| Jun 25, 2009

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Madam Warden, I beg leave to rise and speak, Jim Beam

Madam Warden, I beg leave to rise and speak

Just nine little words from an elected township councilor at a joint county council meeting on Wednesday, June 17. One wouldn't think that it was an outrageous request to ask to speak under "Other Business"; I mean, why not hear what township councilors, the elected representatives of the communities of Frontenac County have to say?

I rose to speak to the County Trails Master Plan that had been presented to the warden and mayors during their regular session of council earlier in the day. I would have liked to speak to the ICSP document, the governance farce and the ambulance review but thought the warden might let me speak to the trail issue, as I had mentioned to her during the break that I would like to address that issue. Perhaps it was just an issue of time as the Frontenac Islands mayor had to catch the ferry back and was not due to a lack of respect for elected officials! I mean, we had an hour-long presentation about providing Accessibility Customer Service and showing respect and understanding to persons with disabilities so surely that wouldn't have been the reason!

I am, or rather was until I resigned last week, a member of the trails committee that spent many months working on the Master Plan prior to  it being submitted. The problem is that the document was submitted to county senior staff, reviewed, edited, returned to staff, and then submitted to county council, all without being shared with the committee! To rub even a bit more salt in the wound, the two recommendations direct "staff" to do follow up activities, totally ignoring the trails committee. The final straw was a list of the organizations, departments and individuals consulted and/or affected that made no mention whatsoever of the trails committee.

I must ask the question, who is really running the show at Frontenac County? Those who are the elected representatives? Or staff?

Jim Beam, Deputy Mayor,Township of North Frontenac

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