Newsletter Fall 2014

Salutations to all KAPOA members, newsletter readers & prospective voters;

KAPOA has received a number of requests, both from the Madawaska Valley side as well as from Hastings Highlands, for information and guidance regarding who we should vote for in the upcoming municipal elections.

Although the election date is not until Oct 27 but since no more additional candidates can declare after Sept 12, it’s now time to share the thoughts of various KAPOA members who have been monitoring events since the last election.

If you already have sufficient information yourself to make an informed choice, then feel free to ignore this completely. In any case, please do not construe this news alert as anything but a guideline to see if your thoughts align with ours as you prepare yourself to vote.

KAPOA’s region covers from dam to dam.  Starting at the Bark Lake dam, then down from Barry’s Bay through Kamaniskeg, along the river to Blackfish Bay, past Combermere into Negeek Lake and then down to the Palmer Rapids dam. Consequently, KAPOA has substantial membership in both Madawaska Valley and Hastings Highlands and these suggestions cover both municipalities.

For the most part, voting this election will be by mail for everyone.  That’s not say that locals cannot drop off their ballots in a sealed envelope delivered to the municipal office on election day but most people will participate by mail.  That does away with line-ups at polls and concerns about where and when advanced polls might be held if you expect to be otherwise occupied election day.

As you probably know, to vote in a municipal election, you must be a Canadian citizen, aged 18 or older, and reside in or own property in the municipality (or be a spouse 18+ & Canadian). Furthermore, you may vote once in each municipality in which you own property, even if you do not reside there, which may result in you having multiple votes in all.

Ensure you get your Ballot

If (1) you are on the electors list AND (2) they have your correct mailing address, then you should receive a voting package sent to you by mail (probably no later than Oct 3). Do not assume that because you receive your property tax bill correctly that your election information is also correct.  You can confirm this by contacting all the various municipalities in which you are entitled to vote (ie in which you reside and/or own property, etc). For Hastings Highlands, call 877-338-2818 X 277 or X 266  (this 877 number is in effect province wide). Or for Madawaska Valley, call 866-222-8699. You should mail your ballot in in sufficient time for Canada Post to ensure your ballot is counted (ie arrives no later than Oct 27) with Oct 18th as the HH latest mailing date recommendation according to a recent newspaper announcement.

The web site, provided previously, which was/is in effect until the municipality receives their master electors list, does/did tell you whether a voter was on the electors list, but did not display the voter’s mailing address.  This web site may no longer be in effect now that voters lists have been sent to some municipalities. That site currently refers you to the municipal office and the municipal staff perform the look up for both the existence of any name on the voters list and also the correct mailing address.

Electors will receive a Ballot Package by mail about the third week of September. The Ballot Package contains: 1) a Voting Instruction sheet in English; 2) a Ballot; 3) a Ballot Secrecy Envelope; 4) a Voter Declaration Form; 5) a Postage Prepaid Return envelope addressed to the Returning Officer; and, 6) French language voters will receive bilingual forms only on a ballot for French language school trustees.  It’s the electors responsibility to mail in sufficient time to arrive at the municipal office, no later than the October 27 election day, otherwise the ballot will not count.

You may be aware of some major structural differences in the two municipalities. Madawaska Valley does not have a ward system that some believe explains why rural areas in MV have no garbage pick-up and rural properties were almost subject to paying municipal water costs while not receiving any benefit because they are on individual well and septic systems. Alternatively, Hastings Highlands does have a ward system and hence councilors seem to actually care what happens in their jurisdiction, even if distant from the municipal office. Hastings Highlands does not enjoy a regional roads system like Madawaska Valley, however, which may explain why HH roads and maintenance are typically inferior to MV.

Analysis shows that well over 50% of municipal taxes in HH are paid by waterfronts. In MV, MPAC stats indicate that the average waterfront assessment has risen from $280k to $352k (~26%) in the four years from 2008 until 2012.

This election will not stop the trend of the province continually downloading more of their costs, resulting from a substantial provincial debt.  Nor will it change the astronomical Hydro One electricity costs, further aggravated by double digit increases in provincial policing costs, all which stack the deck against rural Ontario, but we cannot afford councils who preach transparency then the provincial Ombudsman slaps wrists for inappropriate ‘in camera’ meetings in both municipalities.  Nor can we afford the expensive severance packages for dismissed CAOs, again, in both municipalities.  Nor can we afford to accept a bid $423K (about 15%) more than the low quote for HH road reconstruction for Madawaska Rd.

If you are unaware of some or all of these issues, we urge you to consider our recommendations below when casting your ballot.

Hastings Highlands All Candidates Meeting

There will be an All Candidates Meeting on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at the Hastings Highlands Municipal Centre from 1-4pm.

The candidates will be given an opportunity to speak and there will be a time for questions from the public.

Candidate Recommendations

Madawaska  Valley Hastings Highlands
Mayor Kim Love Mayor Brent Dalgleish
Council Ernie Peplinskie Council  Ward One Keith Buck
Mark Willmer Bangor, Wicklow, McClure Bert Cannon, incumbent
Carl Bromwich, incumbent
Shelly Maika

Kim Love – Madawaska Valley Mayoralty Candidate (Barry’s Bay)

Lives on Ohio Road near Combermere and is a KAPOA member caring about our lakes and community, issues common to waterfronters.

Participated in the KAPOA annual Poker Run and our AGM, so is familiar with KAPOA events, goals, and objectives.

The candidate endorsed by the Citizens Action Committee ratepayers group, that worked to stop MV council attempts to download municipal water costs to KAPOA cottagers and other rural well & septic properties.

With an Economics M.A. degree, ideally educated to provide municipal leadership as MV mayor.

Provides clear & concise presentations of complicated issues, indicating real understanding of problems so that solutions are understandable and obvious to others.  A good communicator, who offered a fair solution to the Septage Unit issue based on the user pay principle.

An experienced MV councilor having served two terms on Councilor, now ready and willing to step up to provide informed and equitable leadership as mayor, removing the substantial bias against rural ratepayers.

Will insist upon strict adherence to avoiding inappropriate & illegal confidential ‘in camera’ council meetings requiring provincial Ombudsman intervention and resolve staff problems using appropriate Human Resource procedures to avoid requiring exorbitant CAO severances and replacement costs.

Spends considerable time & effort in her local community working with adults and children, during civic functions such as Canada Day & CO Blitz

Brent Dalgleish – Hastings Highlands Mayoralty Candidate (Maynooth)

A Purdy Lake waterfronter himself, understands cottager issues first hand.  Purdy is located between Kamaniskeg and Papineau Lakes and is our nearest neighbouring lake (and is a Kamaniskeg tributary watershed).

Participated in the KAPOA annual Poker Run and our AGM, so is familiar with KAPOA events, goals, and objectives.

Serving as Vice Chair/Director of the SFMH Foundation (4 years) for the Barry’s Bay hospital, (a non paying position), and instrumental in generating considerable donations from surrounding municipalities.  A good communicator.

With an Honours Bachelor of Economics and Master Business Administration degrees, ideally educated to provide municipal leadership as HH mayor.

As a successful local business person operating a thriving accounting and business consulting practice, provides an excellent understanding of the difficult process of setting and meeting budgets.

An experienced HH Reeve & Mayor, now ready and willing to step in to provide essential leadership as mayor, smart enough to follow professional advice to accept the low bid, while removing the substantial bias against rural ratepayers.

Will insist upon strict adherence to avoiding inappropriate & illegal confidential ‘in camera’ council meetings requiring provincial Ombudsman intervention and resolve staff problems requiring exorbitant CAO severances and replacement costs.

An accomplished musician and singer, performs regularly throughout the region along with his singer wife, Wendy, demonstrating a well rounded capability.

Newsletter Fall 2014