by Bill Gooch
[Re: “First Step”, by Deron Johnston, Times, February 28] Mr. Johnston’s “First Step” article gives me cause for concern with regard to the potential for yet another 6% or more property tax increase down the road. The “ Community Transportation Grant Program – Municipal Stream” program is an offshoot of the 2015 two-year Pilot Program, which I don’t recall North Grenville participating in. This incredibly short time frame to apply for funding is representative of Liberal Governments poor management and attempted vote buying.
Tuesday night, the Committee of the Whole gave staff permission to go ahead with a transportation grant application. Odd, I thought things were done by committee making a recommendation to Council to pass a resolution to do or go ahead with something. I don’t understand where the need comes from for a service such as what is being considered. A public transportation service was never a public priority while I was mayor. Kemptville Home Support provides transportation on a reserved and reasonable cost for seniors and others, we have an excellent Taxi service that responds to folks’ needs throughout the municipality, and NGAT which services the needs of those with special needs. On top of that, I’ll bet every single family/person in North Grenville has one or more vehicles at their disposal. ATS has provided an in/out excellent service to Ottawa for those who prefer not to drive. What more is needed?
Anyway, now that the application has been forwarded to meet the February 28 deadline, I’m assuming that all committee members were provided with the following completed documents which were required in support of the application.
1. The Grants Ontario Application form
2. The Community Transportation Grant Program application form
3. Project Work Plan
4. Project Budget (an essential piece for committee members)
From my perspective, it would be irresponsible to proceed with this application without council discussion of both 3 and 4 above. Where was public input before, not after the fact on this proposed application? I think, in the unlikely chance that this grant is approved, it would provide a real opportunity for a public committee to be formed to provide input related to a) need, b) long range financial implications, and c) type, frequency location of service.
I hope Council considered all these factors when deciding to go ahead with the request.
Was Mr. Johnson provided with these supporting documents as preparation for his article?