|Back to Home||Letters - June 21, 2012|
Letters: June 21
Ompah Firehall on Life Support, Jen Robertson
Ompah Firehall, Leo Ladouceur
Re: Scott Reid's Surveys, Paul Issaacs
Garbage Hipocrisy, Joan Rose
“Because we are worrying so much about the fire hall we are looking at losing the ambulance service". That's a quote from Ward 3 Councillor Betty Hunter when faced with voting to proceed with the project. Before the last election Councillor Hunter said she did not know why the previous council did not get a new Ompah fire hall built but she was very committed to the project. At this most critical time in the approval process this statement shows she really wasn't quite so committed and she appears to be abdicating her responsibility to help bring this saga of a combined new Ambulance Base/Firehall to fruition.
Firstly she should know that without the proposal to combine the two buildings, there never was going to be an Ompah ambulance service to lose. Should the project be lost, it will simply be because in the past North Frontenac Council failed to proceed when there was infrastructure money available and today's North Frontenac Council refuses to pay what it now costs. Any councillor who supposedly represents his/her constituents should not be looking at losing this project. We'd expect them to be vocally supporting both the Fire Hall and the Ambulance Base. If they cared, they would work to get more votes by lobbying their fellow councillors to get this thing passed, done and built. Councillor Hunter's negative attitude of "we are looking at losing" leaves us wondering if we are back to having a council member who has forgotten why they were elected, which ward he/she represents, and what is best for the township.
Over the years, and even today, we have had councillors we may not always have liked or agreed with. But with councillors like John Inglis, Jim Beam and Bob Olmstead we always knew what they were doing, we knew what they stood for, and we knew they would fight for issues that concerned their voters.
Jeff Green’s article says that to proceed with the Omaph Ambulance Base/Fire hall project, he figures it would need four votes from the township council. What remains is to figure out if there is any common sense, fairness and integrity among the mayor and those councillors at the table.
The two Barrie councillors have shown how parochial they are over this issue by their words, actions and constant opposition. We can presume “No” votes from them. They have their fire halls and ambulance bases, so any benefits or improved emergency services for the rest of the township are of no concern of theirs.
That leaves five votes to determine the fate of the project. Abandoning the proposed new ambulance base will mean the end to any future improvements to ambulance service in Wards 2 and 3. That is not to mention how foolish North Frontenac will look to the rest of the county after all the begging, cajoling and crying about the life and death needs for residents in the north. A “No” vote would mean the end to the one good project North Frontenac has ever been able to negotiate with the county.
The issue is very basic. All other fire halls in Wards 1and 2 have been paid for with township tax money. As a community, Ompah has given and paid for the total building infrastructure, most of the equipment and the operation of their fire hall and community centre for years. Since township council challenged Ompah volunteers to show their monetary commitment to the new fire hall, they have continually raised over fifty thousand dollars each year towards emergency services and operations. Now it is time for the township to back up its “so-called” commitment and for the taxpayers to help out with this project.
Before the last election most of the remaining five voters at the council table said they supported the new ambulance base/fire hall project. Surely they knew then that such support would not be free. It has been pointed out that approving this project would mean the township would have to borrow money at an annual budget expense of under $40K for 10 years to pay back the loan. The cost to taxpayers of this loan would be a 0.8% increase in their bills or about $2.20 for each $100K of assessment. That’s not a huge expense to demonstrate that council is willing to govern with common sense, fairness and integrity.
Leo L Ladouceur
Members of Parliament have a fundamental democratic obligation to represent their constituents as Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. Scott Reid continually fails to meet that obligation by choosing instead to represent the Conservative Party of Canada.
Should Scott Reid abuse the good offices and democratic responsibilities of a Member of Parliament by using those good offices to blatantly disseminate partisan propaganda in an attempt to manipulate his constituents to the benefit of the Conservative Party of Canada?
[ ] No! Scott Reid was elected and his fundamental obligations and responsibilities are to his constituents.
[ ] Yes! Scott Reid was elected and his only obligations and responsibilities are to the Conservative Party of Canada.
Keeping in Touch,
- Paul Isaacs
I concur with Patrick Maloney's letter (Garbage, What’s a Township to do?, Jun 14/12) about his frustration and disgust with Central Frontenac's process for deciding on its new garbage policy.
I started to become concerned a year or so ago when we received a "survey" about the options for reducing the township's garbage and increasing recycling. As we read and filled out the survey, it became apparent that the clear bag 'alternative' was the intended solution and the survey was a veiled attempt to make the citizens think they had been able to be a part of the decision. It is interesting to note that we were not provided with any feedback about the results of this survey. I suspect that not many citizens indicated support for the clear bag option. In our survey form, I made several suggestions (such as a recycling hut) which do not seem to have been acted upon.
Here are some of my
concerns having to do with the present policy:
No glass recycling - I was shocked when I read in Patrick’s article that our glass recyclables are simply dumped into the waste pit. After we go to the trouble to sort our recyclables, this is the thanks we get?
In my opinion, our usually excellent council have made a very bad decision. Encouragement and support is the way to achieve greater co-operation with respect to recycling. The current policy seems to be mean-spirited and bullying.