The Stockwell Report V1-E-11

THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT

This past June, the Wasaga Beach Committee of the Whole approved Resolution No. 2016-09-03, on a five to two vote, which stated the following:

“RESOLVED THAT Committee of the Whole recommends to Council that the multidisciplinary team led by FORREC Ltd. be awarded the contract to lead the development of the Master Plan for Downtown Wasaga Beach, in the amount of $350,000 exclusive of HST and disbursements, and that staff proceed to enter into a contract with Forrec Ltd.”

The project is jointly funded by the Province, Regional Tourism 7, Simcoe County, Stonebridge Town Centre, developer Hamount Investments, and the Municipality. The Town`s share is $35,000.

The team, headed by Forrec includes CBRE Tourism and Leisure, Toole Design Group, N. Barry Lyon Consultants Limited and JC Williams Group. The team brings a multitude of both experience and skills to the table.

A Steering Committee for the development of the Master Plan is presently being created, made up of volunteer members with knowledge and experience in one or more of the following fields, Hospitality/Accommodations, Retail, Food, Arts and Culture, and Mixed Use Development.

The Steering Committee will consist of seven members of the public.

Forrec Ltd. has committed to an eight month timeline to the delivery of a final report.

This past Monday and Thursday the Town hosted public sessions to introduce the Forrec team and have them explain how they intend to approach the study, and how to engage the public throughout the study process. They also made themselves available for “drop-in” discussions between the meetings for anyone who wanted more information.

I would say between 150 and 200 citizens attended, and participated in the process. During the Q and A portion of the meetings, little, if any criticism was voiced by the public. However, the question was asked, “Will this just be another study that will collect dust at the Town Hall?”

The answer was straightforward.

All past studies will be reviewed. The Public will be kept abreast of the study as it proceeds. Recommendations will be realistic, implementable, and affordable.

The pros and cons of the of the project sites were listed and discussed.

The study is now underway and more public meetings will take place in the months to come to discuss its progress.

Much to the chagrin of a few critics….it sounds like a plan.

The Stockwell Report V1-E10

THE WASAGA BEACH STOCKWELL REPORT

 

The recent Wasaga Beach Sun report on a March meeting between Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith, Town C.A.O. George Vadeboncoeur, and the operators of Bananas Beach Club, Enzo Grossi, and Larry Pevato, regarding the leasing agreement of that beachfront facility, spotlights the difference in how Municipal Mayors carry out their jobs as Chief Executive Officers.

The report was written by Ian Adams, a veteran Municipal Council reporter who has been covering the Wasaga Beach Council since joining the Sun early in 2015. Prior to that time, he was with the Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin covering local Councils in the area.

Grossi operated all three bars in 2015, Bananas, The Copa, and The Dardanella, primarily because he had previous on-site operating experience and held  liquor licences for all three. His competition could not obtain liquor licences in time to meet the opening date set by the Municipality.

As the 2015 season progressed it became apparent that all three bars being operated by one tenant had problems and by early 2016 Council clearly indicated that it was looking for three separate operators for the upcoming season.

The Sun, via The Freedom of Information Act, obtained documents from the Municipality, containing details of the March meeting. The information lead to the writing of Adams’ column, which spoke of a “secret” meeting between the parties and quoting Pevato as saying, “At the meeting, the discussion was for both (Bananas and the Dard).”

For all the nitty, gritty, details of the issue, the reader can find Adams’ column online at Simcoe.com.

Since the printing of Adams’ column, Mayor Smith has issued an Open Letter, giving his side of the issue, which can also be found at Simcoe.com.

After reviewing both of these documents, readers can make their own decisions on who did what. However, the fact of the matter is that Smith is of the opinion that he has done nothing wrong in this matter. Furthermore, as the Chief Executive Officer of the Municipality, he was only doing the job that the ratepayers of Wasaga Beach elected him to do.

Not all elected Mayors are as committed to the leading their Municipalities as Brian Smith. Some simply coast through their term of office, taking a back seat to municipal staff, allowing the civil servants to follow the same practices that have been followed in years past.

Others, like Smith, take their election promises seriously and spend every minute of their four year term striving to bring about those things that they promised during the election campaign.

In the next few months the present Wasaga Beach Council will reach the halfway mark in their term of office. They have certainly not been backward in bringing about change to the Municipality. In doing so, they have created both supporters and critics.

A majority of Council have supported Mayor Smith in bringing about change. Not all.

`In my opinion, this “Bananas-Dard” issue is a tempest in a teapot, and will die a natural death on the desks of the lawyers.

The only thing that won`t change is Brian Smith`s

dedication to the betterment of Wasaga Beach.