Re: January 15, 2013 Council Agenda

The pdf version of the full agenda package is at:

An Html version is at:

Following are comments on a few select agenda items.

Closed Agenda Item 4.8 Advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose AND Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees (Indemnification By-Law)

The Municipal Act says that the clerk is supposed to indicate in a closed session item the general nature of it. The item description above tells virtually nothing.

The indemnification by-law is a bad by-law. Are they trying to hide something from the public?

9.1 Sauble Water and Sewer Environmental Study Report (November 15, 2011) 141 -213

A December 2010 Environmental Study Report (ESR) written by the firm Genivar proposed a $70 million dollar sewers system for Sauble Beach.

The ESR was flawed, as no problem was identified, and certainly no problem that would justify the $70 million.

Because the ESR was deficient, council put the ESR on hold and formed a committee tasked with finding out if there is a problem related to private sewage systems at Sauble.

The committee hired a consultant to answer the question.

The consultant’s report, in the December 18 council agenda, was very clear. The report indicated that there is no general problem with septic systems.

The $70 million dollar proposal was completely unwarranted. The $70 million dollar proposal was completely unnecessary.

The committee agreed that there is no problem with septic systems and also that a communal sewage system is not warranted.

In spite of absolutely clear evidence that sewers are neither needed nor warranted, there are still people on staff and on council that want the 70 million dollar project to proceed.

In the December 18 meeting Councillor Jackson requested that the discussion and decision on the ESR be deferred until the January 29 meeting when she is back from vacation.

In spite of this very reasonable request, it seems that a discussion of the ESR and maybe a decision are on the January 15th agenda, coincidentally when Councillor Jackson is away on vacation.

I hope I am wrong, but I am concerned that the pre-sewers forces are planning a fast one in councillor Jasckson’s absence.

Some Sauble residents need to come to the meeting to see that council doesn’t discuss the matter and especially that council does not decide the matter in Councillor Jackson’s absence.

And also to let council and staff know that they are under scrutiny.

I also encourage all Sauble residents to write to council and ask council not to discuss the sauble sewers issue on January 15th and not to discuss the issue until the Januray 29th meeting when Councillor Jackson is back.

Sauble residents should also tell council that when the Sauble Sewers matter does come up for decision, the decision must be to bury the December 2012 ESR proposal, once and for all.

9.2 SWASRAHC4-2012 Final Report to Council (December 18, 2012) 214 -303

This is the final report from the Ad Hoc Sauble Sewers Committee.

I am pleased that this report does not recommend communal sewers for sauble.

But the report does recommend some other actions that could be very costly.

As an example, one recommendation form the committee is “The Town of South Bruce Peninsula should look for solutions for storm water management on the Beach.”

This is of concern because it appears that the committee is looking for a “solution” without determining if there is a “problem” to solve.

That was the issue with the December 2012 ESR. Genivar started with the 70 million dollar “solution” and then concocted a problem to fit.

Let’s not repeat that process.

The consultant’s recommendation was a little better than the committee’s.

The consultant recommended:

“The Town may also need to consider a stormwater management study to determine if bacteria are carried to the beach by storm water and, if so, to implement an effective management solution to surface runoff carrying E.coli to the beach.

At least with the consultant’s recommendation there was a hint of seeing if there is a problem first, before solving it.

The sauble sewers committee report, as it affects Sauble, should be also deferred until Councillor Jackson returns.

9.3 PW33-2012 Oliphant Water Treatment Plant Re-instatement-Exemption from Purchasing Policy (December 18, 2012)

The Oliphant treatment plant is shut down. It doesn’t work. It never worked.

“Oliphant Water Treatment Plant Re-instatement” means redesigning and rebuilding so that it works.

Most of the discussion and decisions about the Oliphant water treatment system were done behind closed doors, completely out of sight of the public eye.

People accepted this because they thought it meant that someone was being sued for the costs to get the system working properly, and users assumed they would not pay.

As I read the agenda material, there is no money coming from a lawsuit.

If I am reading it correctly it means that all Sauble area water users will be on the hook for the costs. Meaning another increase in water rates.

It’s time to bring the matter out into the open, so water users and the general public can look at the problem and the solution and determine for themselves if council has, behind closed doors, made the proper decision.

10.6 By-Law 6-2013 Being a By-Law to Regulate a Dynamic Beach Park and Commonly Known as North Sauble Beach Park in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula

The current dynamic beach by-law applies to some properties that are privately held.

By-law 6-2-013 would amend the Dynamic Beach by-law so it would no longer apply to privately held property.

It would allow cars on the beach and in the dunes between fifth and sixth at Sauble.

The new by-law is founded on a so-called “legal opinion” from the law firm Miller Thomson. The “opinion” was predetermined. The Miller Thomson lawyers were given the conclusion (that the current by-law is unenforceable), and rationalized an “opinion” to fit that predetermined conclusion.

Miller Thomson was paid well for the opinion. They had an obvious conflict of interest.

An opinion by an unpaid, unbiased lawyer came to exactly the opposite conclusion as the Miller Thomson lawyers produced.

Conveniently, council completely ignored that opinion.

Also, conveniently, council completely ignored my critique of the Miller Thompson opinion.

The by-law should be deferred and should not be discussed until Councillor Jackson is at the table on January 29.

And on January 29 the by-law should be defeated.


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