Thursday, December 9, 2010

Retirement Party Follow-up

Last Friday I had a meeting with Mayor Bob Codner regarding the expenditure for a party that was held at the Bella Vista for a retiring town employee. I expressed my opposition to using tax dollars to pay for this type of function and he disagreed with my position on the matter.

The mayor assured me that this particular recognition was warranted and that he certainly doesn’t feel that it was out of order. He spoke about how this is another aspect of running the town and he referred to it as the softer side of things as apposed to other town services like water and sewer, garbage pickup and snow clearing.

He tells me that this is not a typical situation and that not all employees would receive this type of send off upon leaving the employment of the town. Bob feels that some long term employees of the town have not always been treated fairly and their working situations have been less than desirable. He spoke of the fact that in the past employees who have been working for the town for many years have basically entered into retirement with nothing in terms of financial support such as a pension.

As the Mayor put it, when one looks at the situation as a whole you can see the rational behind their decision which was unanimous among town staff and council. The intent was to show an appreciation to this worker for his years of dedication to the town and that he was an integral contributor to maintaining town services over the years. As is often the case the true contribution of an employee may not be fully recognized by the general public in the same way it is seen by council and staff.

While I agree that it is appropriate to honour long time employees and show appreciation for their years of dedication, I also feel we could do it in a more responsible manner as it relates to tax payers money. If the ultimate intent is to demonstrate to an employee appreciation for their service to the town, wouldn’t it make sense to allow the residents of the town to participate some how? Why wouldn’t we make it known to the general public what a great public servant this person was and how valuable they have been over the years. Instead we usher them off in retirement with a dinner party with a few of their friends and coworkers and the tax payer gets the bill.
I asked how much this party cost and I was told that it was in the range of $6000.00. I also asked if we are going to have this type of function why couldn’t we have it in the Town of Torbay. I was assured that they did explore that option but in the long run it was cheaper and easier to do it at the location they chose. With that in mind and the knowledge that there are still a few long term employees left at council this type of event may happen again. I would hope that the town would refrain from these expenditures in the future but my impression is that they won’t. If the town is going to have a similar recognition of an employee I suggest to them to make every effort to have it within the boundaries of our town. If the cost for a similar event is greater in the town then maybe they should think about having something cheaper and co-workers paying their own way like they do in most other public institutions.

I have been pursuing this story for several months now and have heard from many people who are against using tax dollars this way. However when I mentioned to the Mayor that I have spoken to many people who think this type of expenditure by council is wrong he expressed to me that the people who he has spoken to have been in favour of it. This tells me a couple of things, first of all Bob is not talking to the same people I am. Secondly where are all the complaints? It is no good for people to express to me how disturbed they are and that I should do this and I should do that with regards to inquiring about these and other matters. If council is not hearing from residents about particular issues then they can assume that people are happy. Then when one person starts complaining council may shrug it off and attribute it to an isolated event.

If people really want to have a say in how our town is run and how we move into the future then you need to speak up. It is no good to sit back and complain to each other if there is something happening that you don’t agree with. On the flip side of that if you like something council has done it is a good idea to tell them that as well so that favourable initiatives are encouraged and council can make decisions based on how residents feel instead of just assuming we feel a certain way.

One of the things I give credit to the councillors that I have been involved with is that they have been forthright and open when it comes to communicating with me and that includes town staff as well. People should take advantage of the fact that they have a right and in my opinion a duty to question their elected representatives and have their concerns addressed.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Absolutely Rotted!!

I know I have not been blogging much lately but to tell you the truth I have been too rotted to get up the energy to write anything.

I have had a few bad weeks, first off the motor went on our washer so we ended up having to spend a small fortune to get a new washer and dryer...then the friggin fridge started to act up and had to buy a new fridge, and of course that was another bunch of money. To make matters worse the new fridge wouldn't fit under the damn cabinets so I had to remove those, cut them and order new doors. Add to that I had to get repairs done on my car, put tires on the truck and on and on and on! Don't even get me started about winterizing the pool and getting the kids rink ready.

Just when I though I couldn't be more rotted the municipal assessment shows up and I see that council wants another pile of money from me. That in turn made me think about the fact that council still has not gotten back to me with the information I requested in relation to that retirement party that they don't see to want to talk about. Well that was enough to set me off this evening. I sent another follow-up email to the Mayor and the rest of council to see if anyone over in that council chamber has the guts to stand behind the expenditures they approve.

They told me over a month ago once I started asking about this that in order to get the information I wanted I had to put in an official request to council. Fair enough I said and proceeded to send an email to the Mayor and all the Councillors, seems official enough to me. However it has been since September 29th since I sent that email and have not heard one peep. I suspect that they are going to get nit-picky with me and say that it has to be in writing and delivered to council on paper....I guess I will have to print the email off and bring it over if that is the route they take....I am not holding my breath on that one.

That being said, I am not giving up on this issue because I have spoken to many people about this over the past month and I have not heard one person defend the spending and everyone is as pissed about it as I am. This issue is very important to me especially considering I have another big council bill on the way to pay for my garbage pick up and I am sure they will be wanting that to replenish the party coffers once they blow a bunch of money on the Christmas Party that is sure to be coming up.

Stay tuned, hopefully I can have something to report on this soon.

Oh and who in Torbay right now is not rotted with the mess on Torbay Road. I have been going the Portugal Cove or Outer Cove route most days but the other day I went out there and was delayed by 3 separate construction crews.....took me an hour to get to work....Rotted indeed!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Council Meeting Last Night and the By-Pass Road

Well I went to the council meeting last night and prior to the meeting I was speaking to a lady who works for Farrell's Construction and found out that they are the company who has been awarded the tender to pave the Torbay By-Pass Road. I have asked several people including our MHA about this company and they have nothing but good words to say about them. That is why I was so surprised by what happened at council.

The meeting was pretty uneventful except for when the topic of Farrell's came up because they are looking for the support of the town to use the pit that is in by Robin's Pond Hill to blast and crush the stone for the by-pass road. It all seemed pretty simple to me, the stone is there and the company would crush it and stay off our other roads with an estimated 8500 round trips to bring the stone in from another pit.

However in my opinion Councillor Smith seemed to go way overboard with her assessment of a letter sent to council requesting this support. Basically she called the owner of the company down in the dirt and questioned his integrity. I was shocked and so was the representative from the company judging from the look on her face and I can't blame her.

Here we have a company that wants to do business in our town and we have a Councillor who is an elected official and representative of the people having a hissy fit at a public meeting. I thought her comments were way out of line and frankly embarrassing. Judging from the parts of the letter that she read out during the meeting I didn't see anything in there to be offended by and I am trying to get a copy of the letter to let everyone see what the big fuss was about.

Apparently Farrell's offered the Town of Torbay stone for helping them out. Seems perfectly logical to me, they are going to be doing the road anyway and doesn't it make sense to keep the construction traffic entirely on the by-pass route and not have them trucking stone across our other roads especially Bauline Line and Indian Meal Line. I know I don't want all those trucks trekking back and forth in front of my place but I guess making some kind of grandiose spectacle is more important then the safety of our children and drivers that would be impacted by the increased traffic....not to mention the money the town would save by getting all that stone for free.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Torbay Left Behind On Curbside Recycling?

Recycling seems to be the one of the foremost programs being implemented across our region and it seems that Torbay is lagging behind everyone else.

The city of St John’s has finally brought its Curbside Recycling Program on line and from everything I have heard it seems to be well though out and should run smoothly. This program has been a long time in the making and I hope the residents of St John’s embrace this opportunity to help the environment by recycling as many materials as they can and reduce the amount of garbage going to the land fill.

The city has created a new website dedicated to Curbside Recycling that has all the information resident will need to take full advantage of the program. There are also many good tips on that site for everyone if you are interested.

Not only has the City of St John’s left us in their dust but so have other municipalities on the North East Avalon. Mount Pearl, Paradise, Pouch Cove, Flatrock and Logy Bay Middle Cove Outer Cove have all jumped into the curbside recycling fray with either programs that are running or will be running in the not too distant future. As indicated in the May 25, 2010 council minutes Portugal Cove St. Phillips has also discussed this and were to be contacting Pouch Cove to ask about their program.

St John’s – Curbside Recycling starts Oct 18, 2010

Mount Pearl – Curbside Recycling program to start Nov 16, 2010

Paradise – Curbside Recycling program is ongoing

Pouch Cove – Curbside Recycling program in ongoing

Flatrock – Curbside Recycling starts on November 10, 2010

Logy Bay Middle Cove Outer Cove – Curbside Recycling program started Sept 2010

There is a glaring absence from this list and it is the Town of Torbay. We are one of the fasted growing municipalities in our region and we appear to have no curbside recycling program planned for the near future. I don’t recall ever reading anything on the town website regarding curbside recycling and put the question out there for anyone who has heard anything.

I know that there are members of council who care about the environment and I am sure they would love to impliment a similar program to the other municipalities. It may even be easier now because the City of St. John's has the infrastructure in place at the dump now to handle the materials being recycled. I guess we will see over the next little while if they have any intentions of moving forward in this area.

This is not only an environmental issue for me it is a policy issue. What is our policy on curbside recycling if we have one at all? Why is the Town of Torbay not being as environmentally responsibly as other municipalities in the region when it comes to municipal waste?

Maybe the answer to these questions is as simple as money. Possibly we just can’t afford to have a program like this considering all the other pressing needs we have. Really, we are still dumping raw sewage into our bay contaminating the beach, what is a few truckloads of recyclable materials landing in Robin Hood bay?

Nice To See The Beach Cleaned Up

I was down at the beach in Torbay last week and it was nice to see that they finally have that mess of fill that was dumped down there cleaned up. I guess when you add the fact that it appears that the work has been completed on the sewage outfall pipe it is really starting to come around.

One thing I have noticed about going down there though compared to the days when we used to frequent that beach as kids is how the beach is really pushed back. The beach used to be a lot flatter and the river wasn’t as predominant as it is now but I guess we can thank the weather for that. I also think that the beach has pretty much been a right off for activities like getting capelin, catching skulpins and trouting in the river ever since the town started pumping raw sewage in the bay.

When I was young that beach used to be a hub of activity for young and old alike but the environmental disaster we refer to as sewer outfall has changed all that. It is hard to imaging that in the year 2010 we intentionally do something like that to our historic beach.

I know the town has been working on a plan to build a new sewage treatment plant and I believe that this is an initiative that is high priority for the Mayor and council. I hope that this project can get approved and work started on it in the near future so that the residents of Torbay can go and enjoy that beach again.

It really makes me sick when my kids ask me to take them to get some beach rocks or go to see capelin that I have to drive past a beach that I have fond memories and head to Middle Cove. I have nothing against Middle Cove Beach and enjoy going there but I would feel better if I was doing it by choice and not necessity.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Open House At Torbay Volunteer Firehall

There was a great time had by all at the open house last Thursday night and I just wanted to say thank you to all the Volunteer Firefighters who work in service to our town and for putting this open house on. My kids really enjoyed seeing Sparky and having the opportunity to sit in the fire truck and speak to the Firefighters that were present.

This also gave us the initiative to develop a fire safety plan with our kids. We had a great time discussing our evacuation plan and explaining to them what to do in the case of a fire. We drew up a little diagram of the house and identified exits and a meeting place outside in the case we need to evacuate. Kids are very resourceful and this little exercise could go a long way in helping save their lives if the unthinkable should happen.
All too often we forget the sacrifice made by these men and women to give their time and risk their lives on our behalf. I know many members of the current fire department and also former members and one thing they all have in common is the commitment to make out fire service top notch.

We are lucky in Torbay to have such a well staffed and qualified fire department that we can rely on any hour of the day or night. As our town gets bigger the demands on these people will no doubt increase and I am sure they will be there to answer the challenge.

Again I would just like to say thanks and for everyone to support the fire department at every opportunity you can. Keep up the good work.

Follow Up To A Comment I Received Defending Council Spending

I have gotten a lot of responses from my story about how the town spends our money and almost everyone seemed to agree that it was inappropriate to spend money in that way except for one person....who by the way posted anonymous disagreed with me and tried to justify it because public servants work hard. This is the first part of the comment but it goes on and I think I will address it. First of all I would like to say that anyone who supports this type of spending and feels that strongly about should put their name on it....especially if they happen to be a councilor or member of the staff at the town. Stand up and be counted for your beliefs and don’t' hide behind an anonymous comment.

This excerpt from the comment

I feel that if a person wishes to dedicate 25+ years of their life to servicing the people of Torbay, St. John's, Newfoundland or the people of Canada as a public servant they certainly deserve to be recognized by their colleagues and by the people they served. What most people do not realize is that public servants often times have to balance the needs of the people, the demands of the politicians, and the resources available in order to ensure the safety and well being of the residents of the communities in which they work and live. It is quite easy for people to criticize the work of public servants, the manner in which they handle resources or the politicians that run for office. However I would ask anyone of these critics to spend a day in the shoes of any public servant or politician. You would certainly have a different attitude.

Well I work as a public servant and know many people who also work as public servants and you can be assured that if they work for the province or the Federal Government they are NOT getting retirement parties paid for by the tax payer. Only in municipal government where there is lax oversight on how public funds are being spent can this type of thing happen.

As for a person dedicating 25+ years of their life to serve the public I agree that they should be recognized but let’s be realistic here, they didn't do it for free. Nobody forced them to work in the public service and they could have left the job at any time so don’t' give me the old song and dance about how hard it is and the long hours and limited resources and spend a day in the shoes of a public servant.

As for politicians they have a duty to serve the town and their employers which are the tax payers. They have a duty to spend the money that we give them for the good of all the residents of the community and to provide value for our tax dollars. Value like cleaning up our beach, ensuring we have clean water, clearing our roads of snow in the winter among other essential services. In order to provide these services we need to have employees at the town and they have a clear job description that may include overtime and working long hours. I have no problem with council workers, I know lots of them and I agree that at times they work extremely hard in difficult conditions.

Then there was this excerpt from the comment

The only difference in a public servant and an individual working for a private company is public servants are always under the scrutiny of the public eye. So everyone complains about how the taxes they pay are spent so frivolously yet I ask you how much a year do you pay for telephone, internet or cable TV? Probably as much or more as you pay for taxes and how many of you contact Rogers or Bell or any other service providers to find out how they are spending that money?

Of course public servants are under the scrutiny of the public eye, they are paid with public money...we are the employers not the council or the other town employees, the money comes from our pocket. As for how much money we pay to Bell or Rogers what the hell has that got to do with anything? Those are private for profit companies that operate as a business and as such have to provide a service for their customers or that customer will go somewhere else. I am not forced by law to give one red cent to Bell or Rogers or any other service coming to my home. I am forced however to pay my taxes and that is the difference, I have no choice so it is incumbent on me or any other tax payer to question how our money gets spent. If people can't recognize the difference and they want to make these analogies then I think they should not be involved in the decisions on how public monies are being spent.

This person goes on to say that it is totally appropriate for the town to budget 1/2 of 1% to honor a long standing employee. This little admission tells me that this commenter is indeed either a member of council or someone in the town who has access to the actual cost of this party. Again I say put your name on it especially if you are a councilor so that you can be properly addressed in this matter instead of cowardly hiding under an anonymous moniker.

Finally the commenter ends with this

Do you REALLY know what is going on in this Town or are you basing your opinions on the comments or the bloggers in this forum?? If you really think that this long term employee deserves to be recognized then who do you think should pay for it?? I would say the people for whom the services were provided. A resident grateful for the services we have and hopeful that we will continue to grow and prosper in this wonderful Community that we have.

Well the point of having this discussion and my reason for having this site is to explore what is going on in the town for the very reason that people don't know what is going on and we share our opinions. As for this employee deserving to be recognized by all means recognize them with a plaque and a public acknowledgment and maybe a small gift in the $50 dollar range. NOT a dinner costing possibly thousands of tax payer’s dollars. If you must go out to dinner then get the employees to chip in and pay for the dinner for the retiring employee and pay for their own dinners too.........That is how it works in the real world and in other branches of the public service.

This entire story has absolutely nothing to do with the retiring employee or any other employees of the town. It has to do with council because they are the ones who are approving the budget with this expenditure in it. They are the ones who we elect to represent us in council chamber and entrust with the public purse to spend our dollars with the utmost respect for every resident of Torbay.

You want to talk about how hard it is to be a councilor or a town employee and how hard it is to get up at 4:30 in the morning to go plow a road so people can enjoy Christmas. You say we should all walk a mile in you’re shoes. Are you for real?

Why don't you try walking in the shoes of a single mother who can't afford to put $3 in the school lunch program envelope to give their child a nutritious lunch? How about the struggling family who need to go to the church to get a Christmas Basket so they can sit down and have a Christmas dinner? How about the families that have to go to the salvation army to get cloths to put on their children’s back so they can send them to school? How about the elderly people in our town who have to choose between paying their electrical bill or buying their prescriptions or groceries? How about the people in our town who have to regularly use the food bank to be able to put decent meals on the table on a regular basis?

Maybe council should be thinking of these people who live in our town who get served with a tax bill each year and have no choice but to try and pay it for fear of losing the roof over their heads before deciding to budget for employee social events like a retirement party. Yes we have a wonderful town with many appealing and attractive amenities. But we also have our problems and trying to ignore them or sweeping them under the rug will not make them go away.

Anyone who thinks I am going to stop pointing out deficiencies I see in how our town is being run and that I can be swept under the rug or just ignored is sadly mistaken. I will acknowledge the good I see and will give credit where credit is due but people have to learn to take the good with the bad. That includes council members who make decisions that effect us all and those decision makers who don’t' have the guts to defend their positions publically but instead choose to make anonymous comments attacking my positions on my website.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Torbay Road Construction

Well it finally looks like Weirs is stating to make some progress with Torbay Road. It is about time if you ask me, I am so sick of driving past that section of road and seeing nothing getting done. I had an inquiry from a reader informing me that he heard Weirs was being fined $2000 a day for being late. I don't know if that is the case or not but I contacted a few people to ask them and I couldn't get a definitive answer on an actual amount but it appears that they may be subject to some kind of fine. Judging from the fact that they had a large crew there on Saturday something must be up.

One thing that I have noticed and I don't know if anyone else paid any attention to this is how old and run down Weirs equipment is. Normally I wouldn't pay any mind but a couple of weeks ago another company and forgive me if I have this wrong but I believe it was Municipal Construction was resurfacing the section of road between Middle Cove Road and Marine Drive.

Anyway there were a few things about that particular project that jumped out at me, first it was the relative speed that they had the job done and secondly how new and in great shape their equipment was. All of their dump trucks and rollers and graders and what ever they had on site looked brand new. If the condition of the equipment a company owns is an indicator of the quality of their work then it is fitting considering the pile of junk that Weirs has out on Torbay Road.

It still looks like there is a lot of work to be done to get that section of road in driving condition before winter and hopefully they will get it done. One thing we can all hope for is that Weirs doesn't win any more contracts to build roads in our area. I hate to single out a company but considering they have been a thorn in all of our sides for the entire summer I think it is justified.

Friday, October 8, 2010

How Does Council Spend Our Money? I am Surprised!

You know that is a very good question and I guess the simple answer is to look at the work they do around town with regards to roads, public infrastructure, soccer fields, parks etc. I guess many people never give a second thought to how the funds are allocated once the budget is passed and the money starts flowing, basically we put our trust in council to spend our money wisely.

Recently I was contacted by a reader of my website and they informed me that on September 17, 2010 there was a retirement party held for a town employee at the Belle Vista. The person had several questions related to the party with regards to how it was paid for and if this is a legitimate expenditure for council to make with tax payers dollars.

Well to say the least my interest was peaked and I decided to do some digging around and spoke to many people who knew about the party and they were equally as concerned as I was. After getting these opinions I decided to contact council and the town to get a definitive answer on the subject.

I received word back from the Deputy Mayor Geoff Gallant that he had passed on my inquiry to the proper people in the town office to see if I could be provided with an answer. I appreciate the manner in which he responded and have always found him forthcoming and helpful as he was in this case. 

On a side note he also gave me some advise that I would pass on to everyone that when you want to get official information from council it is better to write council so that inquiries can be directed to the proper channels. I think this is fair considering that many times I write only one or two members of council to get information and that may be an unfair burden. I would like to thank Geoff for this advice.

Anyway back to the matter at hand, the retirement party for a town employee. Basically I went to council and asked them this 
I heard a rumour that there was a big party at the Belle Vista with a sit down meal and a free bar and the retiree also received a $350 gift certificate for the Keg. Now the person I heard this from is very reliable and I have no reason not to believe them. I have no problem with throwing a party for an employee however I would like to know if the town paid for it and how much did it cost?
After about a week or so I received an email from the CAO of the town with this reply.
The event held on September 17, 2010 was a retirement dinner to honour and recognize an employee’s years of service to the residents of Torbay. This was a budgeted item for 2010 – under public relations.  The 2010 budget is public information and  is available for your review on the town’s website or a print copy can be made available upon request.   The Town has held similar functions in the past upon am employee’s retirement.

I would like to clarify that staff socials are not part of the main operating budget – such an expenditure is covered by monies staff collect through recycling efforts
I was conflicted after receiving this response because on the one hand I was happy that they got back to me relatively quickly but while I was reading it by blood began to boil. A budgeted item? Public Relations? You have got to be kidding me. Every year we all have to write a big fat check to the Town of Torbay for our municipal taxes and over the past few years that check has gotten bigger and bigger. When we write those checks we are putting our trust in council that they are going to use that money wisely for the benefit of all residents of Torbay. Can someone please tell me how having a big sit down retirement dinner for a town employee serves the tax payers of this town?

I have nothing against honoring employees of the town who have dedicated years of their lives in service of the residents but please don't do it on our dime. What drives me even more nuts is the fact that council and staff had the foresight to put it in the budget (hidden under public relations in my opinion) but they don't have the common sense to realize that this is a slap in the face to every tax payer in Torbay, who scrape and save to be able to pay that big fat council bill that comes out each year.

I would bet that there are an awful lot of people in Torbay who couldn't afford to go out to a fancy meal and have to clip coupons or rely on the food bank to supplement their groceries. I don't have to bet on it because I know some of them, not all people in Torbay have $300,000 and higher homes and make $100,000 a year. How many parents in Torbay are grateful for the School Lunch and Breakfast Programs at the school because they can't afford to provide their kids with a healthy meal? Yet they are expected to pay their municipal taxes to the town and then watch employees and friends of a retiring town employee go out and have a time on their hard earned money.

Another aspect of that response that made me a little sick was this 
The Town has held similar functions in the past upon am employee’s retirement.
So just how long has the town been squandering our tax dollars on retirement parties and what else do they use that so called public relations budget on. I don't even know how anyone over in that council office can look at people who pay their salaries, yes I mean the tax payers in case they forgot, with a straight face and say that these types of functions are in any way public relations and certainly not value for tax payers dollars.

I have worked in both private and public sector and I can guarantee you that when I had coworkers within the government that retired they didn't get a party paid for by the tax payer. If they had anything it may have a been a lunch or a supper with their coworkers that was paid for by the employees. You would be fired if you used tax payer dollars for personal reasons.

I don't expect the town to never make a mistake or go over budget on an expenditure, those things happen. However I do expect them to treat tax payers dollars with the utmost respect and never spend our money in a way that undermines the trust we need to have in our elected officials and the people employed by our town.

I have put a subsequent request to council asking for a full detailing of that $9000 public relations budget, what it is spent on and exactly how much that retirement party cost. I will also be requesting to council that they end this practice immediately of using tax payers dollars to pay for these types of functions in the future.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Road Improvement and Recreation Levies

At the August 23rd meeting of council there was finally a vote on this motion.

345-10 Motion – Councillor Roche / Councillor Byrne
RESOLVED THAT the $1000.00 levies for road improvement and the $400.00 levies for recreation be applied only to those residential projects approved effective January 1, 2010.

Question called. Motion failed as a 2/3‟s majority is required for a financial matter.
For motion: Mayor Codner, Councillor Byrne, Councillor Roche, and Councillor Whitty.
Against motion: Deputy Mayor Gallant, Councillor Smith, and Councillor Tapper.

This is a pretty sticky issue because it appears that it only effects one or two developers and is basically blindsiding them with extra cost that were not anticipated. There were arguments back and forth on the merits of the motion and in the end the tax happy councillors won out and they decided to make the cash grab. Their argument was that they had included these levies to balance the 2010 budget and used that as justification to gouge an extra $42,000. Which by the way the Mayor had to correct Councillor Smith on a point of order because she had stated that the amount was $98,000 dollars. So here we have a councillor supporting a cash grab from a respected developer to balance a budget in an amount that she was not even sure about.

I wonder were they trying to make up for the extra $70,000 or so they had to spend to do the work over on Torbay Beach cleaning the sewer pipe? Was that in the budget? 

Makes me wonder what kind of people we have running our town when they will go out of their way to penalize a respected developer for a measly $42,000 on a budget over $7,000,000. I am sure this council and others before it have wasted way more money than that on useless projects and screw-ups. I hope this type of backstabbing of developers doesn't have negative consequences on future developments in Torbay but we can be rest assured that in the end it will be the home owner that gets screwed as usual because those extra charges will not likely come from the developers pocket.

Property Assessment Information Session

The Town of Torbay in partnership with the Muncipal Assessment Agency (MAA) will be hosting an information session on the property assessment process. MAA representatives will provide an overview and will be available for questions.

Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Location: Torbay Kinsmen Community Centre, Bauline Line

Note: 2011 assessment notices will be mailed to all landowners during the week of October 4, 2010.


I encourage as many people to go to this session as possible because the way our properties have been assessed and reassessed the ;last couple of years is ridiculous in my opinion. I believe that my home has been reassessed at least 3 times in the last 2 years and my taxes have gone up each and every time. I believe the last time it went up by almost 30%.

I don't know about you but I have very little faith in the assessment process and wonder why I feel I am getting gouged at every turn. To make matters worse I don't think I am getting value for my tax dollars as it relates to town services. Lets face it anyone who lives on a provincial road like Bauline Line and does not have water and sewer are getting screwed by this town.

I have sat back and really given some though to what I receive from the Town of Torbay for my tax dollars, which are considerable by the way, and the lst is not very long. The only service I can think of that I recieve is garbage pickup once a week and fire services if my house ever burns down the Volunteer Fire Department will come over to save my foundation. That is a bit harsh on the fire department but I couldn't help myself, I have a lot of respect for those guys and what they do and I am glad we have such a dedicated group of individuals there to help us when we need it.

  1. My road is plowed by the province.
  2. Bauline Line is maintained and repaired by the province although it doesn't look like anyone is doing it.
  3. I don't have water and sewer and most likely never will
So, really what do we get for our money....I know they will say that I need to travel the roads of Torbay to get to Bauline Line and all that cost money and it is all for the greater good of the town. That argument doesn't fly with me because the people of Flatrock, Pouch Cove and Bauline also have to pass through Torbay to get to their houses and they don't have to pay the Town of Torbay.

Most of what I am saying here is in jest but they are legitimate questions we should be asking when the town asks us to pony up thousands of dollars to put in the town coffers. I would like to know how it is that I should have to pay double the property taxes as another resident in this town that avails of all the services the town has to offer? Why are people who are NOT availing of all town services charged the same mill rate as those who do?

These are the things I would like to know and will be inquiring about when I go to the information session. It is time that people in this town started to speak up about unfair taxation and stop standing by and letting council and the provincial government walk all over us.

I hope to see a lot of people there to voice their displeasure.........if my the way you like the amount of taxes you pay then don't go to the session, instead go to the hospital and get your head examined.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Check Out These Photos From Around The Island

What A Mess!

Anyone who had to get into town today for work certainly had their work cut out for them. I don't think it mattered what way you went there was traffic backups all over the place. I was going to go through Logy Bay but when I got to the end of Indian Meal Line the cars were lined up to there so I went Portugal Cove and the ride from there was great until I got to the start of the traffic lights. There were no lights working and people drive like idiots so they have no idea how a 4-way stop is supposed to work. You were taking you life in your hands just trying to get through an intersection.

To make matters worse when I got to work the building was closed because there was no power. Coming back home wasn't a problem though through Logy Bay so it looks like the initial traffic jams must have cleared up somewhat but there is still lights out and a tangle getting through the intersections. I would imagine there were a lot of people like me this morning too with the schools being closed trying to clamor to get someone to look after the kids or staying home so the traffic was likely a lot less than it could have been.

Hopefully everyone was safe yesterday and didn't have too much damage to their homes, it appears that we were lucky on the North East Avalon compared to come places on the Burin Peninsula and Bonivista area. They had major flooding and many people may lose their homes to water and wind damage. One thing for sure is that houses are built pretty good in Newfoundland compared to places on the mainland because I am sure that if they were faced with the same wind we were that they would most certainly lost their shingles if not their roofs. Judging from the fact that my house never had any issues considering the wind I would say many people have the same result as I do.

Good Luck with your cleanup.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More pictures from Igor

These are just a few pictures I took today between 4:00 and 5:00 while I was out around. Lost my power at around 6:00 and just got it back.

Ditch on Indian Meal Line. It was overflowing across the road and flooded my parents place.

This is a brand new house in that new subdivision off Bridge Road. I am willing to bet that the guy who bought that house is not from Torbay because that river has flooded like that for as long as I can remember and this is right behind my parents house. Good luck buddy

Again I feel bad for this guy.

River on Indian Meal Line behind my parents house.

I took these pictures after the rain stopped so the water was higher.

Hope the Ryan's and the Coady's didn't get flooded out on Lower Street.

Here are a few pictures of Great Pond, looks more like the ocean.
These pictures don't do it justice as to how rough that pond is.

Some pictures from around my house

This wind is certainly taking a toll on my fence and trees. I may be getting some water in my basement too. Igor you bastard!

My Poor old Trees

This was last night, at the start

It bounces back like this when the wind dies down

This is not looking good

Not much holding it now

At least my pool is still standing

Well it looks like I will be needing repairs to my fence

Full blown Hurricane

Looks like Igor is still going to be a full blown hurricane when it passes by our south coast. I don't remember the last time we had a storm that was still a hurricane when it passed, usually they have reduced to tropical storms or depressions by the time they get here. The cold water of the North Atlantic usually sucks the energy out of them but because this hurricane is moving so fast it is not weakening that much.

I hope everyone is taking this serious and battening down the hatches, it would be a shame for someone to get hurt because of this especially considering we had lots of notice. I know it is typical of us Newfoundlanders to sometimes brush these things off as just another storm but this looks like it will be a big one.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rough night and day ahead!!

Looks like we are in for a rough night and day with Igor boring down on us. I got this image from the Weather Network and it is going to pass pretty close. I was busy this evening clearing up everything in the yard and tying down what I couldn't move and I suspect that many other people were at the same. I hope everyone is safe and we don't have too much flooding. The school in Torbay has already been closed for tomorrow morning and I guess we will have to wait and see for the afternoon.

I got this from Eastern School District Website

School Closure Announcement - Hurricane Igor

September 20, 2010

As a result of a special weather statement issued by the AMEC weather office at 4 p.m. today regarding the potential impact of Hurricane Igor, the Eastern School District advises that all schools under the jurisdiction of the Eastern School District will be closed for Tuesday morning, September 21, with a further update at 10:30 a.m. regarding the status of afternoon classes.

What a mess on Torbay Road

What a mess on Torbay Road, everyone I have talked to says it is ridiculous and wondering when it is ever going to be finished. Just when it seems it can't get any worse they start doing work on Piperstock Hill. I have not heard one person say that they think it is going to get finished before winter. I can only imagine what it is going to be like the winter when the snow and ice start flying. I have been avoiding the entire mess by taking the Portugal Cove route to and from work but even that has it's ups and downs because of construction and one day last week there was an accident that set me back a half an hour.

Many people I have spoken to say they are taking Marine Drive down through Logy Bay but that is getting more and more congested especially with the schools being open.

All I can say is to have patience and there is no point getting frustrated and blowing a gasket, it is what it is and any anger you have built up should be directed at the contractor, the town council and the provincial government and if you think it will make you feel better the federal government. I am sure Jack Harris will get right on that for you once he is finished sucking up to Jack Layton and voting to keep that stupid long gun registry.

Oh well got on a bit of a rant there about federal politics and the morons up there but what the hell.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Paper and Cardboard Drop-Off at Town Hall

The Town of Torbay is having two recycling events at the town hall for paper and cardboard. I am a little behind the times on the first one as it has already occurred on the 28th of August but there is another on Saturday the 25th of September.

These are worthwhile events to be sure but the overriding issue is that in my opinion there should be curb side recycling program in Torbay. Newfoundlanders in general are the worst recyclers in the country and it is not completely our fault, the main issue is that there is very little curb side recycling in the province. I think that Pouch Cove has just implemented the first curb side program in the region and possibly the province and it appears that it is going very well. I was really impressed when I looked at the list of items they can recycle, it reminded me of when I lived in Ottawa and the recycling program there.

Pouch Cove residents and council should be commended for their efforts because it seems that more people are buying into the program. On July 28th just a couple of months after the program started on May the 5th and around 6 or 7 pickups they collected 2.4 Tons of recyclable materials, three times the amount of their first pickup. This just goes to show that if you provide people with the means to participate in programs like this they will indeed do it.

Why is it that Pouch Cove can implement a program like this and we in Torbay are stuck with a program that makes council feel good about them selves but does nothing to change peoples habits. Most likely before I ever get to the town hall with my cardboard and paper it will be burnt in my barrel in the back yard. It is a sad thing to say but it is the truth and I am sure I am not the only one in the town who burns this stuff. It is time for us to move on recycling in this town.

A Possible Cure For Cancer?

My sister was telling me about this hemp oil and how she had known a guy who got diagnosed with terminal testicular cancer and given 3 months to live. He had other tumors throughout his body and when he started taking this oil all of the tumors and the testicular cancer disappeared. He lived for another year and a half after the diagonosis and eventaully died of a brain tumor as I understand it.

I know things like this are hard to believe but I have been looking at this website and the testimonials and personal experiences left by people this guy has helped and it is amazing. Whether you believe it or not it is certainly worth the read and you may find it interesting, I know I did.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Shelley Ballam nee Farewell

I know I am a little late on this one but I really didn't want to say anything until the police finished their investigation. All that aside this is a tragic story with a terrible outcome and I would like to express my condolences to her family and friends. This was a person who was basically the same age as me and had two young children, I hope they get through this OK and God Bless.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Torbay Bypass Road - Public Meeting

Well I was at the meeting last night along with about 80 other people and contrary to what was reported on CBC I didn't think that the Mayor or anyone else for that matter was "ripped into". I admit that people are frustrated with the slow progress and wishing it was done but what I took away from that meeting is that there are a variety of issues that people have and it seems to me that most of them have nothing to do with the slow pace but are more personal to them. That is not to say that we are not angry because Weirs Construction seems to have the take your time and get your stamps attitude towards this project.

People are upset about decisions that were made to cut off Quigley's lane where it is and put an intersection 100 metres to the north of it for future development. They would have liked for it to stay the same but from my understanding there were engineering considerations that had to be made with regards to the access and it couldn't go where the existing Quigley's lane was.

Some resident's in the Reddy Drive area and North Pond Road are concerned about access to traditional wood cutting land as well as the trails for quads and walking. We were told that there is a service road being put there for that purpose however the government looked at a proposal from the town for putting an overpass connecting Reddy Drive to the other side of the by-pass road and deemed it to be too expensive and not justifiable because it led to no where. I don't think the residents were too happy with that answer but it is what it is and no underpass or overpass will go there. I think the vision for the future would have been to connect Reddy Drive up with a road from Forest Landing, at least that is the most logical scenario.

One positive that I heard at the meeting was from the MHA for Cape St. Francis, Kevin Parsons when he advised the Mayor and everyone else that he had received confirmation that morning that traffic lights will be installed at both Indian Meal Line and Bauline Line. That was a major issue for me considering I live on Bauline Line although I am still concerned about the increased traffic I am anticipating. Another point that Kevin made that was pretty obvious to anyone who looks at this project is that this is not a bypass road. He called it an arterial road and that is exactly what it is. If it were a true bypass road there would not be exits all over the place and certainly you wouldn't get on an off in least that is how I see it.

Other issues were discussed as well, one being the desire of the provincial government to hand responsibility of Torbay Road to the town. The Mayor indicated that the Town has sent a cost estimate to the government on what it would entail but from what I was told no real negotiations have gone on between both levels of government. So I guess that is on the back burner for now but we can be rest assured it will come up again.

Another real problem is the state of Bauline Line, Indian Meal Line and Torbay Road between the Bridge and the School. They are in absolutely deplorable condition and these things should be used by the town as a bargaining chip when it comes to discussing who is responsible for Torbay Road. Maybe we can get some pavement in exchange for taking over snow clearing from the province, I think that would be a good deal considering the town snow plow seemingly passes my house in the winter through a foot of snow to go plow a 100 feet of Three Island Pond Road and then drives right back out through the snow on Bauline Line again. If you are going to drive along the road to get to another you may as well plow the damn thing in my opinion.

Anyway all the issues aside it is nice to see people getting out an voicing their opinions and showing some interest in what is going on in our town. It is about time we really started to get interested and let our municipal leaders know what we want and if we are not satisfied we have the hammer when it comes to the next election. Lets hope people stay interested and involved.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

CBC News - Nfld. & Labrador - Torbay man accused of serial armed robberies

What a frigging idiot! I guess the next thing we will be hearing is how he is hooked on OxyContin. I guess he will get a slap on the wrist for this and be back on the street robbing someone else in no time. I guess this is what it means when they say crime follows prosperity. If our economy and town continue to grow then we are going to have to take a serious look at the number of police we have on the streets.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Another Video of Whales in Torbay

This video was posted by the same guy who posted the Killer Whales video but this is of Humpbacks. These are nice videos, anyone know who this is that took them?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Killer Whales in Torbay

This is a video that someone took recently in Torbay of some Killer Whales. Looks like they got pretty close in those boats, must have been a pretty amazing experience. The music is great that they added to the video too.

Recent Crime and Lack of Police Presence

I have heard concerns from some residents of Torbay with regards to crime and what appears to be a lack of police presence in our town. I know recently the community has had it's share of incidents that are not characteristic of life in Torbay.

One resident of the Flemings Hill/ North Pond area contacted me to say that there has been an official petition presented to council regarding a speed bump in that area. He also expressed concern about the apparent lack of police presence in the town and residential areas as a whole. I know recently the RNC moved their office from the Town Hall to the Kinsmen Center, I can only assume this was in response to the concerns I have heard from surrounding residents who have complained about vandalism and possible drug dealing around the skate park.

What can we do as a community to prevent and fight crime? Well I have some experience with Neighbourhood Watch and it proved to be an effective public response to this type of criminal behavior. I don't know exactly what the rules are here in Torbay as it relates to setting up a group but the last group I was in had established guidelines outlined by the local police.

There is a small blurb on the RNC website related to Neighbourhood Watch but not a lot of details. I guess in order to set up a group you would need to contact either the RNC or the RNC Community Office to get the details. As they need to be involved anyway that is probably the best place to start.

Basically how it works is that a group of people get together and start the group with the support of the RNC and report any suspicious activity that they see either through a Block Captain or directly to the police, at least that is how my last group worked.

One of the rewarding aspects of these types of community programs is that it gets people out and meeting their neighbours and other residents on their street and neighbourhood. I found this particularity helpful when I lived in Ottawa because it was not unusual to only know your immediate neighbors and many times next door neighbors had absolutely no interaction with each other. When communities are basically strangers it is easier to ignore vandalism, theft or worse happening to someone on your street when you don't know them, basically mind your own business. However when you have the occasional meeting to discuss what is going on in the neighbourhood and have conversations with other residents it brings the community closer together. It makes people take a crime against someone in the group more personal and therefore more likely to take an interest and report it.

With that in mind these types of programs should be easy to get off the ground in a town like ours because most people already know each other and approaching them is a lot easier. I would say from my experience living in Torbay for most of my life that people will generally take an interest in what is going on and all is left to do is formalize the activities and share the information with the police. Because the police are a partner in Neighbourhood Watch it is an effective way to increase police presence and cooperation within the community.

Maybe this type of initiative is what needs to take place in our town and the more groups that are established the greater the net of community protection and crime prevention will be cast. Once the groups are known to criminals and arseholes alike they will be more likely to move beyond an area with an active Watch in place to somewhere they feel is a lesser risk.

If you would like to set up a watch I think you need to contact someone at the RNC with Community Services

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Speed Bumps Coming to a Street Near You But Are They The Answer?

Has anyone seen one of these speed bumps yet? I have driven over the one on Western Island Pond Drive and I found it to be quite effective. There has been a similar one installed in Outer Cove all summer and it certainly reduces speeds through the school zone area. 

There has also been one placed in Quarry Lane and I suspect that is because more and more cars are using that route now to avoid some of the traffic on Torbay Road. They must be coming down that way to go down Middle Cove Road in the mornings and home in the evenings.

I like speed bumps and think they can effectively control speeding but they need to be put in the right places like in the school zone. The other question I have about those is what happens in the winter? We just remove the bumps and allow the speeders to go back to their old ways?

There are a few more roads in and around the Torbay area that could use some speed control on as well but they don't necessarily have to be a speed bump. I have seen in other cities and towns in Canada signs placed on the side of the road that display your speed. You can have both permanent ones like this one to the right or mobile ones on a trailer that you can move around as pictured below. These have proven to be pretty effective and I know that in my experience when ever I have come up on these signs and my speed happened to be up, I would certainly make a correction and slow down.

I would especially like to see something like this installed on Indian Meal Line and Bauline Line to try and curb the speeding taking place on those roads. Indian Meal Line has to be the worst road in Torbay for traffic and speeding and with the increased housing development that is going on in that area it will only get worse.

I think this is something that the council should look into and a workable solution to help make the streets of our town safer. Speed bumps are good but they are unpractical on busy roads like some of our busier thoroughfares and would only aggravate drivers and possibly make the situation worse with aggressive driving after the delay. They also have to be taken up in the winter or the snow plow will either tear up the bump or the bump will damage the plow.

Considering the state some of our roads are in it is becoming more and more dangerous for everyone when people choose to speed. Getting stuck in a rut or a blowout as a result of hitting a pothole could send a vehicle crashing into another or a pedestrian. Hopefully our town will be a bit more proactive in the future when it comes to speeding drivers.

Armed Robbery In Torbay Last Night

There was an armed robbery in Torbay last night at Mary Brown's then there were two more robberies on Torbay road after wards. The first of the three happened at Mary Brown's in Torbay about 9:30pm. The robber didn't get any money and fled. Then around 11:30 last night a gas station on Torbay road was hit where they did get some cash. Then early this morning a doughnut shop which I am assuming was Tim Horton's was robbed where an undisclosed amount of cash was stolen. Police are saying that a knife was used in at least two or the heists.

I know this is not funny and I don't want to take it lightly but I am not surprised that the thief didn't get any money at Mary Brown's. Judging from the speed of service that is so often experienced there the armed robber may have been waiting for 20 minutes for someone to even notice him.

New Fun Land VII and daycare options in Torbay

UPDATE: The operator of the daycare centre advises me that alternate space has been secured and all the parents are currently being contacted with the details. This is great news for those people who I know have been scrambling and worrying about what to do. 

First of all I would like to thanks Sheena the operator of the daycare for commenting on my original post related to the delay in opening. I am sure this is a trying time for her with the delay and the efforts to try and find alternate space for the people who are trying to find care for their kids. With this in mind though I am sure the pressure she is under right now is nothing compared to the panic many parents are feeling as the opening of school approaches and they still don't have child care secured.

I was at the bank yesterday and noticed a few adds for child care in Torbay and figured I would pass them along if it interest anyone.

These are the phone numbers I got from the adds.

437-2736 - If I remember correctly this one is for after school care on a bus route.

233-0068 - Pretty sure this is after school as well, it says to contact Christa.

693-1903 - I beleive this is an add for care in your home.

I can't be positive about the specifics of these opportunities but the phone numbers are correct and if I see anymore I will post them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Contract for Sewage Lift Station and Chlorine Contact Chamber Awarded

This little item is a little old but I though it was worth mentioning considering it is an expenditure of almost a Million dollars.

On June 14th Council voted to award a contract to Pyramid Construction in the amount of $858,796.91 and an additional $91,200.00 in Engineering fees for a total of $949,966.91. There is nothing unusual about this process and I am glad that it is happening and but I find it fascinating that our Councillors can spend this kind of money in the blink of an eye and it is summed up in a two sentence, three line entry in the weekly council minutes.

Don't get me wrong because I am not implying that they did anything wrong, on the contrary they are doing their jobs. I just think that this is a perfect example why people should take municipal politics more seriously and really make an effort to get more involved during the councils term and especially at election time. We need to make sure that we are electing qualified and serious people to make these and other decisions on our behalf.

I am glad that infrastructure projects like this are going ahead to make our town better but I would like to know when they are really going to expand water and sewer services in Torbay so that more residents can avail of them. That will be a huge challenge considering South Pond which is one of our designated water supply ponds is nothing more that a big bog hole, which by the way as I understand it the town is trying to get removed from that designation. The other water supply pond is Great Pond which of anyone has ever been in there is not exactly a pristine example of purity.

Maybe it is time for Torbay to partner with the other municipalities on the North East Avalon and develop a regional water supply. I have heard people speak of using Medalsis Pond in Flatrock as a water supply, it is said that it is the deepest pond around and would be a great candidate. An initiative like that however would require a tremendous amount of cooperation and leadership from all the participating towns and a great deal of money from the Provincial Government. You never know it could happen and until something like that happens I think it is a long shot for many more people in Torbay to get "hooked up"

UPDATE: New Port-A-Potty approved for the Soccer field!

Well I was happy to see the Port-a-Potty at the field yesterday and of course my daughter had to make use of it. To her relief and mine we didn't have to venture over to the club house and miss half of her game. 

I just got back from speaking with the Deputy Mayor Geoff Gallant after the council meeting and he informed me that council has approved the expenditure to place a Port-a-Potty at the soccer field for the rest of this season. Hopefully they will look at this issue again next year and get something in place for the entire season.

I would like to thank council for doing this with a special mention to councillor Mike Byrne and Deputy Mayor Gallant as these were the two councillors I had contacted on this issue initially. I am pleasantly surprised and grateful at the speed of which this issue was addressed.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Torbay Bypass Enters Home Stretch

That is the word from the Provincial Government and this is great news. While the work is ongoing as we can all see, a tender has been called for the paving of the entire length of the route. For those of us who have been travelling Torbay road for the last number of years we have been able to see different aspects of the road as they have been completed.

The tender calls for the 8.1 kilometres of the road to be paved from RCAF Road to the intersection of Pouch Cove Highway in Flatrock. They are also going to be putting a set of traffic lights on Torbay Road near the Jack Byrne Arena.

Hopefully this road has the desired impact and eases congestion for commuters entering and leaving the communities in our area. It is certainly a substantial investment considering the overall cost of the project is $20 million dollars shared between the Federal and Provincial Governments of which the Provincial portions is $15 million dollars.

This is a great sign for our area and more evidence of the continued growth that we are experiencing. With all the new housing projects that are going ahead in the municipalities in our part of the province this extra route will likely be well utilized.

I know a lot of people were not and probably still not thrilled with the route or even the fact that we are spending the money on this road. Despite that this project is nearing completion and will be open for us to use in short order, hopefully all the reservations that people had will be put to rest once we start to drive on it.

I am still concerned about the intersections on Indian Meal Line and especially Bauline Line as it impacts me more but I am hopeful that going forward sensible solutions will be realized for these potential trouble spots.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Update : Rut Repairs Coming to Major East Coast Routes

UPDATE: Man oh man oh man....have you driven on Bauline Line lately? I was coming out there this morning and the road actually seems worse now than it was before they fixed it. Well they haven't actually fixed it but they have been patching it. The road looks like some kind of elaborate Picasso painting with blobs of pavement here and strips of pavement there. In fact it looks like something a few toddlers would be able to do. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they went about fixing the sorry state of that road other than they had a bunch of ash fault to lay and they tossed it out of the truck and flattened it where it landed.

Flatten it would be a compliment for sure because all the patches are above the existing pavement and have essentially created a bunch of speed bumps on the road. Now there is a fine waste of money, as soon as we have the first bit of frost this winter and then a thaw all those patches are going to be shoved off into the ditch by the snow plow.

I am all for the province spending money to fix up roads and God knows we need it but wouldn't it be better to concentrate on actually fixing one section of road and live with the others until they can be fixed properly? Maybe they should have just finished the stretch of Torbay Road between Marine Drive and the bridge when they are doing the section between Middle Cove Road and Marine Drive because the patches they have put there are also just as bad as Bauline Line.

The Government of Newfoundland has announced that much needed repairs are coming to some roads on the east coast of the province and some of that work is going to be done in Torbay. This has been an ongoing concern for the residents of all of the communities in our area that have to use that road. I have heard countless people talk about the condition of Torbay Road especially those ruts on Piper Stock Hill. The tender includes repairs on the 1.4 kilometer section of Route 20 from Middle Cove Road to Holy Trinity Elementary.

Our area MHA has commented on the upcoming repairs to be done to the road.
“This section of Torbay Road is very heavily travelled by residents of and visitors to the area,” said Kevin Parsons, MHA for Cape St. Francis. “Repairs to this heavily rutted section will certainly be noticed and welcomed by all motorists travelling in the area.”
You can view the entire Government Release on my GNL News Page

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I got one for you!

Many times that is how a person may start off a joke or indicate that they are about to tell a joke. Well I got a good one for you.

The Torbay Museum/Heritage Committee received over $17,260 in operational and project funding through the province's Cultural Economic Development Program. Now that is not the funny part, that is great and we should all be happy that our town is getting this kind of investment. The funding is supposed to support the Torbay Museum/Heritage Committee in it's day to day operations. There is also a plan to implement a project where oral recordings are collected in the community and then made accessible to the general public through their cell phones. Basically as I understand it you call in from a particular spot, say outside Liddy's or something and you will get a recording telling you about the history of that spot. Again there is nothing funny about that, that is an interesting project if they get it done.

What I found funny was when I tried to go to the Museum Website I figured I would just google it. I typed Torbay Museum in Google and the very first site that came back was this one. Judging from the Whats New: heading it hasn't been updated since 2005. No worries I figured that was the old site and maybe it is still hanging around so I just went to the Town of Torbay site to find out what is on the go with the Museum.

I went to the town website and followed the link on the main page to see the museum information and this is what I found. A description of the museum and some contact information, pretty standard stuff. Then I noticed a link, that said Visit the Torbay Museum Website 

Now what do you think happened when I clicked on that link? Went to the Torbay Museum website right? Got to see all the exciting things going on at the museum right? Not exactly......there is no Torbay Museum website even though the town's own website tells you there is and even invites to to visit it.

That is the joke, and it is not funny, who is responsible for updating that website and adding links and other information to it? I am sure it is not getting done for free and most likely costing the town a pretty penny. I have noticed other problems with the town website over the past few months and it bugs me that something so simple can be overlooked.