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Letters to the Editor - November 3, 2005

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November 3, 2005

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Letters to the Editor: November 3, 2005

“So Long and Thanks” to NF area residents

Cloyne - Further to my formal resignation from NF Council today, in the words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, let me say that “I’ll be back!” And so I will, in three years or less. This is a joint (ad)venture, in that my spouse (who, along with our children, trailed ME around the Province for the last 14 years of my career) has accepted an OPP three-year promotional transfer to Sioux Lookout, and so she and I will be going there together.

This will not be a totally “new” experience, as we have spent a good portion of our lives in the North beforehand. However, there is some ambivalence in this, in that I have chosen to follow my heart and my “sweetheart”, as opposed to my head, which says “Don’t go!” As good as you folks are, hands down, my “sweetheart” wins!

Woes_innkeepers_wife

We are retaining ownership of our home in the municipality, which will serve as our “guarantee” that we will be returning, and we look forward to rejoining you in autumn of 2008. Dependent upon the political climate of the day (and subject to your endorsement, of course), I may throw my hat in the ring again in 2009 to represent you at the municipal table!

Being that I have perhaps been more personally involved than my spouse with the community, how does one, without omitting and offending some individual, say “See ya!” while acknowledging everyone’s contributions to character over the past ten years?

To all of our communities, and to each and every individual and group therein, a sincere thank you! You know who you are! On an individual and corporate level, your kindness and support have been cherished, and we look forward to renewing those ties in a short time. We would only ask that you show the same consideration for our children, should they ever return in a time of need while their parents are absent!

To each and every one of you who should perhaps pass by our way over the next three years, our new address will be 96 First Avenue, Sioux Lookout, ON P8T 1G3. Our new phone number is 807-737-4769. In the same sense of welcome that you have always extended to us, each and every one of you is expected to drop in, should you ever be in Northwestern Ontario. A brimming plate of hospitality, a tall, cold drink, an even taller tale, and a warm bed awaits you! We will be sorely disappointed if, within the next three years, we do not hear from any of you!

Take care of yourselves, be kind to each other, keep up the good sense of community, and we look forward to a renewal in 2008.

With sincere and heartfelt wishes for continued success,

- Will Cybulski and Kathy Gerrie

Taxes maintain standard of living for everyone

I am responding to the letter to the editor (Oct 27, 2005) by a Bedford resident bemoaning the idea of being forced to pay the $13 a year for Sydenham's expensive new water system. I can understand why the writer feels this way. However, she seems to be saying that we should only pay for what we use. I cannot agree with this. Our governmental system and quality of life is based on the combining of resources to be used for the betterment of all. This is why we pay taxes.

My tax dollars pay to have my neighbour's garbage removed. They pay for road repairs in Bedford, Storrington and Portland. I've never met A. Thonigs, but I happily pay my taxes so there is a doctor available when she is ill. I can't afford to pay the whole cost of having just my garbage removed, or the resurfacing of just my portion of the road. I can't afford to pay a doctor to be on hold for when I need her. In Canada, in Ontario, in South Frontenac and in Sydenham we pay taxes to maintain our standard of living, not just for us, but for everyone.

The new water system in Sydenham is a huge, expensive mistake. Everyone knows it. But it is happening, due to the actions of council members, most of whom live in areas outside of Sydenham. It is your elected officials who pushed this through and it is their electorate who should pay for it. We are all neighbours and we should not expect direct personal benefit for every tax dollar we pay.

Also, for those interested, there is a system in place to donate money to help out the low-income families who are losing their homes to the water system. Cheques can be sent to the Sydenham Water Relief Fund at Box 359, Sydenham, K0H 2T0.

- Janet Knights

Re: letter regarding graduates

Thank you, R. J. (Bob) Miller, for your observations about the Sharbot Lake High School graduation exercises.

The ceremony is about students and their accomplishments. Readers would like to see a picture of a graduating class or at least the names of graduating students. It is not too late to do a proper article on the graduating students!

- Lorne Jenkins

Re: Cell phones for graduates

I am writing this letter in response to J.R. Miller's letter about the cell phones handed out at graduation. First of all, I understand his point about it being a concern for a college or university student carrying an extra expense on top of all other expenses involving post secondary schooling.

However, this was not mandatory for these students to take a cell phone. This was their decision and their decision alone; it was only an offer extended to these graduating students. My son was in this graduating class and he did choose to receive a cell phone. He has had the phone activated, with no activation fee, as well as receiving $60 in free airtime. He has paid absolutely nothing, and has received a brand new cell phone as well as receiving free airtime. This was set up as a pay as you go option with no contract or added fees. So if the student does not have the money to put on their phone, they do not have to worry about an overdue bill; they just put the money on when they have it.

As a parent with two children going to college away from home, I feel that a cell phone is a great idea to have with them at all times. You never know when you are going to have a bit of a melt down due to being homesick and need to "get in touch " with someone familiar, or if an emergency arises and need to get help.

I feel it was a generous offer made by Tom Taylor and I would like to say “Thank you”. Congratulations to the graduates. Stay in touch.

- Lisa Matson

New Rector in Sydenham

The Parish of Loughborough is delighted to announce the appointment of the Reverend Arthur Turnbull as Rector of St Paul's Church, Sydenham. Reverend Turnbull and his wife Gordi have recently arrived from British Columbia, and now reside in the rectory beside St. Paul's. We are pleased to welcome all in our Parish to worship and join in fellowship at St. Paul's. Reverend Turnbull's first Holy Communion service will be on November 6, Remembrance Sunday.Please note our new regular service time of 10 a.m, Sundays, commencing on November 6. For pastoral concerns, Reverend Turnbull can be reached at the Parish Office, 376-3033.

Letter to Mayor Lake and Council Members:

A few weeks ago the Frontenac News published a letter from MPP Leona Dombrowsky to Mayor Lake in which alternate ways of financing the Sydenham Water System were discussed. Ms. Dombrowsky pointed out that if the cost of the system was spread over the whole township, it would cost about $200/household for one year or about $13/ household over a period of 20 years.

South Frontenac Council continues to reject this idea, arguing that this water system is based upon a user pay formula and that individuals within the township who are faced with replacing their own septic systems must do so at their own expense, therefore it would be unfair to help the residents of Sydenham.

Many counter arguments have been presented: Sydenham provides many services and benefits to the township as a whole; things can be made fair by establishing a community fund to help individuals who must replace their septic systems; sharing the cost for Sydenham is a good idea because down the road, other communities will probably need water systems. Most of these ideas seem to make sense and I am at a loss as to why this council is so adamant in its rejection of a cost sharing formula.

Canada is not a user pay society. We pride ourselves on our social programs, our universal health care system and our quality educational systems. The costs of these services are shared by everyone, regardless of whether or not they actually use them.

South Frontenac Township is also not a user pay township. Those of us who live in small villages such as Sydenham pay taxes that go towards road maintenance, snow plowing and garbage collection, as well as school buses.

Our children do not use school buses. Most of us have less than 300 feet of road frontage; often this is shared with neighbours on the other side of the street. It costs far less for South Frontenac Township to maintain my little portion of road, to plow it and to collect my garbage than it does for those five or six families who live along one of the sparsely populated roads in this township. My taxes support the services provided to these people. Our system works on a system of cost sharing; we do not ask those who live on isolated roads to pay for their actual share of service costs. It is a sad and serious mistake that our understanding of mutual support and interdependence has not been extended to the Sydenham water system.

By placing huge financial burdens on individual families you are making many of them vulnerable to any kind of added financial setback. To do this to a whole village at one time is extremely destabilizing and is not in the best interests of this township. It would be far better to realize that we all benefit from each other’s existence and that setting a precedent of support within this township will create a far stronger community for generations to come.

- Janette Haase

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