Municipality of Central Elgin, Ontario, June 15, 2009 – Bruce Lemon, President of Central Elgin Ratepayers Association (CERA) has announced the appointment of Dan McNeil as Port Stanley Harbour Special Advisor to CERA .
“We’re very pleased that Dan McNeil has agreed to advise CERA on issues that pertain to the on-going negotiations by the Municipality of Central Elgin to acquire the Port Stanley Harbour from the Federal Government.” ,said Mr. Lemon. “Mr. McNeil has been instrumental in lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding these negotiations and explaining how the Federal bureaucracy deals in these matters.”
Dan McNeil retired from the Canadian Forces after 36 years of service in 2006. His operational career included commanding three warships and the Canadian Forces on the East Coast. In addition, he
worked extensively at senior levels within the Ottawa bureaucracy with National Defence and for several years was seconded to the Privy Council Office. These positions have afforded him a unique perspective of working with Transport Canada, the Finance Department, Justice and Treasury Board.
“I congratulate the founders of the Central Elgin Ratepayers Association for their initiative to help the community. I believe that the right outcome of the Harbour divestiture negotiations is vitally important to the economic future of the region. I am prepared to assist in any way possible.”, Mr. McNeil advised.
Mr. Lemon noted a lack of confidence in the Municipality’s ability to negotiate a proper long term business plan for the Harbour. “We are not opposed to the takeover of the Harbour if a realistic revenue neutral plan is established.”, he said., “ But if the excessive tax rates of the Municipality of Central Elgin (some of the highest in Ontario) are any indication, we could be in for more of the same in the future.”
“The Harbour must also be upgraded to meet all environmental standards prior to takeover, or a firm commitment made by the federal/provincial governments to have this done. The Harbour must be dredged and the piers and breakwaters updated to current standards. By adding an inflationary figure to past study estimates, the total cost will be at least $30 Million, possibly as high as $50 Million. This is the most crucial decision that Central Elgin will ever undertake.
CERA’s position is that a proper long term Harbour business plan and a plebiscite for approval by the citizens of Central Elgin is required before acquiring the Harbour.”
Central Elgin Ratepayers Association
Established in 2009, a not-for-profit corporation
Volunteer Driven. No Paid Staff.
Memberships accepted from all property ratepayers in the Municipality of Central Elgin.
Representation on the Board of Directors from Belmont, Yarmouth and Port Stanley.
Central Elgin Ratepayers Association fosters and advances the interests of the ratepayers of the Municipality of Central Elgin specifically focusing on:
*Evaluating matters relevant to property taxes and municipal services in the Municipality of Central Elgin and the County of Elgin;
*The retention of the desirable features of Central Elgin; and
*Fostering financially sound projects which are to the benefit of the Municipality as a whole .
Founding Board of Directors:
Bruce Lemon – President
Helen Garton – Vice President
Terry E. Campbell – Secretary- Treasurer
Victor Kinsella – Director
Blair Clarke – Director
Victor Clive – Director