Monday, May 28, 2007

Not getting it on the waterfront

Cobourg Blog  » Blog Archive  » Park Development

John Drapper is fluffing off critics of the waterfront park rink/fountain project, marginalizing some pretty serious criticisms from legitimate voices. It is wrong to direct this at Mutton or at the residents in the harbour area. If we were to turn the tables on him by opening this kind of a feature next to his house, I bet his blog would ignite into outrage.

There are no sour grapes. Long-term planning has its merits, but to realize this proposal is four years old means it is not unreasonable to review it carefully in the current context. This project is about $1.3 million in grant money, not about anything else. If there wasn't the money, this would not even be on council's radar. The same is true for the community.

And, just because the DBIA likes the idea means little. If they are so keen, then let them pay for it. Let's see something more from these business people than the Santa Claus parade and complaints about the lack of parking, if it is so important.

When Cobourg's Northumberland Services for Women is about to raise nearly $1 million to expand its vital services to our community, the $1.3 million for a fountain seems ridiculous.

And, if the money must be spent on a recreational item, then give us a new arena. There are plenty of kids who would benefit far more and it would provide a much needed facility than a feature in the harbour.

Finally, somebody ought to get on to Councillor Bob Spooner. Anyone I have spoken to about the public meetings said the councillor denied any previous knowledge of the plans and was ducking any responsibility. He has no proof of the number of people in favour or against. There was not official poll or survey. He cannot publicly say people are in favour or against. Citizens are being conned once again.

Sorry John, council is not getting it right. This is the senior's centre all over again.

Technorati Tags: ,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ben Burd nails it on Cobourg council

In a wonderful follow up to my column on the way Ms. Miriam Mutton is being treated by fellow councillors in Cobourg, he makes a great case for the dysfunctionality of the entire council

Monday, May 14, 2007

The beginning of a brilliant analysis

The Burd Report: Cobourg versus OPP another slant

Ben Burd, with his usual zeal, has begun a series of analyses on the OPP report. You will NOT find any better, anywhere, including town hall.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

OPP costing, a preliminary thought

The OPP costing was presented to Cobourg council Monday night with barely $98,000 different than the current police budget.
John Drapper, on his Cobourg blog, gives a very sane appraisal, while Ben Burn, on his blog, give a rather low key analysis.
Still, without having seen a report, it is hard to analyze. Basically, there is a nominal price difference. So, the debate becomes about service. In the shadow of the Nelles firing, the police force is not sitting in a good light.
What is probably more damaging is the public's opinion of the chief.  Following a lot of controversy, much of it his own mismanagement of the media, Chief Gary Clement is the greatest liability. He came to Cobourg with the specific mandate to bring improvements to policing in West Northumberland. Ideally, this would mean the amalgamation of policing to the region. However, his brash talk and brusk manner put him in a poor light. Negotiations never made headway.
Most recently, his very public battle with the police service board and his outrageous salary hurt him. While nothing was illegal, the public's perception of last year's pay out was completely mishandled. When compared with the Ontario premier, Clement's salary was more. It was embarrassing more than anything, but it demonstrated his continued inability to smooth over bad situations.
If Cobourg wants a solution, it is not the OPP. It is simply cleaning house. It is something that should have been done a long time ago. But Mayor Peter Delanty lacks the spine or political savvy to get it done. And, nobody on council or the police board is showing the fortitude to get it done either.
Sadly, it is only the citizen, the officers and the town's reputation that are hurt more than anything else.