City needs co-ordinator for festivals: Grant

in social services funding, heading into the 2013 budget process. “We hire a CAO to do a job,” he said. “We have . . . between 500 and 700 employees in this corporation. “ “And I’m sure administration . . . could find a way to find a person within the 700 or so resources that we are presently fund- ing.” Councillor David Murphy also said it may be possible to fill the position with existing resources. “There are ways to do this. We’re talking about being creative, let’s be creative. May- be we already have somebody in the sys- tem -- that is what this report would likely identify.” Councillor Gerry Samson also advocated using existing personnel for fill the role of events co-ordinator. “We do have an events co-ordinator, as far as I’m concerned, and what I understand (that person is) at the complex. And I am wondering why there aren’t activities hap- pening every month.” “We’re losing money at the complex, we’re losing money at the Benson Centre, I can’t see how we can afford to hire some- one else.”


Cornwall needs an events co-ordinator to help quarterback the numerous vol- unteer-run festivals in the city, says a city councillor. Councillor Glen Grant, whose proposal will be evaluated over the coming weeks by city administration, said festival organizers need help to wade through the daunting approval process for events. A report requested from administration is expected to identify the need for an events co-ordinator, as well as a job description and potential funding partners. “Our biggest festival had a major turn over in volunteers last year because they get burned out and this events co-ordi- nator can be of major assistance to them,” Grant said during last Monday night’s city council meeting. He said there are a number of organiza- tions interested in covering the cost of a newly-created events co-ordinator posi- tion. “I think there are a number of partners

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Crowds watch balloons ascend during Lift-Off 2012 in Cornwall. A city councillor has proposed the creation of an events co-ordinator to help organize festivals like lift-off.

that will assist with the funding of this per- son that would give everybody the infor- mation required to make the job easier to put on these festivals.” Councillor Andre Rivette expressed con- cern about the cost to the city, but added,

“if it’s not going to cost the municipality anything, I have no problem with that.” Councillor Denis Thibault warned coun- cil not to put any “undo pressure” on city administration, already facing a $600,000 budget shortfall and the loss of $2 million

City tax target too rich Cornwall’s Community Action Group is not happy with a three per cent tax increase proposed for the 2013 city budget. City council set the maximum tax target during a meeting last Mon- day. But the Community Action Group, in a press release issued this afternoon, is recommending the city increase taxes by no more than two per cent. “TheCommunityActionGroup feels very strongly that some difficult choiceswill need tobemade inorder to keep the 2013 tax increase be- low twoper cent aswe have seen in the past fewyears, or evenbetter a zero percent increase,”reads a press release from the group. “CAG sees growth of the tax base compromised with a three per cent tax increase, i.e. short-term gain, with no benefits for long-term growth.” The CAGhas been lobbying city hall tomake its tax rates“more com- petitive”over the past few years to encourage growth in the city. “The choices seem clear to the CAG, change is required and without it we run the risk in the long term of remaining as we are, which is not an option that themembers of the CAGwould support,”reads the release. The city is already facing a $600,000budget shortfall for this year and the loss of $2 million in provincial social services funding, prompting a warning from Councillor Denis Thibault last Monday to not put any more“undo pressure”on administration. The chair of the city’s budget steering committee, Denis Carr, did not reply to an email fromThe Journal for comment. CAG representatives were also not available for comment. The action group listed a number of actions it wants taken by city council: a list of priorities that council follows at all times; fiscal respon- sibility at all levels of city operations; an annual zero per cent tax in- crease target; and the continuation in the investment in infrastructure based on a long-termplan. The group also wants budget constraints at all levels of city opera- tions, strong management mandates with benchmarks for council to track progress and it wants the city to work with neighboring munici- palities to share services and programs “The problem we have is a higher than average property tax rate combined with a lower than average household income.”

Population sign boost nixed A plan to more than double Cornwall’s population num- bers by including figures from the neighbouring counties has been shot down by the Min- istry of Transportation of On- tario. development, the road signs would help to identify the larger regional population of 111,164, which would include all of Sormont Dun- das and Glengarry including Corn- wall’s population of 46,340.

“It was recommended by the neighbouring municipalities that the name ‘Cornwall and the Coun- ties’ be used rather than ‘Greater Cornwall Area’, as it would be con- sistent with the brand currently be- ing used by Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism,” Boileau wrote. Administration approached se- nior levels of government for ap- proval but was advised that only single tier or lower tier municipali- ties are permitted population signs along the provincial highways. The main source of opposition was the province’s transportation ministry, according to Boileau. “It is therefore recommended that the city of Cornwall continue

Had the plan been approved, the city would have been able to post a population total of 111,164 on signs along major highways entering the city. In- stead, they must stick with the current figure of roughly 46,000 residents. “I was extremely disappoint- ed when this motion was shot down because it originated from business people, a real estate lawyer who mentioned businesses bypass Cornwall because our population base hasn’t grown in the past 20 years,” fumed city councillor Syd Gardiner.

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Cornwall city councillor Syd Gardiner is upset that a plan to boost the city’s pop- ulation numbers has been derailed by the province’s transportation ministry.

“When you are trying to open a business and you want to sell a product, you need the population base and you want growth,” he complained at Monday night’s meeting of Cornwall city council. The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glen- garry and Cornwall share numerous services, Gardiner said. As well, the proposed partnership was recognized by South Stormont and South Glengarry“and they were supportive of this motion.” According to a report from Mark Boileau, economic

with its use of MTO signs identifying its population, logo, and tag line, and no longer pursue regional popu- lation signs at this time,” Boileau wrote. The fact that the city’s plan to inflate its population numbers was derailed by the provincial transportation ministry grated on Gardiner. “Also what is disappointing is the final decision rest- ed on MTO … which in my opinion has no idea what the needs are of small municipalities,” he fumed at last Monday’s council meeting.

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