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WARDS | Council members outline positions CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Earlier in the meeting, Smith said that he had been advised of some Stone Mills residents who would file an OMB challenge to the bylaw should it pass on Monday night. “They have every right to do so,” he continued. “I do not mention the appeal as a threat. I mention it because it’s a reality, and it concerns me. As a taxpayer of Stone Mills, I will support an appeal to the OMB.” Smith argued that the township failed to do its due diligence in advance of the vote, saying it failed to compile a report regarding the advantages and disadvantages of adopting at-large voting and addressing the concerns raised at a January

public meeting on the issue. “We have never discussed the impact of elections at large, (which is) in my opinion, the most important decision made by this council in the history of the township,” he said. The deputy-reeve pointed to a letter from the township’s solicitor, received by council last fall, that advised the municipality to compile a report regarding the positive and negative implications of the new voting system. Other council members argued, however, that council had done its due diligence in holding the public meeting and listening to residents’ concerns on the issue. “I think we’ve done all that. It may not be wrapped up

with a bow on it, but I think we’ve done everything with due diligence,” said Ward 3 (Camden East) councillor Doug Davison. Ward 3 councillor John Wise suggested that, since council hadn’t adopted an official position on voting atlarge, it could not compile such a report until the vote was taken. Further, Wise said that making the case before the OMB, should an appeal be filed, wouldn’t be too onerous. “If there is an appeal, it’s a fairly simple case to make,” he said, offering a rough outline of the advantages and disadvantages of at-large voting. “Is there anything really more to say? It’s a fairly simple issue. It’s an important issue, but it’s fairly simple. I

don’t think we haven’t done all that we could.” In the end, the vote broke down largely along ward lines. All three representatives from Ward 3 — the ward with the largest population — voted in favour of the change, while the Ward 1 (Newburgh) and Ward 2 reps voted against the change. Reeve Doug Bearance, who hails from Ward 2, voted in favour of the change, splitting the tie vote. Before the vote was taken, council members outlined their arguments regarding the new bylaw. All members said they came to their decisions after being contacted by residents of the township on the issue. Some of those voting

against the motion suggested that, with the change, areas of the township with smaller populations — like Newburgh and Sheffield – would lose their local representation. “The biggest concern I get from the folks who contacted me is that they will all of a sudden lose their local voice,” said Ward 2’s Todd Steele. “This council will become much like provincial or federal politics, where you will only see your elected representatives perhaps on special occasions.” Ward 1 rep Kevin Wagar said it would be a “real struggle” for Newburgh and Sheffield to be heard. Steele also wondered why council seemed to be in a rush to pass the bylaw, adding that he felt the public hadn’t been sufficiently engaged in the debate. “By making this motion, council

April 2013

Working Together Works Waste Management is pleased to announce that we have reached substantial agreement with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, the Concerned Citizens Committee of Tyendinaga and Environs, and Napanee Green Lights on matters under appeal to the Environmental Review Tribunal regarding environmental monitoring, technical reporting, odour management and public notification for our closed Richmond Landfill. This agreement demonstrates that positive resolution is attainable with dialogue. We appreciate the involvement of these groups in this process. It enabled all parties to share all information openly and discuss technical matters pragmatically. Scientific discussions based on facts replaced exchanges of positions in the media. We believe that this marks a critical juncture regarding the Richmond Landfill. Most important is the development of a monitoring plan that is acceptable to all parties. We can now address concerns about the groundwater safety and potential impacts from the landfill with confidence, not conflict. This is critical for all of us. We are obtaining control of additional land south of Beechwood Road to monitor and manage groundwater resources. There is no risk to public health or the environment. With the expanded monitoring programs that we have agreed to implement, we will have further information to understand and operate our site safely. Working together works. This process proved that. It builds upon the open dialogue we have had with our neighbours and the Community Liaison Committee. We can develop solutions together that benefit our communities and protect our environment. The success reached here provides a good foundation for our future.

Randy Harris Site Manager Richmond Landfill Phone: 613-388-1057 Email: rharris@wm.com

Thursday, April 18, 2013 is essentially accepting the wishes of those 15 per cent of the people who did participate in the last election and supported this,” he said, referring to the results of an ultimately non-binding referendum which saw a narrow majority of voters support the move, but with only a limited number of eligible voters participating in that election. Those councillors who supported the change argued that, under the new system, all voters would have a chance to help choose all members of council, rather than just the reeve and their ward representatives. “The way we have it now, yes, we’re guaranteed representation from each of the three former municipalities,” said Wise. “But, the smaller wards, Sheffield and Newburgh, are actually guaranteed that they don’t get majority representation on council. In Newburgh, you get to vote for a councillor and a reeve. Five other people on that council, you never get to vote for. They are making decisions about your community throughout the four-year term of council.” With at-large voting, said Davison, “those people who are sitting around this table will be able to sit here knowing that they have the confidence of everybody.” “I believe this is a business, I look at it as a business,” said Bearance. “If I had $10,000 to invest, I would look for the very best person I could find to bring me a return on my investment. The way I look at it, you people pay the bills, and we make the decisions where it’s going to be spent. It only stands to reason for me that everyone sitting in this audience should be able to choose who they want spending their money. It makes more sense to me than anything else. As time goes on, I think that will happen.” Wise also said the change solves the ongoing difficulty in choosing a deputy-reeve, a position that will now be selected at-large. “It’s a terrible way to start off a term of council with a divisive choice among councillors as to who gets to be deputy reeve. The public has no voice in this little election among seven people, and it’s not a good way to start,” he said. He also said those concerned about retaining local representation can vote for candidates from their community, to the exclusion of other candidates. “You don’t have to vote for every single one of those councillors. If only one (candidate) is from your particular bailiwick, you can just vote for that one person. You can talk to your friends and neighbours to do the same. It’s strategic voting. That will stack the deck in favour of your local representative.” In his remarks, Ward 3 councillor Clarence Kennedy said township residents wouldn’t see a negative impact on how services have been delivered in the municipality. “There will be no loss of service or program to any area, i.e. ward,” he said. “All three wards will benefit as they have since amalgamation.”

Napanee Beaver Apr 18 2013  
Napanee Beaver Apr 18 2013  
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