Remember the discussion about Part Time Politicians?

brocanierThis topic comes around every year, and we put out the same opinion every year – we need full time politicians to work on Cobourg council.

But every year when we see the “Remuneration Report” a yearly report that is a Provincial mandate we should be thankful that we only have part-time politicians if all we do is look at the money we pay them.

The best example is the Mayor’s gross earnings – this year it is almost $60K, yet he is only a part time Mayor – base salary of $37,239 and with expenses added it grosses $40,047. Hardly the salary that a fulltime Mayor gets elsewhere.

But this is where it gets interesting with the positions he hold on LUSI, the County, the Public Health Unit and the Police Services Board he actually grosses a yearly remuneration of $59,037.00.

Just repeating the facts, and if Mayor Brocanier is putting in a full time work week and only being paid half time its about time we fix it but we also have to understand that this is a guy who is already in a part time job getting an above average full time pay.

To read the fulll report click here

Can we do better than this?

donegan_skpk1_350The skateboard park in Cobourg, in its present state is done and dusted. In this news flash the Town announced that the skateboard park located in Donegon Park will be closed, because it is unsafe. This has come as a surprise to the users  of the Park and has elicited many questions from the public and an online petition has been created to influence Council to keep it open.

What we at the BR would like to know is if monthly inspections were being done why did the decision to shut the place come so fast. It was a known fact that this park was probably five years overdue for a replacement and that structural deficiencies do not jump out of the ground overnight. Also if it was suspected that a new park was necessary why weren’t the monthly inspections tied to the decision to site a new one at the CCC in 2018? We believe that the new park was part of the wish list to gild the lily of the CCC Campus Plan. Surely unsafe conditions were apparent a couple of years ago and if so why wasn’t replacement planning put into the budget of the Parks Department?

Going back to the establishment of the skate park one will remember that Council had to be dragged kicking and screaming into giving the clamouring youth a facility. Finally when they got one it became a popular place proving the wisdom of the decision. Again the fact that despite whatever Council, of any vintage, says youth have always had to fight for something other than a sports field, then perhaps it was the Dads fighting that battle!

But back to the decision to shut this park down without a replacement facility we now see Pols scrambling to paper over the bad planning and hasty decisions. Councillor Rickerby, as the point person for the Council, in her last quote of a recent interview with the media here said “I understand how important the skate park is to Cobourg and everyone who uses it. My goal is to have a modern park that will be more inclusive with more functionality for very young children up to adults.” Do we sniff a whole bunch of undercurrents in this statement, “inclusivity” meaning not just hairyarsed scruffy teenagers, “more functionality” what can you add to a skatepark before it is not a skatepark just a kids playground, “for very young children up to adults” a recipe for a very bad mix!! Obviously somebody has an idea of what the new one should look like, if that is the case then a top-down strategy is bound to fail.

But back to the main point, if the Town recognises it made a very poor job of implementing a safety measure then they now have a chance to redeem themselves – consult with the users, this place must be one of the few activities that doesn’t have a users committee. Do not rely on just the consultant to make all the decisions, surely the idea of remedial repairs has merit. And because the skate park didn’t become unsafe overnight the inspection procedures must be rewritten to be realistic.

An interesting turn

wordleLiberalNews coming from the Liberal Party of Canada’s National Board, after a three hour meeting with LPC Party Leader – PM Justin Trudeau on Saturday, has us at the BR a little bewildered.

The end of the year

Renewal will be the watchword but only after a three month break. We will be living the winter in another Country and a different lifestyle so this “normal” way of doing things will be suspended, even this online opinion page.

So as we depart for sunnier climes all the best to our faithful readers and a sense of renewal to you all.

Our two cents worth

imagesThe refugee debate has been raging for many weeks now, in fact since the the Liberals pledged to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees befire the end of the year.

11148730_1088088784557476_1182460997385532315_nWe have all been bombarded with images and pleas on our face book feeds that border on absolute racism and xenophobia. A lot of this crap is shared from the UK where they have been dealing white ‘white-power’ for years.

Received this email a couple of days ago

And it was a simple request to help an old friend, thought others might be interested so we posted it.
email snippet”
“I believe you know long time NDP supporter and activist Elma Parker. Recently, Elma moved from her home of 50 plus years to a seniors residence, and was faced with the question of what to do with her many excellent paintings. We suggested an online auction with proceeds to Council of Canadians, and Elma enthusiastically agreed.”

The website for Elma’s paintings is now set up at

Congratulations to two out of four

candidatesIt is the end of the longest election campaign in history – was it worth it? Did you make your mind up weeks ago? Was this election necessary? Questions and questions.

Now we pundits have the luxury, privilege and some may say duty to make observations and opinion about it, We will not be making a prediction about the outcome just commenting on some of the antics in this long time we have just endured.