When is Springwater Township planning to demolish or “decommission” the Midhurst Community Centre?

April 8, 2016

Sometimes it helps to ask politicians, in writing, important questions.

Springwater Council Web

(l) Don Allen, Perry Ritchie, Katy Austin, Bill French, Sandy McConkey, Jennifer Coughlin, Jack Hanna

1. Email from author to Midhurst ward councillor (Mr. Jack Hanna), Township of Springwater

FROM: Les Stewart
TO: Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>
CC: Bill French <Bill.French@springwater.ca>
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:31
SUBJECT: Midhurst Sports and Wellness Centre proposal

Mr. Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5
Township of Springwater

Mr. Hanna,

I would appreciate an update on the Township’s evaluation of this proposal.

I would also like to have an opportunity for a meeting so that I can make sure my facts are correct about how this proposal will affect the Midhurst Community Centre at 74 Doran Road, Midhurst.

Regards,

Les Stewart

2. Response from Mayor French

FROM: Bill French

TO: Les Stewart, Jack Hanna

CC: Ron Belcourt <Ron.Belcourt@springwater.ca>, (Director of Recreation, Parks & Properties)

Robert Brindley <Robert.Brindley@springwater.ca> (Chief Administrative Officer)

DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:51

Les:
It was referred to staff for feedback. It will not be reviewed until we finalize our Master Recreation Plan which will not be complete until later this year.
Before the advancement of any idea or concept, it would be subject to rigorous review and public input. But at the same time we commend people that have ideas that try to enhance our various communities.
Appreciate your interest.

Best Regards

Bill

Bill French
Mayor
Township of Springwater
2231 Nursery Road
Minesing, ON L0L 1Y2
P 705-728-4784 ext. 2040
F 705-728-6957
C 705-718-7031 or
416-587-7030

 

3. Reply by author

FROM:: Les Stewart
TO: Bill French
CC: Jack Hanna, Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 12:05

Mayor French,

Thank you for the update.

I take from this that the proposal, which called for demolishing the Midhurst Community Hall by fall 2016, will not be happening.

I have attached a current Springwater News article by Ruth Byers.  She notes Midhurst and many township residents had worked very hard to preserve 164 years of continuous civic building presence. It may be of interest to the Corporation that the Midhurst United, St. Paul’s Anglican and Midhurst Baptist churchs rented the Doran Road facilities while their congregations struggled, successfully, to construct their own buildings in our community.

Considering the season, it’s nice that the current church congregation renting (Old Apostolic Lutheran Church) won’t become homeless by this administration.

At least for now, eh?

Regards, Les

4. Mr. Jack Hanna comments.

FROM: Jack Hanna
TO: Bill French, Les Stewart
CC: Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 16:39

Mr Les Stewart
Further to the response from Mayor French you will note in the Draft Recreation Master Plan a recommendation to “decommission the Midhurst Community Centre” my objection to this is part of the public record.

Regards,
Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5

Meeting asked for….meeting…

Therefore, the French administration, staff & councillors seems to be pleased with the accuracy of the traditional and social media coverage.

Posted also on SpringwaterParkcc.org.


Springwater Township councillor Perry Ritchie and Dr. Kahneman suggest: If there is time, slowing down is likely to be a good idea.

April 23, 2014

Professor Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel laureate and an expert in decision-making. Mr. Perry showed again last night at Council that is a man of character and not easily SLAPPed into irrationality.

Daniel Kahneman

Why are 5 of 7  votes on Council continuing to not just green-light but help the acceleration of the the clearly catastrophic (ie. economically, socially, and environmentally) Midhurst Secondary Plan? I would suggest Dr. Kahneman has some answers.

Bully Tactic: trigger the councillors’ fear of losing their own homes and life savings in Anten Mills, Midhurst, Elmvale and Grenfel in a never-before seen-in-Ontario “+$100-million lawsuit” that is “probable”. Don’t just intimidate a few militant ratepayers through phoney lawsuiits or just Council: intimidate all 18,000 voters in Springwater Township.

Mechanism: A Toronto lawyer’s very, very, very carefully crafted, verbal opinion. A +$100-million figment of a attorney’s imagination. A deeply cynical “Trap for the Trusting”. A situation engineered to scare the shit (and sense) out of the perfectly competent rural representatives who are cast into a situation that is well-beyond their own abilities to comprehend or even know they don’t understand.

Kahneman Quotes:

People just hate the idea of losing. Any loss, even a small one, is just so terrible to contemplate that they compensate by buying insurance, including totally absurd policies like air travel.

Human beings cannot comprehend very large or very small numbers. It would be useful for us to acknowledge that fact.

We’re blind to our blindness. We have very little idea of how little we know. We’re not designed to know how little we know.

And most especially:

Courage is willingness to take the risk once you know the odds. Optimistic overconfidence means you are taking the risk because you don’t know the odds. It’s a big difference.

At Stake: Almost 200 years of community building, 1,900 acres of prime farmland, political self-determination based on local financial control, irreplaceable biodiversity in the Minesing Wetlands: all lost because 5 individuals chose to listen to their fears and enemies instead of their friends, family: their hearts and minds. Their faith.

This may be their legacy: a failure to meet and master their life’s work.

An unwillingness to be a leader who trusts we could do this as a community.

 


The Ontario Municipal Board came into Springwater Township today.

April 9, 2014

There was a Pre-Hearing about the Midhurst Secondary Plan today.

omb

It took about 2 hours for about 9 lawyers to decide on the following:

  • agreement on a request for consolidation of zoning approvals (16 in total: 8 subdivisions and 8 zoning).
  • the groups with party status would be the Midhurst Landowners Group, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, the 2 school boards and the Frankcom family,
  • the participants will be the City of Barrie, a citizen, and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association,
  • the Township of Springwater will be having an Open House for the public,
  • the Environmental Assessments 1 and 2 were completed in 2009 (Stages 3 and 4 are ongoing),
  • the next Pre-Hearing will be July 3rd and perhaps 4th, and
  • the probably full week of Hearings will be August 25th.

The following township politicians were in attendance: Jack Hanna, Sandy McConkey, Perry Ritchie, and Rick Webster.

My interpretation was that counsel from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority considered the scheduling of a summer Hearing to be inappropriate because the Stage 3 and 4 Environmental Assessments, EAs will not be finished by then. The debate on whether the developers will be given their zoning orders before the EAs will be complete is to be dealt with at the July 3 and 4th pre-hearing.

Ms. Susan Rosenthal, Davies Howe Partners LLP who represents the Midhurst Landowners Group, MLG et al., asked the chairperson to remind those in the audience not to audio record the proceedings. The chair was unable to determine if or who was doing that.

Ms. Rosenthal stated that there was a good deal of work accomplished between this and the last OMB meetings between the MLG, Springwater Township and Simcoe County staff.

 


Are Springwater Township Council members & staff competently managing their own developer-originated, litigation-derived contingent liabilities?

March 18, 2014

Every corporation must disclose and protect against material risks and executives must manage and disclose something called contingent liability.

SLAPPs ON

From their initial response, this does not appear to be happening by the Corporation of the Township of Springwater

Request for Information
from: Les Stewart les.j.stewart@gmail.com

to: Mayor Linda Collins <linda.collins@springwater.ca>
cc: Deputy Mayor Dan McLean <dan.mclean@springwater.ca>,
Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>,
Perry Ritchie <perry.ritchie@springwater.ca>,
Dan Clement <dan.clement@springwater.ca>,
Sandy McConkey <sandy.mcconkey@springwater.ca>,
John Daly <John.Daly@springwater.ca>
date: 18 March 2014 09:10
subject: Contingent Liability provision: Litigation risk to Corporatino involving in the Midhurst Secondary Plan

Without Prejudice but Not Confidential

Mayor Linda Collins
Corporation of the Township of Springwater
Minesing, Ontario

Mayor Collins,

This is a follow-up from my verbal question at the March 17, 2014 general council meeting.

From their response, it is my conclusion that your senior staff will not be booking any financial liability whatsoever on their 2013 or 2014 audited financial statements having to do with this controversial, unprecedented activity by corporations that are on the public record as being extremely litigation-prone to those that do not yield unconditionally to their will.

Q1: Will you be instructing your senior staff to investigate and report back to Council in open session the range of potential financial loss(es) that may accrue to the Corporation of the Township of Springwater having to do with the initial cost of defence and potential final claim (trial and appeal) of a lawsuit(s) by a single or multiple parties?

A yes or no answer would be be appreciated, please. Other questions may arise from your answer or non-answer.

It is my understanding, that you, Council members, and senior staff have a professional and personal fiduciary duty to protect the Corporation from harm by acting in a commercially reasonably, fiscally prudent manner to protect future taxpayers’ interests.

I reserve distribution and publication rights to this document and unreservedly offer the same to the Corporation and individual members of Council. Clerk Daly; please formally record this correspondence and acknowledge such to me.

Regards,

Mr. Les Stewart MBA
1201 Bayfield Street North
Midhurst ON L0L 1X1
705 737-4635 Tel
705 627-2242 Cell


Dignity and honesty were self-evident at Springwater Township last night.

February 26, 2014

The 2014 budget was passed by an unusual “5 for: 2 against”, recorded vote.

Michael J Fox

Budgets are usually just rubber-stamped.

My notes:

  • respect to those taxpayers who show up,
  • potential federal funding telephone calls left unanswered (x2),
  • make sure $10,000 for Springwater Park was safe (yes it is),
  • don’t like budget process,
  • proposed operating efficiencies (fewer services, lower expenses) were a “full insult”,
  • no attempt at surgical approach to public finances,
  • “my hands were slapped more than one time”,
  • people of Midhurst and Elmvale deserve better,
  • staff delivered exactly what they were instructed to deliver,
  • question whether people and communities are treated fairly and equitably, and
  • finally, “It’s the truth”.

Also: An email that was, but is not now, part of the democratic record?

ClementsCollinsMcConkeyMcLeanWebster.

HannaRitchie.


Springwater Township’s Budget 2014: On auto pilot for passing on Feb 25th or a sprawling disaster?

February 13, 2014

Who the current administration serves (elected and senior staff) is on clear display during Springwater Township’s annual budget process.

budget 2014 strategic3

Linda Collins Robert Brindley Brent Spagnol

Brent Spagnol, Mayor Linda Collins and CAO Robert Brindley

The CAO senior staff recommend a budget. They serve at the pleasure of the CEO (mayor) as defined by provincial law.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors create a strategic plan that is the dominates everyone’s actions to all legitimate stakeholders. Since the control of $ by elected officials is a fundamental democratic function, each passing council must ask the tough questions to ensure our $ are spent wisely and not squandered in these most of uncertain times.  The minimum they can do is to do no harm: don’t poison the fiscal well for the next legislators (huge debt, no reserves, etc) mandate. (Municipal election in 10 months. Disclosure.) Springwater Township is a creature of the provincial government.

A Top/Down Hierarchy:  Province of Ontario (Premier and Ministries)– Mayor and Council — Citizens/Voters/Taxpayers — Senior Staff  — Employees  (l to r)

In senior staff’s most recent 183 of 458 pages (so far) of document, February 10th – Draft 2014 Consolidated Budget, page 7 it states:

Council’s Strategic Plan (2012 – 2014)
Vision: To actively promote Springwater Township as a municipality of unique communities with opportunities to
cultivate, grow and prosper.
Mission: To provide accountable representation and maximize efficiencies.
Values: Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

While it maybe difficult for you to know, I would encourage you to attend the budget the meetings. The next one is February 18th at 1 pm on Nursery Road. I assume it is open but I haven’t heard back from my request for information from Mayor Collins. again, lol

If you can’t make it, ask the following people that have been their in your place:

  • Katy Austin,
  • Sandy Buxton, President, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA
  • Bill French,
  • Barb Kutcher, Community Organizer, MRA,
  • Kevin Newman, Logistics Chair, MRA,
  • Ann Spence, and
  • others I missed (sorry…will edit).

These are the ones that I knew in the crowd but please, identify yourselves the next time you see me at Council. I’m the one with the white bear pin. 😉

Without great information sharing, How can we assign an appropriate reputation to our elected and non-elected officials? Remember: Sunlight is the best Disinfectant.

Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

Very transparent.

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca and iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Springwater Township budget: Appropriate debt in municipal financing is wise. Falling into a Debt Trap is not.

February 11, 2014

Does massive new debt, help or hurt the new 2015-2019 Springwater Township Council  stop the Midhurst Secondary Plan?

98 Debt trap

The answer is pretty clear, even on a household level.

I pulled my last visa bill and noted that my credit limit is $15,500. If my balance were at 92% ( ie. $14,260) AND I was making the minimum payments each month AND I was going to do that for the next 20 years,  Would you consider that prudent financial management?

Incredibly, that’s what Senior staff recommended last night.

And Mayor Collins, Deputy Mayor Dan McLean, Councillors Dan Clement and Rick Webster were going to rubber stamp this scheme. Councillors Sandy McConkey, Perry Ritchie and Jack Hanna fought for a new meeting on February 18th because they heard residents’ concerns about recklessness.

Conspiracy Alert: There is an election this year on October 27th and I am a registered candidate. The newly-elected 2015-19 Council may decide to spend $ to legally defend against the sprawl plan. They may judge, in consultation, that a few dollars now could save thousands and thousands of dollars down the road for township property tax payers.  It is wrong for this exiting Council to handcuff the next one, especially when the current council chose not to commission any Economic Feasibility Study AND chose not to sign a single infrastructure agreement.

SummaryA modestly-sized, rural municipality with:

  • sky-high debt,
  • depleted reserves, and
  • stagnating revenue…

squared-off against an internationally-financed financial speculator.

What do you think?

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca.


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