Saturday, April 17, 2021

Editorial

2020 Has Been a Heck of a Year – But It’s Almost Over

Like most new years, 2020 kicked off with a certain amount of optimism and enthusiasm, but all these months later, most of us can't wait for 2020 to be over. At this time last year, as we readied ourselves for the holiday season, for many in the community the number one issue of concern was the proposed pumped storage facility...

Will a COVID Christmas be Safe? It’s up to All of Us

Last weekend the Municipality of Meaford kicked off the traditional festive season in a less than traditional fashion thanks to the continued precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of seeing hundreds of residents bundled up to protect against the cold, lining Sykes Street shoulder to shoulder to watch the Santa Claus parade work its way through the downtown core,...

Does the Municipality of Meaford Employ Too Many?

With every municipal budget season I am sure to hear from folks about the number of staff employed by this municipality. During this year's budget season I have heard from more and more residents who are convinced that Meaford's staff is bloated and could be slashed – some say in half. Several have asked for my take on the...

We’ve Moved From Green to Yellow, Can We Get Back to Green?

A little over a month ago I wrote about how well the Grey-Bruce region has fared during this COVID-19 pandemic when compared to the rest of the province. How things have changed in just a few short weeks. In mid-October I wrote that, while Ontario had seen roughly 60,000 of its residents test positive for the virus, as of Monday,...

Cuts to Capital Budgets a Double-Edged Sword For Council

Last week I shared some of my thoughts on Council's first day of budget deliberations for 2021, which focused on the operating budgets. This week we will take a look at day two of those deliberations which reviewed the 2021 draft capital budgets where Council did find some areas to cut, as they attempt to reduce the 8.7 percent...

Some Random Thoughts on Council’s First Day of Budget Deliberations

Stephen Vance, Editor Meaford's Council certainly has a challenge ahead of it. With a bare-bones draft budget featuring no frills or enhancements calling for an 8.7 percent increase in 2021, well above what most members of Council would prefer, there is much work to be done to find savings in the budget in order to reduce the required rate increase...

COVID-19 Has Ripped the Heart & Soul From Our Daily Lives

Stephen Vance, Editor As I sat at the back of the opera house at Meaford Hall prior to Monday's council meeting, the theatre was all but silent with just a few municipal staffers quietly preparing for the start of the meeting. During this quiet moment I found myself reflecting on the year we have all been experiencing.My thoughts began with...

Confidence in the Vote is Everything

Stephen Vance, Editor A decade ago I was fully supportive of what I saw as a natural progression to online voting. At the time I wrote that I thought online voting would be fast, easy, and might even increase voter participation. In fact, I penned an editorial in June of 2013 entitled 'Electronic Voting is Right Direction For Meaford', but...

Draft Budget Calls For 8.7% Increase in 2021, Is it Time to Get Real About Bag Tags?

Stephen Vance, Editor Municipal budget season is now in full swing with the tabling of the draft budgets for 2021 at Council's October 19 meeting. After several years of relatively low annual rate increases, the proposed 8.7 percent increase for 2021 will no doubt be a shock for many, including members of Council, although Council does have some (limited) options.Given...

The Pandemic Has Been All Consuming, So it Can be Easy to Forget That We Are Faring Well in Grey Bruce

Stephen Vance, Editor For the past seven months our daily lives have all but been consumed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has impacted our economy, it has restricted our movements, it has resulted in the cancellation of most everything we deem to be fun, and it has limited our contact with others. With all of the frustration and uncertainty we...