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Tuesday March 19: Simcoe County Council considers governance review

In Adjala-Tosorontio
Mar 15th, 2019
Simcoe County Council

AWARE News Network

Simcoe County Council holds a special meeting next week, to consider the governance review launched by the Ontario government.

Here is the agenda. Note listed correspondence for useful background on communications between the province and the county.

Special Council and Committee of the Whole – Regional Government Review – 19 Mar 2019

Location: Vespra Valley Golf Course 2964 Wilson Drive, Minesing

AWARE Simcoe has received an invitation to provide comment on the review, with a deadline of April 23. We’re interested in hearing from our members, supporters and the public with regard to your ideas on the best way for a second-tier government to work and how you feel you can best be served by your county representative(s).

This is important: Simcoe County is a geographically vast municipality and politicians are there to represent our concerns, in a way that staff is not. Will fewer councillors mean that more staff must be hired, at a higher cost, to perform that gateway function? Will staff be responsive to our concerns or should we worry about unreturned calls and bureaucratic doublespeak? Do we want county council to consist of mayors and / or deputy mayors, or do we want regional councillors elected from each municipality? Should the warden be elected at large or by other councillors, as is the present practice? What are the appropriate areas for shared (upper tier) services between municipalities? What are the areas where the decision should be left to the lower tier?

Unfortunately, the special meeting is not to be live-streamed.

Email us your ideas, either in the comment section below, or to aware.simcoe@gmail.com. We will put together a position paper and send it out for further discussion, hopefully before April 15 to allow us time to incorporate your views into the final document that we submit to the review.



2 Responses to “Tuesday March 19: Simcoe County Council considers governance review”

  1. Melanie Robitaille says:

    We cannot let this happen! This takes away the voice of the people who vote, and how tangible our current municipal government is. People already have an issue getting to meetings and presenting to council at it’s current size, can you imagine if it is moved farther away out of reach, and seemingly much more intimidating. We cannot allow Ford to strip our towns of their governance. They’re certainly not perfect, but they’re necessary and should be nurtured further instead of ripped apart. Central Ontario is experiencing dramatic growth, sprawl and urbanization. This is devaluing our towns and all that they stand for, in a bid to use them as resource hubs and nothing more. WE ARE SO MUCH MORE! Simcoe County is a diverse, growing area. The needs of Tottenham, Barrie and Orillia are not the same as the needs in Tiny, Penetanguishene, Midland and Tay, nor are they the same as those in Wasaga Beach, Creemore and Collingwood. It’s the same system they use in the city, which I moved away from for a reason. In my 30+ years living there I never once “met” the mayors of the Peel Region cities I lived in, nor did I even know the city councilors. I was lucky if one or two of them would personally canvas during voting time and that was it! City Halls were gigantic and difficult to navigate, but more importantly, if you didn’t live close by you missed out on the community events like parades, tree lightings and all that typically happens in and around these hubs.
    Please say no to one-size-fits-all government and say NO to big city mentality. The charm of many of these smaller towns is what attracts so many to them, and individual governance is what will help each of them maintain their respective character.


    • Peter Lomath says:

      I agree, as a senior that chose Creemore as the town to pass my final years, I would even like to see Creemore leave Clearview, even these two places have totally unique “personas” and the representatives in Stayner have totally different perspectives and rarely think the same as residents of Creemore.

      I’ve lived in small towns with upper tier government and I’ve lived under a regional system and I agree with the writer that regional government providing “Toronto style” living will not work for our rural communities where I know all of my neighbours and can call on any of them for help at any time day or night.

      That said, until we get “qualified” (with VERIFIABLE experience relative to the budget and staff sizes of the community they wish to serve) full-time councillors paid a decent salary and able to undertake many of the functions of our existing bloated bureaucracies, it probably wont matter which form of government Mr. Ford decides to force upon us

      Its time we took a wider look at what we NEED from governments. When I married it was for life, when I had children my wife raised them and I worked 12 hour 7 day weeks to clothe and feed them, mortgage rates of around 15% meant that “saving” was not an option, but we did it and credit cards were just not available so we only purchased what we could pay for. From 1966 until around 1990 I was never dependant on government for anything and that’s about when regional government came into being.

      If I was asked to choose the single biggest issue that needs to be addressed by this governance review its not choosing between municipal versus regional government but changing the complete mindset of governments to return to serving the residents of Ontario rather than putting in place ever increasing numbers of highly paid, non-accountable bureaucrats.

      I’ve had to deal with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs on a number of occasions over the past 10 years and the results indicate that they are not there to serve the residents of Ontario but to protect the bloated bureaucracies that form all levels of government. In many cases the response to your communications will confirm that the respondent never even took the time to read your letter.
      Last week Clearview Mayor Measures and CAO Sage were pleased to announce receipt of Clearview’s $600,000 “bribe” from the Provincial government.

      Municipal staff and council must just LOVE the new Minister of Municipal Affairs. After having a stream of ministers who paid little attention to the municipal level of politics, this new minister is intent on making sure that the municipal level of government can expand to consume even more of our precious resources leading to more staff being paid for with this ONE-TIME borrowed money. He meets with councils, he attends the municipal association of bureaucrats meetings but have you ever seen him sitting down with citizens like you and I at a local town hall meeting?

      Its time for Ontario to stop “feeding the beast” with stolen/borrowed money!

      So in addition to being against regional government I’m also against the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, for if ever a government department needed an attitude adjustment this is the one!

      Thanks for the opportunity to have my say, now I’m going back to finishing my submission to this review process.

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