Let’s Look at Dumping the CPS for the OPP in Cornwall Ontario – Election Blog by Jamie Gilcig

DparkinsonCORNWALL Ontario – Chief Dan Parkinson of the Cornwall Police Service earns over $200,000 per year.   There are 67 members of the CPS on this year’s Sunshine list of employees that earn over $100,000 per year.  Many of those are still only Constables. One of the pillars of my candidacy is to work to cut taxes by 5% over the 4 years of the elected term. In my research I discovered that by switching Cornwall’s police service from the CPS to OPP we could save approximately 25% the first year. I kid you not.  I am not pulling numbers out of a hat or typing them lightly.  I do not hang around dark and slimy places like Coffee Shops or Barber shops as the Police Chief has been wont to share. No, I interviewed the Mayor of Perth Ontario.    Mayor John Fenik shared with me in the audio interview below how Perth did exactly that.  They saved 25% of their police budget without cutting service.   As a matter of fact the only change was that the Chief and Deputy Chief retired.  All other officers stayed on at current service levels.  The process took about two years and was done during a single term. Mayor Fenik actually stated that they should save even more money as services adjusted over time; especially when you add in long term Pension savings.   Perth, like Cornwall had to shoulder the full cost of the pension burden and when you have this many people on the Sunshine list that adds up pretty darn quickly.

While there are many facets of this subject that can be debated, the facts clearly show that there is money to be saved; especially in a city the size of Cornwall where we have a top heavy management team of officers and services just focused on the CPS.

With the Federal government spending millions on policing smuggling via the RCMP and joint task force, one less level of bureaucracy might make that process more streamlined as well.

Imagine, 25% of the Police budget of Cornwall is approximately $5M and that in itself is almost the 5% I promise to work to cut in when elected in one fell swoop!

Here is a video from OPP Superintendent Rick Philbin that talks about the costs of policing.

To most reasonable people pooling resources always leads to cost savings.    As far as salary goes, with arbitration legislation salaries end up about the same no matter where you are.

As for safety Chief Parkinson and many of his force seem to have no problem with being protected by the OPP as many of those on the Sunshine list live OUTSIDE of Cornwall.   That means they are sucking huge wads of tax dollars out of Cornwall while not paying into our system.  That’s broken.

Of course you can’t force people where to live; but it certainly shows that the OPP are as safe a service as the CPS.   As a matter of fact many decision makers at City Hall and  on the Sunshine list across the board are happy to live outside of Cornwall.

Our CAO lives outside of Cornwall and sucks nearly $200K per year out of Cornwall.     While we can’t legislate where people choose to live we as a community and as elected officials can take fiscal steps that lead to perhaps attracting some of these people back into Cornwall and reversing the trend of those with money setting up shop over the border including hotel owners Scott Lecky and Paul Lefebvre who both have left Cornwall to live outside our tax area.

The only way to reform taxation in Cornwall is to go through our budget with a fine tooth comb.  We clearly cannot rely solely on City Management as we saw this year when council clearly asked for one number on a budget and were brought back two that were not that number.

Elected officials are chosen to lead.   Leadership requires vision, integrity, and the willingness to get your hands dirty.   I hope that this subject is discussed further and I will be bringing it up again as the campaign evolves.

Again, can you imagine our city when we cut taxes by 5% over 4 years and the message we will send to businesses and people considering moving here?   It’s time to change the culture of how we operate and build a better city.

And we need to elect a strong council and strong mayor to achieve that in 2014.

If you’re a member of the CPS and wish to be interviewed or share a thought or comment please email jamie@cornwallfreenews.com or call 855 444 1133

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Displaying 29 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Trevor says:

    This seems to be an option worth exploring. It would definitely cut down on a duplication of services and infrastructure.

    The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care should also consider similar action. They could save millions as well if they amalgamated the CCACs, the LHINs and the health units.

  2. jules says:

    I agree about taking CPS out and bringing in the OPP in Cornwall and I will tell you why. Cornwall is a very small town and I could walk from one end to the other and I am 63 years old. No cop in Cornwall should be earning those kinds of figures. Jamie has lived his life in Montréal and Los Angeles and ask him about what a cop makes in Los Angeles a city of at least 8 million or more people. What the “Barney Fife PD” earns in tiny farm town Cornwall is utterly disgraceful and insulting to the public’s purse. Something has to be done now. I pereused the names on that list that Jamie put out about the Sunshine List oh yes sunshine for the town’s elite families to have a six figure salary when many children in Cornwall are going to bed hungry, seniors who cannot afford the humoungous rents on their condos nor the humoungous utilities, etc. I love that deal man Pat Finnerty who really said it best about the elites in their fancy limousines,.. loddy da da…

    When is society going to wake up and see how they are being literally screwed on all ends. Teachers making well into the six figure salaries and who on earth gets all those perks except for the politicians on the federal and provincial levels. If you look up to those politicians and to Bare Ass then you are looking down on yourselves. This is a decaying society who lost their God given intelligence. What people don’t realize is that if they looked at themselves in the mirror and ask what they can do to help instead of looking at stupidy of dancing with the stars, or Justin Bieber or any of these low lifes that are projected on the screen to dumb you down even further. JAMIE GILCIG FOR MAYOR. It is about time that something gets done. The OPP was also an idea some years ago and Jamie implement this and get rid of this family being pulled into jobs that they don’t deserve and those who deserve them are left out in the cold. It is past the time that the people of Cornwall learn to grow up and grow a pair.

  3. Hugger1 says:

    I’d save if it can save us 25% of the police budget and perhaps lower taxes we should seriously look into this. And if it eliminates one level of bureaucracy even better.

  4. David Oldham says:

    Difficult to argue against commonsense and value for money. Hard to understand the sense in offering a three tier system when a two tier system works fine elsewhere in the country. As with seemingly any of the various levels of government the administrative side sucks the life blood out of the taxpayer who could care less simply because he or she is working so furiously to keep their heads above water.

    Would be an excellent topic for an open candidate debate to see how many would be councilors/mayors would agree with doing what is not only well reasoned but simple commonsense management of resources.

  5. admin says:

    Jules salaries would not change if the OPP were implemented. However the duplication of certain roles and eventually how they are implemented might be. This is not smear or slur of our police force. And please stop calling them “Barney Fife”. While every agency has issues I think overall they do as good a job as any force. There are some exceptions and area for improvement, but there are a lot of good people working for the CPS that will make fine OPP members when the switch goes through.

  6. Furtz says:

    Brockville is going through the same painful discussion about this issue now. Much tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth. A steady decline of crime rates while the policing costs are going through the roof. Some Ontario towns are having regrets about disbanding their police forces and signing on with the OPP. It seems that the OPP come in at an attractive cost, and then incrementally jack up the cost until after a few years, there are no savings. Also, once a municipal force is disbanded, it’s gone forever because the cost to reestablish one is prohibitive. Once the decision is made, there’s no turning back, and the OPP are well aware of that. Proceed with caution.

  7. admin says:

    Furtz it opens up a great discussion. Each community has a police board made up usually of 2 members appointed by the province, two from the municipality, and City Council rep. In Cornwall’s case there’s also a secretary.

    In Cornwall the Mayor’s pal Pat Finucan is a Provincial appointee. Mr. Finucan was in videos endorsing the Mayor in the last election. The Mayor himself is on the Police Board as a Municipal rep; not a City Council appointee. The Mayor’s son is on the Sunshine list as he’s on the Police Force.

    Police service boards are the employer of municipal police services and as such appoint police officers, special constables and police civilian employees, and negotiate collective agreements with police (labour) associations.

    The bigger question is who appoints people to these boards? Who is pulling the strings behind the scenes in either scenario.

    If issues like this are pillars of this election we should be in for an interesting opportunity to change and improve Cornwall.

  8. admin says:

    Furtz that’s true, but police costs are rising across the board. You have to look at the big picture.

  9. Al says:

    Municipal and provincial governments need to look at at these duplicate services and amalgamate if
    there are savings in tax dollars. The salaries on the Cornwall sunshine list is ridiculus, the average working person in Cornwall has to work 3-4 years to make what some of these people are earning in one year. I’m all for fair wages but our tax rate is way too high, too many working people living paycheck to paycheck while a few live like kings. Cornwall needs to purge itself from the corruption. A different mayor and city council would be a good start.

  10. marc says:

    All thought i,m not a great fan of Cornwalls police force and there repution is not the greatest.I still feel citzens would be better served with our local force than with the OPP.That being said, the budget for there services are way over board.I feel its high time that Cornwalls police force is down sized .I think by doing this through retirements or buy outs there would be a tremendous savings of tax dollars.
    Please note Jamie, that i think you should of left this topic alone till after the election.

  11. Hugger1 says:

    This should be looked at very carefully. As Furtz said earlier some towns, etc. decide to go with the OPP because it comes with an attractive cost. But the bad thing is that the OPP have a clause in their contract that says they will be the highest paid police force in Ontario. So after a few years the towns taxpayers are then hit with an enormous hike in OPP policing costs.

    I think the sunshine list wouldn’t have so many police officers on it if the overtime was distributed evenly, not by who wants to work the most. They should implement something that bus drivers, truck drivers have to abide by, only allowed to work so many hours per day and sometimes a defined number of hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of another.

  12. Hugger1 says:

    marc….retirements and buyouts add to the ultimate start-up costs. Usually the only ones to go when the OPP takes over is the chief and deputy chief. What is saved is the duplication of services and other things the OPP does now and can do for us.

  13. jules says:

    There are too many families into the pot and the mayor being head of the police board is not right at all and Jamie you know what I have sent you about Sgt. Snyder being the brother in law of Bare Ass. So much conflict of interest and this has to go. I agree with Marc that the police has not always been good at all and this is true. I have known that since I was a child and we used to have a cop as a neighbor. We have a friend who is related by in law with a cop in Cornwall (now retired) and I heard plenty of stories from him. Things have to change drastically and yes the OPP’s salaries are higher but have less cops on the road for those salaries. Cornwall is a very small town and many cops could be on call instead of having all the benefits and perks. There is way too much conflict of interest and too much inbreeding and being pulled in because of who you are. We know a man whose son went through as an engineer but wanted to live in Cornwall and it was during the time of the freeze. Well this man was well qualified for the job but who got in instead was the mayor’s son and no not Bare Ass’s son but another that we all know about. All this has to end now and so does everything else. I am well aware of what the cops have to go through but those salaries in Cornwall is completely and utterly ridiculous.

  14. Hugger1 says:

    Point of order your honour….it is common practice for the mayor / regional head etc. to be the head of or at least a police board member. In most cases the mayor / regional head is the police board chair.

  15. admin says:

    No Hugger. That’s not true. For example the mayor of Perth is not on their police board. Remember that the Police Department has to negotiate with council for its budget. And in this situation our Mayor is not the rep from Council; that’s Councilor Rivette. And our mayor has a son that’s on the police force. Optically the Mayor should not be on the Police Board.

  16. Hugger1 says:

    In Ottawa and Mississauga the mayor / regional head is the chair of the police boards. I think their should be council representation, just not sure whom it should be? Councillor, mayor / regional head or a purely provincially appointed civic board.

  17. jules says:

    If the mayor is head of the police board then no members of their family should be on the police force. That is all a conflict of interest that is going on in Cornwall. The laws need changing and so do people’s mentality. The people’s mentality is what brings down the town the most. The vast majority of people leave Cornwall because they see it for what it is and it has been like that for more years than I can remember. Cornwall was supposed to grow and I forget who said that when they went to the local library and saw those funny statistics posted. It would make a good laugh for all of us who left town. As long as Cornwall has that type of mentality Cornwall will not go ahead but will keep on going down hill. I promise that to all of you and I am a straight shooter in what I say. If I were in the Cornwall area I TOO WOULD NOT LIVE IN TOWN BUT IN THE OUTSKIRTS and you can’t blame others for leaving and not just over taxes but about everything else.

  18. admin says:

    Jules I don’t think anyone that participates in the budgeting decision for the police force should be an active member of the police board. I also think that in Cornwall’s case with Mayor Kilger having a son and brother in law on the force he should recuse himself from any discussion or voting on police issues. But that’s just my opinion.

  19. jules says:

    Jamie (Admin) I completely agree with you there. There are too many conflict of interests and when somebody has a son/daughter or a relative or an in law they should excuse themselves from being the head of the board as well as in budgeting. You are absolutely right.

  20. Hugger1 says:

    I see nothing wrong with having family members on the police force IF the city council member is not involved in any way in the hiring and the candidate passed the tests, etc. correctly. But in Cornwall it seems that that isn’t the case as it seems partisan politics played a role in city council family / extended family members were given /aided in their career pursuits.

    It’s not people’s mentality that brings the city down, it’s getting out of the mill town thinking and that has to change. Domtar left 8 years ago and it seems we still think of ourselves as a mill town. We can do much better and we have to try our best to do that. Agreed people leave, but for varying reasons. One of them being they find Cornwall too small, they want to live somewhere bigger. Personally, I’d rather live in Cornwall, Ottawa, Toronto and other large cities are just too big for me.

    I partially agree with Jamie on the budget / police board issues. If they are on the police board they should declare a conflict of interest when it comes time to discuss / vote on policing issues, including budgetary matters. The same goes for any council members who are board members, volunteers at groups that obtain any funding or possible funding from the city (ex. Elaine McDonald and the Agape Centre).

  21. jules says:

    One thing that I want to bring up Jamie is don’t amalgamate the smaller areas outside of Cornwall to Cornwall thinking that there will be a savings. Take a good look at what happened to Ottawa and its surrounding areas and see the tax hike everywhere that is a nightmare in the making. There has to be cuts and I mentioned before that here in Ottawa they use private companies to shovel the snow, do road repair, looking after the parks and grounds of hospitals, etc. Those who work in the Public Works in Cornwall can be used for sewer work and such things but not for other jobs that can go to private companies that can do the jobs for less money and no perks nor overhead costs. I mentioned before about the incineration of garbage and even garbage that is already there should be incinerated. Another problem is Big Ben and Domtar should be responsible for that clean up.

    Some years ago the city of Cornwall was thinking about having the OPP police the town and in some ways it is a good idea. Cornwall’s main problem is the smuggling and you all have the RCMP down there and nothing has been resolved on that issue. I would have liked to not have a bridge there because of all the smuggling but like someone said they would pick up and go somewhere else. This is a huge problem to deal with and you would be shocked to know how much is going on. People see no way out except to engage themselves in such an activity. This is a mighty dangerous thing to get involved in and it must come to a complete stop. The economy is mighty bad and it is a world wide problem. We are not much better here in Canada.

  22. Hugger1 says:

    If there was amlagamation it would be brought about by the province, not the city. That’s a provincial responsibility. Yes, the amalgamation of the Region of Ottawa-Carleton, the former cities of Ottawa, Nepean, Kanata, Gloucester, Vanier and Cumberland, the former townships of West Carleton, Goulburn, Rideau, and Osgoode, and the former village of Rockcliffe Park into the new City of Ottawa did not go well. JUst ask former Nerpean residents. Nepean was debt free before amalgamation, not now.

    As for the incineration of garbage I wouldn’t even study that. It has gone so well (NOT) for Ottawa and Plasco.

    Yes, smuggling is a problem here. The RCMP are here due to the international border. is having the CPS disbanded and policing taken over by the OPP an option? It should be studied.

    Hopefully when the time comes Domtar does the right thing and steps up and pays the bill. Cornwall and / or the province should not be responsible for Domtar’s mess.

  23. David Oldham says:

    @Hugger1…re incineration of garbage…agreed Ottawa is not a positive model, although it sheds volumes on how to not to negotiate or represent the taxpayers interests. Since, we, in so many aspics lag far behind our European counterparts places like Venice for example would offer a better understanding of the benefit and process involved with incineration. If the Government of Ontario had studied the effects of land windmills in Europe, Holland, etc (many years of data and experience) decisions would have been quite different I believe. The decisions on solar and wind power were not based on careful research but rather they were political in nature I believe.

    History will ultimately record our triumphs and our failures.

  24. Hugger1 says:

    @David Oldham…..I agree. But when do Canadian governments do what is right? In Canada money speaks volumes. The Ontario government has shown this time and time again. Wind farms, solar farms were created IMHO to create a revenue stream for the government`. The fact that the average consumer is getting screwed by hydro companies does not seem to be a concern of Hydro One or the Ontario Government. I’m sure you know that our excess hydro is being sold to needy provinces and states at a loss due to the Ontario government vastly overpaying producers of electricity by wind` and solar farms.

  25. Hugger1 says:

    Jamie….I noticed the SF has a poll asking if the OPP should replace the CPS. Coincidence??

  26. admin says:

    Yes, and I sent a letter of complaint to the Seaway News over Mr. Brazeau not covering the event on Saturday accurately as Mr. Enns comment was in response to my clear statement about dumping the CPS for the OPP to save $$

  27. Mike M says:

    Just my 2 cents worth..Ontario Hydro has been scamming all of us for many years. The debt retirement program, which nobody had agreed to or signed on to was forced upon us. Even now as it has been paid up in full years ago, it still robs us each month, and nobody says anything. The rates rise almost daily, and pay some of the highest rates in North America already. Even the ombudsman is carefully stepping around them, careful not to expose too much. Garbage incineration rightfully done is a great and profitable venture. Im personal friends with Buffalo NY waste management senior official, who is in charge of the huge incinerators there. Not only do they solve the waste problem, it generates enough heat and electricity to supply themselves and some city office buildings. First year savings were over 2 million in hydro costs. I know of a local apt building that has been stopped in its tracks from installing solar panels on the roof. Corruption rampant in this story, but end of the day, big city officials were able to stop the small venture as it just might of worked much too well. They sported comments like it was a safety hazard.. So much good could be done for Cornwall, with the application of honesty and integrity and we all feel it. So much bad is done for the simple quest of greed and power. Good luck Jamie in your quest of Mayor, this city needs to wake up!

  28. Hugger1 says:

    Any electricity generated by solar / windmills in Ontario has to be sold to Hydro One. Cornwall gets it’s electricity from Quebec and we are not hooked up to the Ontario hydro grid. Thus a solar / windmill facility in Cornwall is a non-stater.

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