Council Column – June

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Currently the most questions and comments that I receive concern the potential annexation of some of the North Monaghan Ward’s land by the City of Peterborough.

Cavan Monaghan Council’s position is clear as is the County Council’s position. Both have followed the process outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding, receiving the MOU and authorizing Staff to move forward in preparation for a public meeting, and are awaiting a decision from the City of Peterborough. Council appreciates that Staff did their homework and bargained in good faith.

With the annexation discussion outcome uncertain and summer days ahead, you might be interested in the book, The Boundary Bargain: Growth, Development, and the Future of City–County Separation by Zachary Spicer. The book follows the evolution of municipal government from the time European settlement began in Ontario. This book probably won’t change your life but does provide an understanding of how appointed local officials came to be replaced by elected officials, how responsibilities came to reside with different levels of local government, and how different Provincial governments have chosen to restructure local governments.

Progress continues with the Community Centre. A public information meeting will be held June 6th to update the community and seek comments.

As well, progress continues with the trail link between Tupper Street and King Street. Two bridges have been built with one remaining to be completed.

June is also the month when sales of homes begin, in the Highlands of Millbrook Subdivision.

I have another book suggestion that I would like to recommend for your summer reading pleasure and angst. Dark Money, by Jane Mayer, is a book that I have been recommending to anyone who will listen. It is not about municipal politics directly, but in the sense of thinking globally and acting locally.

It begins to explain what has led us to this era of frustration with all levels of government. It traces the history of groups of people associated with one family, who despise government regulation and taxation and who have the money and strategies to reduce or eliminate both. It tracks efforts to drive American policy to the right and it is apparent that the concepts have drifted across the border.

The reality of this system of reforming democracy, is described in, The Structure of Social Change, described by its author Richard Fink, as “a three-phase takeover of American politics” (page 142 of the first edition). From the author’s notes, it, “appeared under the title From Ideas to Action: The Roles of Universities, Think Tanks, and Activist Groups”

The concept of alternative facts and how people use them becomes evident. They have taken the concept of government equals bad and the individual and the private sector equal good to an extreme that threatens democracy. However, awareness of the goals at least allows the alternative philosophy to be presented, understood, and acted upon.

Happy reading.

By John Fallis

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