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Mayor's Comments - February 12, 2013


Good Morning. Over the last month President Obama was sworn in with great fanfare. I listened to the ceremony.


In Ontario, Kathleen Wynne has been chosen to be the new Premier replacing Dalton McGuinty. I tried to catch some of the speeches.


It quickly becomes clear that the same things hold true at all levels of Government. Certainly by different degrees but true nevertheless.


They used phrases like: “Differences So Deep”, “Economy So Troubled”, “Care of the Vulnerable” and “We Need New Responses to Old Problems”


As well, “Act … Knowing Our Work Will Be Imperfect”, “Possibilities/Opportunities are Limitless”, “For Political Bodies … There Is Trusting of Power” and “Citizens Have Rights and they Also Have Obligations”


That old expression the “Folks are the same as the People” comes to mind.


On another note, elected officials governed by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act watched with interest for the Court of Appeal to rule on a case  involving the Mayor of Toronto, our biggest city. Toronto being the city for which the province created a separate Municipal Act. The legal minds have argued all around the issue. I am sure that particular decision will be one of discussion for some time and will probably cause some changes in wording within the Act. The Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, as in so many things, comes down to common sense.


This is the month we attend ROMA/Good Roads …. We have requested many delegations to the Provincial Ministers and should hear this week. When we make a presentation we supply a background document and have about ten minutes to discuss it. The presentation is usually attended by the Minister, the Deputy Minister, various staff members and interested parties, often our local Representative and a staff member and, of course, myself and the CAO along with any member of our council attending the conference and when possible the Warden and CAO of the County of Hastings.


We met with Todd Smith, MPP near the end of January to bring him up to date  on the items for which we have requested delegations at ROMA. I am sure he could almost quote some of our concerns as he has heard about them more than once.


On January 22nd, while experiencing the coldest weather in two years it became apparent that we had a water main break. OCWA was alerted and the search was on. To stop the water flowing through the system at such a rate, the plant was turned off. The break was identified and staff started to pull together the requirements to repair it. The Ministry of the Environment was alerted. The Health Unit was then alerted. Because of the loss of pressure in the distribution system the Health Unit declared a “Boil Water Advisory” which was in place until the testing ran the course and was lifted.


Early on, once our staff realized the extent of the problem our CEMC got involved. Not that an Official Emergency was called but in a team response.  Once the Boil Water Advisory was released the community sprang to action. Town staff, OCWA staff, local media, council, fire department, and community volunteers all took to phones and the streets to be sure every business and household was made aware.


At no time was there a sample showing that the water system had been compromised but the situation called for a precautionary Boil Water Advisory. After the repairs were made and the lines were flushed two separate sets of samples 24 hours apart were taken to the lab to be checked. Both were clear and at approx 3:00 pm on January 25th the Boil Water Advisory was lifted. Staff then advised all of our media contacts and made many phone calls to get the word out.


Well now Perry … thanks for stepping up and arranging the repairs while all the time showing concern for our staff working in extreme conditions … Kudos are due ….


To our CEMC, Pat Hoover …. Good exercise …. Job well done


To our Staff, both inside and out, thanks for going beyond the normal expectations … You make me proud.


To OCWA, both local and provincial, thank you for your extraordinary response … Job well done.


To the Contractors … great response in record time … most of us stayed inside while you worked with metal, water and extreme cold.


To members of the Fire Dept ... as per any emergency you are always ready to help your neighbours ... Thank you


To members of Council …. You did exactly what I expected when the call went out ….. you responded immediately …. Thank you for caring as much as you do every day.


To our local media ... Thank you for all of your efforts to get the notice out as quickly as possible. Even leaving your warm home to go back to the office to get a message out.


To the Community … for those that appeared at the office door asking how you could help … I say thank you and am humbled by your spirit of community ….


For the community at large, affected by the Advisory, both business and private …. you accepted the situation and found a way to carry on despite the inconvenience. Thank You.


For myself … I have been involved with the town’s water department one way or another for 30 years and this is the first “Boil Water Advisory” for Bancroft in my experience.  It was a learning experience for all.


Since Walkerton the water business has changed and every possibility is now considered. Nothing is taken for granted. While it may be inconvenient in the short term, the measures taken should make us all confident that the integrity of the system and public safety come first.


We have received various funding requests from the community and staff is responding to each request. The requests will be considered during the budget process. Thank you for your ongoing contribution to the community. 


Be sure to mark your calendars.


Think Snow Weekend on Feb 16th is coming up quickly with a new feature … Vintage Snow Machines. Be sure to get out to watch the Sled Dogs and take part in the Main Street Hockey Game. Deputy Mayor Wiggins keeps mentioning a new team … Suits and Skirts versus Orange Shirts.


June 1st will bring our second Tailgate party.


April 22nd is Earth Day, I believe the Sustainability Committee has something planned for us.


WWW.  Or Wheels, Water and Wings will be back better than ever, July 5,6 and 7.


I am pleased to report that the Algonquin Nation Gathering will be held in Bancroft on July 27th. All will be welcome to take part and enjoy this piece of our culture. More to come.


Civic Weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the Rockhound Gemboree. I can hardly wait to see what has been planned. Sounds Golden.


Thanks to the various community groups, the BBIA and our staff and councilors. Sounds like another exciting year.

Town of Bancroft

8 Hastings Heritage Way, P.O. Box 790
Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0

Phone: (613) 332-3331
Fax: (613) 332-0384

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