The statement of expenses for Cornwall City Council for 2009 reveals that the bulk of the $35,000 public relations portion was spent by the Mayor and city councillors on donations to local charities and community organizations. Taxpayer dollars were spent on a variety of events such as fundraising golf tournaments, concerts, dinners, dances, and even on political party fundraisers. The five donations given to political party fundraisers are questionable because municipalities are not permitted to donate to political parties and political party riding associations.
At the present time, there are no rules governing how the Mayor and city councillors use the public relations portion of their expense accounts. I believe that Cornwall City Council should devise some rules for the public relations portion of their expense accounts as they do for travel, conferences, workshops, and seminars.
A good place to start would be to put the public relations budget under Council as a Whole and eliminate the personal public relations expense budgets of council members. Council members’ expenses should be related to travel, conferences, workshops, and seminars that are related to city business not to doling out donations to select community organizations.
The lack of a policy regarding the spending of taxpayers’ dollars by council members for public relations is a cause for concern. It should be addressed promptly by city council.
City council expenses
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- Henri Lecours
- - October 12, 2010 at 10:19:45
Retirement Expansion Jeopardize I, Henri Lecours, owner of the Long Sault Villa since April 1998, am writing to you today in rebuttal to certain information contained in the article “Lortie Runs in South Stormont” that was published in the Chesterville Record earlier this month. Mr. Lortie used that tribune to establish and explain his political agenda for this fall municipal election . In this article, Lortie is quoted as saying that if he is elected he would like to help our community by adding “more things for youth and seniors”. What Mr. Lortie forget to mention is that he is the only Long Sault community member who appealed the Long Sault Villa’s plan for an expansion that would augment and better senior services in our community. In fact, Mr. Lortie appealed a council approved zoning change, by filing with the OMB (Ontario Municipality Board), that would permit the Long Sault Villa to expand its services to our senior community. Although he may have simply exercised a legal right to personally oppose a council decision, he has jeopardized the possibility of construction, and also delayed our ability to provide our community with the care and better services that our senior residents need. My wife, Kim, and I pride ourselves in the operations of our retirement home and the care that we provide to each of our residents. Since January 2010, we have been working to change zoning of the vacant lot adjoining to the Long Sault Villa in order to build an extension onto our retirement residence. This extension will increase space and add amenities for our residents and community, and consequently improve the quality of services provided to our aging society. In addition to the Township’s support, several members of the local community were in agreement that the Long Sault Villa would benefit from our projected building expansion. In an article published by the Cornwall Standard Freeholder on June 5, 2010, Lortie stated that this project was not suitable for a small community such as Long Sault. I do not understand or agree with his opinion. Why should the size of a community dictate the quality of services and living space offered to seniors? Why should people from smaller communities settle for anything less? Mr. Lortie should realize that Long Sault is a perfect location for a large retirement home since our senior population is on the rise. Also, small towns such as the ones located in Stormont Dundas and Glengarry are often viewed as ideal places to retire. Retired individuals who require care, are no exception to this fact. Long Sault is a town close to hospitals and other amenities where retired persons who cannot sustain independently should feel welcome to call home. The Long Sault Villa provides these people with a safe, current and comfortable environment to spend their golden years. Furthermore, “Lortie Runs in South Stormont” also states that he would like to “keep a cap on taxes”. Mr. Lortie has overlooked the fact that his action to deter the Long Sault Villa from expanding is depriving our community from additional municipal taxes as well as increased employment opportunities in a time of recession! In my opinion, it is imperative that Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry embrace the idea of bettering the business realm in order to entice future potential investors to consider the SD&G when looking to place their money. It should not be left to the choice of one individual to hinder the advances of local businesses attempting to expand or better the services provided to our senior community or to our community in general. Henri Lecours /Owner Long Sault Villa