Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Great Big Waste of Money

Well I haven't been blogging in a while although I do thank all those people I have been talking to lately who tell me they read my blog on a regular basis.

However when I saw the story today in the North East Avalon Times about our council voting unanimously to look into spending $200,000.00 to have Great Big Sea play a concert in Torbay to commemorate the towns 40th anniversary. Well I just about flipped! 

I had just finished reading a story about how council is pissed because we didn't get funding for a new fire truck for the Torbay Volunteer Fire Department. The mayor sounded as though the equipment we have now is barely working when he describes the state of the three pumpers, this is from and article in the North East Avalon Times.
"Right now we have three pumpers in name only, " Codner said, explaining the 1974 pumper is in working condition, but was supposed to come out of service in 2007. A 1997 pumper truck has electrical problems and does not always start. The town's 2007 vehicle which it shares with Flatrock, "well at least it starts, " Codner says
Anyway that story goes on to talk about all the new problems and accidents we are going to have when the so called by-pass road opens so we really need a new truck.  I though to myself that the mayor has a good point and maybe we do need some new equipment. Coincidentally the amount of money that Pouch Cove got from the province for their new fire truck is $200,000.00

So here is my suggestion to the Mayor, take the $200,000.00 you want to spend on a concert and buy a God damn fire truck out of it or at least fix the electrical problems on the one we do have. Something that will benefit the entire town for years to come instead of a few people for a couple of hours.

How many times does this bone head council need to get kicked in the head before they realize that it hurts? From all the comments I have heard from people they thought the Hill Side Festival this year was a bust. I agree that the weather wasn't the best as I can attest to as I froze my but off with the family to take in the Masterless Men concert on the final Sunday. That doesn't excuse the turnout for the concert at Jack Byrne Area the prior week, I was told there was a setup there for 400 people and less that 100 showed up.

But don't worry, council says that for Great Big Sea the tickets will be sold ahead of time. What the hell does that mean? Because they will be sold ahead of time we can cancel the show if it doesn't sell like they think they will? How much will that cost to cancel that band and try and get another one at the last minute?

But that is OK, the tickets will be sold in advance, that's right, for $200,000.00 we are going to have Great Big Sea and we will sell the tickets ahead of time. I wonder how much they are going to sell the tickets for? By my calculations if every person in Torbay went to the concert, roughly 7000 people we would have to sell tickets for around $29. That is if we squeezed 7000 people into some field in Torbay somewhere which is highly unlikely. Judging from past experiences in our town for this type of event we may be looking at 500 people max, that would increase the ticket price to a cool $400 a piece just to pay the band. Say we really had a huge turnout and had a 1000 people there we are still looking at $200 a ticket to go see Great Big Sea.

WOW! is all I can say to that. I have seen Great Big Sea in Concert maybe 20 times over the last 20 or so years and I don't think I have ever paid over $30 to see them and that was on the high side. I would never pay 200 or 100, I might pay $50 if it included my wife and two kids.

If our councilors go down this path and spend that kind of money to have a concert that clearly for that price is a pipe dream, then the people should take notice and kick every one of their asses to the curb next election. Ideally the entire council would resign and have their heads examined. They want the committee to look into it? I have your committee right here........Don't do it because we can't afford it, the numbers just don't add up.

$200,000.00 can buy an awful lot in a town like ours. The Mayor is always talking about sewage treatment and the fact that we are maxed out on our water supply and how we need to address those needs. Well that $200,000.00 when used in conjunction with the 90% - 10% funding formula with the provincial government can ad up to a $2 Million dollar project. I know that is a pretty generalized scenario but that funding formula does exist and could help us with some badly needed projects.

On Sunday I was in Logy Bay - Middle Cove - Outer Cove for their festival of Friends. The entertainment was great, two of the best Newfoundland bands on the go right now The Navigators and Shannyganock played back to back and they were great. I am sure you could get the both of them and a few other acts to play in Torbay for a lot less that $200,000 and still possibly be able to get the friggin fire truck electrical problems fixed.

Oh, on a side note, I thought it was cute how Geoff Gallant was going around at Liddy's Kitchen Party giving out his little orange NDP cards and wished him luck. However after seeing him schilling for votes at the Hill Side Festival, then at the Flatrock Soiree (with Lorraine Michael in tow) and then again at the Festival of Friends in Logy Bay it is just too much for me. I am not alone in this as many people have commented on it is getting on their nerves but I commend him for jumping into the ring and taking on our sitting member Mr Kevin Parsons even though I think it is extremely unlikely for him to win.

Like I told Geoff, I won't be voting for him and I will be campaigning against him but I wish him luck.

Anyway, thats all for now, take care :)


  1. You HAVE to run in the next election since your someone who actually cares about the town & it's people, especially the people who have been here for so many years & who's concerns & ideas are irrelevant to some of the council. They're going to do what they dam well want no matter who has to suffer for it & there's not a thing can be done about it. There's still one wonderful lady who has been a council member for a long time & actually cares about the people, I hope she stays there for many years to come, you should be there too.

  2. WOW strong words there Craig,I would vote for you ........

  3. I think the whole Torbay council needs to be wiped out and new people with new ideas brought on board. Why is it that every time I look around, all I see is other commununities around us who are ahead of Torbay in many areas. There's always lots of talk, but nothing ever seems to get done, or it takes forever to get something done.
    The Hillside Festival is a joke. It's stretched out for way too long, and who ends up footing the bill for it when they take a loss....WE DO, taxpayers!!!
    Look around, Flatrock and Logy Bay - Middle Cove - Outer Cove basicially do one weekend of events.
    Great Big Sea is a great band, but face it, we are not St. John's and cannot afford to foot a bill like that. I'd like to know from Councillor Peggy Roche ( who proposed this) how much tickets are going to be sold for.
    It's just patethic to think of how our tax-payer dollars are being handled.

  4. Does our council not have any common sense? We don't have money to repair or replace our fire trucks, but we can throw it away on a couple of hours of entertainment. Why doesn't the town take some initiative and have some fund raisers for the fire department, instead of sitting around and waiting for the government to bail them out. I'm sure many residents would support a worthwhile cause to raise money to repair or even go towards purchasing a new firetruck.

  5. I totally agree about the hillside festival...why is it stretched out soo long... and not to mention the cost.. The reason the first concert held at Jack Byrne was a bust I think was because it cost soo one week of activities when you add up all the money to go to the is way too expensive!! One weekend is sufficient like the other towns around us.
    Give the tax payers a break for god's sake.... celebrate 40 years by using the tax paying dollars appropriately!!

  6. I have to agree with you about Geoff Gallant - I think he is a nice guy but Mr. Kevin Parsons has been doing a great job for the last three years and deserves another term to continue his good work. He is truly working for the people of the district. I will be voting for Kevin Parsons.

    The current Torbay council needs to get their heads on straight!

  7. I personally have called over to the town and spoke with Mr.Codner about a concern pertaining to my direct area....along with other residents in the area as well.. These phone calls from alot of us have been happening I will guess at least a year and a half-- perhaps more!! He speaks with us all individually and then continues to week hopefully it will be looked after...just waiting on the appropriate paperwork... Ok..over a year and a half later and still nothing??
    Instead of planning a few hours to entertain us out of our own pocketbooks....actually try addressing and fix existing problems our town is facing!!!

  8. Well said Craig!

  9. I would definitely recommend to all residents of Torbay to take a look at the town's minutes to keep up to date on what is going on in our town, even though it takes quite some time for them to be posted. I just recently started looking at them in the past few months and found a post in the July 25th minutes that the town spent $5,500.00 on a "Hillside Festival Float". Must have been some float!!

  10. Personally I think that in seeing Geoff Gallant's actions, since being elected to Torbay town council, reason enough to not vote for him in the upcoming provincial election. Not to mention that Kevin Parsons is doing an excellent job in serving our district!

  11. Craig Get yourself involved in a volunteer group. Then maybe you could shoot off your mouth and know the rights and wrongs of what you talk about. Ever hear of grants that are used not as council sees fit but what is was applied for.

  12. Craig Scott you are some smart there buddy.not.Open your eyes and not your gobb,Torbay is doin just fine before your two cents.YOU GOT IT ALL WRONG DUMMY.


  14. Well I don't know who those folks are who are wearing the rose coloured sunglasses, but they may want to hand a few more pairs of them around. Either that, or join us in the real world.
    Craig, you're doing a great job there buddy letting the rest of know whats going on in this town.
    "Torbay is doing just fine"..what a joke!!

  15. I have been here longer than Craig has been born...Great place, great people .I don;t give a shit about your rose glasses . Go back where you came from .....

  16. You're complaining that a candidate is going to community events!? There's a thing called accessibility, it's very important in a democracy.

  17. negative Craig ......lets enjoy G.B SEA

  18. Why are people mad at Mr scott he is so smart and good we all should be like him.

  19. The person who wrote that you should go back where you came from is obviously just uneducated, you are where you came from. Doesn't seeing the world through "rose colored glasses" mean there's beauty & positive things to see, there isn't much to be positive in this town the last few years, so I can't agree that you have "rose glasses".

  20. •Population: The 2006 Census population for Torbay was 9,740. This represents an increase of 36.9% since 2001. Over the same period, the entire province experienced a population decline of 1.5%

    • The 2005 income for every man, woman, and child (personal income per capita) in Torbay was $25,800. For the province, personal income per capita was $21,600.

    The Jack Byrne Arena was opened in March 2009.

    new Holy Trinity elementary school opened in September 2010

    Seems someone is doing something right. As for the negative comments, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. It's easy to be an armchair politician or council member and keep muttering and sputtering about this not being done, and that being a waste....but you should know you sound like a spoiled little brat who takes all his toys and goes home. Stop being so REACTIVE, and try to be a little proactive...and stop the whining!

  21. I didn't say that things are not getting done. Yes Jack Byrne Arena was opened in 2009 but how long were we waiting for an arena? I remember they were trying to get an arena 30 years ago when I played minor hockey and had to go to Twin Rinks at 5:30 in the morning on a bus to play hockey.

    I love the fact that we have an arena, now if we could get a swimming pool and some kind of decent community center that is multipurpose then we would be better off. I think pointing out that our council is considering offering Great Big Sea 200,000 to play a concert is being proactive when we have other needs that our tax dollars should be spent on.

    As for calling me a spoiled brat who takes his toys and goes home I have no idea what you are talking about. I am a tax payer of Torbay and have an interest in how my dollars are spent, if that is being a spoiled brat then I guess that is what I am.

    You seem to have a pretty rosy picture of what is going on. Yes our population has grown as you point out by 36.9%. How did we deal with that with regards to improving water and sewer? Have we added any new capacity since then? I think the answer is no.

    Yes personal income is up but so is the price of a house. A house I sold in 2001 for 151,000 is on the market now for 350,000. So the pace of housing is far exceeded the income and the amount of taxes our town collects as a result of these higher value homes has also gone up dramatically.

    Don't just look at a few statistics and try and tell me that because I am worried about how our money is spent I am part of the problem. I pay my taxes even though the amount is ridiculous considering I don't avail of any town services besides garbage pickup. I don't even complain about that because I understand that the town needs the money to offer those services. I would just like to know when will I ever see a fire hydrant outside my house? I would rather put the money into services that everyone can benefit from for a long time that just one stupid concert.

  22. Hi there Bob, actually I have not fired back negative when someone says something good. I like to have a discussion about current events in our town. I don't want to get into arguments with people who just want to attack me personally with no basis to their argument.

    As for people having rights, absolutely they do and this is my blog and I have the right to decide who gets to post here and what I want to publish.

    I am not afraid to allow peoples differing opinions be to published in my blog, I do it all the time. However I won't allow this to be a forum for people who just want to attack me personally behind an anonymous post.

  23. "I think the whole Torbay council needs to be wiped out and new people with new ideas brought on board."

    Anonymous up there commented that the Torbay council needs to be completely replaced. Sure! What a fabulous idea! Now who do you suppose would be willing to step up to the plate to take on what is virtually a thankless task? How many hours do you suppose they put into being on Council? It's certainly not just those couple of hours of monthly meetings that you hear about. Like being a teacher, there's a lot of work behind the scenes that we don't see or hear about. Please! Find us a whole tableful of replacement Councillors and a whole new Mayor, too! Then sit back while somebody takes swipes at the new kids, complaining about what a piss poor job they're doing and how they don't know what they're talking about, ad nauseum. Public office is not for the faint of heart. Being a good public servant requires more than just putting your face out there. I'm not saying the kids on this council don't deserve a kick now and then. They surely do! I find myself shaking my head more often than not, particularly when I hear of daft ideas such as have been bruited about lately. But still... they're out there trying which is more than most of us can say!

    "He speaks with us all individually and then continues to week hopefully it will be looked after...just waiting on the appropriate paperwork... Ok..over a year and a half later and still nothing??"

    Yes. I have to agree with this Anonymous as well. While I like the Mayor, personally, I feel that he gives a nod and a smile, then perhaps he delegates it to somebody who is then not able to follow through. Just speculating. But I've seen it happen.

    For those who are still trying to figure out what rose coloured glasses are, here's the dictionary definition:

    Rose-tinted glasses (British, American & Australian) also rose-tinted spectacles (British)
    If someone looks at something through rose-tinted glasses, they see only the pleasant parts of it. "She has always looked at life through rose-tinted glasses."

    Craig, good job on this blog. I've enjoyed reading it, and have to admit to snorting at times because I don't always agree with you. The naysayers also have the right to disagree with you. It's good to know they're reading and thinking about what you say.

    As for disallowing some comments, good for you! This is YOUR BLOG and you do have the right to monitor it as you see fit. Disagreement and commentary is fine, but rudeness is just plain wrong, no matter what forum is being used.

    Thank you for your contribution to Torbay! Perhaps you'd like to think about running for that new sandbox of councillors that "Anonymous" would like to see.

  24. Craig are you going to run next time?

  25. Bob, I really don't know. I considered it last time but with a young family it is really difficult. Like others have said and I have acknowledged it takes a lot of time and commitment. If I felt that I could commit the time it needs then I would consider it. I am passionate about our town if I feel I have something to offer and people agree with me then I would seriously give it some thought.

    In the mean time I will continue observing what is going on and trying to do my part as a private citizen to have some input.

  26. Actually I have never professed to know it all as you point out. When people don't like what you have to say sometimes instead of giving a different point of view or having a decent conversation they just attack the messenger and call them a know it all or personally attack them.

    That comes with the territory of being a blogger, I am used to it, been doing this for a long time.

  27. Craig on a positive note,i walked the new road this weekend and it is almost ready to go.I also went in to the ball field to watch a friend play ball on sunday great day ,great people .Great place to live Torbay..Where you playing as well?if yes great if not you should ,the people playing where so happy if may have rubbed off on you lol bob p,s have a good day enjoy the sun.

  28. First time reader.likes this blog..


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