As our mayor continues the deliberations with the OPP costing committee to determine if there are any savings to be had in Midland by switching to the OPP, we await the recommendations and subsequent decision by Council. Just as the failure of Midland Bay Landing was predicted by virtually everyone in the community, we see the continued waste of tax dollars on consultants to tell us what we learned the night of the OPP quote.
OPP will cost more than our local police and we have to pay millions in severance and disbanding costs, upgrades to the municipal police building (which was just renovated at our expense) and the extra expenses over and above the already more expensive quote, just to receive service levels below what we have enjoyed for a century or more.
Yet, we continue this process and continue to spend money on what should have been or become immediately obvious to anyone without an agenda to see the replacement of Midland Police at any and all costs. The most vocal proponents who have proven to be “anti police” for several years are our friends at MidlandCommunity.ca
Despite that lobby group’s many posts dedicated to their desire to see the police service replaced, the mayor has said all along that this was about seeking financial savings. When that was clearly not realized, it has morphed into something new to justify the continued press to change policing models and spend more tax dollars. The checklist attached above is now a linked resource on the Town of Midland’s own OPP costing news page. Not a single line item has been disproved and we see it as a clear and simple matrix to help people compare and contrast the differences in policing models based on the quote we received in February.
It has come to our attention that there is now evidence to suggest that the town of Midland has been publishing less-than-truthful percentages and costs for our local police service and that they were called out about those incorrect numbers and have refused to correct them or retract them from their website.
Here is the evidence to support the claim that the Mayor and others have been deceiving the community about past police costs. Very disturbing times. In these days of “alternate facts” it is very telling to see small town politics content to twist and shape the narrative to serve their agenda at the expense of a fair and honest debate about balancing services and costs for the community whom they exist to serve.
STIRLING-RAWDON – Council here has rejected a $1.5 million quote from the OPP for police services.
In a 4-1 vote Monday night, council declined the costing presented to them, but Mayor Rodney Cooney says he will continue negotiations to get a price relative to that of neighbouring municipalities using OPP services.
“It’s too much, so we voted to reject it,” Cooney said. “We’re three times more than one neighbouring municipality and twice as much as most of the other ones.
“We’re going to try and get a better cost for ratepayers,” Cooney said Tuesday. “We’re going to see what happens over the next two to three weeks. Council has given me the go ahead to see what I can come up with. I’m not happy paying $1.5 million for the next three years.”
According his numbers, the mayor said Tyendinaga pays about $560,000, but they’re a few hundred less in terms of population.
“We’re more than Marmora, $900,000 more than Centre Hastings and $800,000 more than Tweed,” he said referencing a central factor behind council rejecting the offer. Marmora and Lake pays about $900,000 for OPP services.
“Their (OPP) hands are tied due to their policing model and I understand that, but I want a different model,” Cooney said. “Our option was to reject it.”
The municipal council must decide whether to keep the local service or request Ontario Provincial Police coverage by July 23, when an OPP cost estimate expires.
The current price tag of the municipal force is about $1.8 million annually, which is $300,000 more than the base cost of OPP services each of the first three years.
“We went into this March of 2015 asking for that quote and if I knew it would have taken this long, I probably would have taken a different avenue,” Cooney said. “If I had known that I would have rejected it in March.”
The Stirling-Rawdon Police Service employs 10 people, nine of them officers and seven of whom are on active duty.
-Jason Miller, CommunityPress.ca