Thursday, February 7, 2008

Haldimand "Does Your Local Councillor Even give a Damn?"

Well the title says it all!

I am really beginning to wonder what goes through the mind of a Haldimand County Councillor.

We hear on a regular basis that Haldimand doesn't receive it's fair share from upper levels of government. We constantly hear from our local members of Council, that they in fact work hard and do what they can for us. But is this really the "truth"?.

Last month I posted an "On-Line Petition" to the Legislature of Ontario regarding the unfair distribution of the Provincial Gas Tax. I spent many many hours e-mailing "all" Mayors in Ontario asking for their assistance. I received an interesting response back from the Mayor of Oshawa, that basically said "we already receive the gas tax, and we certainly don't want to share it with you"!

Mayor Marie Trainer has sent this to everyone she knows, as well as "ALL MEMBERS OF HALDIMAND COUNTY COUNCIL", in fact she has sent this to her fellow council members more then once. To this date the only person on Haldimand County Council that has signed the on-line petition is Mayor Trainer! Thanks Marie!

So I would ask this......why are the other "6" hard working dedicated council members not signing this petition? Could some of the following be their excuse?.......I am extremely busy........I have not read my e-mails from the Mayor..........I know signing won't make a difference.....It's okay our residents can afford to pay higher taxes to pave their roads............I don't give a damn!!!

I can understand if the individual taxpayer in Haldimand or any other Municipality in Ontario doesn't give a damn, but our elected officials should "give a damn" on our behalf!

The following is the on-line petition if you are interested in making a difference, you just need to click onto the link at the bottom and you can sign the petition. It takes about "2" minutes in total!

To: The Legislature of Ontario

Whereas; The Province of Ontario currently receives 14.7 cents from every litre of Gas sold in the Province;

Whereas; The Province of Ontario currently allocates these funds for roads, bridges and transit;

Whereas; Not all Municipalities in Ontario have public transit;

Whereas; All Municipalities in Ontario however have roads and bridges in grave need of repair, and many Municipalities are under great financial burden do to the lack of funding;

Whereas; There are "445" Municipalities in the Province of Ontario, currently only "108" Municipalities receive gas tax funding from the Province of Ontario;

We the undersigned petition our Provincially Elected Legislators in Ontario to commence a Public Hearing into the collection and disbursement of the Provincial Gas Tax in fairness to "all" Municipalities of Ontario. Sincerely,


  1. They don't give a Damn!

    Their actions prove that!

    At least we have a Mayor that cares.

  2. Donna… I can honestly tell you that our elected councillors are NOT working hard, and just because they attend tea parties and photo opportunities, that does not constitute work.

    That’s what my father used to call “fellowship”. If attending council meetings and going behind closed doors to do “their laundry” is proving to be too stressful and demanding, perhaps they should just move over and get out of the game altogether.

    As I see it, they wanted the position of councillors, they went in there knowing the work load and they were prepared to live with it then… so what happened? Did too many residents demand their attention?

    Our councillors are on a POWER TRIP and it should never be forgotten that this same trip may have given them swollen heads which is probably the reason why certain councillors live in a fantasy world free of worries and concerns. This situation may have contributed to the development of a deficiency that’s directly impacted their “communication skills”. Or perhaps there’s another reason.

    I’ve written our fine councillors, their predecessors, and to this day, I’ve received a grand total of zippo answers back from them. Except for that one time that Craig Grice called me to say “fine letter”. But I had written the letter and I already knew that!

    Perhaps that swollen head feeling is impacting their reading abilities, but that’s just a conjecture. They don’t seem to read the local newspapers or if they do, the fine print is going “straight through” and not stopping to jiggle their brain as these same newspaper reports seem to jiggle yours, mine and countless thousands of others.

    I think we’ve all seen that our councillors have fallen to the paralysis that is known to occur when facing difficult challenges when it actually involves getting out of a comfort zone. Or is that what is seen as “difficult work”? Whatever it is, they (councillors) would just as soon leave things alone and perhaps Commissioner Fantino will come along some day and fix it all, maybe in a moment of guilt.

    Or perhaps they’re waiting for Premier McGuinty to be the knight on a white horse and he’ll charge through town some day and save the day. Now I’m in dreamland!

    That’ll never happen, regardless of the monthly reports sent to him or not. Does he see these reports? Do they see the light of day between the mail room, the clerk and the filing cabinets? (I’m not holding my breath on that one!)

    To wrap it up, my answer to “do they really even give a damn?”, my answer is a solid NO.

    Mike Parent

  3. Here is an interesting story Donna posted by Wilrik Banda regarding your article of today.

    He seems to have changed his tune in regards to council members. It seems maybe he is hoping that Sloat will get charged with assault, as his site states that he will run again in Ward 2.

    I would like to know Donna if you will run again in Ward 2? Anyway here is Wilrik's story; by the way I do agree with you, I think council members have lost their focus.

    This is a comment with regards to a posting that can be found at Haldimands Unheard Voice link in my blogroll).

    Donna, who runs the site, is obviously disgruntled with our local council because they seem to disregard e-mails from her and the Mayor with regards to a petition that deals with the fair share of the gas tax. Haldimand County does not get anything and she created an online petition to spread the word and hopefully make a change.

    She is arguing that our local council does not care about this issue or many of the other ones that are brought to the surface by concerned residents. I think there are several reasons, but I would not say that they don’t care at all! It would be impossible for the County to function and run a balanced budget, and even save something for the future, if our councillors would not give a damn.

    It is all about priorities. They are in the middle of a budget and they all have a genuine concern about the state of current residential, commercial and industrial development in Haldimand County. If there is no growth or steady stream of development, it will affect our property taxes. This is what will hit everone in the County; their wallet!

    Further more, our councillors have genuine interests in revitalizing downtown areas of Dunnville, Caledonia, Hagersville, Cayuga etc. by upgrading sewers and water mains, as well as beautifying the shopping districts because, again, taxpayers will notice it in their wallet if there is no new development, if the County is unable to support new development due to a lack of water and waste water capacity and if there is a lack of tourists!

    I think our councillors do care, but they have set their priorities. Also, I don’t think that Donna has any supporters on council, except for our Mayor. I am not trying to put anyone down or in their place, but this is how I see it!

    Concerned in Ward 2

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    Thanks Mike, you know first hand from your experiences with council.

    Thanks concerned in Ward 2, I did read Wilrik's blog. I also posted a comment on his site in relation to his article.

    I commented that it only takes "2" minutes to fill out this petition on-line. I also mentioned that I am not disgruntled, I am a concerned resident, and I am not the only one. You can link on to Wilrik's site under interesting sites and read my comment.

    I will say that Wilrik does seem to have changed his view of council. If you read his blog he doesn't usually support council, he is usually very critical as well. Maybe you are correct that he doesn't want to seem negative just in case he runs in an early election.

    To answer your question as to whether I will run in the next election, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Thanks again everyone for your comments.

  5. They dont' give a damn about those who elected them.

    Two members of council and the CAO at the time (not the new one) all left a Council Meeting to attend a Liberal candidate photo op. I wonder if they stopped at payroll to pick up our tax dollars before the got involved in the Provincial election.

    This Council has total disdain for those that elected them. They behave like a Soviet politbureau.

    There is no room in local politics for Provincial Party hacks. If they want to cozy up to McGuinty then run for Provincial parliament.

    Again, they don't give a damn and if there was a way I'm sure the people of this County would have gotten rid of the lot of them by now.

    Just don't forget this when the next municipal election comes around.

    Lisa Parent

  6. I've heard rumours that there has been yet another integrity and confidentiality breach by Mayor Trainer. Unfortunately, the Council, CAO and legal staff have had to spend a lot of time behind closed doors and "in-camera" sorting it out. To suggest that Council is going to bow down to her and be intimidated by her e-mails right now concerning petitions is very short-sighted of you people.

    Council works very hard and it's unfortunate they have to spend so much time mopping up after Trainer's messes.

    Donna, we live in a society of free speech and free thought. If a councillor doesn't want to sign a petition, who are you to publicly disgrace them? Do you not believe in free choice? You are being hypocritical.

    The Councillors have better things to do than signing petitions. The have a County to run.

    Back off and leave people alone.It seems too many people have way too much time on their hands. Perhaps your time would be better spent trying to get Mayor Trainer to resign so the County and it's citizens can move ahead in a productive way.

  7. Thanks for your comments, I have a few more myself if that is okay.

    One poster says the following;

    "I've heard rumours that there has been yet another integrity and confidentiality breach by Mayor Trainer. Unfortunately, the Council, CAO and legal staff have had to spend a lot of time behind closed doors and "in-camera" sorting it out. To suggest that Council is going to bow down to her and be intimidated by her e-mails right now concerning petitions is very short-sighted of you people."

    It is plain to see that this poster is privy to information from someone in high ranks in Haldimand, and I have to say this person is "not" speaking about the Mayor in this case. So although they say it is a "rumour", this person does believe that the information that was given to them about the amount of time spent behind closed doors fixing these problems is in fact factual. If they didn't feel this way then they wouldn't be condemning me for my opinions.

    So I would ask the following; Who is in breach of confidentiality here?

    This article was not about breaches of confidentiality, so it is obvious that this poster is very close to the situation.

    Regardless we do have the right to our own opinions and in this case I was asking the question.

  8. I would like to say Donna that your last poster seems to have a personal vendetta against the Mayor. This person seems to think that the Mayor is the reason why so much is going on behind closed doors. Then what is the excuse that the other six members of council have. The problem is that we have a total breakdown of Haldimand County.