| May 22, 2008

Feature Article - May 22, 2008

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Feature Article - May 22, 2008 South Frontenac Waste Management plan in limboBy Jeff Green

The steady push towards amalgamation of services in South Frontenac has suffered a setback this week.

In the absence of Mayor Gary Davison, Deputy Mayor Bill Robinson presided over the vote on a motion to bring a draft waste management plan forward for public consultation. The motion was defeated after the vote ended in a four to four tie.

The outcome came as a surprise because the motion only came about after the township’s sustainability committee had accepted a report from consultants Totten, Sims, Hubicki. The resulting plan had been well received at a Committee of the Whole meeting on May 13.

In an article published in the News on May 15 after that meeting, Frontenac News reporter Wilma Kenny wrote, “Council agreed that the sustainability committee should proceed to prepare for public meetings to get input from residents”.

The sustainability committee met late last week, and proposed that public meetings be scheduled in Loughborough, Portland and Storrington for the first week of September, and in Bedford District in late July or early August in order for summer residents to have an opportunity to participate.

The sustainability committee also proposed that an interim bag tag system, with each resident receiving 100 South Frontenac bag tags for the period of September 1, 2008 until August 30, 2009, be accepted.

As part of the plan, Bedford District would end up joining the other three districts in having curbside garbage pickup, although the details would have to be worked out.

Township Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth stressed that the plan was a work in progress in presenting it for a vote.

“It is certainly my expectation that this is only a draft document. One of the points we raised was that we wanted to hear from the public, and that we would want to listen to what the public says,” he said.

In a recorded vote, Councilors MacPhail, Hahn, Stowe, and Vandewal supported the draft plan, and Councilors Fillion, York, Hicks, and Deputy Mayor Robinson voted against it.

“So now what?” asked Ron Vandewal.

“Back to the drawing board, said Bill Robinson.

“There is no drawing board,” Vandewal countered.

“It’ll have to be addressed through the sustainability committee,” said township CAO Gord Burns.

Building inspector hiring goes though; Stowe leaves in a huff

A long-standing debate on council was finally put to rest when it was decided by a 6-2 vote that the second building inspector position, which had been a contract position for two years, will finally be turned into a full time job, including benefits.

The most outspoken opponent of the change has been Storrington Councilor John Fillion.

“There have been 14 new homes this year. I don’t think we are worked off our feet. You can’t tell me that swimming pools are a priority, they are very minor, and now we are going to build an empire here. If there is downturn, which there already is, then we are going to be stuck,” he said.

Building inspectors look at swimming pool, deck, and wood and pellet stove installations as well as new home and renovation projects.

CAO Gord Burns said, “I understand there are some concerns expressed, and I want to point out there is no way we would be requesting this position in order to build up the department. If we were trying to build an empire, I would jump on that. The building department is a hard-working department.”

Deputy Mayor Bill Robinson asked if council would like to defer the vote, and this ignited the ire of Bedford Councilor Del Stowe, who had been chastised earlier in the meeting by Robinson for speaking out of turn

“Why do you ask to defer this vote, when you didn’t ask when we voted on waste management? You can’t have it both ways,” he says.

After the vote was decided (for the record Larry York and John Filion registered the only no votes) Stowe gathered his papers, stood up, and said he was excusing himself.

As he left the building, he called back to Robinson, saying “I am excusing myself because you did not offer the same chance on the last vote. I want it noted why I’m leaving the meeting.”

“Let the minutes show that Councilor Stowe left the meeting at 7:50” said Bill Robinson.

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