“New Year, New Me”

Seaway News - - OPINION - NICK SEE­BRUCH ni­cholas.see­[email protected]

You’ve prob­a­bly seen posts around this time of year, es­pe­cially on so­cial me­dia of peo­ple declar­ing “New Year, New Me”. Maybe I’m just be­ing a skep­tic, but these types of mes­sages make me roll my eyes so hard they al­most fall out of my head, and this goes for New Year’s Res­o­lu­tions as a whole.

My at­ti­tude is that if you want to change some­thing about your­self, why wait for some ar­bi­trary date to do it, do it now!

In fact, the only type of New Year’s Res­o­lu­tion that makes sense to make at New Year’s is to start go­ing to the gym more often.

At least if you start go­ing to the gym in Jan­uary, your body should be beach ready by June.

I just feel that over­all, wait­ing to make res­o­lu­tions un­til the New Year is putting off self im­prove­ment ef­forts that could be made now. Kick­ing the can down the road just costs time and po­ten­tially money. This is es­pe­cially true when it comes to pol­i­tics.

With that in mind, here is a short list of de­ci­sions, or res­o­lu­tions, that lo­cal politi­cians should make in the New Year.

THE CORN­WALL BUD­GET

When it comes to kick­ing things down the road, in re­cent years the City of Corn­wall have been the champs when it comes to the mu­nic­i­pal bud­get.

For the past two years, the City’s an­nual bud­get has taken six months to get through Coun­cil. By com­par­i­son, in a large city like Ot­tawa, it can take roughly two weeks to pass the bud­get. Newly minted Mayor Ber­nadette Cle­ment has said that she has been work­ing closely with coun­cil­lors and hopes to get the bud­get passed quickly this year, and with the bud­get top of mind come Jan­uary, we will see if she is suc­cess­ful.

IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE

Speak­ing of the mu­nic­i­pal bud­get, ex­pect in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing to be top of mind when it comes to bud­get dis­cus­sions this year.

For the past cou­ple of years, the fo­cus of the bud­get has largely been around ser­vices. What with ex­pired em­ployee con­tracts and a strike hang­ing over their heads, it is no won­der that last coun­cil had ser­vices and salaries on the brain, but now with new work­ing con­tracts signed with the em­ploy­ees and the 2018 strike a mem­ory, I think fo­cus will shift to in­fra­struc­ture.

Corn­wall saw an above av­er­age year for wa­ter­main breaks, and when they passed the Wa­ter and Waste Wa­ter bud­get, Coun­cil took small steps to ad­dress this prob­lem, but now in 2019, they will have to con­sider things like build­ings, roads and bike paths. That last item es­pe­cially, bike paths, should not be ig­nored.

Corn­wall cel­e­brates its bike paths and uses them to mar­ket lo­cal tourism, so imag­ine how bad it looks when just one kilo­me­ter of bike path needs a re­ported $1 mil­lion in re­pairs ac­cord­ing to City ad­min­is­tra­tion, and this is all down to a lack of main­te­nance, and be­cause the re­tain­ing wall sup­port­ing the bike path was not prop­erly treated to with­stand salt. An­other ex­am­ple of kick­ing the can down the road and it cost­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in the long run.

MAR­I­JUANA

Yes, I know I talked about this last week, but it still re­mains true that one of the first de­ci­sions Corn­wall City Coun­cil will have to make is whether or not to opt-in or out of hav­ing pri­vate mar­i­juana ven­dors in their ju­ris­dic­tion.

They will have to make this de­ci­sion by Jan. 22 and de­spite the prov­ince chang­ing the rules around ven­dors, seem­ingly on a whim, I think that Corn­wall should still opt-in. This is go­ing to be big busi­ness, and Corn­wall shouldn’t risk be­ing the only mu­nic­i­pal­ity left with­out the pos­si­bil­ity for profit from this in­dus­try.

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