Venture 13 Grand Opening

The new centre for innovation and technology entrepreneurs had its grand opening on Thursday.  All councillors were there with Mayor Brocanier acting as MC.  MP Kim Rudd, MPP Lou Rinaldi, Police Chief Kai Liu were there as well as project prime movers CFDC executive director Wendy Curtis and CAO Stephen Peacock.  The idea for the project was first aired at Council in May 2017 but funding from the Federal Government and Fleming College helped get the project going with tenders let in December 2017.  The second floor will be occupied by the Cobourg Police Business Services unit that is planning to expand and will fully fund their portion.  The speeches were kicked off by a video from Hon Navdeep Bains,… Read complete articleVenture 13 Grand Opening

Compromise on Council Salaries

At the Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA) made a strong case for much higher compensation for the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors than was recommended by the Ad Hoc Committee.  As was reported two weeks ago (see links below), the Ad Hoc committee formed to look at remuneration recommended quite small increases (3.4 to 9.3%)  based on the practice at other comparable municipalities but Paul Pagnuelo of the CTA suggested that to be fair for the work done, much higher increases were appropriate.  The idea is that a higher salary would attract a higher caliber of candidate.  In addition, Paul suggested that there should be compensation for the loss of the tax… Read complete articleCompromise on Council Salaries

Cobourg’s Actions on Sustainability Criticized by Committee

In a report to go to council on May 14, the Planning & Sustainability Advisory Committee are criticizing the Town for failing to follow through or act upon several initiatives.  These include action on Climate Change, Corporate Energy Conservation and Community Energy Planning.  They point to a lack of reports as well as the resulting economic risk.  The report lists other municipalities that have been taking action on sustainability.  But like all good criticism, they also suggest solutions – that is, actions that could be taken.  As an advisory committee, all they can do is make recommendations to Council and in this case they want the C.A.O. to “consider and report back on the extension of staff resources to ensure… Read complete articleCobourg’s Actions on Sustainability Criticized by Committee

Town and Police Board to sign MOU

The Business Services Unit (BSU) of the Cobourg Police generates significant income that offsets costs to the Town and taxpayers but the Police board is concerned that this comes with a risk.  If Governments, Provincial or Federal, change the rules, the income could be lost.  Therefore the Town and the Police have prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that spells out how this will be handled.  The intent is to keep the BSU separate from day to day Police operation and budget so that any drop in income will not impact taxpayers.  So far, profit from the BSU has been used for Capital items – most recently the cost of setting up the second floor of Venture 13 to house… Read complete articleTown and Police Board to sign MOU

CTA Blasts Council for Process Failures

At Monday’s Council meeting, Cobourg Taxpayers Association President Lydia Smith strongly criticized Council’s failure to follow its own Public Engagement policy.  She used as an example the recent decision to approve a Waterfront Playground although she said it also applied to the decisions on the New Amherst School and re-zoning of 394 College Street.  Her key evidence was a slide showing the timeline for the Waterfront Playground.  Her slide showed that this project came out of the Waterfront study which had its first workshop in April 2017 then multiple workshops and public meetings from then till October.  During that time “there was no public mention of the proposed water playground or solicitation for input”.   “In fact, the water playground is… Read complete articleCTA Blasts Council for Process Failures

Council Remuneration Report

At the Council meeting tonight, the chair of the Council Remuneration Ad Hoc Committee Terry Stopps presented his findings.  The goal was to provide potential Councillors with an indication of what they would be paid before they applied.  So the recommendation was just in time – tomorrow (May 1st) is the first day that potential candidates for the upcoming election in October can file their application to run.  The committee of citizens met to consider what the compensation should be and they came up with a basis for a decision. They looked at remuneration in 20 comparable towns and decided to recommend the median of what they paid.  When asked “why the median?” Terry said that it was fair and the… Read complete articleCouncil Remuneration Report

Fire Department Activities Q1 2018

Cobourg’s Fire Chief Mike Vilneff gave his first quarterly report to Council on Monday.  The department has been getting busier each year but he did not ask for more staff – current staff levels are published online – see “About Us” link below.  Currently the Cobourg Fire Department consists of a Fire Chief, a Deputy Chief, a Fire Prevention Officer, an Emergency Planner, an Administrative Assistant, 12 full-time firefighters and, at full complement, 16 volunteer firefighters. The immediate staff concern is that 3 captains will be retiring in the next 12 months. Mike spelled out what jobs the Department does – firefighting, fire prevention services, public fire safety education, automobile extrication, medical assist, confined space rescue, hazardous materials response, water… Read complete articleFire Department Activities Q1 2018