First Look at County Police Review

The consultant reviewing policing in Northumberland County will make their first report to County Council at their meeting on 17 April. The report describes what they plan to do and gives a final report date of “the second half of 2024”.  The project was initiated in January 2023 when Brighton Mayor Brian Ostrander moved to include $75,000 in the budget to “update the 2007 Policing Study Final Report for Northumberland County.”  He was supported by Mayor Lucas Cleveland, Port Hope’s Mayor Olena Hankivsky and Alnwick/Haldimand Township Mayor John Logel.  The presentation by the consultant, StrategyCorp, points to options to be considered and criteria to be evaluated including “what next steps could be considered to support effective public safety services as… Read complete articleFirst Look at County Police Review

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

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

Move to get Agreement on Rules for Transition House

On January 10, at the Community Services, Protection, and Economic Development Standing Committee meeting, Dr. Hillary Allen & Mr. Jeff Crowley asked Council to implement an agreement with Northumberland County and Transition House similar to the agreement made by Whitby and Durham concerning an “emergency shelter” similar to the Transition house planned for 310 Division St. If implemented, it’s expected to help Transition House’s successful “operation and integration into the community”. Such an agreement between Cobourg, the County and Transition house would be a commitment to a wide range of actions that would be a “response to numerous failed examples across Ontario” – that is, in my words, it would go a long way to resolving concerns on the new… Read complete articleMove to get Agreement on Rules for Transition House

Transition House moving

No, not the building, but the location of the facility – it’s moving from 10 Chapel Street to 310 Division Street. Although announced, not all details are final and County Councillors and Northumberland residents are being asked for their input. The new building was previously Cobourg Retirement Residence but it closed in early 2023 and, in partnership with Transition House, the County has now purchased the property – although price and terms have not been finalized nor made public. The current Transition House building can accommodate a maximum of 22 individuals in four rooms with another 7 accommodated in local motels. Transition house is managed by a board with funding from multiple sources (see their web site in Resources) and is in partnership with… Read complete articleTransition House moving

County Budget 2024

At a special Council meeting on December 6, the County Budget for 2024 to 2026 (and longer) will be presented.  Unlike Cobourg’s budget, there is a much greater emphasis on the big picture and less detail – e.g. no department line by line discussion.  The County seems to leave these details to staff and simply focus on increases in the overall levy and debt.  They also look much further into the future – there is budget information up to 2026 and  even a 10 year forecast.  But they do provide most information that residents are likely to want – like what do they do, where does their money come from, what are the significant changes this year and what will… Read complete articleCounty Budget 2024

Cobourg GO Bus Pilot to Continue

For at least 18 years, there have been people wanting the GO Bus or train to extend service from Oshawa to Port Hope or Cobourg. Last year, the County started a pilot program with two interconnected bus routes – a “Durham” route from Cobourg to Oshawa and a “Northumberland” Route picking up in Campbellford, Brighton and Colborne. The idea was to test if there was in fact enough demand for it to be viable – 20% of operating cost would need to be recovered from fares. After one year of the pilot/trial service, the Northumberland route will be discontinued on November 30 since there were only 513 tickets sold for the approx. 3650 trips (10 trips per day for a year). The Durham route… Read complete articleCobourg GO Bus Pilot to Continue