Despite the departure of Cobourg’s Communication Officer to the HKPR District Health Unit, there’s a whole lot happening on “Engage Cobourg”. There are currently three active surveys; the one on “Short Term Rental Accommodation” has just closed and a new one on the “Integrated Community Sustainability Plan” has just started (see links below). The Town is actively recruiting a replacement for Ashley Purdy although last time I looked, the job was not listed on the Town’s web site. The Communication department does have a second person but she is currently on maternity leave! To help with the crunch, Ashley is helping out part time in addition to her new job. Gathering input from citizens used to mean Public meetings where there would usually be around 100 of Cobourg’s 20,000 population – but now there’s usually several hundred who respond to Engage Cobourg Surveys.
It would seem that the Town is doing a good job of finding out what the public wants although it’s not clear that the public truly understand all the issues – how can all relevant information be communicated to them? But inputs to Council come in multiple ways: as well as Engage Cobourg (using “Bang the Table” software), Councillors also get input from Advisory Committees, letters, phone calls, personal interaction and delegations to Council meetings. (See links below for contact info). But in the end, Council must provide leadership and make decisions.
However, let’s look at the current surveys.
Former Brookside Youth Detention Centre Site
Started 3 February but no end date – Forum.
Council wants to know whether the Town should buy this site and if so, what should it be used for. No price is mentioned but it would have to be many millions. There is no actual survey with questions but instead there is a forum where you can make comments. Last I checked there were 75 comments. The latest update on the status of the property came to Council from MPP David Piccini on 1 February. See Cobourg News Blog report here.
On Demand Transit Survey
Opened 8 February 2022; Closes 28 February 2022 – Survey and Forum.
About a year ago, the Town commenced a 1-year pilot project to offer residents on-demand services. I would have thought that the best measure of success would be ridership although that measure might not be ideal because of Covid. However, the survey might uncover ways to make the service better. So far there have been 4 comments on the forum but survey numbers are not provided. The Cobourg News Blog report on the on-demand trial is here. See links below for more on Transit.
Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
Opened 22 February with no close date – Survey plus workshop
In December 2019, Cobourg’s Town Council passed a resolution to declare a climate emergency and as a result work was started on three plans:
- Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
- Green Development Standards
- Green Energy Retrofit Feasibility Study
All three involve consultants and are part of the workload of the Planning Department. But the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan is the subject of this survey. Go to the Town’s page describing this survey – it includes an overview of all three projects.
There is also a Zoom Workshop on Thursday, March 3 at 5:00 pm – the survey page has a link to sign up to participate. It uses Event Brite.
In addition there’s a County Survey on Child Care that closes February 28 – see “List of Active Surveys” link below.
Town web pages
Cobourg Internet Pages
- List of Active Surveys
- Transit Page
- List of Advisory Committees – May not be fully updated since Town does a poor job keeping their lists updated (see next link).
- Council Information – includes contact information.