So why does Cornwall want Fewer City Councilors? Who gains and what are the impact of such a possibility? CORNWALL ONTARIO

A tiny item snuck through this week’s city council meeting in Cornwall.    I love how council defers tough issues to city management for assessment and reports.  Usually it’s done so with the tacit goal of management coming back with justification with council’s desire.

So is this concept of reducing city council about power?  Right now there are 10 city councilors and the mayor.   There is a pretty diverse group of councilors.  You have conservative types like Dennis Carr, Glen Grant, Elaine MacDonald;  Liberal or Socially conscious ones like Kim Baird, Bernadette Clement, Andre Rivette, and Mary Anne Hug, and then you get some middle of the roaders like Syd Gardiner and Denis Thibault, and of course Mark MacDonald belongs to his very own group.  🙂

When you watch council each meeting and see how differing agendas and positions meet, clash, and come to terms on issues it’s interesting.

By reducing council by even two members it can dramatically impact what happens in this city and right now Cornwall is at a very special time.   It’s the beginning of the post Domtar era and the stones laid down now are going to really establish the foundations of what this city is to become in the future.

I personally hope that council remains unchanged.  Sadly, I don’t think this is in the cards unless citizens of Cornwall really make it happen.   I think that unless people want to see a consolidation of power in Cornwall we need to even consider expanding council.  Click any of the links below to contact your city councilors and call or email them and tell them what you want them to do to make Cornwall a better place.

There are many new residents in Cornwall and I think a lot of people hope to see this city grow.   Let’s grow Cornwall right, and make this city a showpiece for Ontario and Canada.

Let’s create a place that attracts people instead of fretting about our young people not wanting to stay, and let’s build a Cornwall that’s known more for its achievements and successes instead of cigarette smuggling; and the disability and pension capital of Ontario; and the control of a few groups who would hold Cornwall back to keep their grip on things rather than let it blossom.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

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  1. Uh, Elaine MacDonald is probably the most left-wing and labour-oriented member of Council. She’s likely to be quite offended by being called a conservative. You might want to post a correction to your editorial.

  2. Author

    I thought that too Flarby, but then Elaine surprised the heck out of me this week by voting to turn 150+ Apartments in the centre of the city into Condo units. That’s about as Conservative as you can get in my opinion. The impact of that decision is going to hurt many in Cornwall in the long run as more condo units are created than apartments in Cornwall.

    Renters will be forced to the outskirts of the city or into substandard housing if they want or need to stay closer to the centre where most medical services are. Sure those apartments were not low income housing, but for many; especially seniors, they were cheaper than having to live in retirement homes. And if Left Wing is anything; isn’t it about quality of life? Many of those seniors paying top dollar in those apartments were Labour when they worked.

    Those renters will now fill other rental units pushing hard on availability of units and pushing up rents. It’s going to trickle down and those that can least afford it will have to pay more in the end; even for the sub standard units. It’s not going to happen overnight. It may take 10 or 20 years, but in the end that big patch of rental space in the heart of Cornwall will be gone and not replaced.

    Who rents living spaces? Usually it’s the very people I thought Elaine supports. So to answer your question I have no doubt that Ms MacDonald is a Left Winger, and I’m sure I’ll label her that in the future. It was a close vote and I think if she’d gone against that complex going condo it may well have stayed that way as the appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board wasn’t a gimme.

    Thanks for your comment, Jamie Gilcig – Editor

  3. Cornwall is hopeless. Anytime we want to build something new…it is typically scaled back to the point of not being useful, gets caught up in bureaucracy which delays the project to the point that we get half of the proposed idea at double the costs.

    I like how the City likes to promote these new developments as though they are indeed new. Sure, they are new in terms of construction, but they are simply replacing older structures. one replaces the other…. no real growth in terms of building something new in town.

    When our city is approached with a project (Wal-Mart and the proposed Smart Center)….people get all angry and protest about the added traffic. Look, if you own property on or near tollgate and you want this city to grow, you eventually will be next to some sort of development.

    Let’s be honest… why the heck would anyone with a brain want to move to Cornwall? When choices like Brockville, Bellville, and Kingston are available. Sure the real estate may be higher in those areas, but what they offer in terms of opportunity, quality of life… offsets it by far.

    Walking in downtown Brockville and Kingston is enjoyable… great markets, preserve historical buildings, culture, arts…..amazing water fronts, great opportunity for education ( Queen’s, SLC…RMC…). Kingston even has a growing green renewable energy industry/cluster.

    My dad always said it is easier to complain than to come up with solutions, so here is my solutions.

    1. Cornwall needs to invest heavily in entrepreneurship education, programs, assistance, and funding. Big industry is gone. Small businesses are what the new economy is built on.

    2. Cornwall needs to set up a Business Incubator, that supports new businesses when they need it most. Encourages ideas, and can help plan, execute, market, and fund new projects.

    3. We have to realize that growth will not come internally within the city, we must develop new businesses, inventions, green innovations that can be sold outside of this city… allowing money to pour into, instead of out of our city.

    4. We must develop a 20 year plan of what we want this city to look like, who we intent to attract, what do we want to be known for, and stick to this plan. When we build new projects, it must be in line with the long-term goal — we have to stop building stuff half fast and all over the place without any real planning.

    5. As citizens we must be WILLING to CHANGE… we cannot grow with the same mentality at which we are currently.

  4. Author

    Kudos Jason. So many complain yet so few people offer up solutions. Amazing post and hope to see more.

  5. Having 10 councillors working on behalf of the citizens of Cornwall would be alright… were that the case.

    10 folks working to improve the quality of life for our current and future residents …planning, controlling, and implementing projects that promote health, education and welfare of the community …fostering the physical and intellectual growth of each and every one in the community, by encouraging wise social activities and prudent business and commerce…yeah, that sounds good.

    But it’s not going to happen with our current system of too many councillors with agendas, palms ready for a bribe, or concerned with their own egos (and it will only be worse with the prospect of dimished influence, and selfishness that a ward system will offer)

    And even the good ones are bogged down in pointless or ineffective committees… having to hand off work to consultants and the like at the public’s expense while employees, bureaucrats and fellow politicians (already on the payroll) have their real talents and knowledge unused or misused.

    So I intend to offer proof of this waste, and should I be elected to city council in 2010

    – I will take my seat at the council table to vote and comment according to my best judgement and in consideration of any input by the ciizens of Cornwall.

    – I will donate my entire salary to a charitable Cornwall community organization and work for free.

    – I will study and promote what I think is best for the life and livlihoods of each and everyone in the greater neighbourhood that is Cornwall.

  6. Author

    Won’t you have to reveal who you are to run as a councilor? I for one couldn’t vote for an anonymous City Councilor in good conscience….

  7. My last post was simply a comment followed by an advisement, and not meant to solicit support. And you no doubt were pulling our legs — expressing the inability in good conscience to vote for an anonymous city councilor (“Anonymous” not being likely to appear on any municipal ballot).

    And anyway what does a name tell you?

    I’m not hiding my identity, but say rather I’m being coy; anyone connected to city politics and corruption knows exactly who I am. I busy myself studying the “ethically challenged” behaviour of those that are supposed to be serving us.

    Why am I not more open?

    Well what would be the point?… your own media outlet is uninterested in the quite apparent William Wise Ponzi scheme and the connection with Trenholm Healy and local government, bureacrats and business persons.

    Wise, you may know, was a one term city councillor with a one term agenda. He didn’t work alone, and his pals are still in town.

    Healy was by official reports the owner of a Swiss banking operation that put Wise at the head of his own corrupt bank.

    Healy was publically known as an automobile dealer here, yet with a Swiss bank it seems.

    It is reported that he was not in the best of financial health (crazy mixup with Revenue Canada?… Kilger can tell you what that’s like) yet he came up with millions for an ex-partner and for the upstart PARIS Holdings, even as Wise was “divesting”. Healy (a whitish sort of guy) also headed off to Akwesasne at about this time; where millions of dollars of smuggling cash have been looking for a wash and a place to hide for more than a few years.

    Yes and then there’s the local real estate agents that seem to have worked both for the city and the seller during the Domtar land deal, and a very cooperative planning department, and a few cheerleading council members, and …so on and so on, as pockets were lined.

    And amid the activities that continue and undermine our community, your response is that it’s “water under the bridge”… writing of which, in spite of all the media drivel, it’s a story that has yet to be made truly public.

  8. Author

    So CCC that you’re afraid of being legally taken to task for suggesting what you’re saying. As for our coverage of any story there are several factors that we weigh before initiating a story as opposed to opinion or commentary.

    One is the content of value to our paper and readers. Two, legitimate sources. If we repeat something as news without grounds or foundation then we can be sued and nobody wants that kind of grief.

    So when you’re willing to step out of the shadows and drop allegations it’s one thing. When you wish to take shots from the dark another. I’m not directly commenting on what you’ve typed and I understand your concerns.

    Bring some real concrete proof to the table and step out of the shadows and I’m sure your story could get more coverage on all the area papers.

  9. It’s not the law that’s frightening (heck look what the crooks get away with), most of what was written is public knowledge, some is from legal documentation, some of it posted by law enforcement, and some by legal professionals.

    Simply typing in Trenholm Healy and William Wise and Gerrard Rose and Jamie Cameron, then mix them up and add words like: fraud, pollution, discipline… you’ll probably turn up reputab;e sources like the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Ministry of Environment, the Real Estate Commission of Ontario… take a look at the ethical history of these folks.

    As for my identity? Your guesses are wide of the net — and unless you’re just baiting me — a bit lame. My identity would only curb my sources of information, or perhaps interfere with my job, and any hoopla about who I am would detract from the story, and would certainly be a distraction to me.

    I wish you luck in your “press” endeavour; this town needs another media outlet.

  10. The future belongs to those willing to accept change. From what I’ve read here today, Jamie, have you ever considered running for city council? You would make a great councillor truly representing the people!

  11. Author

    Why Stan, are you offering to nominate me? The City just announced the process and it starts January 4th if anyone wishes to run. L I N K

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