New blood is needed

Section: 
Editorial

Our holiday last week was brief but relaxing.

 

When I returned Friday, our reporter had left a number of stories on Wednesday’s  Kincardine council meeting for me to peruse. Reading them brought me back to reality.

 

Council is now looking at $1.5 million for repairs and improvements to the arts centre (old town hall). No one should be surprised.

 

Why can’t politicians show a little foresight??

 

Many people told the last council that spending $1 million to upgrade the exterior of the arts centre would just lead to more spending on the old building. What’s more depressing is that the municipality could have had a new municipal hall and a concert centre for what’s being spent on repairing the current municipal centre and what will be spent on the arts centre.

 

Stories in The Independent 14 years ago, gave the cost of a new two-storey theatre municipal hall on the site of the old town hall - $4 million. It would have housed clerical, building, public works, treasury and emergency planning departments, council chambers and a theatre.

 

Today, Kincardine has two old buildings that will have cost in excess of $4 million when repairs are finished.

 

I am as much in favour of preserving our past as the next guy, but I see no sense in pouring money into a building that should have come down years ago. Successive councils had no excuse for not knowing the condition of the old town hall. The basement has had mould problems for years. What’s worse, the building really has little historic value. A story in the Aug. 30, 2000, edition of this newspaper said that the Ontario Heritage Foundation has easements on 180 historic buildings across the province. A reassessment of the properties in 2000 had the Kincardine town hall rated dead last in historical value.

 

Some members of council have been around since the decision to buy the monstrosity on the fifth and toss the plans to build a new municipal centre.

 

What does that tell you?

 

It tells me that we need some new politicians who will do their homework, show a little foresight and then make fearless, common sense decisions.

 

You can’t please everyone but politicians are forever trying.

 

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Why are politicians afraid to say what they think?

 

A Kincardine resident told council last week that that despite the municipal website and the number of news outlets around here, some residents don’t know about mail-in balloting for the upcoming municipal election.

 

He wants the municipality to work with him to create a website for Wards 2 and 3.

 

Why should municipal staff help someone start a new website when the municipality has a perfectly good website? It’s full of information.

 

And if someone can’t find out about voting, a new website won’t solve his or her problem.

 

Council should have said, if you want a website, go ahead and make one. Why should staff time be spent on helping to create another? But, no, the matter will be studied by staff.

 

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We spent a few days at a relative’s cottage in Muskoka last week.

 

On the way up and back, we usually stop at Tim Hortons in Stayner. Well on Friday, after much effort, we managed to get into the parking lot. After eating, we tried to get out of the parking lot to resume out trip. What with traffic at a very busy corner and a congested parking lot, it must have taken 15 minutes to escape.

 

The problem was tourists heading to Georgian Bay from Toronto. Which raises the question: when do you have too many tourists?

 

I would think Stayner locals avoid that part of town like the plague on weekends.