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MidlandCommunity.ca
P.O. Box 282
Midland, Ontario L4R 4K8


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MIDLAND COUNCIL REVIEW - JULY

JULY ’14 IN REVIEW

Election:

With so much talk about the need for growth and the future of Midland on the public lips these days, the election seems to be a “silent” election. There are still likely candidates who have not made their intentions clear. In addition to a number of new candidates, there are several current or former members of council seeking re-election this fall based on their past performance. We need to challenge all of them to demonstrate where and how they made a difference during their time in office. A report card for some of no growth, no jobs, and bad behaviour coupled with high taxes, is not medicine we need to take any longer. Two previous Mayors, Downer and MacDonald oversaw local tax increases several times the rate of inflation. We need Councillors with a track record of success, an impeccable work ethic, the capacity to think through complex matters and the courage to be first, be daring and be different.

Contributed by George Barber and Roy Ellis

Indemnification By-Law:

Most municipalities (and other corporations too) have policies in place to protect Councillors and employees when legal proceedings or other complaints are brought against them for things they did in good faith in carrying out their duties on behalf of the Town. When circumstances warrant, these policies are intended to ‘indemnify’ Councillors against their legal expenses and any damage awards made against them.

At the July meeting, Council considered a letter from Roy Ellis that objected to inconsistent and unfair application of Midland’s indemnification by-law. Earlier this year Councillors Pendlebury and Jeffery voted to deny legal expenses to another member of Council. Yet previously, they had both received free legal services courtesy of Midland taxpayers about emails they wrote about Midland residents including Mr. Ellis that could never be construed as actions taken in good faith as part of any duty they had as Councillors

Midland and the Midland Police Services Board spend far too much money on legal services. To discover that taxpayers’ money was used to defend two members of Council who abused their power and threatened citizens of Midland is totally unacceptable and adds insult to injury. Mr. Ellis asked the Town to review the Indemnification By-Law on four fronts to assure greater clarity, consistency and accountability - by a vote of 9-0 Council agreed.

Contributed by George Dixon

Butter Tart Festival:

Amid some recent controversy, it remains clear the Butter Tart Festival was a resounding success. The organizer, the Town and the BIA must now get together and agree on the vision to build on this success. How big is big? Possibly expand the event to include other venues and include one of our first class charities in order to provide the many volunteers an event of this magnitude requires. World famous butter tarts, entertainment, new vendors, judging and award presentations by celebrities. Possibly get the Pillsbury Dough Boy to clear his calendar and make a “guest appearance”.

Unimin / Midland Bay Landing:

Midland finally owns this land. Lawyers and environmental specialists have all weighed in. Whatever individual views we might hold about how we got here, we all now collectively own the property. It is time for all members of Council and the entire community to get on with maximizing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop the site appropriately including waterfront amenities for Midland residents and visitors alike. It has been touted as the “future of Midland” and the future needs to arrive now.

Contributed by George Barber and Roy Ellis for Midlandcommunity.ca
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