What was once forgotten, is now lost


city_scope_logo-cmykIn January of last year we first wrote about the forgotten Talbot Street apartments, clearly visible from the mayor’s office across the street at city hall.
Even more shocking than the decrepit state of these hovels was the fact owner Trad Antoine had been approved by St.Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works for funding to add 10 one-bedroom units next door at 560 Talbot St., above the former Capitol Theatre.
Two of the apartments were to be reserved for clients supported by the YWCA of St. Thomas-Elgin and the remainder for Canadian Mental Health Association clients.
He was in line to receive $731,925 of Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) funding.
Just before Christmas, 2016, we checked in with acting director of St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Works Elizabeth Sebestyen on the status of those new units given the fact Trad had packed up shop at his furniture business housed in the old theatre. Continue reading

Complete 2010 municipal election results from across Elgin


ST. THOMAS
MAYOR
Heather Jackson-Chapman, 3,666
Cliff Barwick, incumbent, 3,158
Al Riddell, 2,910

ALDERMAN
(seven to be elected)
Lori Baldwin-Sands, incumbent, 5,366
Jeff Kohler, 4,691
Mark Cosens, 4,592
Gord Campbell, 4,415
Dave Warden, 4,037
Sam Yusuf, 3,760
Tom Johnston, 3,681

Linda Stevenson, 3,294
Peter Ostojic, 2,948
Bill Sandison, 2,699
Ryan Dolby, 2,607
Rose Gibson, 2,243
Joe Docherty, 2,114
John Allen, 1,966
Joan Rymal, 1,945
Joseph Fric, 1,708
Wayne Northcott, 810
Shawn Claridge, 631
Continue reading

Cooperation among St. Thomas and neighbouring councils top election issue – Chamber of Commerce survey


The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce has completed a pre-election survey of area businesses to list and rank priorities as seen by local employers and employees.

Of 26 topics and issues measured, harmony and co-operation among all local governments is the top issue. On an importance scale of 1 to 10, survey participants ranked harmony and co-operation with an average score of 8.93.

Rounding out The Top 10 issues:

2. Value for taxes 8.86
3. Having a visible “Vision” statement prioritizing short-term & long-term projects 8.36
4. Increasing local focus or resources on economic development 8.33
5. Downtown or commercial area(s) quality and development 8.06
6. Local buying/sourcing of products & services 8.00
7. Roads, water services, sewers and sidewalks 7.96
8. Waste management, collection & recycling 7.77
9. “Customer Service” by municipal staff 7.77
10. Municipal debt load 7.71

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Incurring the wrath of those who post three-legged signs


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The electoral tide just may have turned this week after the disturbing display of tag-team thuggery at Tuesday’s council meeting.

A crimson-faced Ald. Tom Johnston and a trying-hard-to-remain-detached Mayor Cliff Barwick partnered in a highly-orchestrated attempt to pummel Ald. Heather Jackson-Chapman over last month’s boil water advisory.

If you remember, while the city and Elgin St. Thomas Public Health stuck to protocol (a procedure that seems to evolve on a continual basis) Jackson-Chapman utilized cyberspace to tweet the information hours in advance of officialdom.

Boy, was that a social faux pas on her part.
Continue reading

Boil water advisory players caught betwixt and betweet


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Put aside the finger pointing for a moment, here’s what really came down the pipe in the aftermath of last week’s boil water advisory.
Neither the city nor Elgin St. Thomas Public Health can keep up with today’s lightning-fast social networking.
If you remember, it was Ald. Heather Jackson-Chapman first out of the gate late in the afternoon of Aug. 19 with her tweet advising all followers of the need to boil your drinking water.
This was fully two hours before the general advisory was made public on the city website. That’s because the city and the health unit have not bought into instant communications.

Continue reading

Lessons learned from the boil water advisory in St. Thomas, a full transcipt of Mayor Cliff Barwick’s message


Here is the full transcript of Mayor Cliff Barwick’s press conference Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 at city hall in response to the boil water advisory issued Aug. 19 and lifted the following evening. Barwick opened by explaining why a state of emergency wasn’t declared and instead a low-risk advisory was issued.

A state of emergency activates a controlled group of a number of people, and brings together in the community a number of resources. These resources include fire, police, ambulance, social services, certain other social agencies, other groups and of course there is automatically put in place a phone protocol.

In this particular situation, this is the first time in the history of the City of St. Thomas where we did not have a state of emergency but we had something that affected the city in a city-wide sense.

The state of emergency – at no time did I receive any advice from the administration, from the emergency measures officer, from the health unit or the medical officer of health to declare a state of emergency. I certainly would not to that on my own. I would only act upon that type of advice.
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The boil water advisory for St. Thomas, Central Elgin and Southwold rescinded


THE BOIL WATER ADVISORY RESCINDED AT 7:18 P.M. FRIDAY
The water advisory was issued Thursday evening and was expected to remain in effect for at least 48 hours as the result of e. coli and coliform bacteria levels above maximum standards found in water samples. However it was determined late Friday the reading was false as confirmed by an email from the SGS lab in London.

Here is the full release of the now rescinded advisory Boil_Water_Advisory(final)