Craig’s Commentary Volume 1 Number 41


24 September 2011

RE:  September 27,  2011 Council Agenda

 

The pdf version of the full agenda package is available on the town website at: 

 https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=44797

 An Html version is at:

 https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=44795

 Comments on a few interesting select agenda items

 Agenda Item 6. CONSENT AGENDA 5.3 EDO 01-11 BLUEWATER PARK AD HOC

COMMITTEE

The recommendation before council, as developed at September 20 COW, is:

 THAT Council approve the formation of a sub-committee for further

development ofBluewaterPark;

AND THAT the sub-committee be made up of current members of the Economic

Development Committee who have an interest inBluewaterPark.

 Council should make clear that the sub-committee is not a committee of council and as such does not have any town resources allocated to it.  So the sub-committee should not have the services of theEDOfor secretarial work, or for report writing, or anything else.  And to be consistent with policy and with treatment of other groups, the sub-committee should not get to use the town meeting room at no cost.

 Agenda Item 7. CONSENT AGENDA ITEM 5.4 EDC 02-11 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE BUSINESS CARDS

 The recommendation before council, as developed at September 20 COW, is:

 THAT Council approve the Economic Development Committee Chair to have business cards paid for out of the economic development budget for the purpose of economic relations;

AND THAT the Chair also provides the Economic Development Officer‟s business card at the same time as handing out his own.

 Business cards for the chair of the Economic Development Committee is a very bad idea.

 I understand that the chair of the EDC is already presenting positions publicly as if they were the views of the town (we need to develop the airport, we need sewers at Sauble), even though these positions have not been taken by council and are thus not the positions of the town.

 This violates the intent of policy A.3.2  (Council correspondence) which has as its purpose:

 “to ensure that any official correspondence from Council is prepared and approved in a manner acceptable to Council prior to distribution.”,

 Giving the chair of the EDC business cards with the TSBP logo on them or with the TSBP name on them would make the EDC chair’s public statements look even more like council or town positions, and would further subvert the purpose of A.3.2

 For the EDC chair to give out logoed business cards and making statements like those above would come close to violation of the actual A.3.2 policy, which reads:

 “That any correspondence which suggests Council involvement or support distributed on Town letterhead, be prepared by staff and must be approved by Council prior to sending.”

 With the policy as written, the combination of orally spoken unapproved statements and logoed business cards might not be considered a breach of policy because the statements are not “distributed on Town letterhead”.

 The policy has what I believe is an unintended loophole, in that taken literally it only applies to correspondence on town letterhead.  So according to the policy, taken literally, staff, councillors, the mayor, committee chairs, committee members can say anything they want to, and can present it as town position, as long as it’s not written on town letterhead.

 The policy should be clarified to indicate that any communication, including but not necessarily limited to correspondence, presentations, and submissions, oral or written, which suggests Council involvement or support or position, must be formally approved by Council prior to delivery.

 And the business cards request should be denied.  There is absolutely no merit in the EDC chair having business cards.  And there is every indication that the cards would be used in abuse of the “revised correspondence policy”.

 The EDO should be the one making contact with the public anyway, not the chair of the Economic development committee.

 Agenda Item 18. CONSENT AGENDA ITEM 5.12 FS 46-2011 ADDITIONAL DATA FOR PW81- 2011 WATER RATE BY-LAW

 A staff report FS-46-2011 recommends a three tier structure for water fees including a base monthly rate to be paid regardless of usage, a fee of about $1.00 per cubic meter on the first 18 cubic meters of consumption in a month and a rate of almost $4.00 per cubic meter on consumption in the month over 18 cubic meters.

 The recommendations from the September 20th committee of the whole meeting to council are:

 THAT Council notes the contents of this report;

AND THAT Council would like to see the billing start in May 2012 with the three tier structure being used.

AND FURTHER THAT that the first level be started at 18 cubic metres;

AND FURTHER THAT the by-law be placed on an upcoming meeting for consideration.

 Water is not a town business, it’s a service provided by the town to members of the town. Metering was supposed to make the cost distribution more fair by charging users based on the full costs to produce and deliver the water that they use instead of a flat fee.  So with metering the town should not be charging individual residents more than what it costs to produce and deliver the water.  Yet the proposed three tier system does exactly that to some customers.  For those who use more than 18 cubic meters in a month, the town will charge far more than the cost of production and delivery.  (And those using less than 18 cubic meters in a month will pay less than cost).  This is unfair and unjustifiable.  The implications will be that a large family that uses a lot of water in the household but uses no more than the average per person and may use less than average per person will be heavily penalized and will be forced to subsidize smaller families who use less per household but the same amount per person or even more per person.  But it’s unfair for anyone who uses more water, regardless of family size or amount used per person.

 The proposal should be rejected in favour of a fair two-tier system.

Craig

Craig’s Commentary Volume 1 Number 40


24 September 2011

Former TSBP Mayor’s Allegations Against Councillor Jackson Are False

Editor:

In an August 22, 2011 letter to Minister Rick Bartolucci TSBP mayor John Close saidSaubleBeachhas a “history of positive E. Coli testing”, and implied that E. Coli. contamination of wells was caused by septic systems.

 In a September 10, 2001 interview with Rob Gowan of the Owen Sound Sun Times, Mayor Close stated explicitely that E. Coli contamination of wells and sand points was from septic systems.

 The claims made by Mr. Close are false.

 Mayor Close made the false statements, in writing, without council’s knowledge or approval, thereby breaching the TSPB council correspondence policy, and impugning the integrity of council.

 In the September 6th council meeting, Councillor Jackson exposed the Mayor’s mistruths and breach of protocol, and rightly accused him of “betraying the people of Sauble Beach” (September 10 OSST article Councillor accuses mayor of betrayal).

 Carl Noble’s (September 24 letter to editor) challenge of Councillor Jackson’s accusations is so ridiculously absurd that it actually bolsters the case against Mayor Close, and reaffirms Councillor Jackson’s integrity (just the opposite of what Mr. Noble intended).

 Contrary to Mr. Noble’s claim:

 Councillor Jackson did not agree with anyone who supports sewers forSaubleBeach,

  1. Councillor Jackson did not support (or even see) the infamous August 22nd letter to Minister Rick Bardolucci, and,
  2. The letter that Mayor Close sent to Mr. Bardolucci and presented to MPP Lou Rinaldi was not “requests of council”.

  expect that the four year’s of water quality information that Carl Noble collected is the same information that John Close said was in “two drawers, two boxes” (OSST September 10).  It’s odd that in the ten years that Carl Noble and John Close have been claiming that Sauble septic systems are contaminating wells with E. Coli., all they have ever done is suggest scavenger hunts (rather than producing a shred of supporting evidence).

 Mr. Noble’s implication that Councillor Jackson has not done “her due diligence and research”, like John Close’s “two drawers…”,  is an unfounded false accusation, a  diversionary tactic, an attempt to hide the fact that his mistruths are unsupportable and unsupported.

 Those “shackles which attached her to some cottagers”, that Carl Noble says he hoped Councillor Jackson “had finally broken” are actually the strong ties between the people of Sauble Beach and a councillor passionately dedicated to protecting the people from the nefarious schemes of the likes of Mr. Noble.

 (Mr. Noble should not look to Councillor Bowman for sympathy, because she is just as dedicated.)

Mr. Noble advises Councillor Jackson to ask the Grey Bruce Health Unit for “some very good suggestions.”  This is almost as ridiculous as Mayor Close presenting Janice Jackson with the completely discredited October 25th 2010 GBHU letter (see commentary 37 on www.bruceonthebruce.wordpress.com or on www.craiggammie.com) and expecting Ms. Jackson to apologize.

It’s odd that Mr. Close can write to a provincial minister saying the problem is that Sauble septic systems are contaminating wells with E. Coli, and has told reporter Gowan that the evidence is in “two drawers, two boxes”, and yet has not brought one shred of evidence to the Sauble Sewers committee (the one formed by council in May 2011 to find out if there is a problem related to sewage management at Sauble).

 I believe that Mayor Close and former Mayor Carl Noble are using the same pile of misrepresentations to try to push their agenda, which is in my view to try to create the impression that septic systems are causing problems and that the residents are in grave peril, so that Mayor Close can foist an unnecessary, unwanted, unjustifiable $70 million dollar sewers fiasco on the people of Sauble Beach.

It’s a bit ironic that Carl Noble, as Mayor in 2004, with full support of then-councillor John Close, presented much the same mistruths about Sauble Septic systems to the same MPP Lou Rinaldi, (who was then Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure).  Because the Noble/ Close position was demonstrably untruthful, Mr. Rinaldi did not buy it in 2004.  And because it’s still the same mistruths, Mr. Rinaldi won’t buy it now.

The good people of Sauble Beach won’t buy it either.

My question is this – what did John Close and Carl Noble expect to accomplish with their untruthful letters of August 22nd and September 24th?  Have they made promises with failure-to-deliver consequences so severe that in desperation they would resort to such mistruths?

Craig Gammie

SaubleBeach