Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to!


The saga of getting Council meetings streamed to a Web Page has come to an end!

As you are aware Bruce on the Bruce offered to video Council meetings streaming it to the web and pay the town for that right. A short time ago Council killed a proposal to Video meetings because the cost was too high.

Well Transparency is not in the cards of the Newbies! The Town’s response to my offer to Video Stream Council meetings so everyone could watch history being made was as follows:

I thought that the Newbies wanted open and transparent government ! Guess I was wrong!

Aren’t we glad we voted to clean house?? Some things never change!

I expected nothing less!

Ain’t life grand!!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

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An island of of questions!


Here is a letter I received  from a reader that warrants a second look!

Hi Bruce

I’m a follower of your blog and have found it most helpful in keeping track of what is really happening in South Bruce Peninsula – especially in the run-up to the last election, I might say.

I appreciate that many of your municipal thoughts will be concerned with frivolous legal actions which will have the sole result of adding to our tax bill but there is an ongoing piece of council business that I have not seen mentioned in your blog and may or may not warrant your attention:

Specifically, this concerns the designation as surplus and sale thereof of a number of municipal properties. The best known of these is probably near Deny’s Dam where the ownership has been found to be in some doubt. However there are also several others on that list that are interesting because the “market value” as assessed by Revell is substantially different (lower) than MPAC.

One particular “surplus property” is an island off Red Bay (Revell value: $20,000; MPAC value: $58,000). I made inquires about this and was given a bit of a run around and eventually told that it was sold. Actually, I understand the sale is not final at this time, but is to be approved by SBP Council on Tuesday.

Now, it seems to me that selling an island, even if it is just a lump of rock (growing annually, I would point out), in front of Red Bay is something that should merit some discussion.

From the social point of view, there’s the question of whether those barrier islands should be sold or kept in the public domain.

From the financial point of view, has Revell really done its best to maximise returns to SBP taxpayers in selling an island with minimal, if any, publicity? The original notice of surplussicity was issued late last year (in which the island was misnamed), and the sale is to be confirmed in February. Tricky for potential buyers to view much!

It’s probably too late to do much about this now but it seems to me there is a distinct odour here. What really rang alarm bells for me is that when I went into Revell’s office to ask about this, after being told it was sold, no-one asked if I was interested in looking at other properties in the area. I have never been in a realtor’s office yet where that has not happened!

No Doe Joe!

There are a couple of questions I have to ask!

First and foremost if MPAC values the property at $58,000.00 and it is sold for $20,000.00 then is MPAC wrong and if so then we all are paying way to much in taxes.

Second if indeed the property was worth what MPAC valued it at, then who dropped the ball at city hall??

I have to think that at the very least if property is being sold by the town at the very least there should have been an AACI appraisal done on the property by the town to establish the value before the property is sold.

If it wasn’t appraised by an AACI I challenge the process. As I understand it the listing was offered by the town to the Realtors in the area and Revell was the only one to step up. Revell a great guy but is not and AACI to the best of my knowledge.

The Town has a responsibility to get the best value for the assets they are liquidating. To tell a property at less than half the MPAC value because no one else is interested gives rise to the competency of the people marketing the property and to the competence of the people who accepted the offer without a proper appraisal.

If in the alternative the MPAC evaluation is wrong, we have a problem as this sheds doubt on the whole MPAC methodology.

Market value is the price a property bring in the event of a sale. If MPAC is over valuing properties by 60 to 70 % reassessment of every property is mandatory and will no doubt lead to a huge reduction in the tax base.

Now the third option is that there was a back room deal done to make this deal.

Regardless of which option is chosen an asset has been sold and there are a number of questions left unanswered.

The Newbies elected is where the buck stops. They are the people that have completed the deal! The Civil Servants that made the recommendation to accept the offer are in my mind either on solid ground or in the alternative the instigators of a fraud. Supporting an offer that is either undervalued or supporting a tax system that over values.

Godda wonder who is who in the zoo!!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

Your Tax Dollars At Work!!


Lets think about this….

The Chamber and the BIA put on the Willie festival every year and yes some years are good and some are not so good.

Last year was outstanding this year the crowds were down because of weather perhaps.

Bottom line is that this year a shit load of promotional material was not put out! Could it be that the marketing was not done???

Here we have photos of marketing material not put out did someone fail to do their job???

Ya godda wonder what the hell is going on. The marketing material is bought and paid for with somebody’s money, and I suspect it was yours and mine, one way or another.

Spells big waste of dough if you want to know my thoughts.

I have to wonder if this material were put out would it have made a difference in the over all out come of this years event?? Maybe maybe not but either way we will never know.

What we do know is that a bunch of money was spent and wasted!

I am not impressed!! How about you.

I think thast funding of these events is great for the local economy but when aI see this I have to ask who is responsible and why weren’t the materials used.

Someone has to be accountable. Right now I suspect the material is in the landfill! Pennies make dollars! This makes me sick!!!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

Got to Give Credit Where Credit is Due!!


I love the Sun Times!

Their editors, reporters and writers do a great job!  They communicate well and don’t have the spelling handicap that I do!! 🙂 More importantly they keep on top of local issues and report both sides of issues!

This is a letter published by the Sun Times that warrants some discussion. Mr. Gammie, hits the nail on the head!!!

If we as a society cannot publicly express our opinions and thoughts, then we are no better off than serfs in a tutor system.

Public servants and politicians are accountable to the people who pay them and elect them! If we allow them to intimidate via a judicial system that is cumbersome  and expensive to say the least, we may as well just give them the keys and go home.

This is a letter published by the Sun time three days ago. Thank you Mr. Gammie for making your point and thank you to the Sun Times for publishing it!

Bruce

Council stepped over line

Posted 3 days ago
   

Editor:

In a Town of South Bruce Peninsula press release and in an interview of Mayor John Close by Paul Jankowski of The Sun Times (see “Council going after blog mayor says slanders staff “, Feb. 10), council, in my reading, has indicated that they have positively determined that an identified (but not yet named) blogger has slandered staff (I think they meant libeled) and engaged in “workplace harassment” against staff.

Council, in my view, has pro-claimed guilt, even though council has neither the competence, nor the authority, nor the right, to even determine guilt.

So if council lacks the authority to reach and announce a guilty verdict, what was the purpose of the press release and the associated interview?

Mounting a defence against a libel suit can be financially crippling, even if the defence is successful. By indicating that council is taking legal action against the blogger ( “We fully intend to take this to its conclusion.” . . . “Those who want to slander, that’s the end of it.”), council, in my view, is sending a signal — “if you criticize us you will suffer financially”.

In trying to silence critics with intimidation, bullying, harassment, and implicit threat of financial ruin, council has stepped way over the line.

Council in its arrogance is trying to deny us our democratic right to participate, and our right of free speech, and our right to criticize what we believe is wrong.

When one tries to get respect by issuing dictums ( “they [staff ] are to be treated respectfully by members of Council and the public alike”), or by bullying, or by intimidation, or by threat, or by harassment, one may get deference, acquiescence, or silence. And while these may on the surface look like respect, they are anything but.

In putting the thou-shalt-respect- us dictum in a press release, along with a threat of legal action, council has earned not the respect that council for some reason feels it and staff are entitled to, but rather disrespect and contempt.

(While the press release is in the name of each member of council, my comments are directed at those members of council who actually supported the release and associated statements.)

Council needs to retract the press release and apologize to the people of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.

 Craig Gammie Sauble Beach

In Response to my request to present a proposal!


Mr. Schnurr:  The web streaming item had been discussed at a previous C.O.W. meeting and referred to the 2011 budget deliberations.  I note that you had forwarded the members of Council the e-mail and therefore I am sure they will discuss during the upcoming budget meetings.

Should Council wish to have you present this proposal we will contact you to set up a meeting.

Rhonda Cook, CMO

Chief Administrative Officer

Some Politicians With Brains!


This article published in the Sun Timesyesterday, was sent to me by a reader! Thank you!

Arran-Elderslie cuts CAO job

By Mary Golem

   

MARY GOLEM

Sun Times correspondent

Arran-Elderslie is eliminating the position of chief administrative officer.

Current CAO A.P. Crawford was informed of the decision late Monday following a closed-door session of council. Municipal staff were told early Tuesday by Mayor Paul Eagleson.

Crawford, who has been with the municipality for two years, will be paid appropriate termination pay.

In order to initially address pay equity concerns, Eagleson said last September Arran-Elderslie council hired John Craig, a consultant in municipal organization, to draft proposals for a new administrative structure for the municipality.

Craig’s report, reviewed by both the former and the existing council, called for increases in staffing levels at the municipality. While acknowledging the report “contains useful material for council,” Eagleson said the municipality has decided to reject the report’s recommendations and instead reduce staff.

“We want the most efficient staff possible, that is for sure. However, Arran-Elderslie cannot afford to expand staff as recommended and simply cannot afford to keep staff even at its current level, let alone increase staffing costs.”

Crawford’s duties will be transferred to existing staff and the municipality will operate in a management-team style “and it will be business as usual,” Eagleson said.

The municipality’s clerk, Peggy Rouse, will be the principal official in the municipality, Eagleson explained.

“We always had a clerk as the head of staff, and in that regard, we’re anticipating going back to the way things always were. I think the public will be quite comfortable with this,” he added.

The report also contained a recommendation for the municipality to have an environmental services manager. That position, Eagleson said, will also be terminated depending upon if the municipality can reach an agreement with its unionized staff to amend the collective agreement to have water and sewer declared essential services.

“An agreement to that effect will eliminate the need for one more administrative position. If an amendment with the union cannot be reached, this decision will have to be reviewed by council,” Eagleson said.

Craig’s report also called for the hiring of a parks and recreation manager. Instead, council has instructed existing staff with the parks and recreation department to determine if changes can be made to free up sufficient funding in order to hire such a manager.

“If so, the position will be allowed,” the mayor said. “If not, the issue of this position will be returned to council for review.” Meanwhile, the parks and recreation manager’s position will continue to be temporarily filled by the municipality’s chief building official Stephen Walmsley.

I wonder how Close we can get to this idea??

Bruce

So Lets Grab the Bull by The Horns!


 

  “BRUCE ON THE BRUCE”

A Division of:        WESTERN INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATIONS (INC.) BWI

  Richmond House,      
  P.O.Box 127,
  Leeward Highway,
  Providenciales,
   Turks and Caicos Islands, 
   British West Indies

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Town of South Bruce Peninsula

315 George Street,
PO Box 310,
Wiarton, Ontario, Canada,
N0H 2T0

Attention: Town Council

 

Members of Council;

 It has come to my attention, that there is no video coverage of Council and Committee meetings in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula. It is my understanding that a proposal to provide this was declined by Council because of budgetary constraints.

 Western International Publications (Inc.), would like the opportunity to present to Council a proposition wherein which, we would in fact provide the equipment and staff to video the meetings, stream the video’s to our  secure web page for access by the general public.

 We would of course retain copy write on the videos produced and all production artistic control of the content published.

 Western International Publications (Inc.) is prepared to pay the town the sum of $2,500.00 per year, subsequent, for exclusive rights to all content and any advertising rights derived from the site as well as any revenue generated by the site, on a five year contract.

 Please advise as to when we could present this proposition to Council. Please direct all correspondence to this writer.

 Respectfully submitted

John C. Schnurr

RR# 2

Wiarton, Ontario

N0H 2T0     bruceonthebruce@gmail.com

Authorized Agent

Western International Publications (Inc.)