UPDATED: Changes could be on the way in South Stormont

UPDATED: Changes could be on the way in South Stormont

CORNWALL, Ontario – Candidates elected to a new-look South Stormont township council are already eyeing some changes.

Those who spoke with Seaway News this week, after the dust settled from a vehement municipal election, said a commitment to a newspaper in the township will be reviewed and the days of keeping the integrity commissioner on speed dial appear to be numbered.

Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart was returned to council, defeating her closest challenger by about 600 votes, and said she’s looking forward to a fresh start with new people.

“The first thing is to rescind the (advertising money) for the South Stormont News,” she said matter-of-factly when asked what the short-term priorities will be for the new council.

Township council voted to take out advertising in the publication – creating a firestorm during the election with many voters upset at the decision.

Councillor-elect Dona Primeau agrees the advertising decision should be reversed.

“It’s definitely one of the first things I want to look at,” she said. “I would rather not spend the money on it.”

Primeau tempered her remarks by also suggesting she needs to see what kind of contract was signed to advertise in the publication.

But Mayor-elect Jim Bancroft believes terminating the advertising will be as simple as a council vote.

“As soon as we can get a motion at the table we will do that,” he said.

All agreed they also want fewer, if any at all, dealings with the integrity commissioner’s office. Several times during the last term of council the integrity commissioner was called in to mediate disputes among council members, and also sanctioned Hart for speaking out of turn.

“There’s no reason why issues can’t be resolved at the table,” said Hart.

Bancroft seconded that sentiment.

“I’m not interested in having the integrity commissioner on the sidelines,” he said.

Primeau suggested township council needs to send an olive branch to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission too.

During the last term of council the commission and the township battled over thousands of dollars’ worth of funds and equipment.

In 2012 the township told the parks commission it would be keeping $47,000 in cash and equipment that had been left surplus after the municipality wrapped up its operating mandate at Farran Park.

That year Farran Park returned to the parks commission fold after spending 21 years as a municipal amenity.

“I’d like to re-establish a better partnership with the parks commission,” said Primeau.

Share this article