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Ron Ashmore

Retired civil servant offers to assist city improve its performance

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While many Canadians might find their municipal, provincial of federal government services lacking and complain about it, one local man is taking another approach.

David Webb, a retired Ontario civil servant living in the Dunsford area, sees things differently.  In a deputation to council made on Oct. 6, Webb offered to work pro-bono to assist the city to measure and improve the performance of city departments beginning first with a small pilot project.

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Unpaid property taxes in city lower than provincial average, audit shows

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In 2019 the city collected a little over $139 million in taxation from the citizens of Kawartha Lakes, with $5.57 remaining in unpaid taxes from 2019 currently sitting on the city’s books.

“The ratio of taxes not paid is 4.01 per cent,” Carolyn Daynes, the treasurer for Kawartha Lakes, told council at their September meeting.

“And any delinquency under 10 per cent is deemed okay by the province. The average of uncollected taxes across the province sits at 5.6 per cent so the city is generally doing a good job.”

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City fine tunes fireworks legislation; Ashmore opposes limits in bylaw

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By a vote of 8-1, Kawartha Lakes council passed a sweeping by-law that will limit the use of fireworks to just six different sets of days in the annual calendar. Special permits will be required for all other days.

Councillor Ron Ashmore wanted to debate the issue because he felt that the whole idea of a ban “was taking away a lot of enjoyment in people’s lives.”

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Council briefs: Cultural centre, road improvements, traffic calming

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Deferral of Cultural Centre Task Force

Donna Goodwin, economic development officer for arts, culture and heritage, asked council to defer the viability study of a Kawartha Lakes cultural centre until March 31, 2021.

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Turner proposes city use federal guidelines for conservation of local historic places

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Sir Sam Hughes' home, Lindsay. One of many lost homes that might have been saved under a heritage designation.

Economic development officer for heritage, arts and culture for Kawartha Lakes Emily Turner, in a detailed and meticulous presentation to council at the recent committee of the whole meeting, proposed that the city look at adopting the “Guidelines for Conservation of Historic Places in Canada” as the city’s guiding document for conservation moving forward.

The document, originally developed by the federal government in 2003 and updated in 2010, is used by Parks Canada to help “preserve the historic value and conserve the qualities that make the site/building valuable to all Canadians.”

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Local state of emergency to continue; CAO in charge until end of summer

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Council has voted to keep the local state of emergency going, given the province has extended their own to July 1. They have also voted 8-1 to keep CAO Ron Taylor in charge of the city until the end of summer.

Mayor Andy Letham told council that the local Emergency Operations Centre group made up of the hospital, paramedic service, fire department and police and public health unit all recommended that the local state of emergency be consistent with the province’s to avoid confusion.

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Eleven roads earmarked for a ‘life cycle extension’ by city

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Eleven different stretches of road across the city have been earmarked for this year’s life cycle extension.

These roads have been chosen by the public works department for either/or local asphalt paving, local surface treatment, micro-resurfacing, slurry sealing or crack sealing.

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City debuts electronic council meeting as it deals with pandemic response

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April 28 marked the first electronic council meeting in the history of the Kawartha Lakes – and it passed with few glitches.

After passing a new bylaw to make the meeting legal, the clerk, CAO, mayor and all eight councillors spent the next two hours discussing and deliberating how the city has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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