VOCO Update
by Lynne Boldt

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October 4, 2002

      It seems like only last night that I was writing the last column. But then again, it couldn't be because since the last column, Council held their "special" VISION Report meeting, the Lindsay Fair has come and gone, (oops, missed that one), the storm clouds have gathered over Manvers township, another general VOCO meeting was held in Bobcaygeon, and the Bobcaygeon Fair has enjoyed its 2002 buzz of activity.

      Although the special Council meeting called to deal with the $100,000. VISION report was held at 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon, it was not just the general public that were unable to make it. Apparently so too were Cliff White, Pat Warren, Sandra Jack, Wayne Teel and Gerald McGregor. Despite those absent, it was decided that this report will AGAIN be returned, this time to the Staff Directors for departmental reviews and comments. At the same time there are copies of the "final" Vision Report available on the CoKL website and in the service centres, City Hall and the libraries for the Public's perusal.

      If you haven't already seen this piece of work, now is the time to see for yourself where your money was spent. See for yourself if your idea of Victoria County ten years from now is the same as what you paid $100,000.00 to have put in print. See if it really was worth hiring Consultants to tell us that the CoKL should have lots of greenspaces, with good government and economic growth. You might want to read quickly, because while they will still receive public input, you must make your comments/views known to either Sarah Anderson (Planning Technician) or Richard Danziger (Director, Strategic and Land Use Planning), before October 11. Either can be reached at 324-9411 or 1-888-822-2225, Sarah's ext. is 206 and Richard's is x239.

      Remember, if you DON'T tell them what you think of the Vision and the Report, it has been known to be heard that "well, no one complained so they must all like it/agree with it". Don't let the hired help put words in your mouth or their hands in your pockets, Voices of Central Ontario deserve to be heard. What happens after October 11th is yet to be determined, but we'll keep you posted.

      It has also been heard that the Mayor, responding to numerous letters to the editors and such, has said that there are many "half truths" and "outright lies" being circulated throughout the County. Well, in my opinion, when you get one half from some media sources, it only stands to reason that the "other half" will eventually come from somewhere too. So, my understanding is I don't so much see "half truths" as I am just seeing the "REST OF" the truth. I do believe there is a difference.

      As for outright lies...well when I tell you the amount to be written on my tax cheque this year was 32.3% higher than the amount written last year, let me assure you I am not telling any lie here. I don't care why, I don't care how, I just know it is that much higher. I also know our household income has not increased 32.5% not even with all the frills and extras added in there either. (Including the money my kids got from the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.)

      So too, it seems the residents in Manvers are not buying into the "all is well on the homefront" stories either. VOCO has been informed that the Pontypool Taxpayers Coalition is now up and running with their first meeting scheduled for this Tuesday (Oct.1) at their Community Centre. There was standing-room only in Omemee last week when their local Councillors held a Town Hall meeting for the taxpayers in Emily/Omemee, and this is going on throughout the County.

      No folks, this is not just the VOCO group still screaming "rip off". These are people throughout the County who have had enough and are taking things upon themselves to pick up where VOCO hasn't yet been. When you see rural areas being hit for over $8 million more while urban areas are going down over $5 million...SOMETHING smells and I don't think it can all be blamed on the Lindsay mega-dump (although things don't smell too rosy there either).

      Moving right along - it appears things in Ottawa have settled down FOR NOW. Private Member's Bill C441 apparently died on the table when the house pro-rogued for the Summer. It seems for the time being the riding name will continue as Haliburton-Victoria-Brock and the hundreds of residents that added their names to the petition can watch here for future action with that petition.

      The Bobcaygeon Fair, despite some nasty weather on Friday, sure had the sun shining on it Saturday. VOCO was thrilled to participate in the parade, and it has been reported that more than 725 information pamphlets were distributed to willing recipients and Queen Victoria herself was so pleased to be among her loyal subjects in the Village of Bobcaygeon, to witness firsthand the Daddy of 'em all. HRH had a thoroughly delightful time, while the applause and cheers of the parade viewers, actually brought a grin to her normally stoic face and a flush to her cheeks, on more than one occasion. (Her Majesty so loves to see her people happy)

      Unfortunately, the smiles on many did not last long. When the announcement was made that the "city" did in fact win an award with the "Communities in Bloom" competition this summer, it was of little consolation when it was followed very quickly with the motion by Council to give Lindsay a further $33,000. for further "beautification" plans. Just think what gardens we could all have with $33,000.00 to spend...

      Well, in closing for this week, let me once again remind everyone that all these details are available on the VOCO website at www.geocities.com/vocomail, or by emailing info@voconews.com or even by phone at 738-6039 and 887-4797.

      The next general VOCO meeting for any interested persons will be held at the Fenelon Lions' Hall, in the Fenelon Fairgrounds, on Thursday, October 10 beginning at 7pm. If you've been thinking about attending a meeting, but haven't made one yet, maybe this is the one you've been waiting for.

      See you again in two weeks, but until then please remember... "To reach the goal we must at times run with the wind, other times against it - but we must certainly run, not walk nor stand still. Neither you nor the world knows what you can do until you have tried."..Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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