Unfinished Business – February 2021

Since the last report on unfinished business in November (see links below), not much has changed and many items from last September are still on the list. The idea is good – to make sure that actions and goals don’t get forgotten – but if nothing gets done, you wonder what the value is. Although it’s on every Agenda of both regular and Committee of the Whole meetings, and although the detailed list is a big improvement on earlier minimal lists, recently it has rarely been publicly reviewed by Council. Not all actions are urgent but at some point Council thought it was important enough to ask for action so attention to them would be useful. So let me once again review the list.

The format of each entry includes links to the Council meetings when the directive was given to staff – but none of the links work because Civic-web is now offline as described in my article about lost documents. So we have to rely on the descriptions provided which fortunately are quite comprehensive.

In the interest of brevity yet also completeness, here is a summary of all “unfinished business” (the unedited list is available in the links below).

Date Initiated Abbreviated Description Due date
(original if revised)
Status & percent complete
28 Jan 2019 Research formation of committee to determine how affordable housing and other community health priorities fits within a municipality’s strategic plan June 2019 Overdue – 50%
23 Sept 2019 Review Long Service Recognition Policy Draft – 80%
2 Dec 2019 Review impact of Transition House on neighbourhood 11 Jan 2021
(18 Feb 2020)
Overdue – 50%
19 Nov 2020 Put together an inventory of potential municipal-owned surplus lands, buildings and/or facilities for possible donation for Affordable and Rental Housing 22 Mar 2021 Overdue – 50%
27 Jan 2020 Draft an accessible transit service policy 16 Feb 2021
(1 Jun 2020)
Behind – 80%
27 Jan 2020 Report on viability of the Innisfil ridesharing transit model 16 Nov 2020
(22 Jun 2020)
6 Jan 2020 Prepare regulations for companies like Uber, modernize Taxicab regulations and provide options to help support the introduction of Accessible Taxicabs Regular Council Meeting On Track
6 Jan 2020 Propose how By-law Enforcement Dept will provide all Animal Control Enforcement internally for the residents of Cobourg 2021 – 2022 On Track
6 Jan 2020 Report on feasibility of suggestion by Judy Sherwin – primarily that residents pay a lower parking fine than visitors 3 March 2021 On Track
27 April 2020 Draft a Flood Mitigation and Response Plan March 2021 On Track
24 Feb 2020 Prepare an MOU between the Library and the Town 4 Jan 2021
(1 Jun 2020)
On Track
27 July 2020 Obtain legal opinion on ability of Town to regulate on-water activities in the harbour Early 2021 On Track
27 July 2020 Strike a joint working group to prepare consolidated safety procedure and emergency manual for harbour activities Ahead of 2021 boating season

The above lists 13 items; in September there were 15 items and November listed 13.

To be fair, a couple of items from November have since been done (see COW Agenda 7 December 2020 for both)

  • Adopt a traditional land acknowledgement statement to be read at the beginning of all meetings – Agenda item 7.5
  • Diversity actions – Agenda item 7.6

And there is action on the “accessible transit service policy”.  A draft Wheels Policy is on the Agenda at the 16 February meeting.

In the last several Council meetings, this list has not been reviewed in the public Council sessions – let’s hope councillors nevertheless do read the list.  If in fact they are no longer priorities, then they should be taken off the list.


Previous Posts

Update – 8 March 2021

The Unfinished business list has now been updated.  Go here.

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Cobourg taxpayer
3 years ago

All those hardworking government employees working from home. If half of them were laid off we’d never notice. We sat at a local restaurant near the harbour last autumn and watched town employees driving around in town vehicles tripping over themselves, to name a few parks, public works, bylaw, fire, transportation…. If we are ever allowed to sit out again I am going to take a video and detailed notes for council.

3 years ago

Good work on this again John.
If priorities have changed, Council could explain and record that, and get things off the list.

3 years ago

Did we ever receive answers promised by Weston Consulting
with respect to the WOODLAWN REHAB operations
pre Rezoning approval ?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Sandpiper
3 years ago

I asked several very straightforward questions at the public meeting and was promised answers by email; I have received nothing.

Ken Strauss
3 years ago

What has been completed reflects Council’s priorities:

  • “Traditional land acknowledgement” Completed!
  • “Diversity actions” Completed!
  • “Accessible transit” Pending
  • “Transition house impact” Pending
  • “Taxi policy” Pending
  • “Parking fines” Pending
  • “Legality of harbour regulation” Pending
  • “Flood mitigation” Pending

Taken together it is a great record of woke posturing rather than results that actually matter to residents!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 years ago

The Wokerati@Werk.

Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 years ago

I disagree that this represents Council’s priorities. Council reviews and assesses the issues that Staff bring forward. Staff, not Council is responsible for doing the work.
Contrary to popular belief, Staff, for the most part, sets the council meeting agendas.

While having the “outstanding” list is a step forward, it is lacking some key information and metrics:
Due date (NA is not acceptable)
Staff responsible
# of completed steps in the schedule of work vs total steps rather than percentage complete

Council can and should negotiate (direct) due dates to reflect Council’s priorities as needed.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Bryan
3 years ago

Bryan, those are some excellent suggestions for improvements to the Unfinished Business Report.

It is appalling to suggest that Staff rather than Councillors might set priorities. Hopefully the new CAO will work with our Councillors to quickly remedy any such backasswards situation.

Reply to  Bryan
3 years ago

Sad enough the class of Cobourg is going away. Before the Woodlawn there was a chic antique boutique where we purchased crystal as a wedding gift to a judges’daughter friend of ours. What will be next? A school portable in honour of a double dipping politician retired from a school board?

Last edited 3 years ago by Jojo