Saturday, October 20, 2007

Brilliant analysis from Burd with some additional thoughts

The Burd Report: The OPP guy strikes again

Former Cobourg Councillor Ben Burd provides a piercing analysis of the county policing report that cannot be ignored by taxpayers and politicians. He has shown how civil servants have failed the system by providing a report that is bias and skewed toward a new policing system run by the OPP. It should be mandatory reading and must be addressed rather than dismissed.

Here is another concern. Cobourg council has lost the trust and credibility it needs to properly move forward with a public debate on this issue. The depth of mistrust was clearly demonstrated earlier this week on what should have been a minor item. A group of volunteers from the Cobourg Horticultural Society came before council to express concerns over plans to change the five-points intersection at King, Ontario and William streets. The group generously maintains a public garden on the northwest corner that provides a wonderful gateway to the main street. This is done without payment and as a public service.

During the discussions at council, one of the nice ladies who is involved had a heated exchange with council. Accusations were exchanges by both sides, as Councillor Bob Spooner was challenged (something he absolutely hates). Councillor Bill MacDonald displayed his usual lack of charm by sarcastically accusing them of failing to get all the facts before coming to council.  However, as Councillor Miriam Mutton pointed out, nobody bothered to consult with them.

If this is the level of communication around something so simple as working with a lovely group of volunteers who help our town look beautiful for visitors, what is going to happen around an issue so controversial as policing. This does not bode well.

The need for a citizens action group is greater than ever. The group that fought the ice rink/fountain should be the basis for a larger movement within Cobourg to respond to the policing issue. If not, Cobourg council will ram through a massive change in policing that will be done with only an illusion of democracy and not the real thing. The writing is on the wall. We only need to read it.

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