What was Most Popular Topic in 2021

A lot of what’s happening in the world now happens on-line – not just buying stuff (e-commerce) but also news and community interaction.  Most of us have got used to the idea that we can find out facts with an Internet search but the water gets muddied when we search for political or health “facts”.  A lot of this is opinion but it’s often hard to separate opinions from facts. News sites like Cobourg News Blog try to present facts but comments (opinions) are also allowed.  Although I don’t collect personal information like Google does, I can rank which articles got the most attention (hits) and which generated the most comments.  Like all polls/surveys, some interpretation may be required. For example,… Read complete articleWhat was Most Popular Topic in 2021

Merry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

Well it’s been a tumultuous year with many peaks and valleys but here we are again at another “Holiday” season. Note that I prefer “Christmas” to “Holiday” since that’s what started the celebrating although I don’t follow any religion.  But it’s a time when we put any animosities behind us, any differences are not important – what’s important is that we are all special and deserve happiness despite any problems we might have.   Everyone is unique yet everyone, underneath, is the same – we are all deserving of tolerance and understanding and it’s good that there is at least one time of the year when most of us feel goodwill to everyone else.  As you can see, Christmas time is… Read complete articleMerry Christmas from Cobourg News Blog

Liquor and Cannabis in Cobourg

It seems that many people do not understand the rules about alcoholic beverages and Cannabis and how they affect Cobourg.  The two are grouped because the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario manages both (as well as gambling).  Their web site has a lot of information but it requires work to sort it all out so in this festive season, let me summarize what people might like to know.  If you are a vendor, or want a special occasion permit, then you should visit the site.  I’ll cover bringing your own wine, buying wine at a Grocery store, what Cannabis stores are allowed to open or planned, the rules for commenting, where you can make your own wine and more…. Read complete articleLiquor and Cannabis in Cobourg

The Town and Others Add More Restrictions

The Province recently mandated additional restrictions because of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 Virus but the Town, the Capitol Theatre and the Loft have gone further.  The Town has asked most of their workforce to go back to working from home and has shut Town buildings – except the CCC – effective Monday December 20.  They also cancelled the New Year’s celebrations and the Levee.  The Capitol has cancelled all remaining performances in 2021 and the Loft has imposed a 50% capacity restriction.  None of these restrictions were mandated by the Province [Update – maybe they were but initially missed] but I sense that people are getting nervous.  You can get details on all these changes in my web… Read complete articleThe Town and Others Add More Restrictions

Cultural Master Plan Buried

Whatever happened to the idea that Cobourg should encourage Culture – you know, visual and performing arts? In 2019 a consultant delivered a Cultural Master Plan to Council (see resources below) but it’s now buried – no direct link anywhere on the Town’s web site. When Dean Hustwick was hired in 2016, his title was Director of Parks and Recreation with the idea that his mandate would include Culture and Tourism. That Department is now called Community Services but Culture is not mentioned. The Strategic planning update in early 2021 downgraded the goal labelled “Consider Arts, Culture and Tourism Division” and the only time culture is mentioned is when citizens make a presentation to Council. If there are any Town… Read complete articleCultural Master Plan Buried

Update on Covid-19 – 15 December 2021

The Medical Officer of Health for our region (HKPR  DHU) Dr. Natalie Bocking, today provided a comprehensive update on what’s happening locally with the pandemic – and there is a lot happening. It looks like we got our first case of the Omicron variant although that still needs to be confirmed – this variant is expected to be dominant before too long. The bad news is that cases are increasing with the cases per 100,000 population at around 36 compared to around 5 a few weeks ago. The good news is that we are not nearly as bad as other regions – for example Kingston is around 300 per 100,000 population. A lot of the cases are younger people with… Read complete articleUpdate on Covid-19 – 15 December 2021

Council Approves Reduced Final 2022 Operating budget

As reported previously, Councillor Emily Chorley and Deputy Mayor Séguin voted against the “approved” budget increase of 6.3% over the 2021 Operating Budget since this would have meant a 4.1% net tax increase (after allowing for New Assessment Growth of 2.2%).  Not giving up, Councillor Chorley asked Treasurer Ian Davey if any savings could be found. Ian reported that about $300K in the 2021 budget had not been spent because various people were not hired as originally planned (see list in links below).  He proposed that this be put into a “Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve” which would be used to smooth out volatility in tax rates. But why not this budget? So Suzanne Séguin moved and Emily Chorley seconded an… Read complete articleCouncil Approves Reduced Final 2022 Operating budget

Unfinished Business December 2021

The good news is that there is a list, so theoretically, work to be done does not get forgotten – but it certainly gets delayed, some items longer than others. Hopefully the extra staff agreed for 2022 will allow some of it to get done. Also theoretically, projects get prioritised based on the Council’s Strategic plan but in practice that only happens sometimes. The list is provided at the end of every Council meeting but is rarely discussed – it’s at the end of meetings so Councillors are no doubt tired and not interested although the list is gradually getting shorter. One item often missing from the list is a current expected completion date. The latest full list is available in… Read complete articleUnfinished Business December 2021

Demolition by Neglect

An architectural gem that is gradually being demolished by neglect is the property on King Street East known as Sidbrook.  It has been empty since 2002 and is in bad shape.  Efforts to force owners to keep it in good repair have gone nowhere  – see link below to my report in 2018 on “Stopping Demolition by Neglect”.  But now, there is another example and Council made it clear that they have no sympathy for owners who try to demolish by neglect.  At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) Meeting on Monday December 6, the owner of the property at 93 Albert Street asked the Town for permission to demolish the building because it’s in really bad shape but the… Read complete articleDemolition by Neglect

Donating Trees and Benches

You might have seen plaques on Trees and benches in Cobourg’s parks – these generally commemorate someone and are there because a citizen donated them. But to do that, the donor has contacted the Parks Department and discussed it with them although to date there has not been any policy or presumably, consistency on costs or what is done. But now, the Town’s Parks department is working on establishing a policy and procedure for such donations with the first step being to discuss draft documents with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee at their meeting on December 7. The cost will be standardized at $3,000 for most benches (including plaque) and $450 for a tree plus $275 for a plaque…. Read complete articleDonating Trees and Benches