City council’s reference committee meetings – held immediately prior to the regularly scheduled council sittings – tend to be straight forward, down-to-business sessions with an abundance of information and plenty of questions.
While very informative, they can be a tad on the dry side.
Well, a dramatic change could be in order for Monday’s meeting (Feb. 11) which begins at 4:30 p.m. and will see members determine how to dole out community grants for the year.
In the past, this has been a totally unstructured affair with little in the way of guidelines to follow.
The overarching target – seldom adhered to – has been one-half per cent of the general tax levy or in the $250,000 range.
Last year, even with an attempt to pare back some of the requests, the city still awarded almost $330,000 in grants.
For 2019, council has received funding asks from 18 groups or organizations seeking a total of $455,600.
Some tough decisions are in order Monday.
Three decades after his introduction to municipal politics in St. Thomas, Steve Peters is returning to the council chambers at city hall.
And he’s taking his place at the horseshoe with an overwhelming mandate from city voters.
Of the 10,259 residents who cast their ballot in the Oct. 22 municipal vote, 8,197 indicated they wanted the former city mayor and Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP back representing their interests.
This past spring, toying with the idea of a return to where it all began, Peters left no doubt as to his intention.
“Standing here (inside his home) I can see the city hall tower and my focus is on that.”
Several days after a resounding vote of confidence, Peters confessed “I have to admit I’m excited that interest in the community is still there. I’m itching to go.
“I’m still humbled by it and pinch myself because a lot of people chose to fill in the round mark beside me.”
Mobile food vendors would set up for the day in Port Stanley and then leave town at night without any investment in the community.
Not the case at all, insisted an operator of a vehicle in question. “We’re not invading the territory, we’re here to complement existing restaurants.”
Such was the scope of argument Monday night (March 27) at a public meeting held to gather input from both sides of the table on whether to allow mobile food vendors in Port Stanley. The one-hour dialogue preceded the regular meeting of Central Elgin municipal council.
Central Elgin Council intends to pass by-laws to adopt the 2012 Budget on Monday, May 14, 2012. CERA will be making representation to Council on the 2012 Proposed Capital and Operating Budgets at that meeting.
Central Elgin is one of the more heavily taxed municipalities in Ontario and has one of the highest water and sewer rates. Only continued roll backs of the municipal and county tax levies will pacify ratepayers in Central Elgin. Our membership and the public are becoming increasingly more vocal about this issue.
The following are highlights of the commentary:
Update prepared by Coun. Dan McNeil, Ward 1, on behalf of Central Elgin Municipal Council
Port Stanley harbour
There is a constant concern among the public that nothing will ever happen with the necessary clean up of Port Stanley’s harbour lands. It was four years ago that I first received the previously “confidential” reports detailing the historic industrial contamination that exists.
Now nothing is being hidden. You can go to the Central Elgin website, and find all the information is available in a document called the “Port Stanley Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan-December 2010” (completed by the federally contracted firm, CH2M Hill).
Port Stanley harbour
March 30, 2011 – A delegation of officials from Central Elgin, Ontario spent last Friday in Cleveland meeting with Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority officials and others about launching cross-lake ferry service.
Officials from both sides are eager to explore the opportunity and agreed to craft a memorandum of understanding outlining their shared vision and next steps. If a ferry service results it would begin on a pilot basis, operating between Cleveland and Port Stanley with a focus on tourism and other passenger demand.
“We were quite pleased with our discussions and impressed by Cleveland’s many tourist attractions,” said Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters. “I believe this proposed ferry service would create a wonderful international gateway and cultivate new opportunities for travel and economic development.”