“Co-An Park, An Underutilized Jewel”, Donald McArthur

McArthur continues with his ‘town hall blog’ and posts, ‘Council agreed in September to spend up to $10,000 to work with the Town of Essex to engage the public and identify redevelopment opportunities for the sprawling park.’

Administration recommended ‘An unbudgeted expenditure, not to exceed $10,000 plus applicable HST, BE APPROVED for Phase 1 Public Engagement and Consultation to identify redevelopment opportunities for Co-An Park. September 12 Report to council.

How would a public consultation meeting and an online survey cost $10,000? By the way, there should be a variety of feedback mechanisms.

Isn’t the point of public consultation to listen to what the residents have to say and then make up one’s mind?

McArthur, who campaigned as being a responsive councillor, has already acknowledged, “I know some people think Amherstburg shouldn’t invest in this park because it is technically in Essex but I don’t share that view.

What’s more, operating this park and adding new amenities only costs Amherstburg fifty per cent of the total because Essex pays for the other half. That opens up a host of possibilities, like a splash pad, for example, that might be out of reach if Amherstburg residents had to solely foot the bill.”

And why would amenities be out of reach for Amherstburg residents? Oh, because we spent money on amenities like maybe a $160,000 dog park?

Candidate Question Open Air Barriers – Donald McArthur

Will you remove barriers during Open Air weekends that block people with disabilities from driving to the bank, local stores, bars, and generally driving through town?

The eighth candidate to respond:

Hi Linda,

Thanks for the opportunity to connect with the residents of Amherstburg!

Open Air Weekends has provided our youth a safe place to gather. I’ve been astounded this year to see how many more teens and younger kids are playing street chess, ping pong and corn hole instead of sitting at home staring into their phone. They come to Open Air on their feet, their scooters and their bikes and they get fresh air and exercise in the open and in the community, away from isolation and away from trouble.

Open Air Weekends has become a family-friendly attraction in a Town with so few things for our youth to do. I think we need to embrace that energy and that momentum and build on it, creating even more programming for our kids and young families. Open Air has improved every year and it still hasn’t reached its potential.

The Town has taken in feedback each year and made improvements. The footprint was made smaller this year, creating an intensified experience and more parking. The revised footprint added 21 additional spots, including two new accessible spots. There are accessible parking spaces in the King’s Navy Yard Parking lot and at the different entrances to Open Air. All told, there are 549 parking spaces within a six-minute walking radius of Richmond and Dalhousie and 312 within three minutes, according to an administrative report.

If there are persisting issues with accessibility, let’s work collaboratively to address them in consultation with the Town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. Let’s not give up on something that engages our youth while promoting economic development, something that sets our Town apart in a positive way and creates the sort of bustling environment where a hotel cannot only open but flourish.

Thanks,

Don

Amherstburg Council Meeting a Rude Awakening

You might recall the post Decorum, Please! where I shared my observations about council and the town’s Accessibility Advisory Committee meetings.

The Legion was added as a fourth delegate in the Supplementary Agenda for tonight’s meeting but was invited to be first up.

Second, AMA Sportsmens’ Association rep, who could benefit from disability etiquette: twice he used the outdated and offensive “handicap.”

Third, Nancy Atkinson, Amherstburg Taxpayers Association about the audit.

Fourth, former Councillor Diane Pouget about the town’s credit rating.

Councillor McArthur debated with Pouget and Mayor DiCarlo ended up pounding the gavel and reminding Pouget of the time limit.

Of all the elected officials’ behaviour we sit through, it’s ridiculous that delegates’ democratic input is restricted to 5 minutes; especially considering the soccer club’s delegation was 18 minutes, followed by a 48 minute Q and A for a total of 66 minutes.

Vote October 24, 2022

Councillor Donald McArthur’s Response to Police Officers’ Breach of Information Question

In yesterday’s post I asked members of council if any violation of the employee code of conduct, section 15, was addressed?

Just to recap, section 15.0 Confidential Information:

The following information must not be used or disclosed, except in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“MFIPPA”):

    • information which is personal

Today, McArthur’s response regarding the breach of personal and sensitive information of 40 police officers, employees and family members is:

“It is my understanding that the disclosure of personal information was inadvertent and that it is the opinion of the Clerk, the Treasurer and the Director of Corporate Services, who conducted an investigation, that the inadvertent disclosure was not a Code of Conduct violation.

It is my understanding as well that the Town advised the Information and Privacy Commissioner of this issue and notified the affected individuals. It is also my understanding that the Town took steps to help guard against similar inadvertent disclosures in the future.”

Nowhere in the Employee Code of Conduct does it state not to worry, it was an inadvertent disclosure. Carry on.