What’s happening about getting a Poet Laureate?

Last October, Council initiated setting up an Ad Hoc Committee to decide on who should be appointed to be the Poet Laureate for the next 4 years.  This is needed since Ted Amsden’s 8 year term has expired. Candidates for the citizen position were solicited with four applications received but then nothing happened.  This week, Poet Wally Keeler emailed Mayor John Henderson and other councillors asking “Is there a Poet Laureate Ad Hoc Committee?” and adds a comment: “A bit of openness and transparency is called for here, or some action taken.”  Others copied on the email were supportive.  John Henderson responded and pointed out that the upcoming Committee of the Whole meeting on April 23 has this issue on… Read complete articleWhat’s happening about getting a Poet Laureate?

Paying for Sewer Service

A lot of people advocate “user pay” – that is, if you use something you should pay for it.  That is difficult for a public beach but is implemented for some roads using tolls.  It is also normal for electricity, gas and water use.  In many municipalities and certainly in Cobourg, your sewer usage is also “user pays”.  But since there is no way to measure waste water, the amount of waste water consumed is assumed to be directly related to the water usage as measured by your water meter.  This is true as long as you don’t use a lot of water on your garden or lawn.  In that case it gets absorbed and does not show up in… Read complete articlePaying for Sewer Service

Citizens Want More Engagement

As evidenced by the extensive consultation planned, Mayor John Henderson and other councillors seem determined to engage with citizens on where they should go in the next 4 years. The Strategic plan will define what they hope to accomplish and up until the weekend, there were already 35 written submissions from citizens.  By the time of tonight’s Public meeting, there were two more and there were seven verbal presentations at the meeting – but only about 20 in the gallery.  Although Council is engaging a lot more than previous councils, it seems to not be enough – as well as the usual criticisms of specific plans, the process was also under fire. Ted Williams, Dennis Nabieszko and Keith Oliver (and arguably… Read complete articleCitizens Want More Engagement

Strategic Plan Public Meeting

On Monday April 8, Cobourg will have a public meeting to accept comments from residents about the proposed Strategic Plan for the next term of council – 2019 to 2022.  Basically, the Strategic Plan lists what the Council hopes to achieve although it does not specifically address budgets.  Council spent a good day and a half in February developing the plan – see the report in the link below.  Since then, the Town’s web site has had the plan available for comments.  The Agenda for Monday’s meeting lists 35 written submissions. I have listed all of them below (including links) plus a summary of each.  Many of them object to even thinking about adding boat slips in the West Harbour,… Read complete articleStrategic Plan Public Meeting

CFIB ranks Cobourg for Entrepreneurs

Cobourg’s size is at the lower end of the 125 cities surveyed by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) but it’s doing better than many other cities – even better than the City of Toronto and about the same as Belleville.  CFIB says that local governments “control only some of the levers that make cities work. How well these levers are used, however, can make a tremendous difference to local businesses and residents”.  But they concede that “while local governments can influence local economic activity, they can’t usually make it happen directly. For that, they need local entrepreneurs to carry the ball — those who risk their own capital, time and effort”.  But when municipal governments do it right,… Read complete articleCFIB ranks Cobourg for Entrepreneurs

Condos in East End of Cobourg

It’s not only affordable Rental housing that’s scarce in Cobourg, but also reasonably priced condos – at least that’s what “200’s” is now considered to be. Stalwood homes has already built and sold 20 such units in their East End development off the South end of Brook Rd North and now wants to start phase 2 with another 20.   At Monday’s C.O.W. Council meeting, the site plan for two more 10-plex units was approved although Councillor Emily Chorley was “disappointed” that there were no accessible units included.  Director Glenn McGlashon explained that the Province does not require housing less than 600 sq. metres to include them.  The developer said that all 20 have been presold and in response to a… Read complete articleCondos in East End of Cobourg

Council Acts on Affordable Housing

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on April 1st, Council was asked to approve support for both the Balder Corporation Proposal and the Trinity Housing Proposal – both of which were behind Nicole Beatty’s initiative to add $250,000 to the Town’s 2019 budget for affordable housing projects.  Staff provided a 28 page memo outlining measures that could be taken to provide support.  One of these is the creation of a Townwide Community Improvement Plan to allow certain incentives to be provided and another is additional staff to implement a “new housing program”.  Staff suggested actions that would cost $360K in addition to a shortfall in revenue of $52K.  Most of this would go towards the Trinity Housing project.  At… Read complete articleCouncil Acts on Affordable Housing

Dog Park Lease comes up for Renewal

In 2014, the Town of Cobourg agreed to create a dog park.  This was an area for dog owners to allow their pets to exercise off-leash and was at least partly motivated by the fact that many dog owners were using James Cockburn Park and that this was against GRCA rules and also unwelcome by other Park users.  A policy was developed to define what was wanted and then a search was made to find a suitable location.  In the end, although “many areas were considered, finding a suitable area that met the criteria proved difficult. 777 Ontario Street is centrally located in Cobourg and, with the addition of a parking lot and a small amount of fencing, meets the… Read complete articleDog Park Lease comes up for Renewal