With mere days remaining before St. Thomas Cemetery Company seeks to abandon its two burying grounds if a $59,000 grant is not reinstated, there was some movement following an in-camera meeting of council Monday.
“The general tone of council is to try and work toward a resolution or recipe that is amicable for everyone,” CAO Wendell Graves told the Times-Journal on Tuesday.
“And so our solicitor was given direction to correspond with the cemetery board’s solicitor.”
In addition, Coun. Gary Clarke volunteered to sit on the cemetery board after council chose not to appoint a representative for the first time since 1990.
“I volunteered,” indicated Clarke. “I want to be part of the solution and not the problem. I want this to work in the best interests of everyone and not at the taxpayers’ expense.” Continue reading
The Times-Journal has referred to it as The Great Divide: the emotional rift at Pierre Elliott Trudeau French Immersion School that is the result of a school board decision to bus more than 200 students to Port Stanley Public School in the fall due to overcrowding at their home school.
Only 30 or so parents attended a January forum held by the school council to propose options to alleviate the crush of students at the former Homedale Public School.
The population at the school has swelled from 494 students in 2010 to 780 in 2014. Continue reading
At the April 13th council meeting, Coun. Linda Stevenson suggested members should revisit the $59,000 St. Thomas Cemetery grant that was denied during budget deliberations in March.
Mayor Heather Jackson stressed on several occasions Monday the cemetery had not contacted the city and she re-iterated, “I’m surprised we have heard absolutely nothing from them.”
However we have obtained a copy of a fact sheet provided by Lesley Buchanan and the St. Thomas Cemetery Company to Mayor Jackson and all members of council outlining in fairly detailed fashion the current situation. Continue reading
Aldermanic also-ran Jacqueline DeLeebeeck feels revealing candidate expenses/contributions in the 2014 municipal vote is of little interest, as outlined in a note passed along this week.
Well Jacqueline it’s all about transparency and every ratepayer has the right to know who spent what, how much was contributed to a campaign and by who.
As we reported previously, she spent $2,800 on her bid, with a $200 contribution from Bob McCaig.
Rounding out the field, Ken Boe ran his campaign with just over $700 in expenses.
Gary Clarke spent $1,741 in his successful trip to city hall.
Rose Gibson, a campaign veteran, incurred $2,471 in expenses this time around.
According to Walter Green’s filing, he spent nary a penny on his bid. Continue reading
The final numbers have been submitted and it’s a bitter lesson for mayoral candidate Mark Cosens, who found you can’t spend your way to the top.
March 27 was the deadline for candidates to file campaign expenses for the 2014 municipal vote and all 22 individuals met that target.
Cosens claimed $15,244.94 in expenses, which was well beyond double the amount logged by Mayor Heather Jackson at $5,883.59.
Cliff Barwick, who filed months ago, spent just over $4,000. Continue reading
By approving its Part 2 capital budget and the 2015 operating budget Monday, city council authorized a property tax levy of $47,040,822 for this year.
That translates to a 3.55% property tax hike in 2015, up slightly from the 3.48% proposed, yet less than the 3.8% tax levy in 2014.
The slight increase from the proposed budget presented last week to council during a public meeting at the St. Thomas Seniors’ Centre is accounted for in additional grant money doled out by council.
In total, $281,146 was distributed to community groups and social agencies in St. Thomas, much of that sum drawn from working reserves.
That figure does not include $250,000 to St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital for its expansion program as part of the city’s 10-year pledge. Continue reading