Re: May 21, 2013 Council Agenda (Sauble parking, Septic re-inspection by-law) (Craig’s 3-15)


The pdf version of the full agenda package is at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=54177

An Html version is at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=54175

Following are comments on a few agenda items.

9.1 Items Referred-CLK33-2013 Sauble Beach Chamber of Commerce Request for Paid Parking Fee Structure Roll Back

In her report on parking rates Clerk Cathrae says:

“In keeping with the request from the Chamber to “roll back” the rate structure, I would not see any reason why we could not roll back the rates to $2.00 per hour, $5.00 per day and $25.00 per week. “

The clerk has completely missed the point.  The clerk has completely missed the serious negative impact on taxpayers.

Rolling back the rate structure will significantly reduce revenues.  Property taxes will have to be increased significantly to compensate.  That’s the reason “why we could not roll back the rates to $2.00 per hour, $5.00 per day and $25.00 per week”.

I cannot see how anyone could possibly miss this negative impact on residents.  But clerk Cathrae missed it.

That the clerk cannot see the cost to taxpayers is no reason to reduce parking rates.

Administrator Farrow-Lawrence ’s comments are just as bad.  In her report there is no mention of the inevitable increase in property taxes.

It appears that the clerk and administrator have, like councillor Bowman, lost sight of their duty.

Their duty is to the residents.  At least it is supposed to be to the residents.  Their duty is not to the tourists or to the chamber of commerce or to any other commercial interest.

Council, if they have any sense of their duty to the residents, should end the nonsense and resolve to leave parking rates exactly where they are.

10.3 By-Law 53-2013 A By-Law to Implement a Sewage System Re-Inspection Program

The draft by-law is a bit of an improvement over the one it is supposed to replace.

But it is still a bad by-law.

The introduction implies that the town can trespass at will.

Whereas the regulatory power to trespass on private property is given under Section 15.9 (1) “Inspection of an Unsafe Building” in the Ontario Building Code Act (OBCA);

This is very misleading.  The power to trespass without a warrant is indeed in the act, but that is not a power to come on the property to do a maintenance inspection.  An official must have reasonable grounds to trespass using 15.9 (1).  Fishing trips are not permitted.

The introduction also makes this claim:

And whereas Section 15.10.1 of the Building Code Act allows an inspector to enter upon land and into buildings at any reasonable time without a warrant for the purpose of conducting a maintenance inspection;

That too is wrong.  The act allows an inspector to trespass to do a maintenance  inspection conducted according to the building code.  The town’s proposal is not according to the building code.   They cannot trespass to do fishing trips.

In spite of assurances given by Genivar’s Michael Vardy, I still believe that the objective of some staff and some council members is to find as many “problems” as possible, even if they don’t exist, and to order unnecessary and expensive “repairs”, so as to put pressure on people to support the failed Sauble sewers project.

I have a no-trespass notice served on Genivar and the town’s staff.

Until the by-law is fixed, the notices stand.

At the morning session of the public meeting on May 11, I tried to ask a question about Genivar’s obvious conflict of interest.  (The more septic system problems that Genivar finds, the more expensive the repairs are ordered, and the more support for Genivar’s 70 million dollar sauble sewers proposal).

My question was valid and relevant.  But I was not allowed to ask it.

I was rudely shouted down by clerk Cathrae and her co-conspirator Jim McKane.

It was clear to me that clerk Cathrae interrupted me because she did not want the residents present to know about Genivar’s obvious conflict of interest, and about how that conflict could cost residents a lot of money.

I stayed for the afternoon session and asked the same question.  Cathrae started across the floor clearly with the intent of grabbing the microphone and shouting me down again.  But having noticed that her accomplice Jim McKane had left the room, she decided not to interrupt me.  My question was posed, others joined the conversation, and the question was answered.

But many observed how desperate Cathrae was to make sure that the conflict of interest issue was not discussed.

Ms. Cathrae once again ignored her duty to the residents of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.

I am a strong supporter of a proper septic inspection program.  I am not a supporter of Clerk Cathrae’s improper purpose and improper actions. I do not support Clerk Cathrae’s bylaw.

Council should send the by-law back to get it right.

8.7 CLK38-2013 Liquor Licence Application, Cocoa Vanilla, Wiarton

I have no particular concern with the issuing of the license.

My concern is that in assessing whether the license should be issued, Clerk Cathrae and administrator Farrow-Lawrence did not even consider the residents.

They did not consider the residents who may have to bear any increase in noise that may come with the addition of alcohol, and they did not consider any increase in rowdiness, and they did not consider any other potential negative impacts on residents.

As usual, only commercial interests were considered.

Clerk Cathrae and Administrator Farrow-Lawrence need to review the Municipal Act, especially section 227 (role of the officers and employees of the municipality) , section 228  (clerk’s role), section 229  (Chief administrative officer role),  section 1 (which puts boundaries on economic development services) and sections 106 through 114 (which also put limits on economic development services).

All of these parts of the Municipal Act and more are intended to ensure that council and staff act for the benefit of the residents and do not make policy for the benefit of commercial interests at the expense of the residents.

Cathrae and Farrow are supposed to know this.

Some education and direction is necessary.  Will council provide the necessary direction?  I’m not holding my breath.  Councillor Jackson is the only one who seems to fully understand that the duty is to further the public interest and that the public interest is the public interest of the inhabitants.

 

Craig

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Councillor Bowman Needs To Check Her Math Re Sauble Parking (Craig’s 3-14)


On May 7 councillor Bowman made a motion to eliminate Sauble Beach parking charges.

The motion was narrowly defeated, but the idea did not die, as a motion to put on a future agenda a by-law to decrease rates from $15 per day to $5 per day was carried.

Eliminating parking fees or dropping the rates from $15 to $5 may benefit councillor Bowman’s chamber of commerce buddies.

But it will provide only pain for the residents.

Contrary to Councillor Bowman’s claims, parking revenues currently pay a good part of beach maintenance expenses. The numbers don’t lie. At $15 for a day pass, paid parking adds $270,000 annually to the treasury.

If Councillor Bowman’s motion had passed, the town would lose that revenue, and taxpayers would have had to pony up at least an extra $270,000 in property taxes every year, and likely a lot more, just to keep the beach maintained at its current level.

That’s almost a four percent increase in property taxes. That’s an extra $40 per year for

the average property. That would bring the property tax increase in the three years since the current council took office to 21%, or $210 on the average residential property.

Where does Councillor Bowman get the gall to say to the people of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula that:

“We’re going to raise your taxes by 4 per cent, but don’t worry, you can trust me, because I’m a economic genius and I guarantee you that elimination of parking fees for tourists is for your own good.”

(Short version: “I’m Marilyn Bowman. I’m from the government. I’m here to help you”.)

I’m sorry Ms. Bowman but I know that you are not qualified to conduct economic analysis, and I know that you are not qualified to make economic policy decisions, and I  don’t trust you.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Councillor Bowman tried to get a “socio-economic study” going to prove that she was right.

How?  She wanted to get the Sauble Chamber to “assist with the measurement plan”.

Guess what the chamber would find from the study?

Fortunately that idea failed to.  But it will be back.

Councillor Bowman’s duty is not to the tourists, and her duty is not to the tourism industry, and her duty is not to the Sauble chamber of commerce.

Her duty is to the residents of the town.

Councillor Bowman has turned her back on the residents of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.  Councillor Bowman has lost sight of her duties.

Councillor Bowman needs to be redirected.

I urge all residents of TSBP to write to councillor Bowman and remind her of her duty to the residents and to inform her that her duty to the residents is to support keeping Sauble parking rates at $15 per day to avoid a 4% tax increase.

E-Mail Councillor Bowman at:

m.bowman@sympatico.ca

Might as well copy all of council:

John.Close@southbrucepeninsula.com

paulwmckenzie@bmts.com

Jim.Turner@southbrucepeninsula.com

jackson4saublebeach@gmail.com

Chris.Thomas@southbrucepeninsula.com

kklages@bmts.com

jaybeck@bellnet.ca

 

 

 

Craig