CTA Asks Town for Better Budgets

Not everyone supports the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) but most would support their statement that the “operating budget and capital budget process is the single most important responsibility that Council has”.  In a recent newsletter to those on their mailing list, the CTA asked that the new Council make several specific improvements to budget preparation and reporting.  Although they did not spell it out, the new council will have a new Deputy Mayor (Suzanne Séguin) and since the Deputy Mayor is responsible for organizing the budget process, there will be a fresh opportunity to do it differently.  The outgoing Deputy Mayor, John Henderson, made some incremental improvements – slightly faster and more transparent – but the CTA is asking for… Read complete articleCTA Asks Town for Better Budgets

Police Board’s Town Hall Meeting

Cobourg’s Police Board invited the media and public to their meeting on 25 October which was held in their conference room on the second floor of the Venture 13 building.  They presented details of their Business Plan and the results of the recent Arbitration of their collective Agreement with unionized employees.  Multiple speakers presented highlights but emphasized that they are delivering on what they promised and that they are mandated by the Police Act to be engaged with the community and focus on crime prevention as well as enforcement.  To do this cost effectively, the Cobourg Police Service are using Auxiliary and Special Constables to do work that does not require sworn officers.  As a result, although there has been… Read complete articlePolice Board’s Town Hall Meeting

The Passing Scene: We the People

So, imagine this; for two terms you’ve been mayor of a (sort of) progressive small town on the shores of Lake Ontario, a town whose first mayor took office in 1837. But, since that mayor was inaugurated 181 years ago, it has only had one female mayor – which makes the word progressive, very questionable. But, be-that-as-it-may; it is now 2018 and, after two terms serving as mayor of this small town, you will be putting yourself out to pasture to enjoy some well deserved retirement years. But, before you do savour that moment – you just can’t resist taking one last kick at the can; writing to your chosen target, the Cobourg Tax Payers Association (CTPA) which has been… Read complete articleThe Passing Scene: We the People

Cobourg to Hold Public Meeting on Cannabis Stores

With the legalization of recreational Cannabis in Canada, the Province has introduced legislation to allow privately owned retail stores to sell the product and to establish regulations on its sale and use.  That could potentially mean that there would be stores in Cobourg that would sell marijuana starting April 1, 2019.  After public consultation, the Province has decided to allow Municipalities to ban or regulate such stores with a decision on this required by January 22, 2019.  Brent Larmer, Cobourg’s Municipal Clerk, has recommended a meeting to consult with the public and will then report to the new Council before the due date.  At their meeting on October 1st, Council agreed with this proposal (without any discussion), although no date… Read complete articleCobourg to Hold Public Meeting on Cannabis Stores

Gil Brocanier Gives Advice in Farewell Speech

At his final Council meeting, Mayor Gil Brocanier gave a farewell speech which included advice to the incoming Council – and he pulled no punches.  The opportunity was his Economic Development Coordinator report which is scheduled at the end of every regular Council meeting.  As his last report, he said that he and John Henderson, together with Manufacturing Attraction Specialist T.J. Flynn, are being sent on an all expenses paid trip to China by William Academy from October 10 to 18.  As well as being at a twinning with a city just outside Beijing and the setting up of a Hockey training centre like the CCC, they will pursue “business opportunities”.  Gil then thanked Councillors and Staff for helping achieve… Read complete articleGil Brocanier Gives Advice in Farewell Speech

The Passing Scene: Cobourg? Life is Tough

Driving along King Street one morning last week I glanced, as though through a camera, at Victoria Hall’s tower, caught in the early sun – a striking image that is so much a part of Cobourg; as is, on a sleepless night, hearing the tower’s clock striking mid-night, its chimes seeming to linger endlessly in the darkness. It struck me how Victoria Hall is such an intrinsic part of Cobourg, an example of the perfect small-town main street; perhaps something we take too much for granted because, well, it’s simply there. But there was a time when Victoria Hall was, infamously, at risk of being demolished. The year was 1971 …. but, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s flash back… Read complete articleThe Passing Scene: Cobourg? Life is Tough

Unsightly Trash Cans

An unlikely pairing – Cobourg Taxpayer Association (CTA) President Lydia Smith – and activist Wally Keeler, joined forces at Monday’s C.O.W. Council meeting to point out the “blight” of Trash Cans on Cobourg’s Waterfront.  As Wally said, “Trash cans do not have to be trashy-looking”.  Lydia gave three examples of trash cans that are in poor shape and said that they could be decorated or as a minimum re-painted. To illustrate her point, she presented photos of three examples – one near the cenotaph in Victoria Park, the second on the harbour front promenade and the third at the Ecology Garden (see photos below).  As Lydia said: “Our waterfront does not deserve this string of blight, but a string of bright… Read complete articleUnsightly Trash Cans

Art in Victoria Hall

At the next Committee of the Whole meeting, Council will be asked to approve a Policy for Public Art in Victoria Hall.  Intended for public areas only (not employee working areas), Council asked for the development of a policy when Marie Dressler Foundation Chair Rick Miller asked why a picture of Marie Dressler was removed from the Citizen’s Forum at the request of the Victoria Hall Volunteers (see link below).  It seemed there were two reasons for their objection: Marie was not connected with Victoria Hall and the Citizen’s Forum was their meeting room!  The implication is that the policy should restrict art to be related to Victoria Hall, especially in the Citizen’s Forum, but the new policy does not… Read complete articleArt in Victoria Hall