Thinking Big in a Small town

We have a tendency to downplay small towns. The tropes are maybe just true enough to persist: small town folks, the story goes, are sheltered from the big wide world; nothing ever happens in a small town, and young people need to escape to experience the world; and even in reverse, there are a thousandContinue reading “Thinking Big in a Small town”

ROMA Wrapup

After just two nights and three busy days away, my brain took the rest of the week off. Apparently I’m not a young man anymore. The last day of the Rural Ontario Municipal Association 2023 conference was light on learning sessions, and the plenary sessions were sparsely attended as delegates left early. Too bad; theyContinue reading “ROMA Wrapup”

ROMA Conference 2: Waste & Energy

Day 2 of the ROMA conference had lots of learning, and some lovely pushback on bad policy. Morning Session: Beyond the Blue Box & the Circular Economy In this morning’s session, our MPP and Environment Minister, David Piccini, gave some details and promotion for a transition from government-run recycling centres to privately run recycling centres.Continue reading “ROMA Conference 2: Waste & Energy”

ROMA Conference 1: Asset Management Plans

Brighton budgets for Councillors to each attend up to two conferences relevant to our work per year. This helps keep our team in a constant state of learning and growth, which is really helpful for ensuring we have open minds and innovative approaches. This year I chose to attend the Rural Ontario Municipal Association conference,Continue reading “ROMA Conference 1: Asset Management Plans”

Public Consultations

This week started with a Planning meeting that included a public consultation about a proposed development near a wetland. Before, during, and after this meeting there has been significant public interest: councillors have been receiving emails, addressing comments on social media, and getting phone calls about the development, and through all of this communication we’veContinue reading “Public Consultations”

Budget 2: Development Charges

Development Charges are an important part of the municipal budget, they’re very complicated, and the province is making big changes to how they work that could significantly reduce how much we can use. So as we go through it here, keep in mind that our goal is not to understand the technical details of complicatedContinue reading “Budget 2: Development Charges”

Municipal Budgets 1: Taxes

It’s that time of year. I suspect that we choose January and February to do most financial activities because it’s the one time of year that there isn’t anything more interesting going on. Can you imagine trying to write a budget document or file your taxes in July, when you’d rather be at the lake?Continue reading “Municipal Budgets 1: Taxes”

The Public Trust

My last three posts here have been about the Council Code of Conduct and the role of the Integrity Commissioner, and this morning I was in a training session with councillors and senior municipal staff from across Northumberland. Out of the enormous binder I was presented with once I was elected, and the numerous trainingContinue reading “The Public Trust”

Integrity on Council, part 3

In the last post I went through the first ten rules of the Council Code of Conduct to try to lay them out in layman’s terms. They’re pretty straightforward, so these posts are more about summarizing them. You can read the full Code of Conduct here. Now let’s pick up at rule 11. 11. RespectContinue reading “Integrity on Council, part 3”

Integrity on Council, part 2

The Council Code of Conduct is a thorough set of guidelines that, if followed, should more than keep us out of trouble; it should keep us respectful, united, and productive. (For more info on what happens if we step out of line, see part 1 on the Integrity Commissioner.) The Code of Conduct The CouncilContinue reading “Integrity on Council, part 2”