Letters

An integrity Commissioner or a Sanctions’ Hit Man?

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:20  |  Published in Letters
The NEWS reported that North Frontenac’s Council had sanctioned Councilor Vernon Hermer for openly opposing one of their decisions and publicly criticizing the process they had or had not followed to reach it.   The News also reported that Mayor Ron Higgins was recommending the appointment of an Integrity Commissioner. Other Municipalities are hiring Integrity Commissioners.  But in their realm the word Integrity is supposed to demonstrate transparent, accountable and ethical governance.  Not in North Frontenac.  Most sensitive issues that taxpayers would expect require some sort of open attention and moral governance become shrouded with a cloak of suspicion and mystery.  Township participants go into hiding behind the code of conduct, in-camera meetings, forbidden public participation, gag orders, denial, bullying, sanctions, secrecy, and silence. The Mayor…

re septic reinspection

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:18  |  Published in Letters
I wish to provide my input in regards to septic inspections and the cost of complying with the regulations. If you enjoy the privilege of owning a car, you are the one who pays the car insurance, comply for safety regulations and do your own repairs. If you can't afford to meet the rules then you park your car and you don't drive. No one is expected to help pay your bills for you. When you build a house, you must comply with building regs. There are no funds available to help you. If your well goes dry or gets contaminated, this expense is solely the homeowners responsibility, why should septic systems be any different? Should the course of action be that the township inspect…

Re - Noisy solar panels

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:17  |  Published in Letters
I noticed that in the South Frontenac Committee of the Whole report in the March 16, edition of The Frontenac News, Pam Vaughan spoke in opposition to a solar power project because it would be, among  other things,"noisy". I was not sure if your April 1 edition had come out early but if not I can certainly commiserate with Ms. Vaughan as I have the same problem. When I had my solar panels installed, nobody told me that they would be so noisy. I have complained to Premier Wynne about all the noise as it is all the fault of the Liberals the since they are the ones who have imposed all this terrible green energy upon us but so far she has been too…

Re – septic inspection

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:15  |  Published in Letters
Letters have been written regarding the plan to initiate a mandatory septic inspection program in our township. Those who have defended the plan have characterized dissenters as being willfully ignorant of the dangers of contaminated wells, and by extension, our fresh water sources. They have equated opposition to their proposal as no less than neglecting human health and the environment. It is regretful that the argument is being cast in these terms. It means that one must agree fully and without reservation, lest they be branded as an enemy of the environment and human safety. This is as incorrect as it is unfortunate.  As one of the three dissenting votes on Council, I believe you have a right to know what concerns motivated that decision.…

re Septic Inspections

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:13  |  Published in Letters
I am very disappointed in your paper, specifically your reporter Craig Bakay's stance on Central Frontenac approval of a motion to introduce a Septic Assessment program. His stance, an seemingly the stance of your newspaper, seems to be to encourage everyone to turn a blind eye on any potential illegal septic systems out there that are polluting the water of our residents. Lets not muddy the water here, pun intended, a malfunctioning septic system is illegal - all septic systems must be functioning correctly or else must be repaired / replaced. This law is to protect our water quality - why else would it exist?  How can your paper question this, what makes you an expert, has your paper taken action to get this law…

re - Septic Program

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:10  |  Published in Letters
As I read these sales pitches on how crucial it is that I get my septic tank pumped out and inspected, a few questions come up.  Is the Township going to give every truck driver from every pumping service within a certain radius of this township a course on septic  tank inspections?  It states that “no program is free, there will be some costs.”  DO YOU THINK? Now, every five years, I have an unrequested service that I must pay for on my private property  that has been riddled with holes from someone looking for my septic tank lid, my financial being may be in the hands of a truck driver with this licence, that my tax dollars have paid for and a green, yellow…

Re - Septic inspections

Written by  |  Wednesday, 15 March 2017 13:03  |  Published in Letters
I want to provide my opinion, as a senior, of the mandatory septic systems inspection program as conceived by the Central Frontenac council. I understand their desire to be seen as contributors to the "Green Revolution”, but their timing is all wrong.We have a receding population density, not a growing one. And using the cookie-cutter approach, lumping industrial, commercial, urban, and rural residential properties, families and singles, together potentially leads to the dilemma of how to deal with seniors, many of them in the rural residential sector, that are financially unable to affect repairs or replacement, as well as having to spend hundreds of dollars every five years on inspections. The solution is quite simple. Make the present group of seniors exempt. Seniors are lucky…
Last week’s letter from David Daski reflects a commonly held belief that septic systems in locations with   no proximity to either neighbours or water bodies could not be a threat to either public health or to the environment. Unfortunately, the nature of the geology and the topography of our area indicate that this is far from reality. Seams in the fractured bedrock can provide ready access for contamination from any source to make its way into ground water. In combination with our very limited soil overburden, which if deeper would act to filter contaminants, the result is that any faulty or failed septic system, regardless of how remote, can pose a threat to ground water. This reality has been recognized by the four local Conservation…

Re- NF Council

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:16  |  Published in Letters
How arbitrary, sad, chilling and undemocratic it seems that North Frontenac Coun. Vernon Hermer could be compelled by a government entity--the council--to publicly apologize for Hermer's opinion and protected communication to a constituent that resident views had not been considered or respected by council in deciding on municipal building renovations. It is significant that the apparently sensitive renovation topic might originally have been relegated to closed session debate by council but for Hermer's insistence that the discussion be open. Thank you, Coun. Hermer. It is regrettable that some council members may have felt disrespected by Hermer's comment to his constituent, but government and political leaders must put on the thinking caps and big boy/big girl pants required in political leadership positions. Even with perhaps genuine…

Re Septic inspection

Written by  |  Wednesday, 08 March 2017 14:12  |  Published in Letters
Last fall I had the displeasure of unearthing and reburying four septic tanks on three properties I own in the township. Each one is radically different from the others and yet they all perform their function. Only one of the four is located close to an active water body and neighbours. The others are not. And only one of the ones, not near water or neighbours, had a problem that had to be rectified. The outflow pipe had come disconnected and the effluent flowed into the ground. This had no noticeable impact on drinking water or even the functioning of the waste system, and I was unaware of the problem till the tank was pumped. I fail to see how, in cases where there is…

Goats or Retirees

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 March 2017 15:10  |  Published in Letters
Excitement about factory goats raises basic questions. Is the goal profit? For whom? Feihe will enforce contracts to guarantee amounts and qualities of goat milk to assure their profits. Small, part-time herds won't fit. Perhaps county representatives should visit some Mediterranean islands to assess the quality of a goat-impacted landscape. Goat desert! So only in big barns. Where to source the feed supply? And then there is the other end! The Netherlands' intensely planned pork industry expansion was down-scaled because the feed was all imported from elsewhere. So the manure output could not be used locally, could not be sold, and did devastate local waterways (and airways). Our other development opportunity is retirees coming to the Frontenacs. Attracted by the superior landscapes and lakes, they…

RE: Candidate ANSI Redesignation

Written by  |  Wednesday, 01 March 2017 15:04  |  Published in Letters
I am writing to express the serious concern of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) regarding the proposed Amendment to Lanark County’s Official Plan (OP) that would remove candidate ANSI (Area of Natural Scientific Interest) designation from a number of provincially or regionally significant natural areas and re-zone these areas, partially or entirely, as rural. Such action would put at risk ecologically significant lands and is contrary to the importance that the County attaches to the natural environment in its current OP. The proposal is inappropriate as an example for natural heritage protection for lower tier municipalities. MMLT is a non-profit charitable organization that works in and on behalf of the people and communities of the region to preserve ecologically sensitive lands for the long…

Re- OMB

Written by  |  Wednesday, 22 February 2017 13:36  |  Published in Letters
Just read your piece about the OMB hearing and have some comments from my own experience. When the OMB heard appeals on the 2002 Official Plan and, a year later, similar appeals on the Zoning by-law, it was clear that the Township had not done any “rigorous” study (the Board’s word) but a just a cut and paste of some other Township’s by-laws. The Planner’s evidence was that the increase in lot size and frontage was to protect the lakes in the northern two-thirds of the Township. It has never been clear why the minimum lot size for non-waterfront lots was doubled and there has been no study done in the intervening years even though the OMB “urged” the Township to do one. So we…

RE- NF Council Shrinkage

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:14  |  Published in Letters
Oh, dear, here we go again. That old notion of a smaller municipal council is being trotted out once more in North Frontenac. Well, a five-member Council was a bad idea in 2013, and it’s a bad idea now. The new proposal is slightly different, but the arguments against it are just as valid now as they were then. Cutting the number of councillors from seven down to five would reduce both the effectiveness and the responsiveness of our local government. Good government requires a critical mass and a diversity of perspectives. Having fewer voices at the council table would limit the range of ideas and the scope of dialogue and debate on the many issues townships have to deal with. And consider the highly…

Re - Electoral Reform

Written by  |  Thursday, 16 February 2017 11:10  |  Published in Letters
Did I wish/hope to see a different electoral system than First Past The Post?  You bet your socks I did!  Am I disappointed that will not be the case for the next election, yes, very.  The real question I should have asked and answered however, is,  “Was I surprised at the seeming turn around to explore different options?”  That would be a no.  In April of 2005 I was visiting family in British Columbia.  All over were large highway signs promoting electoral reform options in the May referendum.  I was excited.  I was so pleased to see a jurisdiction actually addressing the discrepancy of First Past The Post and doing something about it.  The question in that referendum was heavily defeated  60% to 40%. How…
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