Cornwall Ontario City Councilors should get raises – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – October 6, 2010

Cornwall ON – So as I’m twisting and turning through the maze of campaign platforms and election issue it’s sparking more and more thought about how a city works; why, and some positives and negatives.

Here in Cornwall we pay good people to perform management tasks.  We have a CAO in Paul Fitzpatrick, we have Ms Adams covering the legal bases for Cornwall.   We have hard working management like Norm Levac, Bob Peters, Ken Bedford, and Stephen Alexander.   Iook at what Len Tapp has done with Cornwall Transit too!

All of these people and other department heads are dependent on the whims of council.   They can write reports.  They can make recommendations.   They can chat over coffee; give advice; explain and educate how things work, but the bottom line, at the end of the day, facts and numbers be damned, those 10 councilors get to make decisions.

That’s where it gets scary.     Maybe we need to take the emotionality and politics out of who we elect?  There are some candidates running on an platform to freeze salaries or limit them.   Are we spiting our noses by such actions?

Maybe we do need better paid city councilors?  I mean the current crop of candidates shows a dearth of Business people.   Those business people I’ve talked to, when they’re done complaining about how tough biz is now; simply share that  the time; lack of compensation and abuse from the public simply aren’t worth it.

Is this really a part time position?   Should we be limited to retired people as councilors?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that; but how many current councilors complain that they have full time jobs in addition to their council chores?   These are the people that have to make the ultimate decisions for our city.

Cornwall is on the precipice of record growth;a boom, and a very loud one.   We need sound people at the help whether as mayor or as city councilor.

Don’t get me wrong.  There are some terrific people running, but are they people you’d want performing brain surgery on you?   Making decisions about $50M projects or $100K ones.

Cornwall has a lot of plusses.   A lot of strengths, but a lot of challenges too.   It’s one thing to say that you want something as a politician, but quite another to know how to get it.

So as I listen to the debates and watch the candidates brief glimpses I think we all need to really listen and focus because these people will decide on many factors that could raise our taxes or cut our services.

We’ll be rating the candidates starting next week after the major debates.    Issues like skills, perception of their ability to work with others,  quality of political decisions, and many other factors.

Bottom line is that if you live in Cornwall and are of voting age you absolutely need to study the candidates and get out and vote on October 25, 2010!

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)

Jason Setnyk Kilger for Mayor Schnitzels


  1. Some good points, Jamie. On the other hand, we pay untold thousands of dollars every year for our federal representation, and what do we get for it?

  2. No, just plain no… show some real change first, discuss raises after… especially those 3 that want 38% raises for basically nothing in the first place, except their petty jealousy that councilors in other cities make more money per capita than they do here.. Results speak verses.. lets see this boom happen and then lets discuss any monetary compensation.. perhaps, a bonus system should be put into place, perform, or over perform per say, and get an extra bonus for actually making things happen would be a better plan..

  3. I agree we need to really listen to what the new and old candidates have to say and how they will lead. Last Monday night at the first public debate Syd Gardner was over heard slashing and trashing his fellow candidates and again last night he had an outburst with the audience that have come on their own time to listen to what the candidates have to say. Does he really believe that people can’t hear him? Is this not his opportunity to show us his what he’s got? Wow he really showed us, disrespectful, rude and offensive. That is what he showed me. Imagine talking to and about people like that and then expecting their vote! Come on Cornwall we can do better.

  4. Good points Jamie, well done.
    I do believe we need to increase salaries for these positions. It comes to the old addge “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys” is in the purest form in Cornwall.

    Retirees are not a bad idea for experience but that is where it ends. They have already contributed and have little or nothing to gain by making a city grow. I mean nothing is more dishonourable than an old man, well aged, who has no other evidence of his having aged except his age Seneca Quotes

    Brockville grew as a result of a youthful businessman about 20 yrs ago. He had to break the mould and that is what is drastically needed in this city.

    Though I do not support all the newer or younger candidates it is my opinion that they all should be elected just for change. It is the only way for Cornwall to grow and break its reputation and well -L-
    As Alfred Jerry states
    It is because the public are a mass — inert, obtuse, and passive — that they need to be shaken up from time to time so that we can tell from their bear-like grunts where they are — and also where they stand. They are pretty harmless, in spite of their numbers, because they are fighting against intelligence.”

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