already. The proper way of budgeting is to determine the services to be provided and the best way to provide them. Then assign staff to provide the services, or contract to private companies. Starting with the number of staff is backwards. I agree with Rob that 2024 could be financially challenging for businesses. For lots of individuals as well. This is not a good time to be increasing town services and property taxes.

I think Paul made a good point about training department managers on cost savings. In my opinion the perception used to be government jobs had good benefits and security but did not pay very well. The private sector paid better. The best managers could make more in the private sector, did not have to worry about job security because they were in demand and could forgo benefits due to higher pay. This created institutional mentality in government of not having to perform well. Maybe not even being able to perform well. Things have changed. People are starting to revolt against higher taxes/fees. It is up to town employees to accept training, if necessary, and reduce department expenses. Stop recommending more staff to provide more services and find ways to help the people who pay you. Earn those compliments!

Wally would know the difference between complement and compliment. Haven’t heard for him in awhile. I hope you are are doing well Wally.

Rational
Reply to  Are_n
2 months ago

Agree. Seems like a distraction tactic. If other areas request a staff increase then Lucas Cleveland’s request again this year for a personal assistant staff increase (which I am sure is going to be made) will not stand out.

Paul
2 months ago

In order to cut costs thru efficiencies the elected council should direct the hire of an outside efficiency leader to come in and look at head count and work they the day to requirements of town staff. First there must be a freeze new hires until the efficiency program is completed. Diversity and inclusion coordinator positions are not required if town Managers were doing their job.
When council should direct the CAO to ensure all department Managers budget submission for 2024 includes an organization chart that includes the numbers of employees in each area and a complete job description. The budget submission should include areas where cuts to costs can be achieved and that means numbers of staff. The people of Cobourg should be able to look at the budgets and see how many people are required and why.
The outside Efficiency Lead can work with all department Managers to come up with cost savings. Department Managers have to have written on their job descriptions that finding efficiency is a large part of their job along with diversity and inclusion.

Sandpiper
2 months ago

Hey They did not even involve the Heritage Director
that thing sure looked awfully Functional for a Historic Lobby

small town Ontario
2 months ago

Memo from Town Clerk/Director, Legislative Services regarding Customer Service Strategy Update and Preliminary Steps 199 Action Recommended: THAT Council receive the staff report for information purposes; and FURTHER THAT Council endorse the introduction of a Centralized Customer Services Desk located within the front foyer of Victoria Hall in the current location of the existing Security Desk at a cost of $15,000 to be funded through the 2023 approved capital budget for Victoria Hall renovations and upgrades; and FURTHER THAT Council direct Staff to work with the Heritage Planner and the Victoria Hall Volunteers and Victoria Hall Maintenance Trust on the selection of the Colour finishes for the Centralized Customer Services Desk to ensure the desk is complimentary to the foyer and the previous agreed upon coloring of the current desk that is in Victoria Hall. 11. PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

Committee meeting to-night, open session starts about 6:00 pm tonight after a closed session, a revised agenda is on pdf.
Save taxpayers $15,000.00, a desk at the front foyer, it is not a need, but just a want from a staff report.
I have heard LC on YourTV, in the past say well it is only $25,000.00, I do not want to hear it is only $15,000.00

I do not see anything on this agenda about the DBIA Welcome for the Homeless program, does anyone know if the members of the DBIA rejected it before it was received back to council for funding?

Leslie
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Centralized Customer Services Desk is a “Gatekeeper” position…next will be Chatbots. Further distancing your accessibility to a knowledgeable live person — who can effectively address an enquiry you may have.

I would also like to know what is happening with the Welcome the Homeless DBIA Pilot Proposal.

small town Ontario
Reply to  Leslie
2 months ago

CAO talked about this centralized service being what is needed to collect information in one place, no mention of spending the $15,000.00 + it was carried by all councillors, in a New York minute.

Sandpiper
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

IF THE cao OR THE TOWN STAFF ESPECIALLY planning DEPT.
would ever answer the phone s or call you back they might Know what it was about Seems simple to me
Why another Lawyer of Defence oh I meant Bureaucracy

small town Ontario
Reply to  Leslie
2 months ago

I do not understand why CAO is calling it a Centralized Customer Service.
We communicate by telephone – Central desk and individual person, eg. councilor
e-mail – individual person or website contact
Mail- individual person or mail room
Walk in- to the office or area of the person we are wanting to talk with.
These will remain.
Now the Walk in will have a Centralized Customer Service desk. It will not centralize all of the other ways we communicate, it is just a central location in the foyer. that is not needed. Gatekeeper it is Leslie as you said.
CAO said she got the idea from East Gwillimbury municipal office. I would prefer she spend her time searching for cost savings ideas at EG rather than spending ideas and then bring a cost savings staff report idea to the councilors for a vote..
This will not be quick assemble IKEA, but require a heritage carpenter.
Leave the money in the Victoria Hall Capital Budget account for renovation or upgrades that may be needed in the future.
Our base and consumption water rates are going up and more so in the future.

John Draper
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Comments on this topic are best made in the (new) post about this. The Customer desk is not in the 2024 budget. You risk this comment being deleted since it’s off topic.

ben
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

“Save taxpayers $15,000.00, a desk at the front foyer, it is not a need, but just a want from a staff report.”

This is definitely a want from the Staff – Welcome to “Fort Vic Hall” The next phase will be no access to the rooms behind the foyer and the entrance to the Council Chambers only on specified meeting times and dates.

After all the ‘pesky public’ has to be kept from interfering with any of the municipal processes.

Last edited 2 months ago by ben
small town Ontario
Reply to  ben
2 months ago

I hope they still allow the public to go to the courtroom, the only person I like to talk to at Victoria Hall is that lovely animated lady in the courtroom.;)

Rational
2 months ago

Based on the 2021 Census and Cobourg’s 2023 Budget, the Cobourg Police Services cost per household is $765 ($6,994K net police budget/9,135 households).

The OPP establish its Municipality cost based on number of households in the municipality. Based on two OPP links I pulled up, the average Municipality cost per household is $347 per month and over the last 7 years varied between $350 – $362. OPP have a basic household charge and then add on for other services selected. The following links takes you to other supporting information, including an excel report of all Municipalities (296) in Ontario and their costs over the past 7 years under.

https://www.opp.ca/index.php?id=115&entryid=56b7d20e8f94ac9f5828d198

https://www.opp.ca/index.php?&lng=en&id=115&entryid=58179f628f94acf555bef561

I recognize services may differ between the OPP and CPS – but are we getting value for services in cobourg? As Cobourg is now in the 2024 budgeting season and CPS represent the largest operating expense (25%) of the total operating budget for 2023, further investigation is required to determine what is right for Cobourg – particularly as the CPS budget is presented as take it all or reject it all.

It is common sense to determine exactly what Cobourg’s OPP cost for comparable services to CPS, and what cost effective services do we really need. Also, to be taken into consideration are CPS Capital Costs i.e. new vehicles, Building, staffing costs etc.

Given the significant operating cost variance, coupled with CPS Capital Cost potential proposals (current and future) I believe it prudent that Council put forward and approve a motion requesting the Finance Department staff contact the OPP, initiate an all inclusive policing proposal, and present findings to Council/Public for consideration in the 2024 budget process.

cornbread
Reply to  Rational
2 months ago

I believe Mayor Brocanier was in favour of the OPP…perhaps council can give him a call for good info.

Rational
Reply to  Rational
2 months ago

Edit: I stated the OPP cost per month – but that should read per year.

Rob
2 months ago

As a leadership team, including the CAO, they need to tell Adam Giddings to go back to his office to find cost savings, operating efficiencies and areas to improve productivity – this may include service reductions, pausing pet projects/new initiatives and reduction in headcount. In any normal business, you don’t get to simply print new money, you have to work the problem and do better.

How has it become such common practice to just take more money from taxpayers without taking a forensic look at your operation and how you run your business.

No tax increase. No new fees. No increase to existing fees.

Do your jobs and work the problem.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Rob
2 months ago

Maybe they’re taking lessons from the Federal government?

Leslie
Reply to  Bill Thompson
2 months ago

Woke Socialism.

Tammy
Reply to  Rob
2 months ago

I totally agree. What happened to the mayor’s campaign assertions that as a business person he understood budgeting and cost/priority management? Apparently that was just smoke and mirrors and he’s just like the other town department managers: no motivation to control costs, wanting headcount increases for no justifiable reason, and passing increases without compunction to taxpayers. The mayor and this council are just as irresponsible and spendthrift as those that have come before. Truly disgusting.

Leweez
2 months ago

Adam Giddings, our new town treasurer, was previously the financial person at Lakefront Utilities.
Maybe now he could enlighten all us tax payers about the goings on at Lakefront.
How are they managing to keep the lights on(sometimes), when every other municipality the size of Cobourg within a 100kms have sold their hydro.
Also what are the salaries of the top management there?
For a lighting company, LUSI sure likes to keep its ratepayers in the dark, and for whatever reason Council seems fine with it

Cobourg taxpayer
2 months ago

Can’t wait to see the requests from the county, Cobourg Police Service, Ganaraska Conservation Authority and others for more money. This is only the start.
The county thinks spending $18 million for 4 buildings of 10 units each to be used as taxpayer funded housing is a good investment. The Golden Plough Lodge rebuild costs will likely be a lot higher than $127 million to house 180 residents and a museum. The county wants a new public works building at a cost of $57 million. Cobourg police want a new headquarters at a projected cost of how many millions? A consultant has been hired to study future building needs for the police. As 20% plus officers are off sick at any given time the chief will request more staff because, even though he claims crime is not increasing, there are still lots of calls for service.
We aint seen nothing yet in regards to tax increases!

Kathleen
2 months ago

“….Adam says that the alternative is a reduction in services – he does not discuss improvements in efficiency or productivity…”  
So,
-Our house taxes went up just over 6% this year
-Our new annual stormwater fees on our LUCI bill are an additional $175/yr
-Northumberland residents currently pay for garbage tags hovering at $5/tag
-Cobourg residents pay for downtown parking
-Cobourg has limited VIA service, next to no Bus Service or Taxi Service and NO Uber
 
And Adam the Treasurer says we have to cut services.  It’s Groundhog Day all over again….

Our Mayor was the only one on Council to suggest revisiting a 16 YEAR OLD Policing Study to merge Port Hope and Cobourg Police Service to save on our Tax Bill. But faster than a speeding bullet, Council received a sternly worded letter, dated Feb. 22/23, from Ron Kerr, Chair of the CPSB, announcing that, “NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Cobourg Police Services Board does not support any further study on County wide policing”.
Subsequently, Council collectively caved on the merging idea altogether at the Feb. 27th Regular Council Meeting recording, “Cobourg Council does not support any further study on Country-wide policing within this term of Council”. 
Now, I don’t know about all of you but I was left asking myself questions like, “Who works for who here?” and “When did the Public actually get a say in all this?”  and “Just How much Tax savings are we talking about here?” 
Correct me of I’m wrong but from what I can garner, Cobourg and Port Hope are the only 2 Towns in Ontario with under 25 thousand people each that have their own Police Forces.  Other cities and towns our size in Ontario either have a County Police Force or OPP.  
I’d personally vote for a merging of Police Services (If not going with OPP altogether) tomorrow – if it meant that the Cobourg Council Treasurer could finally discuss spending money to Revitalize Cobourg – like keeping our outdoor pool – and stop the talk of tearing it down even further.

cornbread
Reply to  Kathleen
2 months ago

I believe Kerr was on the BoD when Dalewood went into financial trouble…The citizens of Cobourg trump his position on the Police Board. And council better listen to the citizens.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Kathleen
2 months ago

Wouldn’t it be nice to get an Unbiased Engage Site running
with people independent of the Town Halls influence and run by the Residents
Possibly something like the Cobourg Tax Payers Assoc.

Christy
Reply to  Kathleen
2 months ago

Brockville (pop. approx. 21000) still has their own police force.

Mrs. Anonymous
2 months ago

Some savings could be achieved by axing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion coordinator position. Departmental managers should be following existing building codes and human rights legislation making the coordinator position redundant.

LivesinCobourg
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
2 months ago

Agreed. I realize common sense is a forgotten term and procedure. I also didn’t realize the town actually employs someone as a Equity\Diversity\Inclusion position. This is another example of look at us, we are so forward thinking. Good gawd, just do your job and do whats right as Mrs Anon stated.

Leslie
Reply to  Mrs. Anonymous
2 months ago

Yes. Savings in axing both the DIE Coordinator and the Sustainability Coordinator position, to be hired 1st quarter of 2024. Agreed, too much redundancy and virtue signaling — Common Sense is becoming a thing of the past, at the taxpayer’s expense.

Rob
Reply to  Leslie
2 months ago

This has no business finding its way into a cash strapped Town Council seeking a >5% tax increase without first mandating departmental and organizational efficiencies and savings be found first!

Tammy
Reply to  Rob
2 months ago

Yes! It’s not brain surgery. Determine what every person in your department does and how long they spend doing it. OBSERVE, don’t just take it as gospel. Figure out what reports or tasks are done just because that is the way they have always been done. Make process improvement part of every single employee’s objectives and measure progress at least quarterly. Most important – no one gets additional funding or headcount until they have cut costs to offset it. As taxpayers, we make these sorts of decisions with our personal finances all the time. Why can’t council and town employees do the same?

Jesse
2 months ago

Most of the services around here are sub-par at best. By-law officers can’t keep up or even remember all of the by-laws they need to enforce. Bureau said he would work on eliminating or updating a lot off the by-laws during his campaign. Things need to be more efficient around here.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Jesse
2 months ago

What about all the staff that won’t answer the phone
insist on E mail s that they never respond to .
Boy I sure would like to know what happened to the Electoral Promises
—- about
Openness
Clairity
Response
Accountability
Integrity
Can you imagine what would go on in the various departments or behind the scenes if they were not Open to account to Council members and obligated to explain the daily ongoings and up dates as they happen .
How would the Constituents ever know what the real facts are if they could reach out to their Councilors
for answers , and fast responses .

Sandpiper
2 months ago

So if we add the last 3 years of increases all together including the New None Tax ? for Storm Watter
issues that LUCi is getting
I believe that brings us in to a 30 ++ % range of Tax Increases I know some Business owners are suggesting 34% + increases and they have already noticed a reduction in Services
_ we can do without By Law as well

Bryan
Reply to  Sandpiper
2 months ago

Sandpiper,
LUSI is not getting the SWM fee money, the Town is. LUSI is just the billing and collection agency.

EB
2 months ago

The second bullet point under 6.1 of the current Community Grants appears to make the grants ineligible that were given to individuals to renovate homes, for profit, rental accommodation. Perhaps this taxpayer money was given out under another provision or the grant provisions have been updated? Maybe I am mistaken. Given we need to increase taxes again to cover the budget, I hope we are reconsidering for the coming year, however small. Yes, I understand we need housing and, if profitable, developers and individuals can pursue doing so without handouts.Maybe qualified repayable loans could have provided the same incentive to individuals.

Jones
Reply to  EB
2 months ago

Parents
Ensure your children get government jobs
Or
Go south

Jones
2 months ago

Another case of govt causing inflation

David
2 months ago

I’m going to need to start looking for a place at the encampment at this rate!

Bill
2 months ago

If I recall correctly, our mayor campaigned on the basis of no tax increases for a year or two; however, a 5% increase is quite acceptable for him now. We need to stick to the basics! A reduction in non-essential services is not a bad alternative. Certainly, improvements in efficiency and productivity can be found.

Ahewson
Reply to  Bill
2 months ago

A lot of presumptions there Bill.

“If you recall”, are you correct or not? Research it maybe. Your comment is predicated on you recalling that correctly.

“A year or two”. Which is it? One year or two years? Kind of important for the point you’re trying to make.

“5% increase is quite acceptable for him now.” Haha. Now you’re saying he finds it acceptable to have done this thing you don’t even know if he has done. Just gonna assume all your assumptions are correct and throwing out an accusation based of said assumptions. Nice!

“A reduction in non-essential services is not a bad alternative.” What services would be cut? Have you spoken with the users of these services to see if they find it a “not bad a alternative”?

“Certainly, improvements in efficiency and productivity can be found.” Certainly, really? If it’s so certain how about you give us some examples of what you’re talking about. I’m sure the town would love to hear about these low-hanging efficiency improvements they’ve been missing out on.

You make it sound all so easy. Cut a couple services, find some magically efficiencies improvements, and taxes won’t get raised. As if things actually work that way. The people agree with you too, look at those up votes! Heck yeah, it’s just all so easy!

cornbread
Reply to  Ahewson
2 months ago

How about a switch to a Volunteer Fire Dept. just like Port Hope has. Big savings there!

cornbread
Reply to  cornbread
2 months ago

What about OPP for Cobourg?…really big savings here. Our current force..is it keeping the downtown safe?

Ahewson
Reply to  cornbread
2 months ago

If you do some research on the topic you’ll find many jurisdictions regret making the switch. There has been very open and direct communication between the police force and the town/citizens over the current issues downtown and with the encampment. I don’t think you’d see with the OPP. And on the topic, the Chief has said on multiple occasions that the court system is releasing individuals that they’re bringing in. That’s a failure of the courts, not the PD.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ahewson
2 months ago

Is it really the Court sys. or a Weak
Police sys not strong enough in various ways to stand up to the
Public defender .

Bryan
Reply to  Ahewson
2 months ago

Ahewson,

You wrote ” That’s a failure of the courts, not the PD”
I agree that it is not the PD’s fault. But it is not the court’s either. The courts are following the law and the directives from their bosses.

The failure rests with the federal and provincial attorney generals.

Dave
Reply to  Bryan
2 months ago

Hi Bryan – In an earlier Blog Bills passed by the Federal government were presented for all to review. In that case how would the Provincial Attorney General be able to cirumvent those laws as they apply nation wide?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
2 months ago

Not withstanding?

Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 months ago

You’ll have to explain further Ken. I have no idea how the Provincial Attorney does not have to uphold the laws that everyone else apparently does whether it be Vancouver, Winnipeg ,,,,,,

Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 months ago

Upon looking up the Not Withstanding Clause if that is what you are referring to this is what I found on its use Ken –

  • “Although the clause is available to governments, its use is politically difficult and therefore rare. It is known colloquially as the “nuclear option,” because its use is considered extremely severe. Since the Constitution was patriated in 1982, the clause has been used only a handful of times by various provinces.”
  • You will note “the Constitution was patriated in 1982 – Federal Liberals under Pierre Trudeau.
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Dave
2 months ago

Correct, Dave. This mess was started by Trudeau senior and made far worse by Trudeau junior.

Dave
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 months ago

I’m aware Ken as I have repeatedly posted throughout this topic – glad to see you up voted so heartily – my posts stating this were not always so successful in fact some got deleted even after posting. People need to vote them out!!

Kyle
Reply to  Bryan
2 months ago

Of course our courts have blame. We have appointed virtual life long judges some of who have lost touch with reality. We also have a Supreme Court that now makes laws instead of interpreting law made by elected officials.
I will bet none of them live in areas affected by their own decisions like in Waterloo.
Relocation of encampments to their neighbourhood would certainly change some of their decisions.

Kyle
Reply to  Ahewson
2 months ago

They certainly do not regret the amount of tax payer money they saved by switching to OPP. They are also not burdened with paying near a million per year for all the officers off work, suspended etc etc like we do in Cobourg.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Kyle
2 months ago

Kyle, actually $1.477M according the the Chief.

ben
Reply to  Kyle
2 months ago

I think you will find that most Police Services have the same problem with Officers not being able to work, the OPP will be no different.

Kyle
Reply to  ben
2 months ago

Yes, but they are able to shift resources where Cobourg alone cannot. They also have far more areas to accommodate.

Ahewson
Reply to  cornbread
2 months ago

Big savings…until there is an emergency and the firefighters have to climb out of bed at their own home, or come from wherever the hell they are, before they even think about making it to said emergency.

As it stands now, the Cobourg FD currently runs on a full-time/volunteer model. Seems like the best of both worlds to me. Quick response time by full-time staff, volunteer staff roll in and equipment and plans are in place.

cornbread
Reply to  Ahewson
2 months ago

Then how come our House insurance is not much lower than Port Hope rates?

small town Ontario
Reply to  Ahewson
2 months ago

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/2022/10/12/lets-talk-about-tax-increases/

I did research it and you will find LC;s comments about freezing taxes for one or two years in the above noted link

Ahewson
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Thank you for researching, it’s what the original commenter should have done. As for the freeze, and as you say in a different post, it’s a lot of politician talk. Also the prerequisite of having the votes from council.

Bill
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Thanks for posting this information. I just spent some time trying to find this reference which confirms what I stated earlier regarding the mayor’s statement during his campaign about freezing taxes.

Kathleen
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Predicated on 3 councillors backing him

small town Ontario
Reply to  Bill
2 months ago

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/election-editorials/

Looking at the LC’s campaign page there is a lot of talk, but really says nothing, at least specific to any issue like tax increases that most taxpayers are really concerned about. Typical politician.
So let’s see what the taxpayer association says about Cleveland now.

small town Ontario
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/2022/10/12/lets-talk-about-tax-increases/

talk-about-tax-increases – the link above suggested that LC would freeze taxes for one or two years.

Also in the first link noted above you see that the town gave GWC $6,000.00

Bryan
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Bill,

The article on the CTA’s website simply reports what LC said and also pointed out that accomplishing that goal was conditional on having a supportive Council. The article was not an endorsement of LC as you seem to be suggesting.

Other than LC, which Council members “promised” lower taxes?

https://cobourgtaxpayers.ca/election-2022-candidates-election-material

At the recent Council meeting when the 5% tax levy increase was approved, which Council members, if any, suggested a lower target?

small town Ontario
Reply to  Bryan
2 months ago

I agree, LC saying he would freeze taxes for one or two years was a stupid thing for him to say to voters listening to his political platform. The statement was made without qualification from LC. Poor leadership quality.
So, in Oct. 2022, if that is what he really wanted to do then go to the Treasurer, at that time Ian Davey, task Ian to start finding ways to save taxpayers dollars If the increase was 5%, then find 10% savings to bring it to zero. Then bring it to council to vote on at budget time. It is called leadership.
Discussion for a lower target rate should be well in advance of presentation to council and it starts with the LC.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  small town Ontario
2 months ago

Agreed, small town Ontario, but who on Council would support Lucas to the detriment of “the most vulnerable” such as those who demand Cobourg’s uneconomic bus “service” costing taxpayers $60 per trip? What about the CCC which costs taxpayers over $1M per year?

Remember it takes the Mayor plus the support of 3 Councillors to do anything for the common good.

small town Ontario
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 months ago

Agree Ken, but it is up to the voters to ask and get direct answers to their question, watch for political manipulation like this, insist their political website is definitive, so that this so called clever political strategy backfires. Hopefully, they will be replaced in the next election.
Oh yes, I remember CCC, The mayor said all was so wonderful. A new community centre was going to be built in Cobourg. Cost $21m- $7. from the Feds, $7 from the Province, $7. from fundraising. Concerns from many went by the way side, and we ended up with a mortgage, and the mayor got a park named after him.