Jeff Green | Sep 17, 2009
Back to HomeEditorial - September 17, 2009 County Council will Only Get UglierEditorial by Jeff Green
North Frontenac Township brought its long-simmering dispute with Frontenac County to a head two weeks ago by sending a letter to the province, asking for leave to try to secede from the county and become a single-tier municipality.
The letter will not likely yield much for North Frontenac, even if it has received support from the local MPP.
The province has given no indication it will consider granting small municipalities leave to increase their authority. After 10 years, municipal amalgamation has become entrenched. There have been no reversals.
As well, the list of grievances that accompany North Frontenac Township’s request to the province does not contain any assertions of illegal acts or stolen money. They are grievances to be sure, but they are intensely political in nature, and they are not the kinds of things that will likely concern the province.
But now that the letter has been written, the scenario for the next 12 -14 months is pretty clear.
There is language in the letter that will be taken personally. South Frontenac is described as having a “distinctly semi-urban mindset” and there are digs at South Frontenac Mayor Davison that will not be well received by him.
The ongoing animosity between mayors Maguire and Davison will only get worse, making it more likely that Davison will attempt to block changes to county governance that North Frontenac wants but Davison has already indicated he doesn't like.
Mayors Gutowski and Vanden Hoek, who have to some degree been trying to appease North Frontenac, will be less motivated to do so now.
North Frontenac Council wrote this letter after years of frustration and growing animosity. They have concluded that their relationship with Frontenac County cannot be fixed, and therefore they have nothing to lose.
Whether or not that was true before the letter was written, it is probably true now, at least until the next municipal election.