town of Amherstburg

Amherstburg Community Services partnering with town to deliver two-day Seniors Expo

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

Dozens of organizations, businesses and individuals will be making their way out to Amherstburg June 11-12 to help seniors in the region discover services, resources and activities specifically designed for them.

The 2018 Active & Aging Well Expo, hosted and organized by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Town of Amherstburg, is described as “a one-stop shop for everything from home health care to yoga demonstrations curated specifically for seniors, older adults and caregivers.”

“We really wanted to appeal to as many people as we could,” Kathy DiBartolomeo, executive director at ACS said. “We all age differently and find ourselves with a variety of different needs.  Some of us are looking for activities and hobbies to keep us busy, others will be looking for services that provide support for a specific need.  We’re excited that this event will cover all of that and more!”

Rick Daly, the manager of recreation Services with the Town of Amherstburg, says he is excited by the responses seen by businesses that have been invited to take part in the event.

“Amherstburg’s population is getting older. It only makes sense that we offer programming, activities and events that cater to our older adult population,” Daly said. “With the response that Amherstburg Community Services is getting, the Expo looks to become an annual event that will educate and entertain our seniors on the many activities and services offered in our town.”

The 2018 Active & Aging Well Expo will take place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both June 11-12 at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg.

Over 35 different vendors will be at the event, with demonstrations and presentations taking place throughout the day.  Admission will be $5 at the door and will include a boxed lunch and access to various raffle prizes.

For more information, please contact Amherstburg Community Services at 519-736-5471.

 

DiPasquale announces he will not seek re-election

 

By Ron Giofu

The town will be electing a new deputy mayor Oct. 22, as the current deputy mayor has decided to step out of the political arena.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale made it official Monday night that he will not seek re-election. His political career lasted eight years, as he was elected as a councillor in 2010 and won the deputy mayor’s job in the 2014 municipal election.

In a statement read during the “new business” portion of Monday’s town council meeting, DiPasquale said that “after careful consideration and discussion with my loving wife and family, I would like to announce that I will not be seeking re-election this fall and (will) be spending more time with my friends and grandchildren. I will also be looking forward to casting my ballot in this year’s election.”

DiPasquale said he enjoyed serving the town as deputy mayor and as a member of Essex County council.

“I have also been truly blessed in serving this community as a municipal employee and also a police officer,” he said.

DiPasquale had a 35-year career with the Amherstburg Police Service, retiring as deputy chief in 2009. His community involvement has also seen him serve with local service clubs and non-profit organizations and has resulted in numerous awards and honours over the years. He recalled starting to work for the town at age 16, grooming baseball diamonds under the direction of former administrator Tom Kilgallin.

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale announced May 14 that he will not seek re-election.

“During my years of employment with the Town of Amherstburg and as an elected official, I have learned that this community is truly special and resilient. We have persevered through much of our debt load adversity and began updating our aging infrastructure,” he said. “We also began rebuilding our management structure and I am grateful for being part of this and serving together with all the other council members.”

DiPasquale also thanked CAO John Miceli, the management team and employees “that kept this great municipality solvent, the neighbourhoods and roads safe, the water flowing and clean and our parks active. It has been a truly superb performance and thank you.”

Wishing the next deputy mayor and council members well, DiPasquale said he wishes they will have “the same wonderful experiences and lifetime of memories I have acquired” by serving the community.

Following his statement, DiPasquale was met with a standing ovation from all in attendance at Monday night’s meeting, including his fellow council members. Several members of DiPasquale’s family, including his wife Carmen, daughters Luisa and Sandra, their grandchildren as well as other loved ones were in attendance.

Town, WECHU launching distribution of KI pills

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Those living within 16.1 kilometres of the Fermi II nuclear power plant will soon have an opportunity to receive their potassium iodide (KI) pills.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), the Town of Amherstburg and the Amherstburg Fire Department held a joint news conference Thursday morning where it was announced that the distribution of KI pills would begin May 7.

The 16.1-kilometre zone encompasses a small portion of Amherstburg, roughly 500 homes, primarily in the Amherst Pointe area with residents in that area either having received or due to receive a letter informing them they can get the KI pills. Boblo Island is also included in the primary zone due to the logistics of getting people off of the island in case of an emergency.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo called it an “important first step,” stating that town council has been pressing for “a long time” that Amherstburg be treated on an equal basis as compared to other Ontario municipalities with a nuclear reactor nearby.

The difference between Amherstburg and the other Ontario municipalities is that Fermi II is actually located in the United States.

DiCarlo credited town staff, including fire chief Bruce Montone, deputy chief Lee Tome and clerk Paula Parker for their work on pressing the issue with the Ontario government.

“Through their persistence, we are starting to see progress,” said DiCarlo.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), shows a box of potassium iodide (KI) pills as Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and fire chief Bruce Montone look on.

Montone urged people to have a plan in case of any emergency, not just a nuclear one, including how to get out of your home, neighbourhood or town.

“Are you ready, no matter where you live?” asked Montone. “Are you ready for any emergency that may occur?”

Specific to the KI pill distribution, people who fall within the primary zone can pick them up at the Libro Centre starting May 7-8. Those who can’t attend those dates can still get their pills later this spring or early summer with Montone stating that those who get their pills will be tracked. If there are those unable to get their KI pills, Montone suggested alternative measures will be explored including door-to-door delivery.

Should an emergency occur, Montone indicated that the siren system would be activated, that messages would be sent to the media for dissemination and the town’s “Amherstburg Alert” system would be activated. He encouraged members of the public to sign up, if they haven’t already done so, at www.amherstburg.ca/alert.

If it was a nuclear emergency, how fast the town would be impacted would depend on such things such as weather, temperature, wind and other factors. Montone said there would be six to 24-hour time period before the possibility of a release and noted most nuclear incidents are relatively minor when, and if, they do happen.

“Not every single event is going to be a catastrophic event that we see in the movies,” he said.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, acting medical officer of health with the WECHU, gives a closer look at the packages Amherstburg residents can expect when they pick up their KI pills. Those in the “primary zone,” which is those within a 16.1 kilometre radius of Fermi II, can start picking up the pills May 7 at the Libro Centre.

Dr. Wajid Ahmed, acting medical officer of health with the WECHU, said the KI pills are a form of salt and, when taken prior to exposure to radiation, assists the thyroid in not absorbing radioactive material.

“It’s not a magic pill,” he said. “It just protects you from thyroid cancer.”

The province will absorb the $370,000 cost of the pills, he noted, adding that adults usually take two of the pills while adolescents take one.

Those in the secondary zone, which includes the rest of Amherstburg and is a radius of 80 km from the plant, can sign up to get the KI pills as well. The pills have rare side effects such as gastrointestinal issues and a hypersensitivity reaction.

“You have to take KI pills only when directed,” noted Ahmed. “Don’t take them unless you are directed to.”

For more information, visit www.wechu.org/KI, e-mail weki@wechu.org or call 519-258-2146 ext. 4445.

Town welcomes new director of corporate services

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Town of Amherstburg has a new director of corporate service and she brings over a quarter-century of municipal experience with her.

Cheryl Horrobin is the town’s new director, having started her new duties in February. The chartered accountant was officially introduced at the March 19 town council meeting.

“This is the fourth local municipality I’ve worked in,” said Horrobin. “I’ve been to all corners of the county.”

Horrobin started her municipal career in Windsor, where she spent over 15 years in various positions. She was an internal auditor, manager of finance, property and housing, the acting director of finance and department administrator at Huron Lodge, director of finances and social services and manager of corporate projects.

After leaving Windsor, Horrobin spent seven years in Leamington where she was the director of finance/treasurer. From there, she took the same position in Lakeshore where she spent the last three-plus years before coming to Amherstburg.

Horrobin said she has been monitoring what has been going on in Amherstburg and believes the town is heading in the right direction.

Cheryl Horrobin is the town’s new director of corporate services. She began her new duties in February and Amherstburg is the fourth municipality in the region that she has worked for.

“The main thing was to be part of the progress that is being made here and be part of future successes,” she said, noting that the treasurer, human resources and IT report to her. “It’s really trying to continue to develop our people and develop our procedures in a growing community.”

Horrobin said she wants to make sure the goals of administration align with the goals of council and “set us up for success.” She said her family has roots in Amherstburg, with her in-laws being from town.

While stating there is still a lot to learn, she said her arrival in town has been positive thus far.

“It’s a great team they have here,” said Horrobin. “Everyone has been very welcoming and gracious, and I appreciate that.”

Horrobin has noticed there is a lot of people who attend Amherstburg council meetings and she is glad to see the engagement of residents in the community.

“It’s very interesting to see that at work,” she said.

Pointing out she has 26 years of municipal experience overall, Horrobin believes there has been progress over the last few years and wants to continue with that.

“I’m happy to be here and plan on doing great things for the community,” she said.

County, town making new arrangements regarding integrity commissioners

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The County of Essex is looking at obtaining a new integrity commissioner in light of requirements from the province’s Bill 68.

The bill mandates that municipalities shall have an integrity commissioner by March 1, 2019. Prior to that, according to a report from the county’s director of council services/clerk Mary Birch, integrity commissioners are optional.

“The County of Essex currently contracts the services of an integrity commissioner, however that contract expires in 2018. A joint RFP with some of the local municipalities has recently closed and submissions are being reviewed by a joint evaluation committee,” Birch stated in her report. “Administration will be providing a subsequent report recommending the appointment of an integrity commissioner and propose some amendments to the Council Code of Conduct.”

County council also resolved to continue to prohibit electronic meeting participation, pending further clarification of the definition of “participation” and improvements to technology available; to develop parental leave policy for members of county council and to approve proposed rules for temporary replacement members of county council.

This comes shortly after the Town of Amherstburg voted to continue its relationship with integrity commission Bruce Elman.

Elman, who first began doing work on Amherstburg’s behalf midway through last year, could become the town’s integrity commissioner should a cost sharing agreement be finalized with Windsor.

“All we really did was reappoint him and put in for cost sharing with the City of Windsor to make it more affordable,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “We agreed to renew him and see about cost sharing with the city.”

Clerk Paula Parker noted that the previous integrity commissioner was Robert Swayze but that contract was terminated early at the direction of council May 8, 2017.

“On June 12, 2017, administration was directed to seek the expertise of the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate two outstanding integrity complaints and any further complaints that may arise until a new integrity commissioner could be appointed,” said Parker.

“At the time, I believe the city was using Bruce Elman,” added DiCarlo. “We came across him, he’s got a good reputation, so we switched.”

Parker stated that “the new amendments to the Municipal Act and Municipal Conflict of Interest Act brought on by Bill 68, make the appointment of an integrity commissioner mandatory, whereby the municipality has to appoint its own or share the services of another. His/her scope of responsibilities will also increase upon being proclaimed into force on March 1, 2019. In light of these changes and the town’s recent dealings with Professor Bruce Elman, administration recommended that his services be shared between the town and the city.”