| Sep 04, 2008

Sept 4, 2008 - Letters

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Letters - September 4,2008 Letters: Sept 4

Re: Cowardly Council, Jim Beam

Re: Rubbing Salt inTheir Wounds, Candace Bertrim

Re: Council Position Filled, Leo Ladouceur

Re: Highway Signs Stolen, Clayton Fleury

Re: Cowardly Council

Thank you for recognizing the factthat councillors, not only in North Frontenac but in all municipalities, put in long hours and are hard working in an often thankless job.

I was upset at the unlikely turn of events at the last North Frontenac Council meeting and, as you pointed out, the problem may have been avoided had Council made a decision at the July meeting. It would not necessarily have happened that way though! Mayor Maguire clearly did not want to have his adversary, Betty Hunter, appointed as replacement councillor even though she was experienced and lived in Ward 2. In the event that a vote was taken, I am certain that the vote would have been split 3-3 with the mayor, and Councillors Perry and Good voting against Betty, and Councillors Watkins,Olmstead and me voting for her. That motion would have been defeated as a tie. What then? At the time there was no procedure established byCouncil to deal with a situation like this.

I reluctantly agreed to add 2 weeks to the deadline and, by doing so, we got into the situation that developed on August 21. What I find a bit bizarre is that the mayor would nominate two candidateswho had no experienceon North Frontenac Council when there were two people available thatwould be able to step right in to the position and further the work of the township without having to go through a learning curve. Was he that worried about the possibility of Betty Hunterbeing elected that he nominated the other candidates in an attempt to increase the chance of her not being elected, as he knew, or was quite sure, that Betty would get 3 votes, Gleva 3, and there would be no clear winner?

I am not, in any way, suggesting that either of the other candidates would not have been good Councillors but why not go for an experienced person who lives in theWard and would require no time to learn the ways of municipal government?

I welcome Elaine to North Frontenac Council and will work with her to help her become an effective councillor in as short a time as possible.

Jim Beam,Deputy Mayor and Ward 3 Councillor, Township of North Frontenac

Re:Rubbing Salt in Their Wounds

My support and empathy go out to my salt wounded neighbours. I am a property owner and neighbour to the Lowerys, Clows and Hickeys, awaiting my invitation to view their fancy new in-ground pools!!

What a joke!

Where is the compensation to these families? Is the township going to change all the plumbing in the two adjacent homes that have been destroyed by their negligence?

Is the township going to compensate the landowners/farmers for destroying their property? Where cattle can no longer graze nor can it be cut for hay. What about the building lot just south of the works yard? Where is the resale value in a property that cannot produce potable water?

As a property owner I would be thoroughly disgusted and furious with my township (to whom we pay taxes and take for granted that they are employed to better our community) for doing the very minimal damage control possible.

Candace Bertrim

Re:Council Position Filled

On reading the front page about North Frontenac’s selection of a replacement councilor a few words came to mind. They included gutless, fixed, convoluted, leaderless, dysfunctional, unfair, silly and embarrassing. Getting to the second page I found the editor’s descriptive word “Cowardly” to be very appropriate.

Firstly, I congratulate Elaine Gunsinger for having the will and the interest to offer her services as a councilor. Those of us who know her have confidence that she will represent Ward 2 very well. Her selection has the benefit that she owes no allegiance to current councilors, who insultingly said she and other candidates were not suitable for the job. Her decisions can be based on what is best for her constituents and the whole township.

Secondly I wish to suggest to Mayor Maguire that rather than making important township decisions by drawing pieces of paper from a hat, he should move to the “Management by Dart Board” approach. Ron and I are both ex-federal government senior managers and I’m sure he knows the concept very well.

The process is simple and inexpensive. No councilors are needed, so we can save taxes there. Install a dart board in the mayor’s office. Each day the mayor gets to personally load the 20 spaces or targets on the dart board with decisions that would suit him for that day. These could include items such as “raise the tax rate today”, “raise the mayor’s salary”, “pave roads where there is high voter concentration”, “reduce township services to Ward 1”, “buy a few more trucks”, “ignore volunteer committee recommendations”, “hire more consultants”, “reduce township support to local businesses”, and “pick another fight with County Council”. Let’s not forget decisions to “blame the library board”, “publicly insult the county, provincial ministries and federal agencies” and “request more funding from the county, provincial ministries and federal agencies”. Finally we need an entry that will “delay all decisions for another meeting, another month, another budget, another study, another year or another election”. One simple toss of the dart each day and the mayor’s management decisions are made.

Sounds foolish and ridiculous? How is it different than the way our cowardly council does not function today? Just read the Frontenac News. When was the last time an item from council was good news, a logical decision, showed real leadership, or something our ratepayers could be pleased and proud about? Poor Elaine has a lot to overcome so let’s support her and her efforts.

Leo L. Ladouceur

Re: Highway Signs Stolen on 509

I lost the back window out of my van, also a side window, plus many stone chips due to the high speed of stupid drivers. Much of the stone on these roads ended up in the ditches and many windshields were pock-marked, as was the paint on many nice vehicles. Tar & stone is not the cheap way to go. Hot asphalt would stop this nonsense. The township may save a few bucks but the tourists and locals have to pay through the nose to have their vehicles repaired. Windows are over $300 and paint jobs $600 & up. Is there any recourse from the toownship?

Clayton Fleury

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