Progress on Transition House Agreement

Sometimes, not much happens at Council meetings – an example was last night’s. Arguably, the only item taxpayers would care about was an update on negotiations about the new Transition House location – 310 Division. As reported previously, the intent is to end up with a three way agreement between Transition House, the County and the Town and a draft agreement was provided that went a long way towards what was wanted. Written by County CAO Jennifer Moore, and reflecting her discussions with the Town’s CAO Tracey Vaughan, there were two contentious points beyond Tracey’s responsibility: 1) A request to repeal the recently passed licensing by-law and 2) the agreement would terminate “if the Town makes efforts to regulate shelters… Read complete articleProgress on Transition House Agreement

Another Cinema for Cobourg

It’s not a cinema showing recent releases but it’s free – donations appreciated.  Not long ago, we lost the Loft which was a small cinema/theatre – Ken moved his shows to Victoria Hall and Michael Pepa moved his classical concerts to Trinity Church. The new cinema is at Dressler House; a room has recently been renovated to show movies and since it’s the home of the Canadian Women in Film Museum, it’s appropriate it will show movies with early film stars such as Mary Pickford, Marie Dressler and Norma Shearer plus other “women who have played pioneering roles, challenged gendered expectations, and paved the way for others in the film industry.” Dubbed Cinema trailblazeHER, it opens on April 8 with… Read complete articleAnother Cinema for Cobourg

Cobourg Needs an Overall Master Plan

At Cobourg Council’s regular meeting on 27 March, retired Urban planner Keith Oliver (not Kent Oliver as shown in Agenda) will once again be presenting his ideas. This time, Keith asks “do we have the tools needed to guide Cobourg’s future growth and development to the benefit of all”. He uses two examples but does not actually spell out what I would say: Cobourg needs an overall Master Plan. There are multiple specific master plans such as for Parks, the Waterfront, Culture and Downtown but no over-riding master plan for the Town that pulls it all together. The Strategic Plan might have been a way to do that but the current plan lacks detail and instead calls for annual “operational plans”. So… Read complete articleCobourg Needs an Overall Master Plan

Provincial Grant for Transition House.

At a special County Council meeting to authorize acceptance of a Provincial grant for $2,469,500, Warden and Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander asked if the money was to be used to clean people out of the encampment. The answer is NO. The money is for capital costs to support conversion of the 310 Division property: that is, for upgrades and renovations. It is not to be used for purchase of the property – this was funded by County reserves. In any case, clearing the encampment is outside County jurisdiction. However, Rebecca Carman, Associate Director of Housing & Homelessness said that it is hoped that the 310 Division Street project would (this is my paraphrasing) be more attractive to folks currently unhoused… Read complete articleProvincial Grant for Transition House.

Are the Town and County using KPIs?

A KPI is a Key Performance Indicator and some commenters on this blog have questioned whether they are being used by Town and County staff.  As management guru Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” But it seems that, scientist Lord Kelvin beat him to the punch and called out a similar principle even earlier: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. So KPIs are clearly important. Certainly in the last year or two, there is evidence that both the County and Town Staff are using KPIs. Further, the County has put a “KPI Performance Dashboard” online with 22 KPIs that measure performance. Of course measuring is just the first step – but from the measurement,… Read complete articleAre the Town and County using KPIs?

County decides to negotiate re 310 Division

In a letter to Cobourg’s Mayor, Northumberland County has requested their staff to “negotiate an Emergency Shelter Agreement” and to delay the March 28 implementation of the ECE bylaw.  At the County meeting on March 6, County Councillors expressed concern that if the bylaw were enforced as it stands, then the future of both Cornerstone and Transition house could be in jeopardy.  Mayor Cleveland said that an exemption would cover the concern re Cornerstone but the requirement for board members to be responsible for the behaviour of residents within a 500 metre radius – plus other requirements of the bylaw – could cause Transition house to not be viable.  The decision to negotiate appears to be what the Mayor was… Read complete articleCounty decides to negotiate re 310 Division

Marie Dressler Inducted into Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame

You’ve probably heard of Martin Short and Jim Carrey and if you live in Cobourg, you’ve probably heard of Cobourg born Marie Dressler.  The Marie Dressler Foundation operates a museum in Cobourg which honours Marie as one of three Oscar winning Canadian actresses from the thirties: that’s the Canadian Women in Film Museum in Dressler House.  In 2021, the Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame was started to “collect the stories and the memories of the funniest nation on the planet to preserve and promote our sense of humour.”  Since then, a number of Canadian comedians have been inducted and at an event in Hamilton on February 23, 2024, Marie Dressler was included.  The ceremony was attended by Rick Miller, Chair… Read complete articleMarie Dressler Inducted into Canadian Comedy Hall of Fame

Cobourg Council to Regulate Transition House

As previously reported, Cobourg is negotiating with the County to establish what is allowed at the new Transition house location at 310 Division. The idea is to get an agreement similar to what was agreed in Whitby. But there is a “Plan B”.  If an agreement cannot be reached, then Council has voted to implement a By-Law that would require “Emergency Care Establishments” to be licensed with requirements similar to that agreed in the “Whitby” agreement. At the Council meeting on 28 February, Council passed the Licensing by-law to be in effect March 28 which is the day after the next Council meeting. The date is a month later than the timeline originally proposed so it can be repealed if… Read complete articleCobourg Council to Regulate Transition House

Council Agrees to Fire Fighters Museum Lease

As reported on Cobourg blog (see Resources), the Town is working with the Fire Fighters Museum Board to lease the Memorial Arena as their new location.  In a repeat report at the Council meeting on 28 February, the lease was again discussed with a report by Director Geerts and a verbal presentation from the Fire Fighters’ board (speaker not identified).  One key point as made by Director Geerts, is that the lease looks like a good use of the Arena and “we don’t have a better idea for the Arena”.  If the Arena is not leased, the Town would still have the cost of operating an empty building.  One new issue debated was the board’s request for free rent for the… Read complete articleCouncil Agrees to Fire Fighters Museum Lease