Municipal Government – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 06:58:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ballingertx.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Municipal Government – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ 32 32 Aurora mayor urges province to ‘stop’ housing bill https://ballingertx.org/aurora-mayor-urges-province-to-stop-housing-bill/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 23:39:52 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/aurora-mayor-urges-province-to-stop-housing-bill/ Mayor Tom Mrakas seeks council’s support for his motion calling on the Ontario government to slow down Bill 23 to allow consultation with municipalities The Ontario government’s plan to create more housing in the province continues to raise concerns among municipal leaders at both the municipal and regional levels. Following the inauguration of Aurora’s 2022-2026 […]]]>

Mayor Tom Mrakas seeks council’s support for his motion calling on the Ontario government to slow down Bill 23 to allow consultation with municipalities

The Ontario government’s plan to create more housing in the province continues to raise concerns among municipal leaders at both the municipal and regional levels.

Following the inauguration of Aurora’s 2022-2026 council on Tuesday night, one of the first orders of business lawmakers will be to formally oppose Bill 23.

In a motion to be brought to council in the coming weeks by Mayor Tom Mrakas, council will be asked to vote to ask the province to “stop” the bill’s progress through the legislature to allow new consultations with municipalities.

The goal, Mrakas says in his motion, is to “ensure that its sound decision-making objectives for housing growth that meets local needs will be reasonably achieved.”

“Many of the proposed changes (in the bill) are significant and will limit how municipalities manage growth through official plan implementation and the ability to provide essential community infrastructure and services,” reads- we in the motion. “The effect of Bill 23 is that the Conservation Authority will no longer be able to review and comment on development applications and supporting environmental studies on behalf of a municipality.

The bill, he adds, proposes to freeze, reduce and eliminate development charges – the money developers pay to communities for infrastructure improvements to accommodate growth. – and fleet allocation requirements.

“Bill 23 will remove all aspects of site plan control from certain residential development proposals up to 10 units,” the mayor continued. “The changes would also remove the ability to regulate architectural details and aspects of landscaping.”

The backlash against Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, continued at the regional table last week, with the regional council passing a motion from Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti calling for Queen’s Park to “shut down ” the bill and consults with the Housing Supply Action Plan Implementation Team to “ensure municipalities can work in partnership with the province to address the housing affordability crisis in our communities.

“The Regional Council and the Regional Municipality of York remain aligned with the provincial goal of building more homes and accelerating the speed of approvals, but we have concerns about the proposed legislation,” said Wayne Emmerson, President and CEO. General of York Region. “As proposed, Bill 23 will have far-reaching and complex economic, social and environmental impacts and will have a significant impact on how municipal governments recoup the costs associated with growth.

The bill proposes numerous changes, including amendments to the Development Charges Act and the Planning Act that would limit how municipalities can fund infrastructure needed due to the growth of new developments.

This, the region says, contradicts “the goal of building more affordable housing.”

“The concept that growth should pay for growth is a long-standing practice of governments around the world,” Mayor Scarpitti said in a statement. “By bringing this motion forward and asking the province to take a break on Bill 23, Regional Council is asking the province to collaborate and work with its municipal partners to address the affordable housing crisis while ensuring that that the financial burden of growth-related infrastructure does not sit with our existing property taxpayers.

Brock Weir is a federally funded Local Journalism Initiative reporter at The Auroran

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The role of government in financial inclusion is seen as essential https://ballingertx.org/the-role-of-government-in-financial-inclusion-is-seen-as-essential/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 01:33:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/the-role-of-government-in-financial-inclusion-is-seen-as-essential/ A woman shows banknotes and coins included in the 2019 edition of the fifth series of the renminbi. [Photo/Xinhua] Experts call for ‘down-to-earth’ efforts to improve national system China should support all market players striving to improve financial inclusion to explore more cooperation models, which uphold laws and regulatory compliance, control risk and promote business […]]]>

A woman shows banknotes and coins included in the 2019 edition of the fifth series of the renminbi. [Photo/Xinhua]

Experts call for ‘down-to-earth’ efforts to improve national system

China should support all market players striving to improve financial inclusion to explore more cooperation models, which uphold laws and regulatory compliance, control risk and promote business sustainability, in areas of business, technology, data and infrastructure through methods such as regulatory sandboxes and implementing pilot programs in local areas, experts said.

Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs and are provided in a responsible and sustainable manner, according to the World Bank.

After years of development, China’s financial inclusion system has shown characteristics such as diversified market entities, high correlation and deep integration. Market players have evolved from small loan companies to a diversified organizational system in which traditional financial institutions and emerging market entities engage in healthy competition and cooperation, said Shan Qiang, Party Secretary of the National Internet Finance Association of China.

In the next step, the country should scale up the initiative and creativity of all market players in this area and support them in building a more robust and balanced financial inclusion ecosystem, a said Shan at the 2022 China International Forum for Financial Inclusion in Beijing recently. .

There is also a need for the country to strengthen regulation of the conduct of market participants, improve transparency in the financial inclusion market, and enhance consumer protection through measures such as information disclosure, risk alerts and ethical reviews, he said.

Wu Xiaoqiu, co-chairman of the board of trustees of the Chinese Academy of Financial Inclusion at Renmin University of China and former vice president of the university, said financial inclusion is part of a number of indicators of China’s financial modernization, which is a basic element of Chinese modernization.

A financial system that ignores the needs of micro and small businesses as well as the demand for wealth management services from low- and middle-income people can hardly be considered modernized finance, Wu said.

China should forge ahead in a down-to-earth manner with effective quality improvement and reasonable quantity increase in terms of financial inclusion, in line with global requirements in pursuit of high-quality development by the country, said Liu Feng, general secretary. of the Chinese Banking Association.

With the accelerated industrialization, urbanization and agricultural modernization of the country in recent years, hundreds of millions of people have moved from rural areas to cities. They have become new urban residents – people who live in a city permanently but have not yet obtained a local hukou, an official document certifying that the holder is a legal resident of a particular area, or those who have obtained a local hukou within the past three years. years.

Currently, there are about 300 million new urban residents on the Chinese mainland, accounting for more than 20% of the mainland’s population.

Strengthening financial services for new urban residents has practical importance for maintaining stable economic performance and promoting growth. The banking sector has focused on consolidating and improving the effects of financial inclusion. During the process of integrating into urban life, new urban residents will have strong and diversified demand for financial services, which will provide huge opportunities for banking institutions to develop new businesses, Liu said.

Experts and officials also highlighted the importance of promoting high-quality financial inclusion development to help small businesses build resilience in the face of difficult times.

Lin Jingping, deputy director of the financial work bureau of the Taizhou municipal government, said that in order to reduce the level of information asymmetry between banks and small businesses, a credit information sharing platform has was created in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, collecting 433 million pieces. credit information from over 790,000 market entities from over 30 government departments and providing this information to banks free of charge.

The platform has allowed banks to offer loans to small businesses in a more targeted way, Lin said.

As of the end of the third quarter, the loan balance for micro and small enterprises that have a total credit line of up to 10 million yuan ($1.42 million) per borrower reached 23.16 trillion yuan in China. , up 24.6% year-on-year. year, according to the People’s Bank of China, the central bank.

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David Jessop | Florida and Cuba Politics | Company https://ballingertx.org/david-jessop-florida-and-cuba-politics-company/ Sun, 13 Nov 2022 05:06:39 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/david-jessop-florida-and-cuba-politics-company/ Just over a week ago, and for the 30th consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution condemning Washington for its continued embargo on Cuba. The vote passed by 185 votes to two, with two abstentions. Those who voted against were the United States and Israel. The two abstentions […]]]>

Just over a week ago, and for the 30th consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution condemning Washington for its continued embargo on Cuba.

The vote passed by 185 votes to two, with two abstentions. Those who voted against were the United States and Israel. The two abstentions were the new government of Brazil which had not yet taken office and Ukraine.

Despite this, there are few signs that bilateral relations will improve or that the embargo could be significantly modified.

The decisive victory in Florida of its Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who may well now decide to challenge former President Trump to be the party’s candidate for the 2024 presidential race, recent American opinion polls and the strong presence of Cuban-American candidates in the swing makes it clear that Cuba will remain a politically potent issue in American domestic politics – that is, an issue that limits the ability of Democrats and Republicans to react rationally despite the danger that the effect pressure cooker of the embargo could exacerbate internal economic tensions in Cuba with destabilizing consequences for all in its periphery.

On the island, power outages, food and medicine shortages, transportation difficulties, lack of maintenance of critical infrastructure, price inflation, growing inequalities for those without access to external family finance and friends abroad, migration, bureaucracy, illegalities and alienation from many young people in the country, continue to be exacerbated by the embargo.

Together, they threaten unpredictable social, migration and geopolitical outcomes in a country where conservative and more liberal factions within Cuba’s Communist Party, military and government seem unable to collectively agree on how an economy of more liberal socialist market could be quickly created. .

Despite this, much of the world’s media pays little attention to the details or substance of what is happening or being said in Cuba, trying instead to assess the complexity of one or another point of view politically partisan without ever having been there.

I observe this as someone who since the 1980s has visited, engaged in dialogue in Havana, Washington, London and Brussels on economic and political issues in various professional incarnations and who now edits the weekly publication Briefing on Cuba, which tries to convey in an apolitical and factual way to an international audience the complexity of what is happening inside the country and beyond.

Seen from this unusually long immersive perspective, the Cuban Communist Party and government now seem locked in a race between its limited ability to deliver a modicum of economic recovery this year and next and to deal with genuine social disaffection and the impact of American policy, while trying to respond on its own terms to geopolitical issues in a way that does not infringe on national sovereignty.

The immediate challenge for the Cuban government is literally and metaphorically to prove to the Cuban people that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Post-pandemic, the economy is slowly recovering but has been slowed by constant power cuts affecting both domestic and industrial supply, which is unlikely to be fully resolved until next year.

More positively, by the end of 2023, Cuba should once again receive near 2019 visitor numbers. If this happens, it will both alleviate the country’s currency shortages and see a much needed cash injection into the informal economy. The outlook for nickel is promising, with opportunities potentially arising in relation to biopharmaceutical production in other countries, while gold production and onshore oil recovery are also promising.

Faced with this, agriculture is in a precarious state, with the emphasis now on self-sufficiency. The country embarked on the restructuring of sugar as a lean fully integrated sector in need of laying off workers and saw its high export value tobacco sector badly shaken by Hurricane Ian. More generally, the country is highly indebted and the combined effect of sanctions and currency shortages is driving up the costs of imported inputs for everything from oil to spare parts.

The government’s response to the resulting economic and social crisis has been mixed.

At one level, it sought to activate the country’s natural entrepreneurial talent through limited legislation empowering the private sector, allowing for the creation of self-managed but partially constrained businesses. On the other hand, it delegated aspects of fiscal, regulatory and other authority to provincial and municipal governments in the hope that efficiency and productivity gains could be achieved locally by still largely conservative subsidiary bureaucracies.

But what he has not dared to do so far, apparently for internal political reasons and fear of American manipulation, has been to free up the private sector and foreign investment in a way that Vietnam and China have demonstrated their effectiveness for socialist economies.

On another level, the Communist Party is clearly concerned about its relationship with the country’s young people who, for the most part, think differently from the older generation and are reluctant to respond to political exhortations. In a recently published commentary, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel told a meeting of the Union of Young Communists that a national strategy was needed to ensure that young people feel capable of achieving their ambitions in Cuba. This requires, he said, “rescuing values” with responses “not alien to young people”.

Another indication of the difficulties facing the government is the declared need to do more to restore confidence in relation to what the president recently described as “the illegalities, thefts and price gouging” perpetrated, he said. he says, by a new “caste” operating “an illegal underground economy at prices few can afford”.

Together, these and other national challenges explain the feeling of national fatigue – accurately described by Elizabeth Dore in her recent book H How Things Fall Apart: What Happened to the Cuban Revolution – especially among Cubans who enjoyed the now-defunct economic equality that the country’s revolution brought.

The response to the pent up accumulated frustrations could be seen in the widespread street protests of July 2021, the backlash that followed, the smaller sporadic events that followed, the lawsuits and the pressure on groups seeking change and greater personal and artistic freedoms, and the resurgence of undocumented migrants. migration.

All this while President Diaz-Canel seeks “respectful dialogue” with Washington and “closer relations, regardless of ideological differences”; the island enjoys greater support throughout Latin America; US-Venezuelan relations relax; Russia is studying a Cuban proposal on the supply of regular cargoes of oil and derivatives, fertilizers and wheat, possibly installed in Rubles; and a much closer economic relationship is sought with the Eurasian Economic Union, China and Vietnam.

Unfortunately, no one asks what will happen if American pressure succeeds, if there is a breakdown of internal order in Cuba, if people flee and if their loved ones cross the Florida Strait to help them, triggering instability term and offshore opportunities for drug traffickers or worse, causing even more harm to the Cuban people. Or alternatively, if the United States – or Cuba – really wants the island to become economically dependent on Russia again.

The absence of serious bilateral dialogue, the embargo and the American policy elaborated through the prism of Florida do not bring any answer.

– David Jessop is a consultant to the Caribbean Council. Email: david.jessop@caribbean-council.org To access previous columns, visit: www.caribbean-council.org/research-analysis

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Kiama Council’s Blue Haven retirement home fails six of eight quality standards https://ballingertx.org/kiama-councils-blue-haven-retirement-home-fails-six-of-eight-quality-standards/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 05:39:40 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/kiama-councils-blue-haven-retirement-home-fails-six-of-eight-quality-standards/ A new report outlines detailed concerns about an elderly care facility owned by Kiama City Council, including staff being too busy to help residents use the toilet and shower or administer their medication. Key points: Kiama Council’s Blue Haven Bonaire aged care home failed to meet six out of eight required standards, a new audit […]]]>

A new report outlines detailed concerns about an elderly care facility owned by Kiama City Council, including staff being too busy to help residents use the toilet and shower or administer their medication.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s recent audit report listed Blue Haven’s Bonaira Residential Facility as non-compliant with six out of eight aged care quality standards.

These standards included personal and clinical care, ongoing assessment and planning with consumers, services and supports for daily living, feedback and complaints, human resources and organizational governance.

“Consumers described staff as ‘busy,’ ‘rushed,’ and said they couldn’t meet consumers’ personal care needs all the time in line with their preferences,” the report said.

“A named consumer reported that he did not receive hygienic care in line with his preferences, advised that he was required to use a bedpan due to a lack of staff to assist him to wash up and had to wait for a long time to be attended to.

“A representative further advised that their named consumer was not receiving showers daily in accordance with their preferences and, although raised with management, continued to receive sponge baths every other day.”

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LETTER: Cryderman deserves an apology: lawyer https://ballingertx.org/letter-cryderman-deserves-an-apology-lawyer/ Fri, 04 Nov 2022 22:00:43 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/letter-cryderman-deserves-an-apology-lawyer/ Editor’s note: This letter is addressed to Dave Taylor, Chief Legal Officer for the Municipality and Council of Chatham-Kent. John Cryderman engaged me to provide an administrative and constitutional review of the Audit and Risk Committee’s recent decision regarding allegations of fraud in the municipal government and the Chatham-Kent Police Department. After doing an initial […]]]>

Editor’s note: This letter is addressed to Dave Taylor, Chief Legal Officer for the Municipality and Council of Chatham-Kent.

John Cryderman engaged me to provide an administrative and constitutional review of the Audit and Risk Committee’s recent decision regarding allegations of fraud in the municipal government and the Chatham-Kent Police Department.

After doing an initial review of the file, I am concerned about a number of issues. However, until I have completed my research and due diligence, I will refrain from making definitive comments.

In the meantime, I would like to address the following statement made in your letter of October 4, 2022: “With this matter reviewed and investigated by multiple parties, we hope that you will not continue to escalate these allegations to the Council, to the police services. Council or administration. We have also warn you against continuing to make these unsubstantiated allegations in any communication.

Like any citizen, Mr. Cryderman enjoys the right to freedom of expression under Article 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And, as you are no doubt aware, Canadian and American courts have given extraordinary scope to citizens wishing to criticize the government. In R. v. Zundel, [1992] 2 SCR 731, which is still good law, the Supreme Court of Canada has held that the government cannot regulate expression based on its content, that is, whether it is true or false; thus, the government can regulate the expression only if the form in which it is presented produces a “clear and pressing” danger of causing physical harm.

In this case, Mr. Cryderman stated that he disagrees with the conclusion reached by the Audit and Risk Committee and the process by which that conclusion was reached. It doesn’t matter if CK’s counsel thinks he is right or wrong in his opinions; according to the Supreme Court, he has a fundamental right to express them. This is where the council’s statement, quoted above, is extremely disturbing. It is one thing to say that the Board disagrees with Mr. Cryderman’s opinion; it is quite another to issue a “warning”, which implies the threat of retaliation.

It is a violation of Mr. Cryderman’s right to free speech, and it gives Mr. Cryderman a cause of action against the municipality. I request that counsel and legal services release a letter retracting the statement, apologize to Mr. Cryderman in the letter, and share the letter with anyone who may have been copied from counsel’s October 4 letter.

Beyond this request, I have some preliminary observations around this issue, which are as follows. First, CK could have avoided criticism by allowing public access to the deliberations of the audit and risk committee. In Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov (2019), the Supreme Court emphasized the need for “justification, transparency and intelligibility” in administrative decision-making, a position that would apply with even greater force in the context of municipal administration.

Second, based on my review of the record to date, I disagree with CK’s position that Mr. Cryderman’s persistent concerns are “unfounded”.

Third, I have seen an email exchange between Mr. Cryderman and Mr. Arash Wared, legal counsel for Deloitte, dated July 25, in which Mr. Wared states that Deloitte has been engaged to perform an audit, and not a forensic check. This is rather extraordinary, as no conclusion can be drawn regarding the presence or absence of fraud without a forensic audit. I can say this with some confidence, as I spent an entire year working on a commercial fraud case with the founder of the forensic accounting discipline, the late Don Holmes, when I worked at the law firm McMillan Binch.

In closing, I would like to communicate to you that my concerns on this subject are not abstract or simply professional. I grew up in Chatham, and my grandfather, the late Jack Beardall, was the founder and owner of radio station CFCO 630 AM, and my uncle, the late Bramwell Beardall, QC, was a respected lawyer in town, who served as a County Court Judge for 15 years. I return regularly to the city and remain deeply interested in its development in all respects.

Michael Alexander, MA, JD, LLM

Toronto

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Should the municipalities of Metro Vancouver be merged? Half of locals think so, poll finds https://ballingertx.org/should-the-municipalities-of-metro-vancouver-be-merged-half-of-locals-think-so-poll-finds/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/should-the-municipalities-of-metro-vancouver-be-merged-half-of-locals-think-so-poll-finds/ New findings from the Angus Reid Institute show that half of Metro Vancouver residents are willing to combine some or all of the region’s 21 municipalities. An online poll conducted last month found that 42% favored partial amalgamation and 8% favored amalgamation of all municipal governments in Metro Vancouver. Among respondents, there is the most […]]]>

New findings from the Angus Reid Institute show that half of Metro Vancouver residents are willing to combine some or all of the region’s 21 municipalities.

An online poll conducted last month found that 42% favored partial amalgamation and 8% favored amalgamation of all municipal governments in Metro Vancouver.

Among respondents, there is the most enthusiasm for merging communities in the Tri-Cities (35%), North Shore (34%) and Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge (31%).

Nearly half, or 48%, of respondents from the North Shore say they are in favor of a merger of North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

Meanwhile, 41%, or two in five Tri-Cities residents, believe that Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody should merge.

Shachi Kurl, president of the Angus Reid Institute, says openness to more consolidated government coincides with satisfaction with one’s government and whether he thinks it’s more effective for multiple communities to tackle to major issues like housing and crime as one governing body.

“You deal with different municipal issues and there can be formal or informal sharing of resources,” Kurl said.

“In many cases, there’s an increasing number of people living in these places saying, ‘Actually, maybe it would make more sense to come together, pool our resources and have a more political consistent. “”

Suburbs near Vancouver less open to amalgamation

Respondents were much less open to the idea of ​​a Vancouver-Burnaby (17%) and Surrey-Langley Township-Langley City (23%) combination.

Kurl says she’s not surprised that suburbs near Vancouver are less open to amalgamation.

“Vancouver tends to march to the beat of its own drum,” Kurl said. “Merging with Vancouver is basically inheriting Vancouver’s problems or it could be the mindset.”

Kurl also notes the money involved. “They see [Vancouver’s] money for policing, public safety and road improvements and say they are not interested in subsidizing the costs to the City of Vancouver. »

Kurl adds that those with a negative perception of government performance are more open to the idea of ​​a merger – or say they are unsure.

“If you’re happy with the way your town is running and you feel like you’re getting what you pay for, then you’re much less likely to say, ‘Yeah, let’s merge with the place next door or on the other side of the river.'”

The institute also found that those who oppose any form of merger are more likely to praise housing and crime issues while continuing to criticize their government, compared to those who want the merger.

Housing, homelessness and crime are seen as top issues

The institute also surveyed residents of Metro Vancouver about what they see as the top priorities for local governments.

Housing affordability is highest across all areas, with 49% saying it is the biggest issue facing the region, followed by homelessness and poverty (31%) and crime and security (29%).

Majority say their previous city governments mishandled housing policy (81%), poverty (77%), the opioid crisis (70%) – including the highest number of respondents in Vancouver, at 82% – and crime and security (64%).

Opinions on the police and crime

On policing, 59% say more resources should be allocated to social welfare services, while the rest say they should be spent on increasing police presence in areas with high crime.

The results also show a wider perception that crime has increased – 61% say they believe there has been more crime in their community over the past five years, with the highest number of respondents recorded in Surrey at 69%.

Of those who believe there has been more crime, 49% believe the trend is unique to Metro Vancouver, while 43% say they believe the increase is a national trend.

The institute also notes that the police-reported crime rate has fluctuated in recent years, increasing from 2018 to 2020 but falling in 2021.

Metro Vancouver’s Crime Severity Index score, calculated by Statistics Canada, is above the national average, but well below other municipalities such as Kelowna in interior British Columbia, Lethbridge, Alta ., Moncton, NB and Winnipeg, Man.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from October 6-12 with a random sample of 1,376 adults residing in Metro Vancouver who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points, or 19 times out of 20.

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Families flock for treats from trunks https://ballingertx.org/families-flock-for-treats-from-trunks/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 09:55:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/families-flock-for-treats-from-trunks/ October 30—Citizens Park welcomed busloads of candy-hunting dinosaurs, video game characters, ladybugs, superheroes, ghouls, princesses and other visitors on Saturday afternoon, with the annual festivities of the municipal government “trunk or treats” running from 3 to 6 p.m. Trunkers on board for this year’s rally, handing out wholesale candy across three adjacent ballparks, were with […]]]>

October 30—Citizens Park welcomed busloads of candy-hunting dinosaurs, video game characters, ladybugs, superheroes, ghouls, princesses and other visitors on Saturday afternoon, with the annual festivities of the municipal government “trunk or treats” running from 3 to 6 p.m.

Trunkers on board for this year’s rally, handing out wholesale candy across three adjacent ballparks, were with organizations including Horse Creek Academy, Unprofane Riders, Cedar Creek Church, Target, McDonald’s, Chandler Law Firm, Aiken Ophthalmology and the Cumbee Center.

Jeremy Grimes, the city’s recreation program coordinator, was helping to keep pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the right direction. Official attendance, he said, was 4,777, down from 4,210 in 2011. “Everything went well. We were pleased with the feedback,” he said, recalling many grateful smiles and comments.

Truncator David Jollie helped coordinate a group of volunteers dressed as dinosaurs, with inflatable outfits and a “Jurassic Park”, adding to the atmosphere and eliciting a wide range of reactions, from hugs to estrangement.

John Herring, light towing manager for Wayne’s Automotive and Towing Center, also helped provide a table decorated with treats. The crowd was surprisingly large, he said.

Herring’s display included a tow truck with an unusual load on board. “Fortunately for me, I had the hearse in the back yard, and it had been there for about two years, and I was like, ‘Well, trick or treat. Might as well load up the hearse and come with it,'” he added. said.

Among the vendors offering extra calories on Saturday were names such as Fish & Chips, Kona Ice, V’s Kitchen, Funnel Cake Lounge, Whipped Creamery, The Grill Reign, Celebrations Concessions and Delicious Dogs.

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Full Field of Irvine Mayoral Candidates – Orange County Register https://ballingertx.org/full-field-of-irvine-mayoral-candidates-orange-county-register/ Wed, 26 Oct 2022 22:52:29 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/full-field-of-irvine-mayoral-candidates-orange-county-register/ In the race for Irvine’s next mayor, five candidates from diverse professional backgrounds are vying for the seat to represent the city for the next two years. Incumbent Farrah Khan, who was serving a first term on city council when she was elected mayor in 2020, is running for a second term. Her challengers include […]]]>

In the race for Irvine’s next mayor, five candidates from diverse professional backgrounds are vying for the seat to represent the city for the next two years.

Incumbent Farrah Khan, who was serving a first term on city council when she was elected mayor in 2020, is running for a second term. Her challengers include Branda Lin, a legal assistant who started the local blog Irvine Watchdog; Simon Moon, pastor at Irvine Onnuri Church and reserve officer and army chaplain; Tom Chomyn, a senior account manager; and Katherine Daigle, an author and former president of a legal consulting firm who ran for several elected positions over the years, including mayor and Irvine City Council.

The mayor of the city is elected every two years and is considered the president of the city council. The mayor and council members are limited to two consecutive terms.

Irvine is one of the most populous towns in Orange County and one of the few major towns that still hold elections as a whole, which means the mayor and all other candidates run to represent the entire town. and that the best voters win the opening. seats.

In recent years, many municipalities and special districts up and down the state have moved to district elections, some in response to legal challenges over their voting methods.

But Irvine leaders earlier this year decided not to put a measure on the November ballot that would have asked residents whether the city should move on to ward elections and whether the council should increase its seat count from five to seven.

Most mayoral candidates have said they favor the move to district elections when asked in recent forums, with some citing the potential for better representation of issues from specific communities.

At a forum, Lin argued that holding a general election “actually makes it very difficult to run a viable campaign”, saying “the cost is prohibitive for people who lack major funding, perhaps from corporations, political action committees or trade unions”. as a whole, partly because of the cost of direct mail and advertisements that have to be distributed throughout the city.

Khan at the same forum, organized by the Chinese Cultural Association of the South Coast, said it was a change she would support if the district elections were conducted “in the right way”, but added that she was suspicious whether switching from the general format would lead to fewer Asian American and Pacific Islander contestants now on the dais.

In addition to the election issue – which is sure to resurface – Irvine’s next mayor will take office amid a host of issues at play in the city, including ongoing calls to shut down the plant. All American Asphalt, development plans to build the Great Park, Irvine’s involvement with the fledgling, but controversial, Orange County Power Authority, and – like many other cities – concerns over housing affordability, development and inflation.

Among a list of needs that Chomyn sees as the most pressing currently facing Irvine include closing the OCPA, moving to district elections, closing the asphalt plant, and creating an alumni park. fighters at Great Park,” he wrote in response to a questionnaire sent to all candidates in the November election.

Khan said “housing, transportation and environmental sustainability” were the city’s greatest needs, while Moon said the “decline in our Irvine quality of life in many of our villages and in the city in general.

“As the new mayor, I will strengthen public safety and maintain lower taxes and a balanced municipal budget,” he added. “I will protect our residents from pollution and ensure shopping malls are built in Great Park.”

Daigle cited the high cost of living in Irvine as a significant issue, as well as what she said is the core race theory taught in the Irvine Unified School District. Daigle at candidate forums and on her website has proclaimed that she is against critical race theory, an academic framework that examines how race plays a role in society and how racism has become entrenched in institutions and legal policies. Orange County school officials said the typical college field of study is not taught in K-12 schools, but opponents say the ideas have seeped into the teachings.

As mayor, Daigle said she would advocate for school choice and “challenge” any critical teaching of race theory.

Lin, who is a former community services commissioner for Irvine, said affordable housing for Irvine’s growing workforce is a major need in the city right now, and if elected mayor, she would “would launch a program to establish partnerships that would result in housing for the workforce”. close to jobs. »

“Developing mixed-use neighborhoods in the Irvine Business Complex and Spectrum areas for different income levels with reliable commutes to business centers would reduce traffic and workforce housing needs works in these denser parts of the city,” Lin said.

Over the next few years, Irvine faces a state mandate to plan nearly 24,000 additional housing units to help meet the needs of the area – more than any other city in Orange County. Candidates made various suggestions on how to meet this state planning requirement and meet local demand for housing, while balancing the preservation of existing neighborhoods.

Khan said she worked with city staff and developers to plan the units near the Irvine Shopping Complex, Great Park and Irvine Spectrum Center, “thus keeping our communities planned while creating opportunities for dense/mixed-use housing with access to public transit.”

Daigle and Lin also suggested adding more housing units near transportation and retail hubs and workplaces. “This will preserve existing villages in central Irvine while meeting housing needs,” Lin said.

Chomyn said the city could build a range of options, including multi-purpose housing and single-family spaces. But Moon noted that he would first look at the city’s existing housing inventory “to provide more affordable labor-saving housing for residents, instead of looking to larger development.” .

On why he thinks he would make a good leader for Irvine, Moon, who has served as a pastor at Irvine Onnuri Church since 2013, said he would make it his “first duty” to “serve and protect the people of Irvine”.

Lin said that while many residents don’t feel heard by city leaders, her experience leading the nonprofit Irvine Watchdog means she’s “advocated alongside many groups communities, provided a platform to share questions and concerns, and helped residents navigate our municipal government, regardless of my personal stance on the issues.

“I exemplify problem-focused leadership and shared community values ​​in a non-partisan way – as it should be in city government,” she said.

Khan touted her involvement in community events and her willingness to listen and be accessible to residents as reasons why she would make a good leader and representative of Irvine’s diverse communities.

“From resisting hate against our API, members of the Jewish and Black community to celebrating our diversity through Pride, Juneteenth, the Mid-Autumn Festival and Hispanic Heritage, all inaugural events – I have worked to uplift our diverse community to provide an inclusive and safe environment for all,” she said.

As mayor, Daigle said she would “bring together highly respected team leaders to bring order to this city,” and said her experience as an executive for a midsize company for 20 years makes her a capable leader.

Chomyn said part of what would make him a good mayor is that he would advocate for a site supporting veterans at Grand Park, honoring a 2020 citizens’ initiative to designate land in the park to this end. It would also work to increase attendance at city council meetings, he said, suggesting ‘local town hall meetings on a quarterly basis to share issues with residents and bring them up to date on important issues of the city like the veterans park. , OCPA, how the district elections will benefit their section of the city.

Election Day is Nov. 8, and ballots have been sent to all registered voters in the city that can be mailed out that day. Voting centers begin opening Saturday for in-person voting and secure ballot drop boxes are available throughout the region. Find locations and other information on ocvote.com.

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City in eastern Japan launches ‘food drive’ to provide surplus items to needy https://ballingertx.org/city-in-eastern-japan-launches-food-drive-to-provide-surplus-items-to-needy/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 04:01:26 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/city-in-eastern-japan-launches-food-drive-to-provide-surplus-items-to-needy/ In this photo provided by the Ashikaga Municipal Government, city officials sort through donated food items. ASHIKAGA, Tochigi — The municipal government has launched a “food drive,” a U.S.-initiated charitable activity that collects surplus food from households and distributes it to people and facilities in need. The […]]]>






In this photo provided by the Ashikaga Municipal Government, city officials sort through donated food items.

ASHIKAGA, Tochigi — The municipal government has launched a “food drive,” a U.S.-initiated charitable activity that collects surplus food from households and distributes it to people and facilities in need.

The Ashikaga Municipal Government in Tochigi Prefecture received 301 food items from 29 people for the Oct. 12 trial, which were donated to the Ashikaga Food Bank, a citizens’ group. The items will be distributed to “children’s cafeterias”, households in need, social establishments and others.

The activity began in the United States in the 1960s and is said to be easy for citizens to participate as it targets food surpluses in the home, unlike food banks which primarily seek donations from food companies. Food drives have started to spread in Japan, and in recent years they have gained attention as a way to combat “food loss”.

The Ashikaga City Government is also working to reduce food loss as part of its efforts to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and has decided to conduct food drives at events, including those sponsored by the city, by asking citizens to donate food products.

For safety reasons, only ready-to-eat and boil-in-bag foods, canned foods, bottled foods, dried foods, dried noodles, beverages, confectionery, cooking oil, sugar, salt, seasonings, baby food and other items with an expiration date of two months or more will be accepted. Foods with an expiry date of less than two months and fresh foods or items that have been opened cannot be brought.

The next municipal events that will be accompanied by food drives are the “clean walk” to be held on October 23 around the municipal sports complex and the “consumer life exhibition” to be held on November 13 at the Citizen’s Esplanade.

(Japanese original by Yuzuru Ota, Ashikaga Local Office)

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You have the power – Haliburton Echo https://ballingertx.org/you-have-the-power-haliburton-echo/ Wed, 19 Oct 2022 22:17:47 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/you-have-the-power-haliburton-echo/ By Darren Lum It may be an exaggeration to believe that the vote is essential for the next four years, but I wonder.Our participation in democracy depends on the votes we cast. It requires our attention. I believe it is our duty to vote, it is the least we can do. The municipal government creates […]]]>

By Darren Lum

It may be an exaggeration to believe that the vote is essential for the next four years, but I wonder.
Our participation in democracy depends on the votes we cast. It requires our attention. I believe it is our duty to vote, it is the least we can do. The municipal government creates policies and shapes the community in which we live and work to represent us at the provincial level by raising awareness of the issues that affect us. We need passionate, knowledgeable and dedicated fighters for us. We need them to guide us. We have to choose.
Every four years (and sometimes sooner), we have the privilege of deciding our government with our choice. This applies at all levels, including municipal, provincial and federal. This time around, it is the municipal level that influences some of the most influential decisions in our lives right here in our respective towns in Haliburton County.
A vote doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but if you see news footage from countries where voting is far from settled, the queues to vote are incredibly long. People sometimes brave persecution, physical threats and endure extreme elements such as heat or freezing temperatures during long waits to vote.

Living in our bubbles of First World existence leaves us isolated from how important democracy sometimes is and how much it depends on our participation. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s ours and it’s better than having no choice.
Look at China now. Recently, their leader Xi Jinping, 69, is potentially heading for power for the rest of his life. His first step is to take on another five-year term for violating the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) directive “seven up, eight down.”
This stipulates that Communist Party officials can only be promoted until age 67 and must retire at age 68. If that happens, he will serve his third term. Technically, this may not be the first time, but it is a return to leadership similar to when Mao ruled the country decades before. Xi is currently the supreme leader and also holds the three highest positions in the CCP as general secretary of the party, president of China and commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army. Even though some people in our country believe we are ruled by a dictatorship and want to publicize their hatred of Justin Trudeau, I’m pretty sure our Prime Minister won’t be in power for the rest of his life.

Along the same lines of that perception is what a slippery slope it is when politicians question the very system in which our country operates. Fortunately, the stoking of the fire of disbelief regarding our system of government has not crept into municipal politics. We have enough problems with voter indifference and apathy that we don’t need more reasons for the public not to vote.
Let’s give our time to vote. Not just for democracy, but for the men and women who have shown their commitment to run as candidates for their respective neighborhoods and offices, and for each other in the upcoming municipal and school board elections. Our community deserves to have a government that we need and not a government that we will end up with because of the few people who made the effort to vote.
Let’s act for democracy. Act for candidates. Let us step up for each other and we can move forward towards a better future that serves the many.
For Dysart et al voters, if you have not received your voter information letter, contact the township at 705-457-1740 ext. 667. Dysart offers in-person voting at City Hall. Contact Dysart for details.
For voters in Highlands East, if you did not receive a voter information letter, contact the township at 705-448-2981.

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