Special Council Meeting to discuss Organization Review

At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) Meeting on Monday, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Tracey Vaughan provided her recommendations for implementing the changes and additions proposed by consultant KPMG.  As mentioned in a previous post, these changes would cost around $1M and are major changes in structure and ways of working.  Tracey delivered her detailed report in time for Monday’s CoW meeting and for 2022 budget deliberations but despite a closed session meeting before the CoW meeting, Council were not ready to discuss it and voted to defer discussion to two more meetings on Thursday October 28: a closed session meeting at 4:00 pm and an open session at 6:00 pm.  My quick look at the published draft budget seems… Read complete articleSpecial Council Meeting to discuss Organization Review

Licensing Airbnb in Cobourg

At the Council meeting on June 28, 2021, Cobourg resident Anne-Marie Jackson complained about problems from an Airbnb establishment on Blake Street.  She had concerns about parking, parties with loud and disruptive guests, drug and criminal activity  (and as a result, increased police activity) and noise. Complaints to Airbnb went unanswered.  She also included a petition from 35 residents.  As a result, Council directed staff to investigate regulating Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) and present their report at the November 15 Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting.  The Agenda for the October 25 CoW meeting includes this report – it’s early!  Staff reviewed the options and recommend both a revision of the Zoning By-Law and the establishment of a requirement to license… Read complete articleLicensing Airbnb in Cobourg

Re-zoning for Treatment Centres

In July 2020, an application was made to convert the old Medical centre at 316 King East (opposite the High School) for use as a live-in rehabilitation centre. Because of its proximity to the school and because zoning for this use was not clear, a decision was deferred until zoning could be reviewed.  Meridian Planning consultants were hired to do that review and they made a presentation to Council in July this year – see the link below.  Before the new by-law is drafted and presented to Council for approval, a Public meeting was scheduled for October 18.  Only two individuals asked questions at that meeting and both were concerned with the implication that the people using the centres were… Read complete articleRe-zoning for Treatment Centres

Council Record on Unfinished Business is Improving

At each Council meeting, a list of unfinished business is provided but is rarely discussed.  Many topics are way past their due date and in general, the list illustrates the problem highlighted by KPMG in their organization review: that Staff do not have the capacity to keep up with new tasks given to them by Council. The full tracking table for the October 25 Committee of the Whole meeting is available from the Links below but this post will provide a summary – including some additional information not provided on the tracking table. The good news is that the list is getting shorter (11 items – with 2 completed) compared to 6 months ago when there were 14 items with… Read complete articleCouncil Record on Unfinished Business is Improving

More on Adult Fitness Park

A last minute presentation by Keith Oliver at last night’s regular Council meeting seems to have caused a revision in the motion passed by Council.  Instead of the location being the Cobourg Community Centre, it is now not yet decided and once again has been referred to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) where they will consider information provided by Keith in a presentation.  The motion that was passed allows equipment to be ordered so that the grant is not lost (It requires money to be spent by March 31, 2022).  But Keith was also not happy with the choice of equipment – he said some was not suitable for seniors – but this issue was not even discussed… Read complete articleMore on Adult Fitness Park

Details of Town of Cobourg’s Vaccination Mandate

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on October 4, a motion was passed establishing a policy that “Town employees, volunteers, consultants and Members of Council (must) be fully Vaccinated in the workplace” by November 29, 2021.  A previous post mentioned this briefly but the policy is quite detailed and the details are important. The first step is that individuals must disclose their vaccination status by October 22 using the Ontario Government receipt.  If they are not fully vaccinated nor have a valid exemption they will be subject to regular testing.  If testing gives a result showing infection, they “shall not be permitted to work or enter the workplace and will be required to utilize their banked time to make their pay… Read complete articleDetails of Town of Cobourg’s Vaccination Mandate

Re-opening of Concert Hall

If Port Hope’s Capitol can re-open for live shows and Film Festivals, why can’t Cobourg’s Concert Hall?  Prompted by someone wanting a wedding on November 27 in Victoria Hall, Monday’s Committee of the Whole Council (CoW) meeting agreed with five delegations that re-opening on November 1st would be a good idea so a motion was passed to do just that.  Re-opening would include the bar and Box-office and would use two of three staff who had been temporarily re-assigned – there are no plans to hire.  The Concert Hall Capacity is 160 but Covid-19 restrictions would limit occupancy to 50% of this – masks would also be required as well as proof of double vaccinations and recording of names.  The… Read complete articleRe-opening of Concert Hall

Over $1 Million Tax Increase for Organization Changes

Over the past 12 months, the Town of Cobourg has commissioned studies of Service Levels (What the Town Does) and Organization (How the Town does it).  Both were done by consultant KPMG with the Service level report being delivered last November.  At Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, Council received the report on Organization review in three parts: a full confidential report received in closed session, a Public report available to the public (see link below) and a presentation to Council by the consultant in open session (also in link below).  An initial early review was presented a few weeks ago and this highlighted some problems such as morale, poor management of priorities and poor delivery of services.  The “final”… Read complete articleOver $1 Million Tax Increase for Organization Changes

Update on Adult Fitness Park

At the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting (on Monday October 4), the Agenda shows that Council will be asked to approve the award of a contract to supply and install Adult Fitness equipment – but the location would not be per the original request.  In Keith Oliver’s original requests in 2016 and then 2019, he suggested it be in Victoria Park and close to the boardwalk at its East end.  But the report from Staff states that at the Parks and Recreation Committee,  “the general consensus was that the Adult Fitness Park not be placed in Victoria Park”.  So they are suggesting that it “be placed at the Cobourg Community Centre, or at Peter Delanty Park”.  The cost… Read complete articleUpdate on Adult Fitness Park

Council to Decide on Expansion of Sidewalk Snow Clearing

One of the action items in the current Strategic Plan is to “Explore enhanced sidewalk snow clearing including the clearing of arterial bike lanes and multi-use paths”. Staff have therefore prepared a report to Council at the next Committee of the Whole Meeting on October 4.  Currently, the town clears 13.5Km of sidewalks in front of Municipal properties (including Parks and Transit stops) but individual property owners are responsible for clearing in front of their properties.  The expansion of the service to as much as 57Km would clear snow on some of the arterial and collector roads – the  report provides seven options with varying scopes, response times and of course costs.  The report is authored by Laurie Wills, Director… Read complete articleCouncil to Decide on Expansion of Sidewalk Snow Clearing