24 Responses to Keeping Up With Cambridge Council

  1. Allan Dettweiler May 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    You’ve probably read in the paper occasionally about a letter that arrives at it’s destination 30 or 40 years late – lost in the mail system or whatever.
    This thread was posted months ago – glad to see it’s finally up!

    Anyhow, this posting was inspired as the result of Councillor Donna Reid who had the brainwave that Cambridge needs a seniors ombudsman (or maybe ombudsperson).
    Gimme a break! That’s the last thing we need to waste money on. As far as I’m concerned, each councillor is an ombudsperson for whoever needs their help. We have added an extra Councillor to the city to lighten their loads, and now Reid wants to do even less work?
    I don’t think so.

  2. linda Whetham May 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Allan
    there is always a Seniors Rep. on council, I was just that for ten years and enjoyed every moment, Now it is Rick Cowsill, the Job is to be an advocate for Seniors and go to each and every Seniors Centres in Cambridge, to attend all the A.G.M. meetings and Seniors Events so this idea of Ms.Reid is just silly because there is already Representation at the Council Level a lot of work and time is put into this Position by the Councillor….

  3. les May 23, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Allan dead right. Reid is once again in union mode creating helpers for those who are already doing the jobs or at least should be if they aren’t.
    The only new things council should be worried about are the old things not getting done and building up a fine debt as a result.
    Our infrastructure at the first council meeting the consultant appeared at was in a 75 million dollar arear. Now it’s up over 160 million and climbing.
    Hespeler Road and the surrounding streets that feed in/out of it has been a mess for 2 decades and getting worse.
    And last but not least for this message, the city has a million bucks a year given to it to improve and upgrade the bus stop areas and promote bus ridership.
    This from the Region giving back our tax money for this community to benefit from. Let’s see how much gets done there while people stand in mud puddles in pouring down rain to catch a bus to nowhere.
    There are just 3 issues worth a few hundred million. Somehow I don’t think there is room for ” new ” plans when the old ones are rotting on the vine.

  4. Brett Hagey May 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I have known Benbo as an acquaintance for two years now, and after seeing him recently I realize, yet again, that I have to buy him a comb for Christmas. My mom still thinks he’s hot, it must be the nose, or something.

    First off, few people in their right minds would build industrial in Cambridge when Brantford is a much better deal for developers, for example. I know of 7 companies who are based in Cambridge that expanded outside of the city, because of the bureaucratic systems in place here, so I speak from personal experience. I love billing them travel time when I’m fixing their computers, thanks Cambridge, you sure know how keep my wallet healthy, and I don’t even have bricks and mortar here, anymore. And I never will, I was born at night, but not last night.

    Individuals with no experience in one industry will inherently lack the ability to understand things in another without being educated, most times. I run a retail and service company and yet I have no related experience concerning Councillor Monteiro’s methods for beating confessions out of alleged perpetrators in his previous career path as the town’s ‘Serpico,’ for example.

    Since the members of Council come from a wide variety of occupations these conflicts in understanding will exist; it is up to their more knowledgeable and experienced counterparts to provide an education, something Ms. Wolf made a vastly profitable career at., so from the reports and council meeting documentation I’m surprised at her response, but then again raping the taxpayers for $40,000-odd for a useless anti-idling Bylaw gave us a bit of an insight into her methods of reasoning. The bylaw officers loved that one, what a joke. They make up their quota by nailing me every time I forget to move my car off the end of my dead-end street after 2:30 AM. Yeah, my house is at the very end of the street, and half my neighbors don’t own cars.

    All of the land in the area is essentially a write-off in terms of ecological preservation, so it’s gonna get paved over eventually, anyway. If the developers develop and find no profit in the future they’ll shut it down and sell it to someone else, anyway. In the mean time coughing up property taxes is better then not coughing up property taxes from a vacant lot.

    Building there also provides the opportunity for residential shoppers in the immediate area to reduce their need to travel Franklin Boulevard, so the potential of reducing traffic backlog on the back Hespler exists, especially since the, scheduling and engineering, erm, ‘professionals’ at the Regional Level have yet to decide the fate of traffic conditions of that road..

    Like I said before, Ms. Wolf has led an existence of relative opulence because of her career path, and whether or not it’s justified is beyond the scope of this discussion. She has no clue what it’s like to depend of the Food bank, because of this she, as well as the remainder of Council who turned down the proposal, have effectively insulted the unemployed masses of Cambridge. Too bad I’m running for Ward 4 where I live, otherwise this time around I would make it a point of tearing a strip off her a s s in the next set of debates, i was polite last time due to ignorance on my part.

    I would have voted it in.

    That’s my $0.02

  5. Brett Hagey May 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Skip that, wrong thread. i hate smartphones, sometimes.

  6. SV May 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I am a little confused with this and other comments on what’s happening in Cambridge. Businesses do relocate for different reasons all the time however take a look at the hotels that have opened or have been renovated over the past six years in Cambridge. This is private sector money being spent here, and it has been my experience (Recently retired from 47 years in construction on two continents)that when this sector spends its money there is something to come, maybe not tomorrow, but its coming. There is also a proposed hotel and convention centre for the corner of Fountain and King streets in Preston. Other businesses have chosen to open their facilities such as the recycling centre with $30 million invested from the private sector. Take a drive around and see the construction, both new and renovation projects being carried out. Look at the building permit values issued this year. This is small business starting, expanding and growing in Cambridge. Yes there is still room for improvement and the need for city council to listen to the voters. Election 2 years this coming October!

    Sv

  7. newsfan May 25, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I agree with SV. Maybe Brett is spending too much time in Brantford and is missing the many developments happening right here at home. The positive developments happening in Cambridge most certainly dispel the myths that the city is going to hell in a handbasket.

    But, the electoral silly season is approaching isn’t it, and although I do not disagree with accountability, some of the approaches to becoming elected are just plain silly. My read is, if you are planning to run for council, you had better consider a very strong positive message. Voters are hungry for good news that can be truthfully conveyed, with the proviso that there is still room for improvement verses the “existing council is making the sky fall”.

    That’s my .05 cents worth – pennies are obsolete.

  8. SV May 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    newsfan your thoughts on a “very strong positive message ” is well said and I believe they should be getting it out there sooner than later. Any candidate who wants to break the run of successful incumbents in the next Municipal election should be starting their ground work now. Not just showing up at council meetings or serving on community committees/boards/clubs etc but have a team and business plan in place. Circulate a flyer/brochure many months prior to the election stating the person’s intention to “throw their hat into the ring” and the main ideas he/she would bring to the council should they be elected. Have an updated flyer with specific details circulated during the election.

    SV

  9. SV June 5, 2012 at 6:00 am

    The other day in the waiting room of the dentist I picked up a copy of the May 2012 Reader’s Digest. Two articles make good reading, especially for anyone considering running in the next Municipal election: “3 Canadian Mayors Who Stand Out from the Crowd” [http://www.readersdigest.ca/magazine/2012-trust-poll/3-canadian-mayors-who-stand-out-crowd] and “Politics 2.0 – Naheed Nenshi and the Power of Social Engagement”. [http://www.readersdigest.ca/magazine/2012-trust-poll/politics-20-naheed-nenshi-and-power-social-engagement?page=0,1].

  10. les June 8, 2012 at 7:26 am

    While I understand the need for a postive message, it’s not what I personally look for in a candidate. I look for the truth and that is not always or even rarely only positive, but it is what it is.
    The average voter that comes into our company as a customer I find, wants to hear excatly what is going on and why and where it is going. They ask the same of us about our product. No half truths about it’s quality, life span and especially the price.
    If such information happens to be not the ” brightest ” news of the day, at least they have been told, accept it and can act accordingly.
    If there is a mess to be cleaned up, the public also want to know what is being done about it.
    Cambridge is not in the brightest light folks and all you have to do is speak with a few owners of companies and few more owners of rental properties, residential, industrial and commercial. One of the biggest landlords/property owners in the city was in our place last week and painted a terrible picture of his future.
    Taxation which in part is resulting in vacancy rates on the moon ( over 2 million square feet of industrial space alone ) here is killing industry as well as affecting the price/sale/rental of homes and empty spaces.
    Our tax money has been spent poorly.
    The rest of the fineries of life don’t make up for the struggle it takes to keep things going. It takes more than nice political comments/thoughts make ends meet.
    I submit that the public is not stupid, just jaded so they make the mistaken decision of not going out to vote in frustration. The end result is where we are now.
    Newsfan, as seemingly a person with a good conservative outlook, knowing when the sky is falling needs to be admitted. And it pretty much is.
    When we owe 160 plus million and climbing, a figure up from 75 million just a few short years ago just for infrastructure repairs to our sewage/water system, that neither the Province nor the Feds are going to pay for, that’s a problem for our tax base as well as the wellbeing of the community.
    Taxes will be going up a lot again.
    Good news stories aren’t going to fix that.
    The only ” postive ” messages people should accept are what a candidate is proposing to do that will improve things, move them forward, or backward and to a dead stop if that is what is necessary, how and with ” what “, which is always the interesting part.
    Going to a new theatre complex we couldn’t and shouldn’t have been paying to date almost 11 million dollars for, isn’t going to help pay your next water bill which was increased nearly 11 percent this year if you missed it.
    It’s also not for government to ensure the public is being provided for with
    ” good ” things especially when there is no money to do it with.
    The private sector can do all of that and more just fine if the market place allows.

  11. SV June 8, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford certainly did not blow any sunshine up the voters shorts with his campaign of “he would stop the ‘gravy train’ by eliminating waste at Toronto’s city hall”. Yes his message made him a winner at the polls but since his victory “he has alienated key allies and suffered several setbacks”. Mayor Ford cannot even keep his promise of the weight loss challenge. My concern is how it will damage the voter turnout in the 2014 election. It’s tough enough with what is already a low percentage of voters but what will the they think now?

    SV

  12. les June 9, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Unfortunately for Toronto, the only gravy train Ford worries about is his own and it’s usually on his mashed potatoes or in his own wallet.
    The man’s positions are poorly thought out, apparently contradict his own previous actions and are even more inappropriately presented.
    A fine example of conservatism.
    He needs to run for PM>

  13. SV June 9, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Hahaha Nice one

  14. newsfan June 11, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Les, the high $ at the moment has led to a manufacturing exodus, the same way that a low $ brought about it’s arrival. The same applies with companies who have unionized labour that do not see the writing on the wall and make demands that the companies are incapable of meeting.

    The Liberals have not provided a favourable business environment and have exasperated the problem more by driving deficits to unsustainable levels. Even if taxation isn’t the problem at the moment, it will be. Individual states south of the border are littered with the train wrecks of socialism and big labour. Thankfully in Wisconsin, which got “De-Greeced” last week with the re-election of Walker, maybe we will begin to see a trend happen that will bring some sanity back to fiscal planning and labour costs. Or anarchy like they have in Montreal which is socialists’ answer to being told “NO” to even a $300 tuition increase.

    Ford is a target because he is a conservative. Period. If he was a Liberal, the press would be fawning all over him like white on rice. Any council that decides to ban plastic bags is about as dumb as a bag of hammers. Virtually no press reporting on that issue whatsoever. That’s Liberal socialism.

    I don’t believe infrastructure is as problematic as you and your friends cry about all the time. The problem has, and will, always be dealt with incrementally. At worse, crap in an empty Tim’s cup – you determine the size you need – depending on if you have one lump or two – and recycle. That’s the Liberal way Les isn’t it?

  15. Scot Ferguson-Barber June 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I have been talking to some of you, and working behind the scenes to set something up along the line of the Guelph Civic League. http://www.guelphcivicleague.blogspot.ca/
    They are one of the most influential political organizations when it comes to municipal politics. The politicians they back get elected.
    There is a “Cambridge Civic League” who is headed by Ken Hoyle, but he has a different vision from the Guelph Civic League, and that’s fair. Not everyone wants to be an activist.
    The next election is 2 years away, now is the time to start.

  16. Jan Liggett June 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Hello Newsfan,
    The CAO of the city has been speaking of the infrastructure problem for a while now. The treasurer who retired recently gave dire warnings before he left of upcoming problems. The consultant hired by the city laid it all out. His report is on the city’s website Dec 2009. Since then there have been other reports. No one on council denies that there is a severe problem with the infrastucture. Taxes will be going up if those items are to be fixed because they weren’t fixed incrmentally; that’s the real problem.
    You must have missed the cartoon about the plastic bags in the Record.

  17. les June 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for the all will be fine and when it isn’t we’ll fix it then outlook Newsie, but you are out to lunch.
    Fisrt off, plastic takes thousands of years to break down. Sure it’s a healthy business byproduct for the petroleum industry whose discovery enabled the use of these products instead of burning them off in the cracking tower.
    To deny it’s destruction of the environment simply compliments this governments current maneovers at snuffing the environmental ministries efforts, fisheries ministries and so much more in the name of business.
    What they think will silence the environmental studies required before big oil and others can move ahead in time will show that in fact the opposite will be true.

    Take a trip to any part of South East Asia where plastic bags float in their open sewers, rivers and hang off trees after being blown in the wind.
    If this doesn’t exemplify the drastic state that the globe is in, nothing does.
    There is no excuse for the use of plastic bags any longer.

    Our students in Canada have invented a quickly bio-degradeable bag that replaces the plastic ones or we can use the re-useable ones being offered at all supermarkets. Only the oil companies will complain about the changes.

    Sorry, Ford is not a target cause he’s a conservative. Personally I vote for a candidate based upon his/her position and beliefs not the party.
    He’s a target cause he’s an ass, pompous, overbearing uneducated on his positios and proud of it.

    I notice your view points and your general depth of knowledge on a lot of things seems well tought out.
    Therefore you shouldn’t believe that the infrastructure situation in Cambridge is a problem, you should know it is.
    Should you have attended as many council meetings as I have when the topic was on the table, have spoken to as many staffers and others as I have about the issue, you never whould have made that statement.
    The city simply waits at this point for something to breakdown, leak or explode in winter so that staff can then be forced to fix it, as there is insuffient funds in the budget to do anything else but go to the theatre.
    Unless there is a road being dug up in order that the pipes must be repaired to avoid being utterly stupid and have to dig it up in another month when it leaks, there is no real plan in place.
    The city officials have been told repeatedly by all levels of staff and the hired consultant who clearly laid it on the line about 6 years ago. We are in big trouble and the bill which has risen from 75 at the time of study to now over 160 and counting is proof. No need for guess work.
    The fact that he is a conservative will, in the history books only be an embarassment to the party.
    For now, the rest of council is doing a fine job neutering him as they go along.

    And finally, taxes are already a problem and it’s not just a liberal thing, it’s local. Sure if you are in the auto/computer and a few other sectors, the US buck has an effect for which you hedge.
    When the cost of property taxes per square foot can equal the cost of renting the building, there is something wrong.
    When landlords are simply renting facilities for the price of the taxes plus a a bit to cover common costs, that is a big problem.
    When a council is spending millions forward while ignoring a hundred million that is outstanding, that is an even bigger problem.
    The dollar by comparison unless you are a major exporter of goods, is hardly an issue.
    Considering that over 65% of all business is a small business employing less than 50 people so they don’t register on the stats can scale, most companies are more greatly affected by what goes on in this country/community than over the border.
    Unless you squat funny, there is no Liberal or Conservative way to have crap Newsie. It all smells the same in the end and will stick in the holes of your brogues, especially if the stuff ends up on your front porch in a lit paper bag.
    Let me know when your water/sewer lines back up or leak and I’ll be sure to send a plumber by at your cost. That’s the conservative way!
    Your problem, your bill. Even if it all could and should have been avoided a decade ago.

  18. SV June 12, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Infrastructure, taxes, landlords, deficit, so here is the platform for the 2014 municipal election of those opposed to the present administration. It will be interesting to see who will be running on these topics and where their support comes from.

  19. newsfan June 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Thanks Les. I’ll let you know when the sky doesn’t fall and you can come out from underneath the bed.

  20. newsfan June 12, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Forgive me Les for my condescending attitude on infrastructure. However, those who speak the loudest on this issue place the entire matter at the doorstep of our municipality. It is a national problem. For the infrastructure problems to be corrected in municipalities across Canada – not just Cambridge – requires the financial partnership between all levels of government. This effort is already in motion and to suggest otherwise is simply untrue. In Ontario any funding promises that come out of Queen’s Park are so ridiculously politicized that the problem gets lost with the Premier’s double speak.

    Want do you want Les? You constantly speak of the theater and will you advocate closing down and selling municipal properties to finance the infrastructure requirements? How about closing down arenas, libraries, parks? What the hell, we really don’t need them either. Sell them off to developers Les and broaden our tax base. Sell and tear down Preston Arena or rip up Riverside Park and build some condos. Remove collective bargaining for municipal employees. Come on Les, what would you give up?

    INSTANTLY banning a COMMODITY which is used to the extent of plastic bags is as stupid as the 5 cent tax that is levied for them. Forget about “oil companies”, reusable bags are now problematic due to bacteria contamination, don’t you know?

    Look, get something straight we have been paying and paying and paying fees, hidden costs, taxes, on and on and on, for everything from emission controls all the way to the environmental fees we pay today due to demands of the looney left and their dimented ideas, and for decades!!! Nothing has changed and the left STILL want to tax this, ban that, it NEVER FRICKIN’ ENDS!! Nothing has changes except that it has made things unnecessarily more expensive.

  21. les June 16, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Your last para is dead on. Tax grabs and hidden or open fees from government and corporations such as banks are now the new way of life and we all eat it hook line and sinker.
    That does not mean you deny the environmental mess we are in and don’t do anything about it.
    Denial is a river in Egypt and I for one, would not swim in it.
    Once again it seems you chose to deny the state of the infrastucture under your feet by placing the responsiblity on the entire system rather than addressing the issue of over spending locally. It is a local responsibility first and if looked after in a responsible way, it would have and could have been fine.

    “INSTANTLY banning a COMMODITY which is used to the extent of plastic bags is as stupid” ???? what ! do you own or work for the petroleum industry ?
    It’s not stupid, they know it, it’s business and it has not been done instantly, it’s been a decade or more.
    Everything has a down side but you endeavor to work to highest denominator not the lowest.
    To look for the upper level governments to bail you out sounds like something the Mayor would and has said. Sure, get the bail out money so the money you should be spending from local coffers can then be blow on new unwanted projects.

    To privatize standard governmental services like parks and libraries just to name two of your choices you have to admit is nothing short of lame brained.
    We already have such services called Wonderland, Disney Land and the parks being forced upon developers of new subdivisions in order for the city to escape exactly what you propose.
    There are a few sort of municipal obligations to the public at large and those are just a few of them. We can’t be totally american republican minded. Without such small niceties you may as well just go back and live in Detroit where you can see how well they are doing with their parks and rec.
    ” Remove collective bargaining for municipal employees” ? Remove the unions if anything. Once you have them, the bargaining as it is called but isn’t comes with it. Good luck on that one. Mr Common sense revolution tried and failed on that issue.

    Sounds like it might be difficult, but a straight forward Conservative outlook on the way things are and the way we live is nothing short of narrow.
    Progress doesn’t seem to fall into the dictionary of many hard nose tories unless it’s being made in their wallets.
    Many issues they frown on are also only applicable to others, not their families.
    And no, I don’t want to tax this. We are over taxed and under sericed for what is being paid out.
    However to date,despite all the campaign garbage at election time not ONE, count em, NOT ONE, elected official in the history of goverment at all levels, has come up with any other solutions that actually work. They either add or take away something while adding it back somewhere else. The solution Newsfan is far more elusive than you would like to think it is.

  22. newsfan June 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Les, you could have made your point – whatever it is – in half the space if you would spare me/us all the epithets and euphemisms.

    Yes, “banning” plastic bags is stupid, or, terribly premature. We’ve been introduced to so many nonsensical environmental concepts, I can’t keep track of them anymore. It was not all that long ago we were told that we were going to “freeze” due to global cooling. Then we were going to drown becasue of global warming. Now evidence shows cooling, but some say warming did it. Why don’t you guys go to Key West and get lit up in Margaritaville or something?

    There are more and more oil and gas discoveries almost every week. We have more of a threat to the environment from the oil sitting in offshore tankers, as the producers wait for the price to elevate due to the lack of a comprehensive oil policy in North America.

    No one is looking for anyone in higher government to ‘bail us out’. We happen to contribute enormous amounts to both the federal and provincial treasuries and it would be silly for those governments to squander the wealth of an area due to it not meeting their particular share of responsibility for infrastructure improvements.

    Maybe you watch too much CNN Les. The presidency of Obama has been nothing short of a disaster. Trillions and trillions of dollars in new debt, millions permanently unemployed, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, gone – or going. A dangerous foreign policy that threatens not only the USA, but the entire free world. The Democrats, not the Republicans, have failed to pass an operating budget since Obama took office!! The last vote against an Obama budget was 435-0!!

    Yes, socialism if just wonderful Les.

  23. SV June 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Amazing how the discussion has gone from Cambridge city Council, Provincial politics, Federal politics and Global issues. At all levels of government decisions have to be made. The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that; “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse,best strategy is to dismount”.

    However, in government, more advanced strategies are often employed, such
    as:

    1. Buying a stronger whip.

    2. Changing riders.

    3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

    4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead
    horses.

    5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

    6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

    7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

    8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

    9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead
    horse’s performance.

    10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the
    dead horse’s performance.

    11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less
    costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more
    to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

    12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

    And of course….

    13 Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

    SV

  24. Lary Turner June 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I love it, SV!

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