APSB

Rozankovic aiming to be the next deputy mayor

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Bob Rozankovic has his eyes on the deputy mayor’s position and believes the time is right to pursue it.

Rozankovic is running for that job in the Oct. 22 municipal election and has been accumulating a resume of municipal involvement over the last four years. He has been on the Amherstburg Police Services Board (APSB) and is the current chair. He has also chaired the former economic development committee.

Believing there is “going to be a lack of returning experience” on town council, Rozankovic cited that as a reason he is running for deputy mayor.

“I think the deputy mayor needs to be able to fill in for the mayor when the mayor is not available,” he said, “not just at council but at events around town as such.”

Rozankovic said he wants to see the growth of the town continue. He said a lot of open discussion and positive momentum came out of economic development committee’s “Mayor’s Breakfast” with local realtors three years ago.

“It goes to show how much can be achieved with honest and open discussion with as many stakeholders as possible,” he stated.

“There is so much work left to do and I feel that I have a lot to contribute to the process,” he stated. “I have a good working relationship with the current mayor and administration. Not always agreeing, but always having intelligent discourse.”

Rozankovic, a sales manager in the tool and die industry, believes finances have “turned around in the sense that we know exactly where we stand and we can plan ahead. We need to make decisions on solid business cases, always ensuring that residents get the maximum value for their tax dollars.”

Bob Rozaknovic is running for deputy mayor in the Oct. 22 municipal election

The next term of council will be critical, he said.

“I truly believe the next council is going to set the tone for the future of Amherstburg,” he said. “The last four years have been good but the next four years will be pivotal.”

Ensuring the town assists business startups, local organizations, and festivals is critical to developing a community that people want to live in and people want to move to, he added.

“We have to be branded as a community that is thriving, inviting, and progressive, while at the same time maintaining heritage that is at the core of who we are,” he said.

Rozankovic added: “We want to be the premier retirement community in Southwestern Ontario, and we can be just that. But we must commit to a strategic plan for this to be accomplished.”

Rozankovic would also sit on county council, if elected. He believes county council “does a fair job,” particularly with regards to infrastructure but also thinks the library strike “was mishandled badly.” His objectives would be to ensure Amherstburg’s concerns are lobbied for and also to help lobby the province for more infrastructure funding.

On the policing issue Rozankovic stated, “as a member of the APSB I am limited in what I can say at this time. Ultimately it is the decision of council as to the direction the town takes. Certainly there are both pros and cons and I have the ultimate respect for all councillors that voted on this difficult issue, no matter their individual preference.”

Rozankovic added “as a member of JPAC, I can say we attempted to address all concerns put forth by all stakeholders including residents, police officers, and administration. All facts were clearly presented without bias for council’s decision making process.”

There is a lot of “negative energy” around decision-making and Rozankovic said he will provide “leadership that addresses the root causes of voter dissatisfaction and redirect negative political energy into positive outcomes.”

Amherstburg police business plan meeting sees concerns raised over police costings, unlocked vehicles

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A public meeting on Amherstburg Police Services 2017-19 business plan resulted in a lot of concerns over unlocked vehicles and the upcoming police costings.

The meeting was held last Wednesday morning at the Libro Centre with Chief Tim Berthiaume presenting statistics on the police service and seeking public input. Berthiaume pointed out the service’s motto “People Just Like You” and told the people in attendance that “you pay our bills. This is your police service.”

The Amherstburg Police Services has 31 sworn officers, including Berthiaume, and three civilian members though one of the civilians – a special constable – has their salary and benefits shared by the LaSalle Police Service.

Berthiaume said the service is one of the cheapest in Ontario when compared to services of a similar size and also credited the community for making Amherstburg one of the safest communities in Canada.

“You have one of the safest communities in Canada and I think that’s something to be proud of,” the chief stated. He added that “rarely can we solve crimes without the help of the community.”

Susan Monaghan raised the issue of the police costings, stating she saw a petition in a coffee shop. She asked what would be the most effective way to raise concerns on the issue. Berthiaume said it is a decision of town council whether to switch police services once the costings come in. He suggested the best way would be to call or e-mail members of council.

Berthiaume noted that the moratorium on OPP costings was lifted earlier this year but it is expected to take two to three years before the town actually receives a costing.

Even if the town were to eventually switch, Berthiaume said Amherstburg police would continue with the job they are doing right up until the final day.

“We are going to continue to deliver the most cost-effective police service we can to the residents of Amherstburg. Even if the OPP were to come in, we would do that right until the last day.”

Deputy Chief Ian Chappell, who spent 15 years with the OPP, praised them as a very good service that does the big things well. However, he said it would not be guaranteed that the community would see the same officers daily if the OPP were to come in and he believes there is value of the community seeing the same officers regularly.

Some larger services don’t send an officer for break-ins or thefts, he added, preferring to have people call in their reports.

Aburg Police Logo Rev-web

“In a smaller police service, we send an officer. In my opinion, there is value to that,” said Chappell.

Norm Mickle was one of the residents in attendance and he said one way to fill the room would be to touch the police service. He called the idea of switching police services a bad one.

“It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of – getting rid of the best police service in all of Canada,” said Mickle.

Mickle suggested people start contacting town officials now about keeping the service, believing it would be a “huge mistake” to switch to OPP. Berthiaume said it’s not a competition between Amherstburg police and OPP but plans to give council the most detailed information possible on the current service.

The chief added an OPP bid will be cheaper but said the OPP is a different model of policing. Amherstburg police has to keep a certain number of officers on the road at any one time 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

“We can’t take officers from other areas,” said Berthiaume.

The attendance at the meeting was raised as less than ten people attended. Berthiaume said over 200 flyers were distributed in the business community and that it was advertised as well. He said such meetings are usually poorly attended.

“We’ve always had a dismal turnout,” he said.

Berthiaume added he is open to other ideas on how to attract more people.

“As chief, I’m not sure what else I can do to get people out but I’m willing to listen,” he said.

The issue of thefts from vehicles was also raised during the meeting, with Berthiaume pointing out there has been an “unprecedented level of thefts” from vehicles and that those arrested have ranged from youths to adults, some of whom come from outside the town.

“It’s a preventable crime,” he said.

Chappell pointed out officers checked vehicles one night in the Golfview subdivision and of 180 vehicles checked, 27 per cent of them were found to be unlocked. Officers put “Lock it or Lose it” pamphlets in the unlocked cars.

The next public meeting for the police department’s business plan is Oct. 18 at the Libro Centre starting at 7 p.m.