Re: Leafgate ignites fight within Tecumseh council, by Dave Battagello, March 14.
Following budget deliberations, council was briefed at their Jan. 27, 2015 meeting that options on continuing the leaf vacuum program would be given in an administrative report.
The report was considered at the June 23rd council meeting and contained information on the history of the program, financial implications, as well as recommendations.
The report is on the town’s website for review and identifies this service was only available to 990 residents out of 7,489 at a cost of $170,000 in equipment replacement and $13,500 for labour.
The option of providing this service to all residents was not financially viable. The debate took place at an open advertised meeting.
The report was on the June 23 meeting agenda published and posted on the town’s website, June 18, consistent with all agenda reports.
There was a motion made for a deferral on this issue to garner more public input. The motion was defeated and the motion to cancel the service was carried.
At the July 14 council meeting, four residents were in attendance to speak to this issue — three were in favour of cancelling the program and one opposed. The general consensus of those present was that all Tecumseh residents have access to yard waste pickup, which was not available when the leaf vacuum program was instituted by the former Village.
This is an example of policies from three former municipalities being merged to best serve all residents. Since amalgamation, there have been many instances of policy consolidation, including frequency of garbage collection within the various wards as an example.
Subsequent to the cancellation decision, I want to make it very clear — a public awareness campaign ensued on the town’s website through social media and the local newspaper, in addition to news releases.
The questions raised with respect to the level of transparency and the absence of a democratic process are troublesome and inaccurate.
This matter was voted on at an open meeting, based on a report available to all of council, and the public, in advance not unlike other reports on the bi-monthly meeting agendas.
There are a number of exciting initiatives, programs and projects that will be considered in the coming months and I have every confidence council will work together for the betterment of the entire town.
GARY McNAMARA, Mayor of Tecumseh