In the next few days, you should receive a mail ballot for the October 27th Municipal election for our local Council and Mayor. These are our recommendations.
This election is the most significant in our township history, we urge you to carefully consider exercising your franchise. Many of us believe we have not had truly representative and transparent civic leadership and should the attitude of “we cannot do anything about developmental pressures on our township” continues, we could become the aggregate and graphite capital of Ontario. Going forward we need a mayor and council dedicated to taking ownership of their duty to be our voice and resistance to encroachment on our way of life. Should our council and mayor meekly kowtow to big business when other municipalities resist we truly will be pillaged. Resistance is not futile, it just makes sense.
The NPLRA questioned the candidates on several continuing issues including but not limited to: OPP policing; Trent Severn Waterway; flooding in watershed area; handicapped parking. Also asked was: would the candidate be in favour of pushing for the return of committees to obtain citizen input. During the interviews we were looking for signs of commitment, forthrightness as well as thinking outside the usual “no we cannot do that” attitude.
We are anxiously awaiting the OMB Chair’s decision on the appeal of the two decisions made by the current municipal council, a rezoning bylaw and an amendment to the Township Official Plan to allow a mega quarry adjacent to an established neighbourhood, the very sensitive Nogies Creek and the historic fish sanctuary. If allowed, according to evidence adduced from the proponent, Dewdney Mountain, this quarry at full capacity will be three times as large as all the other quarries in the municipality put together! This could put as many as 44,000 additional trucks on local roads annually. The impact on EVERYONE is obvious.
Worse, there are several other quarry applications ostensibly awaiting this OMB decision and the next Trent Lakes Council. Also waiting in the wings is the Valterra Bobcaygeon Project proposal, which could end up as one of the largest graphite mines in the world with a graphite seam that extends 90 square kilometers from Bass Lake, through Crystal Lake to Salerno Creek in our township.
The implications of such an open pit mine are potentially devastating to those who live, work and play in this Township.
Both the above developments have galvanized the citizenry of Trent Lakes into an action seeking group of property owners.
Nothing in our history comes close to the threat nor the action needed to control such threats.
We are of the opinion that the current council members, with one exception, were one or all of the following:
- complicit in the mega quarry proposal,
- totally overwhelmed and uninformed, or they
- simply “rolled over” in face of a developer threat to appeal to the OMB. Capitulating at only one set of provincial policies favouring aggregate development versus seeking alternatives favouring local citizens.
With a view to the future, a group of people from Trent Lakes who were active in the Citizens For Responsible Aggregate Development (CFRAD) campaign have been meeting and interviewing candidates for Council and would like you to consider our findings on the following attachment when casting your ballot.
Respectfully, The North Pigeon Lake Ratepayers’ Association in conjunction with a group of concerned citizens from across our municipality.
OUR COMMENTS & ENDORSEMENTS
BEV MATTHEWS: WE ENDORSE BEV MATTHEWS FOR MAYOR
A twenty year veteran of Council, is also running for Mayor and was the lone vote in Council against the zoning change to accommodate a mega quarry. She indicated that “there are times when citizens need to be listened to and when Council needs to make a stand”. She said forcing individuals to appeal to the OMB on behalf of all citizens means the Township Council got a “free ride”. The consequences for all the future applications are obvious. If this state of affairs is allowed to continue, the burden of future appeals will be borne by individuals or else there will be no appeals, and all future applications will be rubber stamped. The damage to our environment, our roads, and our homes must be the concern of all.
Janet Clarkson, is the current Mayor.
She is totally unapologetic for her stance in the bylaw and Official Plan amendments favouring the mega quarry, arguing that because of provincial policies, Council had no choice but to go along. Fighting aggregate appeals at the OMB would be a waste of taxpayers’ money. So it was left to private citizens to hire lawyers and expert witnesses to counter the application.
Ostensibly opposing the project, she is quoted in the Peterborough Examiner of January 27, 2013 as saying:
“It’s way better if it goes on their dollar than on ours”
The fact that Council approved the application and then appeared at the OMB to be an additional advocate for the project undermined the citizen appellants whose legal bills are likely to top $100,000.00. To fully appreciate the current mayor’s absence of logic, we urge you to see the full Peterborough Examiner article.
RICK AUBE: WE ENDORSE RICK AUBE FOR DEPUTY MAYOR
Rick has been a cottager in the area for more than 50 years and is now a full time resident. He says there are too many quarries already and will bring fresh ideas and an energetic work ethic to Council and pledges to work with the citizens to find solutions going forward. Rick worked in financial services in Toronto in his previous life, but is now self-employed out of his residence in the former Cavendish Township.
Peter Franzen has been on Council previously, both in Harvey-Galway-Cavendish and earlier on the Galway-Cavendish Council. He currently resides in the Harvey Ward at Pirates’ Glen. While he projects many good ideas, in our opinion, he carries with him considerable history from his previous tenure on Council that we are not comfortable with at this time.
Ron Windover is the incumbent Deputy Mayor, and like Ms. Clarkson, is an apologist for Council’s actions on the re-zoning mega quarry vote. The Deputy Mayor, like the Mayor, is a member of the Peterborough County Council (the next highest tier in local governance) and we feel Mr. Windover has not played any positive role in advancing the interests of the Township in defending liveability at our local or at County Council.
COUNCILLOR-AT-LARGE DICK PERSSON: ACCLAIMED. WE ENDORSE DICK PERSSON
Our committee interviewed Mr. Persson before nominations closed and we were impressed. We found him to be well-prepared, thoughtful and respectful for the views of others. He brought in a comprehensive program for our township, including a responsible program for economic development that does not compromise our environment, but will increase jobs and broaden our tax base. He will work to unite the disparate parts of our community from Buckhorn to Bobcaygeon from Pigeon Lake to Kinmount. He is the owner of the Canoe Company in Buckhorn and has served on the Board of the Canoe Museum in Peterborough and the Kawartha Highlands Park and is currently on the economic development committee of Trent Lakes. Our group was fully prepared to endorse Mr. Persson even before he was acclaimed as he brings much promise to Council.
TERRY LAMBSHEAD: WE ENDORSE TERRY LAMBSHEAD FOR COUNCILLOR
Terry has lived in this area all of his life and is a respected businessman here. He has seen enough quarries outside his door and is passionate about retaining the quality of our environment. He also commits to citizen involvement in solving big questions facing the citizens of Trent Lakes.
Madeline Pearson was the incumbent member-at-large and is now running in the Galway-Cavendish Ward. Ms. Pearson who has lived and served on Council for many years voted for the Official Plan amendments and re-zoning allowing the mega quarry and from positions as expressed by her votes in Council and in all of the all-candidates meetings, there is increasing concerns about her ability to navigate through the increasingly complex matters before a five member Council. She has served her community well, but the very fate of our Township may hinge on the outcome of the October 27 election.
Richard Wackernagel: We were unable to interview this candidate in spite of several attempts to contact him and as he was not at all the all candidates meetings we could not form an opinion other than his lack of visibility.
HARVEY Ward: PETER RAYMOND: ACCLAIMED. WE ENDORSE PETER RAYMOND FOR COUNCILLOR
Peter is the other fresh face on Council. Mr. Raymond was also acclaimed. Our interviewing group saw Mr. Raymond as an interested participant at many of the OMB hearings and meetings of ratepayers. It was obvious during our pre-nomination interview with Mr. Raymond that he has come to share many of the citizens’ concerns about the role of the local Council going forward. Mr. Raymond will be an important part of the new Council as he pledges that he will be a voice for all the citizens of Trent Lakes.
This is a summary of our best collective thinking going forward. If you would like any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned. These are our strong recommendations only. You are free to follow our recommendations or not, based on your own individual preferences.
Thank you for your support: Ross Morton, President, North Pigeon Lake Ratepayers Assn.
If you do not receive a mail ballot after September 29th, or to ensure you are on the voters list, go to the Trent Lakes website for instructions at: www.galwaycavendishharvey.ca and go to Elections 2014. Failing that contact: Bob Angione, Clerk (705) 738-3800 ext. 240. email: firstname.lastname@example.org