Preliminary Review of Municipal Election

Nominations to run in the October Municipal election have been accepted since May 2, 2022 – they close August 19 so there’s plenty of time yet.  So far John Henderson has filed to run as Mayor, Suzanne Séguin is wanting to be Deputy Mayor again and Adam Bureau has filed to run for a Councillor position.  The last 4 years have been turbulent with the pandemic but also with major Capital Projects and a new-found interest in County responsibilities: affordable housing and homelessness.  Culture and Downtown vitalization seem to be on the back-burner and Tourism will no doubt take a hit with the new Parking fees. Big expenditures are planned to fix the Harbour and maybe enhance the East Pier. … Read complete articlePreliminary Review of Municipal Election

Council Approves New Stormwater Fee

Cobourg Staff have recommended that the cost of stormwater management be handled differently.  At the same time, they have been developing an asset management plan that determined how much money will be required in future to provide good stormwater management.   At the CoW meeting on June 20, Council was asked to approve the change.  They were told that significant additional money would be required and that if there were no changes, the average taxpayer would pay $150 per year instead of the $37 currently budgeted (buried in their tax bill).  If the proposed stormwater fee were to be implemented, residential taxpayers would instead pay $75 – no longer in their tax bill but instead in a new bill – similar… Read complete articleCouncil Approves New Stormwater Fee

Council Agrees on Compensation

After a lot of debate, at their Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on Monday June 20, Council accepted the HR consultant’s report that said their pay was comparable to that paid in similar municipalities. She recommended no increase. However, Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin was concerned that two councillors (Aaron Burchat and Mayor John Henderson) were getting significant additional pay ($6,824 in 2021) because they served on the Police Board whereas other councillors served on committees for no additional pay. She noted that this extra pay was not mandated by the Province. She therefore moved to stop this practice. Her motion set the salaries at the current level including an adjustment for CPI. Her motion (see below) also specified that… Read complete articleCouncil Agrees on Compensation

Cobourg Issuing RFP for User Fee Study

The KPMG Service delivery review in 2020 suggested that Cobourg should at least consider charging more and perhaps higher user fees.  Parking fees were recently increased, Stormwater fees are being considered and Transit fares are going up but there are many others such as the Marina, CCC, Trailer Park, Concert Hall and many more (see list below).  To find out what could be done differently, the Town has issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) for a consultant to do a “Comprehensive User Fee Study”.  Existing fees will be reviewed and additional opportunities identified.  Fees will be judged based on what other municipalities are charging plus the amount that can be justified based on the cost of providing the service.  The RFP… Read complete articleCobourg Issuing RFP for User Fee Study

Proposal for Anti-Idling By-Law

In September 2021, Council asked staff to investigate the idea of limiting idling for vehicles in the Town and at the CoW meeting on June 20, staff will present such a draft bylaw for approval.  Staff also suggest an initial education campaign.  The case for an anti-idling by-law is to reduce Green House gasses and improve air quality.  There are many exceptions such as hot or cold weather (details below), Transit, police and more and enforcement would be difficult.  As staff point out, the enforcement officer would have to watch a vehicle and time the duration of idling – although it’s suggested that the maximum idling permitted be only 2 minutes (and not 3 or 5 minutes as in other… Read complete articleProposal for Anti-Idling By-Law

Staff Report to Council on Additional Parking Passes

Over the past year or so, Cobourg Council and Staff have been wrestling with the issue of how to manage the popularity of Cobourg’s beach.  The solution recommended by the Parks and Recreation Advisory committee (PRAC) was a significant increase in parking fees near the beach.  Simultaneously, the parking rates for the downtown as well as the waterfront were reviewed – partly because significant Parking revenue will be needed to fund building a parking garage on Covert street to replace parking currently provided by leases of privately owned lots that will soon be developed and therefore not available for public parking.  One change is the implementation of fees for parking in Residential streets east of the beach – however, not… Read complete articleStaff Report to Council on Additional Parking Passes

Councillor Salaries on Agenda – again

At the June 20 Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting, Council compensation will once again be on the Agenda.  This has been a long discussion in Council with some strong on the idea that Councillors should not be in it for the money and others saying that considering hours worked, base salaries are less than the minimum wage.  Support for an increase is closely divided (more in Resources below). It’s certainly contentious so at the March meeting, a motion was passed to get a recommendation from a compensation expert.  That expert will present her report at the next CoW meeting on June 20.  Marianne Love bases her recommendation on a comparison with similar Councils and not on an evaluation of… Read complete articleCouncillor Salaries on Agenda – again

Waterfront Festival is Back

The last Festival was in 2019 but the Festivals for the next two years were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Like a lot of activities that are resuming, the Festival may be less exuberant than previous Festivals because some people are still reluctant to venture out.  This includes vendors – judging by the pleas coming from the Lions for vendors, there will likely be fewer participants.  With no sales for 2 years, it’s likely that some vendors are out of business. But the Entertainment has been booked (program below), a Midway is promised, the beer tent is organized and the Rotary Tent planned. The three day event on the Canada Day long weekend is jointly run by the Lions and… Read complete articleWaterfront Festival is Back

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… Read complete articleUnfinished Business – June 2022

Delegations Point to Parking By-Law problems

The new Parking By-Law is already causing problems for residents of the “East Beach Waterfront Area” – they are now in an area where parking is paid for in the beach season albeit with special arrangements for residents.  At the May 30 Committee of the whole Council meeting, there were two (related) delegations asking for exceptions. The problem that Caryn and David MacDiarmid have is that they are expecting “50-60 people in our backyard for our daughter Leigha’s graduation with her University Master’s degree” on June 4.  That means about 20 cars will need parking nearby.  If the event were after 4:00 pm it would not be a problem since restrictions end at 4:00 – but the event is at… Read complete articleDelegations Point to Parking By-Law problems

David Piccini wins big

With a vote of around 51% compared with the second place Liberal at around 25%, David Piccini did exceptionally well and won the riding for the Conservatives and helped Doug Ford win a fresh majority.  Below are detailed statistics as of late June 2nd – final numbers will be delayed since some ridings had problems so closed late.  But there were some highlights: Liberal Leader, Steven Del Luca lost to a Conservative with around a 20% margin. The NDP will be the official Opposition. Andrea Horwath was re-elected with a good margin (and then resigned leadership – “passing the baton”). Conservative Dave Smith won Peterborough-Kawartha with about a 10% margin. The Green Party almost got Parry Sound Muskoka – they… Read complete articleDavid Piccini wins big