Today's date: Tuesday August 22, 2017 Vol 50 Issue 33
   
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The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
You may, if you wish, submit your letter online.

Differing opinions

Dear Editor:

There was a letter recently that suggested we limit the number of letters on one subject especially those on religion.

I think that if there are many writers with differing opinions,we can learn from the discussion.

The problem of why it seems that a good person has more trouble than a bad person is an old one. In the Christian Bible it is asked  in the Book of Job. Job is a good person, but now he is in deep trouble. Job is sick, has lost his family and his wealth. His friends decide Job must have offended God, and try to help, but he assures them he has obeyed the rules and done his very best, but is puzzled by his troubles. Since God has given him many good things in the past, Job is willing to wait and see what good things He will give him in the future.

We all have felt like Job. Fortunately we have seen that our problems became like little seeds which finally grow and give us a harvest of understanding (which we could not have seen before). We need time to grow too!

I do hope Jim Trautman will find his peace at last.

Sytske Drijber, ROCKWOOD

Doesn’t fit in

Dear Editor:

Re: Demolition of Erin School.

I have some concerns about the proposed development. The plan is to have 40 to 50 homes in the first two phases, all on septic. If two to four people live in each home that is up to 200 people in a relatively small plot of land. How big will the septic system have to be and where will it be placed? Where will the entrances be and how will they impact traffic flow? How does cramped three-story units fit into the landscape of the main street? How many more homes will be added in phase three?

Back to back units squashed together does not, to me, fit in with the small town appearance of Erin. So disappointing to see the land developed this way. So sad!

Diane Hull, ERIN

Good government

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank you for your insights about the state of things with local government (Editorial: Needs vs. Wants by Dave Adsett, Wellington Advertiser Aug. 4, 2017).

 I realize I have put my neck out with some new ideas and this allows me to be the target of Canadian’s favourite game of Whack a Mole.

  You are right Dave, the tendering process seems closed with few small and local businesses able to bring in competitive bids.

As a first-time councillor, I was very surprised that Centre Wellington had no budget, no operations and no planning committees with councillor and citizen input. The Committee of the Whole doesn’t cut it with such a small time frame from the agenda release. I don’t think this is responsible and accountable government.

Centre Wellington is increasing taxes 16% from 2015 levels just for infrastructure. Add the MPAC increase, province refunding of infrastructure, gas tax re-distribution and all the new subdivisions adding to tax funds, we will have over $3 million dollars without OLG funding. It is responsible government to be weaned off OLG funding alone for infrastructure.

The OLG funds are not a direct tax to residents but a royalty from the OLG/Grand River Raceway. It is for this reason I thought it wise and responsible to be re-allocating these monies for other underfunded areas without raising taxes.

If OLG expands it will bring in $3.5 million not just $2 million which will be more than I have been asking for in our present revenue stream.

  Economic development is about long-term tax and cost stabilization because industrial properties cost only 33 cents for every dollar collected as opposed to residential properties costing $1.17 for every dollar to maintain as service costs. If we continue to build residential only, this municipality will create a vicious cycle of having never ending tax increases to fund government services.

I am concerned that with exploding MPAC assessment increases and increasing taxes we are driving young families and elderly on fixed incomes into  difficult housing situations.

 Our municipality has only 1.5 acres of industrial land left and the province and county in the new growth plan says we need to create 7,070 new jobs by 2031 for a healthy balanced community.

 You are right again Dave, most of our current economic development monies are going to the community improvement plan that is soliciting and giving monies to the wealthiest members of our community to fix their newly purchased multi–hundred thousand and million dollar business properties or landscape industrial properties. What we need is another Mr. Dickson, the former Pepsi Cola executive, who 40 or 50 years ago convinced Fergus council to develop industrial land and brought in companies like Noranda, Canada Wire, etc.

Real jobs creation and tax stabilization. This is real economic development and responsible government.

Besides economic development, Centre Wellington’s DNA is its cultural assets of heritage, natural environment, arts, sports, volunteer community associations and church organizations. These are the vital social capital that also need help and constitute what residents love in this community. Re-allocation of OLG non-tax funds can keep this vital balance. This is responsible and accountable government for a balanced community.

Finally, what is the difference between organized crime and government? Organized crime takes gambling monies as part of its economic portfolio and hopes more people gamble.

Gambling is not a neutral economic activity as it has social costs and especially with the Ontario government expanding options for a wider and younger demographic. I think it is good government to mitigate and prevent these costs. That is why if you take funds you should re-allocate some of the OLG funds. I requested 2% of the monies to go to gambling addiction and prevention in our community.

 This is responsible and accountable government.

Keep up the good insights and do what a great community newspaper should do ... thanks again.

Stephen Kitras, Ward 5 councillor, Township of Centre Wellington

Hooking up

Dear Editor:

At the council meeting of Aug. 8, the question was brought up as to why some of the companies located in Erin’s industrial park have not connected to the existing municipal water supply.

Mayor Allan Alls’ response was that he believed forcing companies to do so, coupled with Ontario’s high electricity rates, would likely cause them to leave town, if not the province.  

The mayor thereafter proposed that mandatory connections for both municipal water and sewage be enforced only when sewage servicing becomes available.

Given industry pays substantially higher taxes than residential, wouldn’t the mayor’s rationale suggest the additional servicing costs for water and sewage combined would then cause a mass exit of the existing companies?

On more than one occasion, this mayor claims one of the reasons the town has difficulty in attracting new industry is the absence of municipal sewage.

 But along with full municipal servicing comes a significantly higher cost, particularly for companies.

Those companies who do not require this degree of servicing will likely leave, and those new companies that do, may not generate the type of industrial waste this town wishes to (or be able to) treat at the (proposed) sewage treatment plant.

So if water is available onsite in the industrial park, would it not make sense to have all companies connect now to the municipal water supply if only to help decrease the operating cost for all those who are?  

Erin

 

Roy Val, ERIN

Making Erin great

Dear Editor:

An Open Letter to the Residents of the Town of Erin:

The Council of the Town of Erin fully believes in creating a strong, vibrant and safe community in which all residents are proud to live, work and raise our families. It is our collective goal as your council to continuously enhance the quality of life for all of Erin’s residents.

A component of what makes our community a healthy and vibrant place is the level of public safety that is provided. Recently, the warm summer evenings have emboldened some to commit acts of vandalism and disturb public peace. These acts are not merely pranks. They negatively impact public safety and have a deleterious effect on how our town is perceived by residents, our neighbours, and even potential business investors. Although this is a largely policing enforcement issue, it is important for the public to know that your council has and will continue to take positive steps to ensure the safety of our residents and our community to the best of our ability. This morning I had the opportunity to meet with our local OPP detachment commander to share my concerns directly with him about the recent escalation in acts of vandalism. We have invited Inspector Lawson to delegate to council in September to discuss the OPP’s enforcement efforts and measures within our community, which has been quite substantial. I have also spoken to our CAO about the possibility of re-establishing a Community Policing Committee in the hope  this new group will make recommendations and take action to help mitigate future criminal acts like vandalism and mischief. I have also directed town staff to explore the possibility of working more closely with Crime Stoppers.

Engaging members of the public is an essential part of good governance, and this is also true when it comes to making our community safe. The value of engaged and vigilant residents is immeasurable – as we all have shared ownership in the safety of the place we choose to call home. Our policing agencies can do their job more effectively with the assistance of the public – and I encourage residents to report crimes or suspicious activities to the OPP proactively, instead of merely referencing what took place afterwards on social media. It is the desire of this council to work with the public to be part of the solution, not just be a witness to the problem. Together – as a united council and community we can continue to make Erin great.

Mayor Allan Alls, ERIN

Support appreciated

Dear Editor:

 Save Our Water is very grateful to Anita Stewart, Barb Lee, the chefs and vendors at the market that helped to celebrate Canada’s bounty and local food. Saturday’s Elora Farmers’ Market on Aug. 5 started damp and rainy but cleared up and ended up being sunny and beautiful.

The tastings were generous, diverse and yummy and it was a wonderful community event representing our township in the cross-Canada celebration of producers, restaurants, home cooks, and chefs from sea to sea.  Anita Stewart was there in her role as pioneer of local food, the Food Laureate at the University of Guelph and a great promoter of quality food from production to preparation.  

Denis Fontana and Sergio Camilletti of Alfresco Gourmet by the Two Italians, Fran Weima of the Mill St. Bistro and Smokehouse, Andrea Lines-Botell of Peachie’s Pantry and Cameron Nelson of Toronto’s French bistro, Le Notre, served delicious treats and Cox Creek Winery poured the wine.

Thanks again for the donation to Save Our Water!

Donna McCaw, ELORA

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