What I learned From Council
I never bothered too much with local politics in recent years having had my fill decades ago when developers and a “soft” township council threatened Boyd Island in Pigeon Lake. In the late spring of 2012 as the Ledge Road Quarry issue raised its ugly head I decided to sit in on some Galway-Cavendish and Harvey Council meetings to witness first hand the leadership and governance of our beautiful township. It was really worth the numerous visits for I learned the following:
- There are indeed expensive light bulbs. A debate over some $400 in light bulbs took considerably longer than any discussion of why a lawyer’s bill was for $35,000. Glad they are worried about every penny.
- A citizen must ask well in advance to ask a question or make a point at a Council session. A councillor, though, can raise, at any time, even personal issues. I learned that getting a reduce speed limit sign moved from in front of a councillor’s house is easy and minutes do not have to really be as accurate as the discussion or reason outlined at the Council meeting.
- An aggregate plan for the Township can be seen to be no more than a map of where all the aggregate rests. So thought one councillor. Must admit a one- page map in color does save on pages of verbiage that outlines the Township’s plan to manage the resource.
- Spending $28,000 a year for three years to study the waters of Pigeon Lake has no value since, after one-year post, the Scugog study the water looks the same! That, plus not wanting a conservation authority to have control, is enough to scuttle any hope of the Township getting involved.
I am so excited about learning even more in the next 22 months until we have a new group of councillors with their own lessons to teach.
Resident on Pigeon Lake
“Stoned In Quarryville”
(Originally published in The Promoter, February 22, 2013)