Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘town council


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If you’re a summertime visitor to Southampton and you don’t know your way around town – all you have to do is look up – look waaaay up – and we’ll point you in the right direction.

There are big blue signs – WayFinding Signs – as the municipality calls them – strategically placed at the side of streets in town and roads leading in and out of town, showing you the way to all of our fabled attractions.

And while these WayFinding Signs are probably helpful to first-time tourists, some locals and summer people are not happy with the way they’ve suddenly popped up all over town. Words like ‘ugly,’ ‘unnecessary,’ ‘waste of our tax dollars,’ ‘can’t read and drive at the same time,’ have appeared in the Letters to the Editor column of our weekly newspaper.

Some folks who live here full or part-time are insulted at the insinuation that they might not where the town dump is. In fact one letter-writer was upset that council approved the idea while he was spending winter down south…the cheek of those public servants getting on with business and not waiting for his return. Truth is this WayFInding Sign concept has been on the books for a while. Public meetings have been held and Southampton media outlets have filed stories. You would have to be blind, deaf, illiterate or just not here to miss it.

Anyway, it is my observation that small town folks like to have their say at the strangest times. Reacting after the fact will never convince council to take the signs down. Money has been spent and that’s that.

So, if you’re up our way this summer you can still stop and ask someone how to find the beach.

Or you can just follow the signs.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

June 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM


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Headlines in the local paper read: BAG TAGS STAYING AT $1.50.

If anyone was following my post as above (February 27, 2010) – that’s good news. Saugeen Shores is not following the other nine nearby municipalities which charge $2.00 a bag. Council hung tough. And good for them. Although they are increasing the per-tonne rate at the landfill site. But that’s no big deal as far as I’m concerned.

Little guy wins!

But, not if you die!

It will now cost more for a plot at any of the three town cemeteries. A single plot goes from $375.00 up to $750.00. It now takes double what it use to, to dig a hole in Saugeen Shores soil.

From garbage to graves. What you lose on the apples you make on the oranges.

How about that.

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

March 16, 2010 at 10:14 PM


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It seems the people of our town are doing too good a job when it comes to reducing their garbage output. Even with $1.50 Bag Tag we conscientious citizens are embracing the need to reduce, we’re putting out less garbage and in so doing, we are creating another financial problem for Town Council.  Our honourable efforts have left the Saugeen Shores Waste Management budget with a $17,000. shortfall. That’s the price of success, I guess.  But our Council has found a way to put a negative spin on the positive results of a program they instituted.

Their solution is to increase the cost of a single Bag Tag by 50 cents. That is the common citizen’s reward for being efficient, for “better behaviour” as one councillor put it. Really. I was just hoping for a gold star not another price increase.

This councillor goes on to say that, “the increase in fee, making them pay for it, is making their behaviour better. If we increase the fees more, the behaviour will get better and better over time.” The essence of this syllogism escapes me.

Then another feels that, “if people are putting out less garbage perhaps there’s opportunities at certain times of the year, to deal with the collection in a different way.”

Yes, replies another, “especially in the off-time of year…I can see skipping a week for garbage pick-up and doing it bi-weekly for December, January and February.”

So, 50 cents more per bag and less pick-up. I can’t do the math, but I guess that will erase the shortfall.

The behaviour-altering power of Bag Tags could be turned against everyday tax-payers because of their good behaviour. For some reason I don’t get the logic. I don’t understand how Councillors think.

Usually when someone thanks me for doing a good job I get a good feeling inside.

Not this time.

(All quotes taken from article in Shoreline Beacon)

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

February 27, 2010 at 10:19 PM


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“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer…”

Ah yes, Richard, Duke of Glouster pontificating on how good things are…or can be…or at least appear to be. And in our realm of reality, as we look forward to summer…what is it that we have to wax poetic about?

Folks up here have just about had it with winter. I’ve heard many long time residents complain that it has gone on long enough. Those that take a break down south and return are dismayed to see nothing has changed. Winter hasn’t gone anywhere.

It is cold now. Some grass is showing. Ice is back in the river. And even though spring is just around the corner, the word is – enough!

What else? Well! Tim Hortons (after much controversy) is here and thriving. Walmart (after much controversy) arrived this winter. Is it hurting local business? One look down Port Elgin’s main street will have you wondering where all the cars are…they’re in Walmart’s gigantic parking lot. Are main street merchants suffering? Some say yes. Some say I told you so.

Still, Council forges on allowing monster Drug Store chains (with much controversy) to keep building bigger. How many drug stores does a population of approximately 12,000 people really need?

The Port Elgin library opens its doors with bright, new bigger space…and debt. Fund raising is tough these days.

There’s one hell of a debate at Council, in the newspapers, on-line, in editorials, and letters to the editor about the need (or not) for a new swimming pool. Everyone has an opinion and an idea of what and where it should be. Everyone, though, takes pause with the nine million plus price tag. There’s an insightful letter to the editor about it at Read it if you live in Saugeen Shores and be amazed at what is going on and what we seem to have gotten ourselves into.

There’s not much one can do about any of this…except tough it out. Things always look better in the warm sunshine.