South Dundas - March 19, 2012 - I've been away for the last week on vacation down
south and for the first vacation so far back as I can remember, I
unplugged from the news back home. It was hard to get used to not
having a Blackberry attached to your hip or constantly seeing Twitter
updates. By day three though I was enjoying the quiet. However back to
the real world and as such, back to what's going on in the world.
- I came home from vacation with two very wonderful pieces of mail.
First my interim property tax bill, and second my utility bill.
According to the news, the taxes in the United Counties are going up
3.1 per cent. Great, more taxes, same potholes. South Dundas is
keeping things in line again reducing taxes by 3.24% (try that
sometime Cornwall) but with MPAC assessments going up, we'll still pay
more. More for less, the mantra of the future. I am thinking about
taking up a private fund to put some sidewalks in and around
Morrisburg. Seems like the last time a new sidewalk was laid here was
during the Seaway Construction. My utility bill this month (Combined
Water/Electricity) was $400! My household consumption is down 15% from
five years ago, but my bill is almost double. If Dalton McGuinty's
plan for Energy Conservation is to make enough Ontarians move out of
the province to lower demand, he's a genius.
- Dalton McGuinty's idea for helping Ontario to get out of debt is to
increase the places you can gamble, including a casino in Toronto and
in Ottawa. Great idea. Gambling is a tax on stupidity. Since the major
cities in the province are what kept McGuinty in office, let the
stupid be taxed.
- Bell Canada is trying to buy Astral Media for many wheelbarrow loads
of cash. For shareholders of both, this will be great; for us the end
consumer of radio/television/newspapers/web it will mean more losses
of a diversity of voices. Sadly there is no room in the
radio/television world for independents. Lucky for us the Internet
enables credible independents to thrive. Sure there will always be
muckraking individuals with low moral fiber that would make William
Randolph Hearst complain about ethics, but just like bullies in life,
if you stop paying attention to them they eventually go away.
Independent sites like OurHometown.ca and small town papers like the
ones in Morrisburg, Chesterville, Maxville and Winchester are the
future to providing diversity. I don't think the Bell deal with
succeed without some major concessions.
- The first of four meetings is scheduled this week in Morrisburg for
South Dundas' "plan for the future" plan, about a plan, to plan to
make a plan. One of the great things about living in South Dundas is
that we plan to never run out of things to plan for. Just in the seven
years I've lived here, we've had three waterfront planning committees.
I currently sit on this incarnation of the planning committee, and
it's good I have no plan to run for election anytime soon as
waterfront plans seem to be the undoing of those sitting on, or that
have aspirations to be on, municipal council. This new planning
meeting is to come up with a great vision of where we want South
Dundas to be in 10 years. Something to plan for, no? I think the only
thing this township could plan better, is to plan on how to keep the
taxes down at the county level.
- A pleasant treat coming back from Tampa/Clearwater is the weather.
Not putting the coats away yet, but my sons were all asking for their
bikes this morning on the way to school. Looks like that groundhog was
right for a change.