| Feb 26, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - February 26, 2009 Central Frontenac Council - Feb. 24/09By Jeff Green

Duchene hits the ground running 

The first item of business at a meeting of Central Frontenac Council on February 24 was approving the selection of John Duchene as Chief Administrative Officer.

Deputy Mayor Gary Smith, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Gutowski, said, “When John Duchene was here for a year and a half as acting clerk, he did an efficient job, and now that he is here full time he can do a lot more”.

“I had an interesting conversation with myself just before Christmas,” Duchene said before the meeting, describing how he decided to seek a job that he had left just four months earlier. He was hired on an interim basis when Heather Fox took a leave of absence two years ago and held the job until August, when he resigned. His replacement, Mark Hall, left the job after a few weeks and the job was advertised again. This time John Duchene applied for it.

As the meeting wore on it became clear that many of the issues that were being faced by the township five months ago are still on the table, and Duchene presented Council with a draft issues report along with the unfinished business report that Council looks at on a monthly basis.

“This is my list,” Duchene said of the issues report, “I have not consulted with staff yet, but these are issues that I recall, and it is sort of a work in progress. I want to establish a team approach for this with department heads taking ownership over their individual budgets”.

Members of Council said they liked the list, but that didn't stop them from suggesting other items.

“One issue that's not here is salt storage in Piccadilly,” said Councilor Bob Harvey, “I think there is a big liability there; it is not appropriate where it is now”.

“You don't think the salt storage facility has solved the problem?” asked Councilor Norm Guntensperger.

“No, it hasn't. We are still exposed. It shouldn't have been there in the first place, and it should be moved now,” said Harvey.

Guntensperger had an issue he wanted to see brought forward. “An upcoming issue is the tracking of quantities: salt, gravel, etc.. We don't have paper trails as to how this stuff is moving; there is a lot of estimation and trust of the contractors involved ... More or less, sorta kinda is not good enough when you are talking about millions of dollars, in my opinion.”

Guntensperger said the township might have to consider purchasing their own weigh scales even if it is an expensive proposition.

Tenders for buildings and grounds maintenance contracts -

Contracts for grass cutting, hall maintenance, etc. are all up for renewal next month. In a report from Ian Trickett, chief building official, the value of all the contracts that are up for renewal was listed at $43,550.

Included in the new contracts in Sharbot Lake, for example, will be the grounds around the medical centre and the public washroom at the beach. The township is also now responsible for grass cutting and garbage pickup at the roadside park on Road 38 in Godfrey, grass cutting at the Crow Lake schoolhouse, and grass cutting at one of the fire halls.

The tender will recognise three categories of maintenance: grounds maintenance, custodial services, and for the first time, repair and maintenance services. In terms of repair and maintenance the township will be looking to find one or more general contractors who will be available for carpentry, electrical, or plumbing work at a fixed hour rate.

The tenders are to be granted by the end of March and will cover a three-year time frame, April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2012.

Township and Personal Vehicles policy - A proposed township and personal vehicles policy was approved by Council. The policy includes the following provision: “The use of a vehicle for private or personal reasons is prohibited. In particular, no vehicle may be taken home with an employee overnight or on weekends. A vehicle shall always be used strictly for Council business, unless expressly authorised to do differently by a resolution of Council. If any employee fails to observe this policy, disciplinary action will be taken.”

Art show – A request by the Land O’Lakes Artisan Guild (LOLAG) for permission to use the Sharbot Lake beach and Oso Hall for their inaugural “Art by the Beach” show was accepted by Council, although a request for free rental of the hall was not. The show, which will run on Saturday & Sunday, August 1 & 2, will feature the works of LOLAG members and also art students from Sharbot Lake High School.

Wedding at Long Lake – Councilor John Purdon had a few personal concerns about a request by Cristin Clark to use the beach at Long Lake for her wedding ceremony on July 11, with about 30 guests.

“It is a small beach,” said Councilor Purdon, “and if it is nice weather people will be swimming. It's not the place where I would think it is suitable to hold a wedding, with children shrieking and all that, but I don’t really have an objection to it; it's just my opinion”.

“You don't want to stand in the way of love, in other words,” said Deputy Mayor Smith.

Council granted permission for the ceremony to take place at Long Lake beach. 

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