| Dec 09, 2010

Long-time Addington Highlands Reeve Henry Hogg read a short statement at the outset of a new council term in Flinton on Monday afternoon. He took the opportunity to welcome three new members to the four-member council: rookie councilors from Ward 1, Tony Fritsch and Adam Snider, and Bill Cox from Ward 2, who served once before between 2004 and 2006.

One initiative that Reeve Hogg made specific reference to was the Denbigh School project. The purchase of the school by the township is imminent, and converting it for use as a medical clinic and possibly a recreation centre as well will have to be budgeted and managed by this council.

The first order of business for the new council was to select a deputy reeve and representative to Lennox and Addington County Council. Until now, the township has employed an informal process whereby the deputy reeve position was offered to the councilor with the largest share of the vote from the district that the reeve does not come from. With Henry Hogg coming from Ward 1, the last time around that person was Helen Yanch. If the process were followed this time, however, Bill Cox would be chosen because he received more votes than Yanch did.

However, instead of deferring, Helen Yanch said she was interested in the position. Bill Cox wanted the job as well, forcing a new process to be adopted on the spot.

Jack Pauhl said that either an open vote or picking the candidate by lot was acceptable, but a secret ballot would contravene the Municipal Act.

“I would prefer a non-voting process, such as picking a name out of a hat,” said Councilor Tony Fritsch, “because an open vote could create divisions on our first day as a council.”

That prospect did not sit with the candidates, who wanted a vote to be held.

“I don't like the idea of an open vote,” said Henry Hogg, “for the reasons that Tony pointed to.”

It was suggested that if, instead of holding a formal closed vote, members of council simply wrote a Y (Yanch) or a C (Cox) on a piece of paper, it might be acceptable.

Legal or not, such a vote was held.

When the count was made, Jack Pauhl said, “The C's have it 3-2.” With that, Bill Cox was appointed deputy reeve and representative to L&A County Council.

The next task of council was to make appointments to committees and bodies. Adam Snider volunteered to represent the township on the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. Tony Fritsch and Helen Yanch were appointed to the library board. Bill Cox, Adam Snider, and Henry Hogg will sit on the Kaladar Barrie Fire Board. The Facilities committee, which has met rarely in the past, but might have an expanded role with the Denbigh School redevelopment project looming, will be chaired by Tony Fritsch and will include Bill Cox as well. Reeve Hogg is an ex-officio member on all internal township committees.

There was a discussion about the roads and waste management committees. “I heard a lot of talk about roads and waste management when I was out campaigning, and about communication. I think those committees should meet more often,” said Helen Yanch.

Rather than make appointments from council to those committees at this time, council decided to advertise for members of the public to join the committees, and defer the council appointments until the next meeting.

AHEAD Committee – Larry Pealow, who has been the chairperson of the AHEAD (Addington Highlands Economic Advisors for Development) Committee for five years, appeared as a delegate to find out if council plans to continue that committee.

“I don't think there is any initiative to disband it,” said Henry Hogg.

“In that case my appointment as chair ended with this change of council,” said Pealow. “I do not intend to carry on as chair, and will be trying to find a new chair at the AHEAD meeting in January, but I need a motion from council to appoint me until then.”

“I'll make a motion to appoint Larry Pealow as chair of AHEAD for the time being,” said Henry Hogg.

“You didn't put an end date on that,” said Pealow.

“I know,” Hogg said, laughing, “it's not always easy to find a chair.”

Hartsmere Road maintenance – Public Works Manager Rosenblath said that with upgrades to equipment the roads department is now in a position to provide road maintenance to the Hartsmere Road, a service that has been done by the township of Carlaw-Mayo at a cost of $30,000 per year.

“It will not save money for us to do it, but we can deliver better service and it would be good for our township to have more of a presence in that community because of issues at the waste site we have there,” Rosenblath said.

Brushing – Council received another complaint about the state of the Jacques Bay Road after the brush at the side of it was removed using the new machine the works department has purchased. “They think we should be using a chainsaw and a chipper instead,” said Reeve Hogg, “but the cost would be about ten times as high.”

“Personally I think we should use the machine we purchased. It might not be pretty, but it's effective and our main responsibility is to make sure the roads are clear,” said Bill Cox.

“Can there not be a limit on the width of trees that the machine is used on?” asked Helen Yanch.

“It is not intended to be used on trees wider than 8 inches. For those we plan to use a chainsaw,” said Royce Rosenblath. “That road has not been done for 34 years, so there is some large growth. Our intention is to do every road every couple of years, so over time we should bring it all down to a manageable level.”

FIRE ISSUES - Fire Chief Casey Cuddy welcomed the new council, and informed them of the year-to-date figures for the department. “So far we have done 94 calls from the Kaladar Barrie department and 29 from Denbigh,” said Cuddy, “with the number of medical calls and car accident calls going up and fire calls going down.

Cuddy also said that council should consider building a new fire hall in Northbrook sooner than later, for health and safety reasons.

Insurance Issues – The representative from Jardine Lloyd Thompson, the township’s insurance carrier, made a lengthy presentation to council about the coverage that is being offered. The quote for 2011 is $5,000 higher than the cost in 2010, a change that is attributed to an increase in the value of township assets, not an increase in insurance rates.

Certified General Liability Required – The Jardine Lloyd Thomson representative confirmed that any contractor hired by the township needs to have a CGL (Certified General Liability) policy in place with at least $2 million in liability. This confirmation puts the snow ploughing contract for the Northbrook helipad and other properties in limbo because the lowest bid came from a contractor with only automotive insurance and liability coverage.

Casey Cuddy said he would have to contact the other bidders to see if any of them has the necessary coverage. In the interim public works will take on the snow clearing.


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