OPINION – (contributed content) The upcoming Municipal election has generated some curiosities. The major focus for Midland taxpayers should be two fold: first of all you need to be informed on what each candidate stands for and how they will represent your best interest and secondly, you need to exercise your democratic privilege and duty by casting your ballots. The Curious Midlander offers these suggestions for your consideration:
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The Curious Midlander’s picks represent a blend of experience, new ideas and candidates who are not subject to any undue influence from a certain special interest group. They are intelligent, will consider what is best for the entire Town and are a nice blend of long time residents and relative newcomers to our community.
Regarding election issues, many candidates have mentioned cooperation with our surrounding municipalities as a priority. Good idea however, it does not go far enough. We are curious why no candidate (to the best of my knowledge) has spoken about the next logical step which is amalgamating Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny. Why not start the new terms of the four Councils by making a serious effort to discuss amalgamation?
The 2018 election will see 26 Municipal politicians elected, representing approximately 47,000 residents in the four municipalities. We have four CAO’s, four Treasurers, four Clerks and four of each various Department Heads. We already have OPP policing in North Simcoe and combined Fire Chief positions and Building officials between Midland and Penetanguishene. Why not consider a newly amalgamated “North Simcoe” (you suggest a new name) municipality for the 2022 elections that would have one Mayor, one Deputy Mayor (both to be elected “at large”) and two Councillors from the Town of Midland and one Councillor each for Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny?
If the Provincial Government can reduce Metro Toronto Council to 25 members representing approximately three million residents, surely North Simcoe can be adequately governed by seven members of a newly amalgamated Council! You would not only have better governance but there are definite cost savings by having only one of each of the various Department Heads instead of four! Current managers and front line staff would not need to be affected since they are the ones who actually provide the services for our residents (not members of Council, who should actually govern and set policy, not implement programs and services). Some food for thought to satisfy my curious nature….
Hopefully, a new Council can work on improving the programs and services by setting appropriate policies for staff to follow and implement. The Town of Midland continues to lurch from crisis to crisis and stumble along with such things as the recent ransomware attack (which was preventable), the continued increase of job postings for new staff positions (even though the current Council boastfully proclaimed a hiring freeze) (this is a joke right?) and the continuing saga of terminating (and paying out large sums of money) good municipal staff.
Add these fiascos to the past four year track record of selling parkland, selling MPUC, disbanding the Midland Police Service, no progress on the Midland Bay Landing Development (except to appoint a Board of Management with little elected control or input), a higher than normal staff turnover, Increasing poor staff morale, significant increases in the number of staff in Treasury and the IT Departments, significant influence by a special interest group on the current Council and a lack of transparency and accountability. We are curious how the current members of Council who are running again can honestly be proud of these accomplishments? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and the current Midland Council is most surely one of the most ugly ducklings in recent history (no offence intended to ducklings).
Lastly, please do your civic duty by casting your ballot. Many fine Canadians fought and died so you would continue to have this privilege in the best country in the world. Do not let them down!
[CONTRIBUTED OPINION EDITORIAL] OURMIDLAND DOES NOT OFFICIALLY ENDORSE ANY CANDIDATE(S) FOR MUNICIPAL ELECTION AND WILL CONTINUE TO PUBLISH ANY AND ALL CONTRIBUTED ARTICLES THAT MEET OUR GUIDELINES.