French River Citizens Association
Association des Citoyens de la Rivière des Français
"MEET THE CANDIDATES" NIGHT!
FRENCH RIVER CITIZENS' ASSOCIATION
SPONSORING ‘MEET THE CANDIDATES’ NIGHT
FOR THE UPCOMING MUNICIPAL ELECTION
Its' that time again.... an upcoming municipal election slated for October 27th, 2014. On the heels of a provincial election last June, the citizens of Ontario will be asked to cast a ballot this time to elect their local municipal council. In the Municipality of French River our elections are done through a mail-in vote. The results of this process will be divulged on the evening of October 27th, 2014. But before individuals avail themselves of this civic duty it is important to take various opportunities to be informed of the critical issues facing our Municipality: what are the challenges, what are the priorities and finally who, among the candidates, can best respond to these questions. The only way to be fully aware of the possibilities is to take every opportunity to be knowledgeable of the facts.
The French River Citizens' Association (FRCA) / Association des citoyens de la Rivière des Français (ACRF), a 125 member organization has decided through its Executive Board, to sponsor two (2) candidates' nights. The first will be held in Noëlville, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, on Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, starting at 7:00 p.m. The second is scheduled to be held two days later in Alban, at the Alban Community Centre, on Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 again starting at 7:00p.m.
Many may be asking - Why is the FRCA/ACRF taking on this responsibility? To be perfectly honest we care about the outcome of these elections. As an organization we have followed the deliberations at Council for the past four (4) years, we have met with council members as well as the mayor, therefore we know the issues. Because we represent a grass roots organization and because our mandate comes from our members and one of them being – ‘to inform our members’ - holding and sponsoring this type of event was a natural follow-up to our many activities.
This evening will give residents a chance to meet, listen to and question the candidates on the issues that confront our municipality. It will also provide an opportunity to see how these individuals plan to respond to the challenges. Municipal government is a body that should be close to its residents: it should respond to the needs of these residents; it should understand the services required to better serve the community; it should operate in an open and transparent manner and finally it should spend our tax dollars wisely and carefully. Therefore it is incumbent upon the residents to be informed. These Candidates' Nights afford YOU, the general public, an opportunity to be better informed. To quote Tony Snow: "Voting is a right best exercised by people who have taken the time to learn about the issues"- we at the FRCA/ACRF could not agree more with the message of this quote. Only informed citizens can make a difference. In our opinion, apathy is the Achilles' heel of democracy.
Please see our ad in this newspaper, cut it out and place it on your refrigerator as a reminder. Hope to see you there!
The Executive Board of the FRCA/ACRF
Letter sent to Council in November
November 30th 2012
Mayor and Councillors,
Municipality of French River
44 St.Christophe Street
Suite 1, P.O. Box 156
Noëlville ON P0M 2N0
Dear members of Council,
On behalf of the members of the French River Citizens Association, we recommend that the Municipal Council of the French River adopt a negative property tax increase when establishing its budget for 2013.
Our recommendation is based on the following rationale:
1. In May of 2012, Council approved a municipal tax increase which, when combined with the provincial education tax, was 13.6%.This was a hefty tax increase and services in the municipality did not increase in spite of the influx of new money.
2. If Council does not adopt a negative tax increase, the compounding effect will be detrimental for those on low salaries and fixed incomes. We also fear for the viability of our lodges since they are assessed as waterfront properties which were subjected to the significant tax increase in 2012 and could ill afford in 2013 another important increase in municipal taxes.
3. When we take time to review the tax increase for 2012, we can quickly surmise that the ratepayers of the French River Municipality paid three to four times as much as our neighbouring residents. It is easy to conclude that another year of significant tax increases would be detrimental to the majority of our residents.
4. In 2012, Council refused to offset the impact of MPAC assessments by lowering the Municipality's tax rate. This action was incomprehensible. Even the province of Ontario, in 2012, lowered its tax rate for the education portion of our municipal taxes. Not lowering the tax rate for a second year in a row is unjustifiable.
5. At the end of the 2012 fiscal year, it is our belief that Council will have a surplus despite the fact that Council negotiated many severance packages. These settlements are one- time events and should not be repeated in the near future. This projected surplus clearly demonstrates that Council needs to improve its budgetary analysis and projection of expenditures. Secondly, this fact should behove Council to use these surpluses towards a negative tax increase and to expend these surpluses in a prudent and fiduciary manner.
6. When we examine new job creation or viable employment in our region, we can quickly conclude that our economic development plan has not enriched our municipality. Our industrial tax base remains negligible. In light of this fact, it is incumbent upon Council, when setting its 2013 budget, that the ability to pay of all our residents be taken into careful consideration.
7. The members of our Association are quite mindful that even if Council adopted a negative tax increase, this still allows the Municipality to receive a stream of money in order to continue the work of servicing the municipality and its residents. Council would be forced to be prudent, to behave in a fiduciary manner and execute better planning in dispensing these tax dollars.
In conclusion, we would urge Council to ensure a comprehensive debate whereby the residents could witness a full and frank discussion of this matter. It is incumbent upon you, as a member of Council, to fulfill your mandate in a transparent and open manner where the strength of forthrightness of the arguments is the convincing and motivating factor for undertaking a decision. Good decision making in a democracy is attained only when people fully debate the issues, understand the ramifications of their decisions and use their best judgement in executing their decisions. The well being of the residents of the French River rests on your shoulders and the manner in which you approach this very important issue.
We hope that Council will seriously take into account the considerations that we have set before you. Once again we reiterate the need for transparency and thorough discussions before proceeding with your final decisions.
Best of luck as you undertake this important matter for the well-being of the residents of our municipality.
French River Citizens Association
Letter sent to Council in December
December 17th, 2012
Mayor and Councillors
Municipality of French River
44 St- Christophe Street
Suite 1 P.O. Box 156
Noëlville, Ontario, P0M 2N0
Dear Members of Council,
The French River Citizens' Association has been canvassing organisations similar to ours in order to ascertain if, in their respective municipalities an open dialogue with their elected officials exists. Many have implemented such practices. It is our belief that these types of endeavours have a positive benefit for communities. .
We would like to suggest the following format which could be a catalyst for enhancing communications between officials from our Municipal council with representatives from our Association. This first session could be held with the Mayor, Councillors who could make themselves available, the interim CAO and no more than three (3) members from our association. As an agenda for this first meeting we would like to suggest the following:
- Municipal budget for 2013
- Fit Solar Project
- Consideration for holding future meetings
We would greatly appreciate if this meeting could be held before the final adoption of the first two items on the agenda. Therefore we await with great anticipation your response. It is our intent to hold these meetings in a cordial and open manner. Once again, we reiterate that opening the lines of communication could be beneficial for our community. We hope that it is in this light that you will positively consider our request.
Thanking you in advance for your consideration.
French River Citizens' Association
Members of the French River Citizens Association. you may have heard on the news that Council has pushed the municipal administrator to resign and take his retirement now. This decision is creating insecurity in the municipal staff and it does not allow for a smooth transition with an eventual new administrator.
Council is also to meet with the Economic Development Committe and representatives of government agencies in order to clarify issues concerning the industrial park. Some members of EDC appear concerned about some members of Council always raising issues which compromise any chance of development of the industrial park. Certainly as citizens, we must be concerned about protection of the environment and quality of life in our area, but must all development except arts and crafts, gravel or commercial enterprises be totally banned from our beautiful French River? Who will provide reasonably good paying jobs for our youth? Toronto? Edmonton?
These are important issues and it is important that citizens keep attending Council meetings in order to know what is going on in our Municipality. As citizens, you can also question members of Council on their decisions, whether you decide to do it at the Council meeting or elsewhere. Your Association is also interested in hearing your questions and comments.
Let's consider attending this Wednesday's regular meeting of Council at 7:00 PM
Mise à jour du Conseil - le 14 novembre 2011
Association des Citoyens de la Rivière-des-Français, Nous devons demeurer vigilants et suivre de près les actions de notre conseil municipal.
Retraite forcée de l'administrateur en chef de la Municipalité causant inquiétude chez les employés municipaux et une transition anormale vers un nouvlel administateur éventuel.
Réunion planifiée entre le Conseil et les membres du Comité de développement économique ainsi que des représentants des agences gouvernementales concernant l'avenir du Parc industriel. Certains membres du Comité de développement économique semblent inquiets de l'opposition fréquente de certains membres du Conseil, ce qui risque de compromettre la plupart des projets possibles au parc industriel. À titre de citoyens, nous devons être concernés par la protection de l'environnement et la qualité de la vie dans notre région, mais devons-nouuus rejeter tout projet qui n'est pas dans le domaine des arts, de l'artisanat, du gravier et des entreprises commerciales? Qui fournira des jobs à salaire raisonnable, ce qui permettrait de garder plus de nos jeunes ici? Toronto? Edmonton?
es questions sont importantes et il est essentiel que les citoyens suivent de près les actions du Conseil. Chaque citoyen a aussi le droit de poser des questions et d'émettre des commentairesaux réunions ou ailleurs au sujet des sujets qui les intéressent. Votre lAssociation est également intéressée à recevoir vos questions et vos commentaires.
Soyons à la réunion du Conseil ce mercredi à 7h.