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Budget deliberations begin Tuesday

Prince Edward County council begins its budget deliberations Tuesday morning.

The introduction and overview of the 2016 budget is to be presented Dec. 8 by CAO James Hepburn. Staff will provide an overview of draft operating budgets by department.

Meetings are set for Dec. 3, 7, 8 and 9 beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the chambers at Shire Hall.

Deputations for Dec 3 include:
Lyle Lloyd regarding the rebuild and paving of Wilson Road;
Andy Margetson regarding the Jake de Vries Taxidermy Collection;
Joan Pennefather and Brian Beiles regarding a partnership and funding for the Prince Edward Community Foundation.

A report of the Community Development Department dated Dec. 2, 2015 will be received regarding Municipal Community Grant Review Committee Recommendations 2016 – Grants Under $5,000

Grants under $5,000 are being considered for the following groups:
1. Up to $5,000 in-kind support for the Prince Edward District Women’s Institute;
2. Up to $2,400 in-kind support for the Gilead Fellowship and Many Friends;
3. Up to $4,200 in-kind support for the Canadian Blood Services;
4. Up to $2,200 in-kind support for the Canadian Cancer Society;
5. $1,533 cash support and $2,584 in-kind support for the Illumination Society Firelight Festival;
6. $1,000 cash support and $4,000 in-kind support for the Picton Business Improvement Area;
7. $2,500 cash support for the Recreation Outreach Centre;
8. $2,500 cash support for the Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association;
9. $2,500 cash support for the County Food Bank – Picton United Church;
10. Up to $2,500 in-kind support for the Prince Edward County Marathon;
11. $2,500 cash support for the Food to Share Program;
12. $1,500 cash support for Driftwood Theatre; and
13. Carry over of up to $2,500 in-kind support for the Prince Edward Historical Society.

Deputations regarding requests for grants, on Dec. 7, include:
Susanne Barclay for the PEC Arts Council;
Peter Blendell and Bob Schroen for the Regent Theatre;
Joan Pennefather and Brian Beiles for the PE Community Foundation;
Darrell Smith for Volunteer Information Quinte;
Lynn Sullivan and Janna Smith for Festival Players;
Sandra Latchford for Glenwood Cemetery;
Deborah Simpson and Nancy Parks for County FM;
Susan Quaiff for The Hub Child and Family Centre;
Debbie Woods for the John Howard Society;
Geoff Cudmore and Brigitte Frances for the National Air Force Museum of Canada.

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  1. Marnie says:

    Why am I not surprised, Gary? I don’t think many of us have seen a four percent increase in our income this year. Noticed some empty parking spaces on Main Street yesterday and today and lots of sales. Maybe people are tightening their belts in anticipation of those hikes. The money has to come from somewhere.

  2. Gary says:

    There coming after you Marnie, probably to the tune of at least 4%. Have you seen a 4% raise in income in many years? And this is just basic property tax not all the other user fees.

  3. Marnie says:

    Time to trim the fat. Many of the groups and organizations seeking grants could do more fundraising on their own. If the events/special interests in which they are involved cannot become self-supporting perhaps it is time to discontinue them. The beleaguered taxpayer can no longer afford to see money go for many of these initiatives.

  4. Hildagard says:

    All these groups looking for hand-outs!! It needs to STOP NOW!! We can’t afford to pay anymore taxes. If the groups are not self-sufficient–do away with them!!! Most of these groups are FRILLS that we can do without!! Glenwood Cemetery is the only worth while one listed and they can even do fund raising to support it! I don’t see the other County located cemeteries begging for money! Taxpayers are taxed to the limit! I do NOT want my tax dollars wasted on these groups! My taxes, water bills and hydro are at their limits. STOP this train wreck now–and say NO to these groups who are trying to take my dollars out of my wallet!!

  5. lou says:

    also, since its understaffed. 300,000 could employ front line staff. MOre PSW and nurse.

    staff upset. as they get overworked

    residents not satisfied because the staff are overworked and cant spend the time. as there are other residents waiting for them

    a lose lose situation.

    if the residents are having very bare minimum care etc etc
    then they need more employees
    they say they can not afford it
    BUT
    they spend 300,000

    I think the contract finishes In June and hope there is a change.

    Think of the poor residents FIRST please

  6. Chuck says:

    Sounds like the McFarland Home is unsafe and requires a lot of work prior to building a new one. Guess this wasn’t on the radar until an inspection revealed the pitfalls.

  7. Caryn says:

    The costs of this situation are not even measurable.

    1. Increasing Resident and Family dissatisfaction and unhappiness (lack of communication, not involved in decision making, feeling like they are not listened to etc)

    2. Staff dissatisfaction and unhappiness (overworked, underappreciated, feeling they are disrespected and not listened to)

    3. $600,000 to the agency, over $300,000 more in costs than previously when it was internal

    4. Obviously, litigation and severance costs for wrongful dismissal cases

    5. Decreasing quality as can be proven by the recent Resident Quality Inspection by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

    The real question is why this fiasco ever even started. I think there might have been a plan that neither Council nor the public were aware of.

    It all started with a push to put those buildings on the front lawn, which thankfully was stopped by Council after the Residents and Families were assisted to voice their objections.

    Did you know that the care department of the Retirement Home that is being built on the McFarland property is run by St. Elizabeth Healthcare?

    This county cannot afford to lose any more jobs, particularly when there is no benefit to be seen. I am worried about what the next steps will bring with this partnership.

    McFarland Home is just an example, there are many other departments in the County.

    Yes, it is time to look at how this county is being run and make some major changes…

  8. Chuck says:

    Yeah hear you, it’s like you are suddenly doing a performance review for those that you used to report to. Not a good management situation. These Commissioners should have more performance based contracts.

  9. Fred says:

    It is never a healthy situation when the Commissioners used to be the CAO’s boss. You never want to manage personnel that you are indebted to. The Human Resources Dep’t is a disaster. They are both drawing huge 100k + salaries biding their time for the golden package. Time for change!

  10. Frank says:

    So the cost of St Elizabeth Healthcare is over $600,000 per year for just 2 positions. This is over $300,000 more than previously paid for those positions when they were internal..

    What is the real reason they were hired? Is St Elizabeth Healthcare not the same company that the developer that is building the Retirement home uses? Was there perhaps an ulterior motive in choosing this company? One would wonder what the plan really was.

    If you look at it even closer, you might find that the Administrator took a stand against this retirement home being built in the front lawn of H.J. McFarland Home- on behalf of the Residents. The Residents and families were even assisted to take their concerns to Council, and won!! Then, what, a year later she and the other senior manager are dismissed, and St Elizabeth Healthcare brought in? Look at the timing- when the construction of the retirement home was starting and in between councils!

    You probably should factor in the wrongful dismissal suits, those 2 managers must have against the county, into the actual costs.

    It really is time to take a look at how this county is being run and by whom.

  11. Emily says:

    Show us the positives from Shire Hall. The place is poorly managed and has been for sometime. When these two Commissioners arrived on scene the place has gone to “hill”! They have not performed well but maintain there fat cat positions.

  12. lou says:

    My concern is the 600,000 paid to the Temporary St Elizabeth agency for Mcfarland home

    its paying over 300,000 MORE to them then before (fired the two managers).

    but then ask for another 70,000 to hire another care person
    because st elizabeth cant handle it.

    I hope they hire people by June 2016 when contract ends.
    thats ridculous
    to pay OVER 300,000

    and raise taxes to the community
    raise water bills.

    They cant keep paying that 600
    when hiring full time will be 250.00

    this over 300,000 could go towards other things at mcfarland.

    THey want to improve the grounds…….but have raffle tickets trying to raise money. for the last few years.
    ?

    the did not hire a company to do the gardens
    it took residents till Sept to make it look nice.

  13. Emily says:

    Heard that as well. Surprising that a Council that has been so vocal to health care cuts turned down our own seniors home needs.

  14. Chuck says:

    Hiring an IT supervisor but say “NO” to a care co-ordinator at our long term care McFarland Home. Priorities?

  15. Chuck says:

    So the news reported an Operations Manager stating we have a $500,000 surplus, but then the Commissioner said probably not. Which information is correct in a budget process?

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