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Title - David Murphy
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Monday was a busier than normal Cornwall City Council meeting
David Murphy
OurHometown.ca

Monday was a  busier than normal Cornwall City Council meeting
As 2011 draws to an end, I’ve been reflecting on how busy it’s been at City Hall. In my first full year as a Councillor I’ve been witness and privy to some very interesting issues, situations and dilemmas. With that said, here’s a look at what took place at the Council meeting of Monday, December 12th.
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Cornwall - Dec. 14, 2011 - As 2011 draws to an end, I’ve been reflecting on how busy it’s been at City Hall.

In my first full year as a Councillor I’ve been witness and privy to some very interesting issues, situations and dilemmas.

With that said, here’s a look at what took place at the Council meeting of Monday, December 12th.

Advertising Policy
Council made a decision to back administration’s report so that “That City advertising be prohibited from any publication or website that publishes offensive and/or inflammatory content.”

This report comes on the heels of some media allowing certain derogatory and unprofessional comments to make it to their website. I’m not talking about calling out politicians or other community leaders; it has to do with profanity and abusive language targeting particular individuals.

I’m of the belief that it’s not up to Council to direct where Economic Development or any other City department spend their advertising budgets (much like Council doesn’t decide which trade shows or which promotional products to purchase).

Based on their comments at Monday’s meeting; at least two of the three Councillors opposed to the motion didn’t disagree with the intent of the motion but rather the need for it - again - leaving up to the departments where they spend their advertising dollar.

Media abiding by Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) rules and generally accepted language codes of conduct don’t have anything to concern themselves with.

Dipping into Progress Fund
A report outlining the pros and cons of dipping into the Progress Fund (even as a loan) to repay the City’s portion of the Benson Centre was received by Council.

As far as I’m concerned, sometimes our greatest intentions don’t turn into reality and I cannot agree to spend any portion of the PF’s principle for any project.

I say, let’s use the interest only!

Capital Projects
There were some budget related questions regarding carrying forward some Capital Projects. I was reassured by the City’s Chief Financial Officer that we’re only carrying forward the payments to projects that are already underway in some capacity. Basically, they’ve been approved and could be at any stage including planning, tendering, construction or financing.

Outside Agencies
Funding for outside agencies that were a part of the 2011 budget will also get carry over financing, meaning their payments, based on the 2011 schedule will continue until the budget is finalized.

I understand the need and support the outside agencies - most of which have a direct impact on our standard of living - but we have to be cognizant of being able to live within our means.

Cornwall Transit changes
Cornwall Transit is about to grow. The building of the shopping complex in the City’s North End and the continued construction/expansion in the Industrial Park has led to the demand for a broader, more widespread bus service.

Routes will be redesigned to accommodate both areas beginning in early March. Unfortunately it takes 60-90 days to make the necessary changes.

Could we have implemented these changes to take affect with the opening of the shopping plaza at Brookdale and Tollgate? Possibly but in Transit’s defence, the project, from what I’m told was well ahead of schedule.

While it will cost more to take Cornwall Transit, now you’ll be able to get to every corner of the City!

Relocation of Customs
And on the potential relocating of Canada Customs to the U.S. side…Council decided to allow our Mayor Bob Kilger to impress upon MP Guy Lauzon the importance of having CBSA on Cornwall’s side of the river. Whatever the decision, it’ll be a huge economic and social impact on future of Cornwall.

It was a busier than normal City Council meeting and a lot was decided but there’s still more work to do.

I’m looking forward to 2012.

On behalf of the entire Murphy family, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


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