Wow, kudos to Council! The entire agenda was covered…and it took less than 2 hours!!
What’s all the buzz about bees?
Despite the fact that council moved along at quite a reasonable pace, I was shocked to see a 20 minute conversation evolve about bees. Yup, bees….
Councillor Campbell was reluctant to approve the minutes from the most recent OSAT meeting. She brought forward concerns about constructing habitats for bees in our Community Garden. She expressed concerns about bee allergies and potential risk for citizens. Councillor Bradley let members of council know that the bee habitats have been in our community garden for a year and a half with no incident. “We have had bees for a year and a half in a caged in area. They’ve been successful. We need the bees. We don’t have bees, we don’t have food. The bees are there and there has been no incidents.” At this point, Councillor Garisto questioned whether there was proper signage at the gardens to which Councillor Bradley explained that it is signed, but that they could always put up more signs if council deemed it necessary.
Now, I have to ask…do we really need a sign to direct people to the sign that’s already there that warns them about bees? Outside? In a garden? In my humble opinion, that doesn’t seem like money well spent!
Town Insurance Cost
This part of the council meeting was brushed over quite quickly and I was left with some questions. There was a recommendation put forward that states:
That report TF-2015-04, dated February 23, 2015, with respect to 2015 Insurance Costs and Impacts, be received;
And that authorization to fund the reassessment in the amount of $186,695.00 plus HST from the Insurance Reserve, be received;
And that an additional $106,000 be added to the proposed 2015 Operating Budget to cover the 2015 Insurance Premiums.
The report mentioned above is found here on pages 57-59.
Councillor Wilson asked “Several years ago we went into the reciprocal and started banking the savings and now all of the savings will be dedicated back to the funds because of a claim that has come to roost now and we didn’t have enough to cover it. Is that correct?” to which town staff agreed. Councillor Wilson carried on to say “I have always been against this type of insurance program and I have never supported it when it has come to this table. These reciprocals are not good way to manage.”
Now I don’t in any way claim to know anywhere near enough about insurance (especially of this nature)…however, it seems from the way that it was (quickly) discussed in council, that the type of insurance the Town currently has leaves us a high risk for reassessment thus meaning we could be left with $106,000 in surprise spending?? If this is the case, I am hoping that this process is up for re-negotiations soon..this doesn’t not sound to me like the right way to manage the budget. Can you afford over $100,000 in unexpected costs??
As I said, I don’t know enough about this, so I have reached out to Councillor Wilson to ask him some questions…so I will save my humble opinion until after I have more facts! Stay tuned for that….coming next week!
Sign bylaws have been a touchy subject around the Town of Orangeville for some time now. If you are a small business owner in Orangeville, I am going to put money on the fact that you have an opinion on the sign bylaw. Now the funny part of this, is that one of the committees seeking public members is the Sign Bylaw Committee. Guess how many people applied?? ZERO. Which is the same number of people who applied for the Transit Committee (and only one applicant for the Snow Plow Committee). These are the pain-points of every resident in this Town…and these committees are your opportunity to help impact some change!! Please send an email to council and the Town Clerk…I am sure they would happily still accept your application!!
Apologies, I got a bit off-topic there.
An Orangeville resident and business owner, Trevor Castiglione, Owner of Busted Knuckle Garage, came out to council on Monday night to share his concerns about the sign bylaw and ask for Council’s assistance to get this issue rectified.
Mr. Castiglione has encountered some issues where zoning of his business property changed from commercial to industrial which left his current sign not up to bylaw expectations. His concern was with the cost of sign permits which could be upwards of $1500.
Councillor Garisto spoke up for small business by saying “We have to start to take care of the business in this Town” and put a motion forward to have bylaw work with Mr. Castiglione with his issues. Councillor Bradley couldn’t understand the point of this motion when all Councillor Garisto was proposing was that Mr. Castiglione follow process and said “The bylaw is what it is and the cost for the signs has been determined some time ago and so theres nothing really to negotiate with that.” and went on to say “Its what everyone else pays for it.”
Councillor Kidd’s perspective on the matter will win comment of the night…”“We all know that rules and laws are made to be enforced, but as anyone who watches Judge Judy knows, there are exceptions to most laws and leniency to the person.”
Really? A Judge Judy reference?!?!
Playground Issues Continue
There continues to be a significant amount of animosity amongst our Council Team…and I use the word “Team” very loosely. It had been and continues to be blatantly obvious that there is no love lost between many members of Council.
This was made clear again in Monday’s meeting when Deputy Mayor Maycock called up Chief Kalinski to validate some police procedures with regards to property that citizens find…such as a cellphone. This starting due to a few phone call that the Deputy Mayor had received the prior day from people concerned about a Facebook comment made by the Mayor which had been construed to bring a negative spin towards OPS. Deputy Mayor Maycock said “If we are trying to create a spirit of cooperation and getting along – I don’t think comments like that are appropriate.” Councillor Kidd agreed whole-heartedly with the Deputy Mayor saying “I think that’s a terrible comment you made and I hope you don’t do something like again. That’s undermining our police force.”
Sigh….do we need to make calling each other out in a public forum one of the new Council Olympic Sports? We know, we know, none of you like each other. My question for all of you is “Do you like Orangeville?” because acting like children in Council Chambers meeting after meeting after meeting sure makes it seems like you don’t care one bit.
You have all been called out by Citizen of Orangeville who have spoken openly at Council Meetings, by letters to the Editors of both newspapers as well as on every aspect of social media. At what point exactly are any of you going to put your differences aside, stop being so unbelievably disrespectful to one another and start taking Orangeville and your responsibilities as elected officials seriously?
These are just my humble opinions…what do all of you readers think?? Please leave me comments!!!