Bart DiPasquale

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.

Town council agrees to hire consultant to guide police costing process

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council has agreed to hire MPM Consulting to help guide the joint police advisory committee through the police costing and/or police amalgamation process.

Council voted 5-2 – with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and councillors Jason Lavigne, Joan Courtney and Leo Meloche in favour – to proceed with the hire.

Councillors Diane Pouget and Rick Fryer were opposed. Pouget said the cost of the hiring was being “kept secret” from the public and also voiced concern that Amherstburg Police Services Board and Amherstburg Police Association members on the committee were issuing “dire warnings” about the process and future public involvement in policing.

Lavigne, also the chair of the Amherstburg Police Services Board, explained that they are investigating amalgamations with such services as LaSalle and Windsor because a costing and takeover by another service like those two or the OPP would result in a loss of control by Amherstburg in the direction of its policing.

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Suggesting that people are trying to keep their seats on the board was a notion he didn’t agree with, noting he receives about $1,000 per year for his service on the APSB.

The town has to get an idea of what different policing models look like and MPM Consulting has the expertise to gather that information, Lavigne continued, adding he would rather go to the public later with a better understanding of what the future of policing would look like.

“We can’t put the cart before the horse,” he said. “We don’t know what it looks like.”

CAO John Miceli, who chairs the joint police advisory committee, said an amalgamation allows Amherstburg to talk about what policing they would like to see while accepting a costing and being taken over would see Amherstburg being told what kind of policing they would get.

“There’s a significant difference here,” said Miceli.

Miceli originally told council the consultant’s rates were in a private and confidential memo, but later stated that an average OPP costing is $35,000 to $50,000. He added the price for this consultation would likely be different due to the addition of the consultant considering the LaSalle and Windsor options.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale believed that the town will “only get one kick at the can” at this process and said while going through it without a consultant may save money, mistakes would be made.

“I think going in without a consultant who has expertise is silly,” he said.

Councillor Joan Courtney said she didn’t feel confident in making a decision on a costing or amalgamation without help and that the consultant would provide that help.

“There’s too much information we don’t have,” said Courtney.

It was also learned that the town can expect an OPP costing within the next five months.

Town considering outdoor smoke-free bylaw

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Smokers, take note – your ability to light up on town property may become further restricted.

Town council has tabled a proposed outdoor smoke-free bylaw for consideration at the Dec. 12 meeting. Amherstburg is currently the only municipality in Essex County not to have such a bylaw with Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore, LaSalle, Leamington and Tecumseh already having passed such legislation.

According to a report from manager of licensing and enforcement Nicole Rubli, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) approached the town about enacting an outdoor smoke-free bylaw.

The proposed bylaw would prohibit smoking in the town’s outdoor spaces which includes Amherstburg’s parks, recreational fields, playground areas, and trails.

Rubli’s report states that the bylaw further prohibits smoking within nine metres (approximately 29 feet 6 inches) of a public entrance or public exit of a municipal building.

No smoking signage is already up at the Libro Centre thanks to provincial legislation but town council is also considering another outdoor smoke-free bylaw to further protect people from second-hand smoke.

No smoking signage is already up at the Libro Centre thanks to provincial legislation but town council is also considering another outdoor smoke-free bylaw to further protect people from second-hand smoke.

“When a special event is being conducted on town-owned spaces, the bylaw provides that an area can be designated as a smoking area during the event,” Rubli stated. “The designation of a smoking area during a special event will be determined with the event organizer and public events committee.”

Rubli’s report states the new smoking prohibitions contained in the bylaw “will be predominately socially regulated and enforced.”

The WECHU Tobacco Enforcement Officers, the town’s bylaw enforcement officer and the Amherstburg Police Service can conduct formal enforcement of this bylaw.

“Public education is an important component to ensure compliance with proposed bylaw 2016-113. Administration in cooperation with WECHU will develop a communication plan for the new bylaw and will target event organizers, sports organizations and recreational facility users,” wrote Rubli. “Signage will also be erected to serve as a reminder of the bylaw prohibitions.”

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale stated that the WECHU works with municipalities to develop or update their smoke-free bylaws.

“In our case, we didn’t have one in place,” said DiPasquale. “We are working on one now.”

DiPasquale said the public can provide input prior to the Dec. 12 meeting and believes he will be reading e-mails on the topic. He said the idea behind the proposed bylaw is to protect the public, including children, from smoke.

“The idea is to have cleaner air than what we’ve got,” said DiPasquale. “Second-hand smoke is not a good thing. We’re just trying to protect people more.”

DiPasquale said he quit smoking over 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

“I don’t miss it at all,” he said.

Town scraps proposed private property tree bylaw, adopts public property tree bylaw

 

By Ron Giofu

Town council has axed the proposed private property tree bylaw but will be moving forward with the public property tree bylaw.

Council members unanimously voted to abandon the private property tree bylaw, the same bylaw residents overwhelmingly rejected at a Sept. 29 public meeting at the Libro Centre. As part of that proposed private property tree bylaw, residents would have had to pay a permit fee of $100 for the first tree they wished to remove and $50 for each additional tree to a maximum of $400. Residents would also have to provide an arborist report as part of the permit application. Residents would have had the option of appealing to town council should they object to the conditions of the permit with violators subject “to strict fines and penalties.”

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale said numerous people were concerned about the private property tree bylaw and that council understood their concerns.

“The public property bylaw is one people can live with,” said DiPasquale. “The other one is a big concern. I hope the public will be relieved that we are not going on their property or anything like that.”

Councillor Diane Pouget said the original intent of the parks committee was to update the existing bylaw and to give additional “teeth” to it. She said she learned a lot when the private property tree bylaw was proposed, adding she was grateful to hear that a number of people already are planting trees on private land.

“We really did learn a lot,” she said of the public meeting.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he spoke to numerous people and said he commends people who are planting trees.

“Farmers are stewards of the environment,” he said. “Moving forward, this (private property tree bylaw) was not a good bylaw at all. I don’t think we need to regulate our residents any more than they already are.”

Councillor Leo Meloche said he didn’t approve of the private property tree bylaw “from Day 1.

“The residents spoke up and that was good,” said Meloche.

Meloche suggested education rather than regulation.

“It’s educating the public where they can put trees on private property so they are there for a long time,” said Meloche.

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Councillor Joan Courtney said council vowed to listen to the public and is doing so in the private property tree issue. Courtney did express concern on trees that were removed between Duffy’s and the Queen Charlotte Residents, the latter being under construction. CAO John Miceli said that is a private property issue.

Miceli added that the town was told it needs to do a better job maintaining public trees and the $25,000 allocated annually to tree maintenance is “a far cry of what we should be at.”

Fryer said he approved of the public property tree bylaw, adding that council will hear of trees being removed rather than the situation roughly eight years ago where trees were removed from Navy Yard Park to much public outcry.

Among the highlights of that bylaw are an amendment to a seven-day notification period from two days notice to the town when tree maintenance will be performed as “two-day notice was not an adequate timeline for town administration to review the request.”

Other proposed public property tree bylaw highlights include an amendment to include stricter penalties and fines to act as a deterrent to damaging or removing trees located on town property, a provision mandating that any person owning or occupying property abutting any public sidewalk or highway where their tree presents an obstruction or hazard “shall eliminate the obstruction or hazard using sound and correct arboricultural practices” and that owners and occupants of property abutting a public sidewalk or highway “shall clear away and remove from public sidewalks located alongside, in front of, or at the rear of his/her property, any branches or other debris having fallen onto public sidewalks from any tree.”

Seasons Amherstburg resident celebrates 100th birthday

 

By Ron Giofu

 

It was a special day for Marie White last Wednesday.

The Seasons Amherstburg resident celebrated her 100th birthday with friends, a few dignitaries and, of course, a big 100th birthday cake. White said she felt fine on her big day but was taken aback by the party thrown in her honour.

“Yes, I should say,” said White, when asked about whether she was surprised.

Even though she was surprised, White was pleased with the party.

“This is lovely,” said White. “I can’t believe how nice it is.”

Lynn Smith, the lifestyles services manager at Seasons Amherstburg, described White as “a simple, easy to please lady” who didn’t want too much of a fuss on her birthday.

“She wanted to keep it nice and easy,” said Smith.

Marie White (left) is presented with an award from the town on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Making the presentation to White is Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

Marie White (left) is presented with an award from the town on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Making the presentation to White is Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

White celebrated with her family the previous weekend with last Wednesday’s party being on her actual birthday. She said she doesn’t have a secret on how she has lived as long as she has but had one piece of advice: “you just keep going.”

Keeping going is something White does regularly, Smith noted. White is seen regularly with her walker “doing laps” of the halls and keeping as active as she can. White has two daughters and several grandchildren and one of the highlights of her century-long life has simply been to be around her family.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (right) presents 100-year-old Marie White with a gift on behalf of the Amherstburg Police Service.

Chief Tim Berthiaume (right) presents 100-year-old Marie White with a gift on behalf of the Amherstburg Police Service.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale presented White with a framed certificate from the town of Amherstburg while Chief Tim Berthiaume and Deputy Chief Ian Chappell wishing White well. Berthiaume presented her with a special commemorative coin with the police logo on it.