Re: November 6, 2012 Council Agenda (2-42)

The pdf version of the full agenda package is at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=51506

An Html version is at:

https://southbrucepeninsula.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=51504

Following are comments on a few select agenda items.

 Agenda Item 4.5 Litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals affecting the municipality or local board (Dynamic Beach By-Law)

Can’t say for sure, but I’ll bet this is about the lie in the press release of October 17, that lie being that:

 “Council had given direction to staff earlier in 2012 that the Dynamic Beach By-Law would not be enforced on private property until such time a second legal opinion was received.”

Some litigation against one or more individuals has in fact been initiated.  But there is no “litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality”“Litigation or potential litigation” is not a valid reason for this to be in closed.  There is no legitimate reason for this to be in closed session.

The only reason to have it in closed is so John Close and his accomplices can try to dupe council, out of sight of the public eye.

Agenda Item 7.3 John Tennant-Wiarton South OPA 30, Bruce County OPA 157 (10 minutes)

John Tennant is a planner representing the developer of what is commonly known as the proposed Wiarton South Adult Lifestyle Community.

I am in favour of council considering the Wiarton South Adult Lifestyle Community proposal.

But Mr. Tennant seems to want much more from council.

Mr. Tennant wants council to raid the treasury to pay for all the studies he needs to do  and especially the expensive Environmental Assessment (“EA”).

Mr. Tennant wants council to bypass the EA law and allow him to construct Phase 1 without an environmental assessment.

Mr. Tennant wants council to ignore the fact that none of the issues raised December 15, 2011 by the Bruce County planning department have been addressed in the least, those issues having been summarized as the county recommendation:

 “[that the Official Plan Application (“OPA”)] is premature in the absence of supporting information related to sewer, water, and storm water management services and should be refused or deferred.”

Council must decline all of Mr. Tennant’s requests.

Mr. Tennant says:

“As the Town is aware, the EA process and infrastructure development can take years to complete. In the interim, there is nothing imperative to complete the EA prior to the phase one development.”

This is false.  Infrastructure capacity has not been addressed by the proponent.  And the proposal cannot proceed without infrastructure capacity. And an EA is certainly required to address capacity.  So in fact, contrary to Mr. Tennant’s claim, it is imperative to complete the EA prior to the phase one development.

 Mr. Tennant says:

 “The Town’s existing servicing capacity can be utilized to accommodate new development and to help facilitate future infrastructure expansion.”

 This is a total lie.  The proponent Mr. Tennant is ignoring all of the comments made by individuals and by the county.  Individuals showed that there is no capacity for sewage treatment, and that existing infrastructure is not even adequate for phase 1.  In fact there is no existing excess servicing capacity.  And the county advised against the proposed OPA and made very clear that the capacity issue has not been adequately considered.

Mr. Tennant is trying to scam council.

The proponent is a commercial entity, in business to make money.  The EA and the OPA report are costs of doing business, and should be paid for by the proponent.  It is not in the interest of the taxpayers to be paying for the EA or for the consulting firm Cuesta to be preparing the OPA report. The town should not be paying for the EA.  Forcing taxpayers to pay a developer’s costs is theft from the treasury.

Mr. Tennant says:

“It has been a very long time since this process began. There have been several public meetings and processes underway for over four years. Yet, we are not officially any further ahead than we were four years ago.”

I believe Mr. Tennant is trying to say that “the town dragging its feet on the project.”

The quote from Mr. Tennant above is just a guilt trip vested upon council in an attempt to get the council to open the treasury to Mr. Tennant and to look the other way while the EA rules are bypassed.

In fact the town is not slowing the project.  The reason why “we are not officially any

further ahead than we were four years ago” is because the proponent has not done any of the required work and has not prepared a comprehensive and viable plan.  The developer is to blame for the lack of progress.

The proponent expects the people of the town to pay for the project, while all gains accrue to the developer.

The people of the town do not want to pay, and do not want to be forced by council to pay, and will not under any circumstances tolerate council forcing them to pay.

All six of Mr. Tennant’s requests must be denied.

Agenda Item 8.5 EDO20-2012 Significant Event Designation Request-Wiarton Willie and 8.6 EDO21-2012 Significant Event Designation Request-Winterfest

The chambers are requesting that the town designate Wiarton Willie and Winterfest as

“Significant Municipal Events”.

As these events are big, and as they suck a great deal of money from the treasury, there may be a case for calling them “Significant Municipal Events”.

But a declaration that they are “Significant Municipal Events” does not get them any closer, at least in the eyes of the law, to a liquor license.

To get a liquor license council must designate them not as a “Significant Municipal Events”, but rather as “Events Of Municipal Significance”.

It sounds the same.  But it’s not.

So council, if it is going to do any “designating” must use the proper “Event Of Municipal Significance” designation.

And council should not be designating any event as an “Event Of Municipal Significance” unless the event really is an “Event Of Municipal Significance”.

Because to designate an event that is not really an “Event Of Municipal Significance” as an “Event Of Municipal Significance” just so the chambers can get a license would be fraudulent.

Agenda Item 8.7 EDO22-2012 Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Committee Terms of Reference Strat plan

Danielle Mulasmajic is recommending the following structure for the Strategic Plan Implementation Steering Committee

“A minimum of three (3) Members of the Public (Voting Members)

These members will be representative of the ‘community as a whole’ as follows:

– Private sector (commercial/industrial)

– Community organizations

– General public”

This is unacceptable.

“Private sector commercial/ industrial” organizations are not members of the corporation of the Town Of South Bruce Peninsula.  “Private sector commercial/ industrial” organizations cannot represent the true members of the Corporation. “Private sector commercial/ industrial” organizations should have no say and should not be represented on the steering committee.

Community organizations are not members of the corporation and cannot represent the members of the corporation and thus should have no say and should not be represented on the steering committee.

There should be three members of the general public and the three public members should be people who can leave their personal, and private, and organization’s interests at the door.  This means no members from the chambers and no members from the Economic Development Committee (EDC).

Ms. Mulasmajic’s proposal is just another attempt to stack the committee with members of the EDC and the chambers of commerce.  The strategy is clearly another attempt to get the EDC and the chambers of commerce or business community in control of taxpayers’ money and in control of the strategic plan.

The strategic plan is not about the EDC or about the chambers of commerce or about the business community.  It’s a strategic plan for all the people.

And staff do not belong on the committee.

Council should reject Danielle’s proposal.

Agenda Item 8.8 CBO41-2012 Septic Re-inspection Program

Chief Building Official (“CBO”) Carol house wants to contract Genivar to do septic inspections.  Genivar is the engineering firm that recommended a $70 million dollar Sauble sewer system “solution” and then contrived a phoney problem for the “solution” to solve.

Fortunately council was not fooled and fired Genivar and got the project put on hold, to be resumed only if a clear problem warranting the $70 million dollar “solution” is found.

The town should not even be talking to Genivar.

Of course this all happened before Ms. House’s time.

Someone should tell her.

Agenda Item 8.11 CLOSE07-2012 Municipal Grants

Mayor Close wants staff, instead of council, to make the decisions about who gets grants. This is unacceptable.  It’s the peoples’ tax money.  Only the peoples’ representatives can decide who gets grants.

This is just another attempt by John Close to remove from public scrutiny the illegal giving of over $100,000 of the peoples’ money to the chambers of commerce.

The attempt is ridiculously transparent.

Agenda Item 8.12 BOWMAN43-2012 Meetings Re Amabel-Sauble Water Rates

Councillor Bowman’s report documents the many ways the committee has found to reduce costs.    The group should be commended.

But then Councillor Bowman had to spoil the report by recommending that water users’ costs be shifted onto the general taxpayers, and that costs of having service available to empty lots be shifted onto those with occupied lots.

The report says:

Consideration should be given at budget

deliberation to transfer [the costs to truck water from Wiarton to Oliphant] for 2013 to a separate account number, be tracked separately and funded through general tax revenues.

Councillor Bowman attempts to justify this shifting of costs from the users to the taxpayers as:

“the water users should not be penalized for something beyond their control”.

Whaaatt?

It would be nice if water users weren’t penalized.  It would be nice if water users didn’t have to pay anything at all.  But the bills have to be paid.  And there is no excuse to arbitrarily shift the water supply costs onto the general taxpayers, people who also should not be penalized “for something beyond their control” and who in addition don’t even get the service.

You can’t make the water costs disappear but paying for them out of general revenues.  That just shifts the costs around.

And besides, it’s illegal.

Councillor Bowman, without justification, has just pitted the Sauble Amabel water users against everyone else.

“Everyone else” (those not on the amabel sauble water system) needs to tell Councillor Bowman that her proposal is illegal and unacceptable.

Councillor Bowman wants to set the vacant lot rate well below cost at $35 per month.  But this would force occupied lot users to subsidize vacant lot users.  At an extra cost of $18 per month for occupied lot owners.

That also is illegal.  This time Councillor Bowman is pitting vacant lot users against occupied lot users.

Occupied lot owners need to tell Councillor Bowman that her proposal is illegal and unacceptable.

Agenda Item 10.3 By-Law 126-2012 Being a By-Law to Amend By-Law Number 44-2009 Being a By- Law to Adopt the Manual Governing the Policies and Procedures for the Corporation of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (Raking and Maintenance of the Sand Beach at Sauble Beach)

Raking of the beach is harmful and costs the taxpayers lots of money.  This by-law is contrary to the public interest.

Whose interests are being catered to?

This by-law should be defeated.

Agenda Item 10.4 By-Law 127-2012 Being a By-Law to Amend By-Law Number 44-2009 Being a By- Law to Adopt the Manual Governing the Policies and Procedures for the Corporation of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula (Reporting Absences and Sick Leave)

The policy for Reporting absences and sick leave is unacceptable.  Comments from an human resources (”HR”) professional and others are at:

https://craiggammieblog.com/2012/10/26/new-tsbp-policy-gives-staff-right-to-get-an-employees-personal-medical-information/

In the October 16 meeting, Clerk Cathrae indicated that she had checked policies of several others and determined that the proposed TSBP policy wording was very similar.

According to my friend the HR professional, this is false.

According to the HR professional, only a shady outfit with shady intentions would write a policy like the one proposed by Ms. Cathrae.

Clerk Cathrae should be directed to document the policies of the so-called “others”, so council and the public can assess for themselves whether the proposed TSBP policy is similar to others and so council and the public can assess whether Ms. Cathrae’s proposal is acceptable or not.

Craig

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