A reprieve for now, but prepare for pencil sharpening next year on city budget

city_scope_logo-cmykIs it a case of listening to the people or backpedalling in the face of stiff opposition?
The agenda package for Monday’s (June 3) city council meeting includes a letter from Premier Doug Ford with regard to cost-sharing with municipalities for land ambulance, public health and childcare services.
The proposed cuts to joint funding were to come into effect this year even though municipalities have already set their 2019 budgets and tax rates.
The funding changes are a move by the Ford government to address the province’s $15 billion annual deficit and $347 billion long-term debt.

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She could go in and go nuts on them, but to what end?

city_scope_logo-cmykThe notion, upon first hearing it, is almost absurd. Nearly four years ago, City Scope referred to it as entirely counter-intuitive. Let an absentee owner off the hook and reach out to the community instead for their help and support.
But, that is exactly the approach lawyer Elena Dempsey was proposing in June of 2014 to turn things around at Walnut Manor — an independent supportive living home operated by Niagara Supportive Living in Welland.
Well, a lengthy conversation this past Wednesday (Jan. 3) with the lawyer at Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic in St. Thomas confirmed Dempsey is just as passionate.
She had visited the group home at 57 Walnut Street just before Christmas to drop off gifts for the 18 or so residents and found the facility just as dreary and depressing as ever. The food, appalling not appealing. Continue reading

Skating around the anger of boarding enthusiasts


Our elected representatives at city hall have been the target of considerable abuse this week following their decision Monday to level the downtown skateboard park.
Little more than 12 hours after the motion was approved, the ramps and associated paraphernalia were reduced to rubble.

The move was prompted by safety concerns at the park located in the Moore Street parking lot, west of Ross Street.
PlayChek Services had inspected the $130,000 park and confirmed the ramps and decks were in poor condition.

The quick demolition, during March break no less, was surely prompted by advice from the city’s legal counsel and insurers.
The obvious question: How much has the city spent on maintenance of the equipment since the facility opened eight years ago?
Surely the park had an expected lifespan far beyond that short time span.
So, while temperatures hovered in the record-breaking range for much of the week, the frustration level of park users and parents boiled over as the skateboarders sought alternative locales to perfect their craft.

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