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Councillor - Town of Blue Mountains

It’s been a busy summer!

President’s Report – It’s been a busy summer!

By Michael P. Seguin

It may be just over a year away, but the Town is talking – about the next municipal election in 2014! Mayor Anderson has already told the public that she won’t be running for re-election, which has created a real “buzz”. So now people are wondering which Council members will be running for re-election and are asking if we have any potential good candidates to take on these incumbents? So my challenge to you – if you have any aspirations in taking a run at a Blue Mountains council seat, preparation for your campaign should start now.

The BMRA has purchased a number of domain names which will be linked to our Website and direct you to an election webpage. I will be posting a number of interesting articles and information regarding the upcoming election on this webpage. If you want to contribute information and/or some of your thoughts, just let me know.

The BMRA Budget Review Committee has been very active and should be commended in pushing the Town and the OPP to provide a breakdown of all the details regarding a new 5-year Policing Contract. In my opinion, we should be considering a blended version between the “Cadillac 15-Officer Option #1” version, which comes with an automatic 14%+ tax increase, and the “13-officer Option#2” version, which comes with an automatic 1%+ tax increase. I will call mine the “14-Officer Option 2+” version – which is more affordable and still dependable. Remember that both versions come with an automatic 8.55% increase in OPP salaries and benefits in 2014. Council will now be on the “hot spot” and tell us on August 26th, 2013 what OPP Contract Option they want – but will they tell us, in advance, how we the taxpayers will pay for it.

The BMRA-STA Committee has also been busy reviewing a report and draft STA Licensing By- law crafted by the STA Owner/Operators’ Committee’s and presented to Council on July 2, 2013. However, Council basically ‘ducked” the whole issue and referred the findings and recommendations of this self-serving Committee to David Finbow, the Director of Planning and Building Services, for review. I hope that that Mr. Finbow’s review in September will bring more than just another round of indecisions and lack of leadership by our elected officials – can’t wait for the next election.

Has anyone noticed that all the names and emails of Town personnel have been removed from the Town Website Directory? If you didn’t know who worked at the Town, then you will never know now. Threats by hackers and supposed abuse are to blame – we are told. Removing emails is one thing, but removing everyone’s name from the Directory is a complete lack of TRUST and takes away our right, as ratepayers, to know who works for this Town. In my

opinion, this act does not meet the Town’s Corporate Value – “we provide open, clear, communication to the public”.

As we approach our 2014 membership renewal drive, the Board is considering a new Mission Statement to help grow our membership and prepare for the next election. Here is our last draft and we welcome your opinions and suggestions as we moved forward with this process:

“The BMRA is committed to the Town of the Blue Mountains succeeding as a residential, agricultural and four seasons recreational community. The Association seeks a high quality of life for all members of our community: full and part-time, urban and rural residents. We encourage responsible decisions regarding land use and the protection of the natural environment. We seek excellence in community services, provide a forum for issues affecting our diversity and advocate for effective management of our Town budgets within changing economic realities.”

In the meantime, the BMRA will continue to monitor the direction of this Council and make sure they are still somewhat “charged” and are responsible to act in the best interest of our community and the ratepayers. We will also continue to keep you informed through our web site and email blasts, as well as the occasional blast on facebook –we want you to sign on and “like” us.

In summary, if at any time you have any comments regarding my statements, as harsh as they may sound or seem at times, please do not hesitate to contact me through the web site ( or send me a message via the Association’s mailing address.

As I have always said, you are the heart and soul of the Association and we continue to value your opinion(s).