Aldo DiCarlo

“March for Meals” initiative promotes Meals on Wheels

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The “March for Meals” campaign to promote Meals on Wheels received assistance again this year thanks to local politicians and officials.

Meals on Wheels is operated locally through Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, police chief Tim Berthiaume and deputy fire chief Lee Tome delivering meals to Amherstburg residents.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya and the respective police and fire chiefs of his community – John Leontowicz and Dave Sutton – delivered meals in their town as well as part of the “March for Meals” initiative.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and deputy fire chief Lee Tome helped promote Meals on Wheels last Wednesday morning.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo, police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and deputy fire chief Lee Tome helped promote Meals on Wheels last Wednesday morning.

“We are very pleased to have local leaders from Amherstburg and LaSalle help to spread the word about seniors and their needs,” said DiBartolomeo.

DiBartolomeo said Meals on Wheels assists in many ways, including allowing seniors to stay in their homes longer.

Having local dignitaries endorse the program by delivering meals helps assure people who may have questions about Meals on Wheels, she added.

“We hear lots of misconceptions about who Meals on Wheels are for and what its benefits are,” DiBartolomeo said.  “Having such respected individuals come out to support us will hopefully bring more attention to the program and spur people to take a closer look at how Meals on Wheels can change their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”

Tome said it is a good partnership the Amherstburg Fire Department has with ACS, noting the Meals on Wheels event is also a chance for fire officials to get into homes and help ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

“(The initiative) allows the fire department to get into homes we don’t normally get into,” he said.

Tome said they know that many seniors may have difficulty maintaining their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, so by him being allowed into the home to deliver the meals, it allows him to help the homeowner and check the alarms for them.

Donato DiBartolomeo (centre) received a meal last Wednesday from police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Meals on Wheels volunteer Graeme Hutchinson and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

Donato DiBartolomeo (centre) received a meal last Wednesday from police chief Tim Berthiaume, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Meals on Wheels volunteer Graeme Hutchinson and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo.

The Amherstburg Fire Department is proud to be part of the program and to assist the residents that ACS serves, Tome added.

Berthiaume said he was happy to help bring awareness “to this valuable community program.

“I think we all know of someone who has received benefits of the Meals on Wheels program,” Berthiaume continued. “It really is an invaluable service.”

Berthiaume’s mother used to receive Meals on Wheels and had strong praise for the program.

“They are just wonderful. The people are all volunteers,” said Berthiaume. “This community is made up of terrific people.”

The mayor said it was an opportunity to meet people in the community he might not normally meet, as some have mobility issues that don’t allow them to get out as much.

“This is one time a year I get the opportunity to do what people do day in and day out,” said DiCarlo. “It is a privilege and an honour they invited me.”

DiCarlo called Meals on Wheels “an essential service” and hopes all communities have such a service or something similar. People who need something to volunteer for, including retirees, can get involved with the program.

“There’s always something to volunteer for,” said DiCarlo. “This is a great cause.”

“I dare say, that the Meals on Wheels program is the most thoughtful, caring, humane service we provide to the community,” Antaya said.

Antaya used to deliver meals, and still does when his schedule allows it.

“It is providing a service to those who need it. It empowers those who are delivering the service,” he added. “If you can brighten somebody`s day with a hot meal, plus a short visit of a few minutes, it restores our faith in human nature, if only for a moment. I love doing it.”

Ursula Eldracher, a long-time community volunteer, now is serviced by volunteers as she started receiving Meals on Wheels two months ago.

“It’s the best thing that has happened to me because I hadn’t been eating well,” she said. “All the meals are good. This gave me a chance to get more nutritious meals into my body.”

Eldracher received her meal Wednesday not only from volunteer Graeme Hutchinson, but DiBartolomeo, DiCarlo and Berthiaume as well with Tome being on another route. The amount of dignitaries, and media, that attended her home was something that made her “feel like a real VIP,” she remarked.

Donato DiBartolomeo received a meal at his home as well. He said he enjoys the food and that it allows him to eat healthier as well.

 

Nature and wildlife enthusiast presses council for answers

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local resident and wildlife enthusiast returned to town council at its most recent meeting and pressed elected officials to try and do more to protect an area of the Big Creek watershed.

Greg Nemeth wants town council to take a greater role in protecting the area north of Alma St., with Nemeth showing the vast number of species he has photographed in that area. His delegation was slow to get off the ground, after a brief dispute with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo over the time he was going to be permitted. Nemeth believed the area was worthy of being a provincial park and that he was trying to help protect the habitat of the area “and you can’t give me five minutes,” he told DiCarlo, believing his delegation would take slightly longer than the five minutes DiCarlo was providing.

DiCarlo said the town has shown support for Nemeth and his requests. Once the time constraint issue was put behind them, Nemeth told council his belief that more should be done.

“If this area is done up right, this area could attract more people than Navy Yard Park,” he said.

Greg Nemeth addresses town council about the Big Creek watershed area north of Alma St. He wants additional protection given to the land noting the rare species that use the area.

Greg Nemeth addresses town council about the Big Creek watershed area north of Alma St. He wants additional protection given to the land noting the rare species that use the area.

Nemeth said it is an extremely important natural area and that more needs to be done to take care of it but DiCarlo said the town simply doesn’t have the jurisdiction to do what Nemeth was asking. Much of the land in question is privately owned and CAO John Miceli said it would either have to be purchased or expropriated to do what Nemeth is asking.

The mayor believed it to be a matter that the province should be looking at but Nemeth argued that a recommendation from council would go a long way.

“You guys have power. You don’t want to do it,” said Nemeth, with DiCarlo disagreeing with his statement.

“Do it, take the initiative,” Nemeth pressed, adding it wasn’t about him, but it was about saving the wildlife in that area.

Councillor Rick Fryer, who is the chair of the Essex Region Conservation Authority, said Nemeth needs to give his information to provincial agencies, adding it takes a long time to get ministries together. Miceli commented there is the potential for a meeting with the Ministry of Natural Resources in April, a meeting that would be eight months in the making.

DiCarlo thanked Nemeth for his passion and confirmed administration is actively trying to get a meeting with provincial officials.

Council agreed to allow Miceli to take a walk with Nemeth through the area and discuss their ideas further.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 celebrates 95th birthday of World War II veteran

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Nearly 80 people stopped by Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 last week to wish Doug Ramsay a happy birthday.

Ramsay, who served as a private in the Essex-Scottish Regiment from 1939-45 in World War II, turned 95 last Wednesday (March 15) and the local Legion held a party in his honour. Ramsay received the Netherlands Commemorative Medal of Liberation and a medal recognizing Canada’s 150th birthday during the ceremonial portion of the afternoon with local dignitaries also recognizing Ramsay as well.

Cornelis and Tina Heeren present Doug Ramsay the Netherlands Commemorative Medal of Liberation.

Cornelis and Tina Heeren present Doug Ramsay the Netherlands Commemorative Medal of Liberation.

Ramsay said it was recognition he didn’t see coming.

“It was a surprise,” he said. “I thought I was coming down to have a few beers with the boys.”

Ramsay was accompanied by sons Duncan and Peter as he accepted his awards with his sons also surprised by the ceremony.

“There’s a lot more to it than we were expecting,” said Peter.

Duncan said the ceremony was “very special” and said his father was overwhelmed, adding his father is a humble person.

Long lives run in the family, Duncan added, noting Doug’s father lived until he was 100-years-old and his mother died when she was 98-years-old.

Legion members, dignitaries and other veterans joined in wishing Doug Ramsay (second from right) a happy 95th birthday March 15.

Legion members, dignitaries and other veterans joined in wishing Doug Ramsay (second from right) a happy 95th birthday March 15.

“He has longevity in his family,” said Duncan.

Capt. Jeff Turner, who acted as master of ceremonies for the formal portion of the afternoon, praised Ramsay for his bravery, dedication to the cause and humble nature. Turner said Ramsay sets an example people can emulate daily.

Turner also pointed out Ramsay has served with the Legion for over 66 years.

Cornelis and Tina Heeren presented Ramsay the Netherlands Commemorative Medal of Liberation as Cornelis is a veteran of the Dutch army. Bruce Tribute, Sgt. At Arms with Legion Br. 255 in Riverside, presented Ramsay the Canada 150 medal.

Sgt.-at-Arms Bruce Tribute (left) from Legion Br. 255 in Riverside presents Doug Ramsay a Canada 150 medal.

Sgt.-at-Arms Bruce Tribute (left) from Legion Br. 255 in Riverside presents Doug Ramsay a Canada 150 medal.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo presented Ramsay a framed certificate from the town of Amherstburg and thanked Ramsay for his service to Amherstburg and to Canada.

“Happy 95th birthday,” said DiCarlo. “I hope we’re hear to celebrate your 100th birthday.”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo presents Doug Ramsay a certificate from the

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo presents Doug Ramsay a certificate from the

Patti Hayes represented Essex MPP Taras Natyshak and praised Ramsay for his dedicated service to the Royal Canadian Legion. She added that Ramsay is an inspiration for future generations.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey was in England and unable to attend last Wednesday’s event, but federal recognition for the 95-year-old veteran is still expected.

Town releases treasurer’s report detailing council and committee remuneration

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town has released its treasurer’s report detailing council’s remuneration for 2016.

The report shows that Mayor Aldo DiCarlo earned total remuneration from the town of $29,564.14. That figure is a combination of his $26,872.68 salary as mayor, his communication allowance of $1,374.54, his per diem of $103.98, $500 for public receptions and $712.94 for travel and mileage.

DiCarlo also $7,665 for being a member of the Essex Power board of directors including a $4,000, $3,500 for meeting fees and $165 for travel and mileage. He also received a $1,200 honorarium for being on the Amherstburg Police Services Board.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale earned $19,971.62 from the town including his salary of $18,413.40. DiPasquale’s communication allowance as $1,339 while his public receptions remuneration was $45. A total of $174.22 was listed as DiPasquale’s travel and mileage expenses.

Councillor Leo Meloche had a total remuneration figure of $20,194.29. In addition to the $15,936.12 salary he earned as a councillor, other expenses and remuneration included $1,223.33 for his communication allowance, $830.81 for his per diem, $342.86 for public receptions, $1000.18 for training and conferences and $860.99 for travel and mileage.

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Councillor Joan Courtney’s total remuneration for 2016 was $19,015.16. Courtney’s communication allowance was $1,350.16 for 2016 while her per diem was $727.22. Training and conferences amounted to $890.40 for Courtney while her travel and mileage was $111.26. That remuneration was on top of her $15,936.12 salary.

Councillor Rick Fryer’s overall remuneration total was just slightly less than Courtney’s, coming in at $19,012.66. In addition to Fryer’s $15,936.12 salary, his communication allowance was $1,232.47 and his per diem was $830.81. Fryer’s training and conferences expenses were $843.64 while his travel and mileage remuneration amounted to $169.62. Fryer also received $650 on top of his remuneration from the town for being on the ERCA board of directors.

The total remuneration from the town for 2016 for Councillor Jason Lavigne was $18,957.07. The breakdown of that number included the $15,936.12 salary, his $1,393.83 communication allowance, $727.22 for his per diem and a travel and mileage expense of $111.26.

Lavigne also earned a $1,200 honorarium for being on the Amherstburg Police Services Board.

Councillor Diane Pouget’s remuneration for last year was $17,404. Her $15,936.12 salary was combined with a communication allowance of $1,268.06, a per diem of $103.59 and a training and conference total of $96.67.

Other Amherstburg Police Service Board members receiving a $1,200 honorarium were Pauline Gemmell, Bob Rozankovic and Patricia Simone.

A total of $4,350 in honorariums was paid to committee of adjustment members. Donald Shaw received an honorarium of $975 while Sherry Ducedre received $900. David Cozens, Michael Prue and Duncan Smith each received an honorarium of $825.

Accessibility committee honorariums included $100 for Kenneth Houston and $300 for William Whittal.

Ron Sutherland received $1,078 for being on the ERCA board and was also one of five drainage board members paid either for an honorarium or for a drainage course. The drainage board’s total amount for remuneration was $4,557.66 with other members including Gary Ayers, Robert Bezaire, Allan Major and Bob Pillon.

A total of $2,148 was paid to heritage committee members for their attendance at the Ontario Heritage Conference. Robert Honor received $1,073.52 while Paul Hertel received $1,074.64. Remuneration for economic advisory committee member John McDonald was $1,094.99 as he had attended the Think Smarter economic development forum.

Essex County releases 2016 remuneration report for county council members

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The County of Essex has released its 2016 remuneration report with one Amherstburg representative being near the middle of the pack while the other had the lowest remuneration total.

With the exception of the warden and deputy warden, who earn salaries of $64,958.16 and $10,919.88 respectively, each county council member earns a salary of $8,981.40. The difference in remuneration totals stem from what compensation is gained or repaid through indemnities, mileage, conference expenses or out-of-town meetings.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale ranked eighth out of the 14 county council members with a total remuneration of $13,286.66. In addition to his salary, DiPasquale’s indemnities and mileage amounted to $1,387.06 and $1,087.78 respectively with the remainder being a conference per diem of $640 and conference expense of $1,190.42.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo’s remuneration total was actually the least of the 14 members of Essex County council, totaling $11,640.64. DiCarlo’s indemnities totaled $213.44 and his mileage amounted to $573.46. His conference per diem was $640 and his conference expenses were $1,232.34.

Warden Tom Bain had a total remuneration of $81,923.51 with indemnities totaling $747.04 and mileage of $5,515.52. Bain’s conference per diem was $2,240 while his conference expenses were $6,925.83. Bain, also the mayor of Lakeshore, had expenses for out-of-town meetings amount to $576.96 and his per diem for those out-of-town meetings total $960.

Essex Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche’s remuneration was second highest, totaling $17,365. In addition to his salary as a county councillor, Meloche’s indemnities totaled $5,516 and his mileage total was $467.56. His conference per diem was $640 while his conference expenses totaled $1,760.50.

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Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos had a total of $15,228.33 paid out in remuneration in 2016. In addition to his salary, Santos’ indemnities totaled $2,294.48 and his mileage was $1,422.44. His conference per diem was $640 and his conference expenses were $1,890.01.

Essex Mayor Ron McDermott ranked fourth out of the 14 county council members with a remuneration total of $14,700.84. His indemnities were $2,025.48 and his mileage totaled $41.12. McDermott’s conference per diem was $800 and his conference expenses were $2,852.84.

Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara’s 2016 remuneration was $14,157.20 with indemnities of $4,802.40 and mileage of $373.40 being added to his salary. McNamara had no conference expenses listed.

Kingsville Deputy Mayor Gord Queen’s 2016 remuneration totaled $13,622.75. In addition to Queen’s salary, he had $2,347.84 listed as his indemnities and $589.56 in mileage. His conference per diem was $80 and his conference expenses were $1,223.95.

Lakeshore Deputy Mayor Al Fazio had a remuneration of $13,461.88. His indemnities totaled $320.16 in 2016 while his mileage was listed at $564.92. Fazio’s per diem for conferences was $800 while his conference expenses totaled $2,795.40.

While Fazio’s total ranked seventh, Leamington Deputy Mayor Hilda MacDonald’s 2016 remuneration total ranked ninth. In addition to MacDonald’s salary, her indemnities were $1,280.64 while her mileage totaled $534.28. MacDonald’s per diem for conferences were $640 and her conference expenses were $1,816.27.

LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya ranked tenth with a total remuneration of $12,838.90. Antaya, also the deputy warden, had indemnities of $1,387.36 and mileage of $531.66 in addition to his deputy warden’s salary. He had no conference per diem or expenses listed for 2016.

LaSalle Deputy Mayor Marc Bondy had his 2016 remuneration listed as $12,659.40. In addition to his salary as a county councillor, he had $1,387.36 in indemnities and $487.86 in mileage. Bondy’s per diem for conferences was $640 while his conference expenses totaled $1,162.78.

Tecumseh Deputy Mayor Joe Bachetti saw his 2016 remuneration listed at $12,643.95. Bachetti’s indemnities totaled $1,494.08 and his mileage was totaled at $441.92. Conference per diems was listed at $480 while Bachetti’s conference expenses were listed at $1,246.55.

The county council member with the second lowest remuneration total was Leamington Mayor John Paterson, whose 2016 total was reported as $11,904.49. In addition to his salary, Paterson did not have any indemnities listed and $507.19 in mileage claimed. Paterson’s per diem for conferences totaled $640 while his conference expenses were $1,775.90.

In all, the remuneration for all members of Essex County council totaled $258,686.60. Total remuneration for committee members and others totaled $17,913.19.