Municipal Government – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ Wed, 22 Sep 2021 01:30:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://ballingertx.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-150x150.png Municipal Government – Ballinger TX http://ballingertx.org/ 32 32 Canadian Elections: What Does a Liberal Minority Government Mean for Guelph? – Guelph https://ballingertx.org/canadian-elections-what-does-a-liberal-minority-government-mean-for-guelph-guelph/ https://ballingertx.org/canadian-elections-what-does-a-liberal-minority-government-mean-for-guelph-guelph/#respond Wed, 22 Sep 2021 00:29:16 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/canadian-elections-what-does-a-liberal-minority-government-mean-for-guelph-guelph/ As the dust settles after the 2021 federal election, Guelph Liberal Party incumbent Lloyd Longfield says he’s ready to return to work after securing a third term. With Longfield re-elected and another Liberal minority government, the political situation offers a bit of continuity, but what impact will this have on the Royal City? Getting through […]]]>

As the dust settles after the 2021 federal election, Guelph Liberal Party incumbent Lloyd Longfield says he’s ready to return to work after securing a third term.

With Longfield re-elected and another Liberal minority government, the political situation offers a bit of continuity, but what impact will this have on the Royal City?

Getting through the COVID-19 pandemic is the first item on the veteran politician’s agenda.

Longfield said this includes working with local businesses throughout the economic recovery and with community partners to address the long-term mental health challenges the crisis has brought.

He added that he planned to travel to Ottawa in order to work in collaboration with other parties.

Read more:

The Liberals won the election. What will be the most difficult promises for them to keep?

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“I think now that we have tested the electorate they are saying, ‘We love to see a minority government, but you have to work together to solve these big problems,'” said Longfield.

“Hopefully that means we’ll see a better atmosphere in Ottawa when we try to sort out some of these issues. “

Tamara Small, associate professor at the University of Guelph, believes that a minority government might actually work better for municipalities.

She explained that majority governments and municipalities generally need to have similar programs in order to work together.

But since the Liberals are forced to work with other parties, it means there are more MPs to talk to for cities and their mayors.

“If you’re mayor and you don’t have a direct line to Lloyd Longfield, for example, you could have a direct line to a Tory MP like Michael Chong, you could have a direct line to the new Green MP in Kitchener,” or you could have a direct line with the NDP, ”Small said.

“There are more ways to get in touch with someone who could then carry your agenda and who could be influential at some point.”

Read more:

The Liberals planned to form a minority government; Trudeau bills win as ‘clear mandate’

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As for the mayor of Guelph, Cam Guthrie, he simply wants the Liberals to come forward quickly with their policies and their mandates.

“Not just from a Guelph perspective, but from all municipalities. We really want to see them working closely together, not only across party lines but also between different levels of government, ”said Guthrie.

“I hope parties take a position similar to municipal governments after the election – it’s time to put things aside and get to work, especially in a minority situation. I think there is common ground around the issues we have that are needed for Guelph, especially infrastructure, jobs, COVID recovery, etc.

With another minority government comes the possibility of having another federal election being called at any time.

Guthrie considered the possibility of having three elections next year, with the Ontario general election slated for June 2022 and municipal elections slated for later that year in October.

“Whatever happens at the federal or provincial level, these are important, but I certainly hope that if there is not only the provincial election but also a federal election next year, that fatigue won’t be there for the municipal election because it really is such an important vote, ”said Guthrie.


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Elections in Canada: Trudeau presents electoral victory as ‘clear mandate’ in speech to supporters


Elections in Canada: Trudeau presents electoral victory as ‘clear mandate’ in speech to supporters

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GTA voters see security in liberal status quo https://ballingertx.org/gta-voters-see-security-in-liberal-status-quo/ https://ballingertx.org/gta-voters-see-security-in-liberal-status-quo/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 02:51:50 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/gta-voters-see-security-in-liberal-status-quo/ If you want to have a good time on election day, bring a baby to the polls. I brought mine Monday morning to the steps of Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, where residents of the Scarborough Southwestern Toronto constituency lined up – masked and physically removed – to vote in the federal election. From the comfort […]]]>

If you want to have a good time on election day, bring a baby to the polls. I brought mine Monday morning to the steps of Birchcliff Bluffs United Church, where residents of the Scarborough Southwestern Toronto constituency lined up – masked and physically removed – to vote in the federal election. From the comfort of her stroller, my one-year-old daughter laughed hysterically for no apparent reason at the show, showing far more enthusiasm for democracy than any of the adults who actually participate in it.

I caught Birchcliff resident Keith Chow as he walked out of the church where he had voted for incumbent Liberal MP Bill Blair, former chief of the Toronto Police Department. Unlike my one-year-old, Chow was restrained. “He passed the test,” Chow said of his reasons for voting for Blair and the Liberals. What do you mean by “the test?” ” I asked. “The test,” he said – as in the pandemic.

In other words, while ruling the country during a crisis, the Liberals did not drive it into the ground. For this reason, Chow told me, “I don’t think the time is right for a drastic change.

I don’t think the time has come for a drastic change.

There isn’t a phrase in English that more succinctly captures the weak spirit of this snap election cycle: an election few wanted that resulted in massive lines winding through town in small polling stations. .

It’s a phrase that also captures the spirit of Toronto, a city that, despite its large size and cultural diversity, tends to favor the status quo in federal elections. Toronto embraces nothing but dramatic changes when it comes to its condo-dotted skyline. When it comes to federal politics, we vote for more of the same. We vote overwhelmingly Liberal.

We can say that we want to do the right thing when it comes to poverty, equity and affordability, but ultimately we don’t have the courage to elect the leaders of the party that really puts these issues first.

“Canadians go for the familiar, the comfortable and the familiar and we don’t know the NDP that well at the federal level,” said Shauna Brail, associate professor at the Institute for Management and Innovation at the University of Toronto Mississauga. This rule also applies to Torontonians: “Urban Canada is still on the whole a relatively conservative leaning group, not in terms of party, but in terms of being comfortable with what is known.

What is known is what is certain. And right now, security matters a lot. Security against COVID-19 in the form of vaccine access and vaccine warrants, bankruptcy security in the form of financial assistance from the federal government. Security against ever more uncertainty.

Cities have arguably borne much of the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, their vacant public transport vehicles, their cores hollowed out, their staff decimated, their intensive care units overcrowded.

Toronto is no exception. Despite the wide availability of vaccines, the Delta variant is here and the city is facing a fourth wave of COVID-19. Things have not “returned to normal”. Not even close. According to recent data collected by the Strategic Regional Research Alliance, only nine percent of downtown office workers have returned to work in person in the downtown area. The TTC is far from the recovery.

“What we’ve seen in regards to the pandemic is how crucial the federal government is in supporting Canadian cities,” Brail said. “The TTC is bleeding money because of a loss of runners. Without the support of the federal government, I don’t know what would happen to our transit system. The municipal government certainly does not have the financial support and the federal government does. What we want from an urban perspective is their leadership in bringing people and money to the table. ”

Opinions may differ on which federal party is best equipped to provide the people and the money to pull Toronto out of its pandemic malaise. But for Toronto, it’s more or less the same.

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Conservatives’ 7-10-year fixed mortgage maturities could hamper borrowers https://ballingertx.org/conservatives-7-10-year-fixed-mortgage-maturities-could-hamper-borrowers/ https://ballingertx.org/conservatives-7-10-year-fixed-mortgage-maturities-could-hamper-borrowers/#respond Mon, 20 Sep 2021 15:09:32 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/conservatives-7-10-year-fixed-mortgage-maturities-could-hamper-borrowers/ Written by STOREYS editorial team With today’s federal election, the Conservative Party of Canada is committed to making homeownership more accessible by modifying the B-20 mortgage stress test and cultivating a stronger market for homeowners. seven to ten year fixed rate mortgages. While the former is welcome, the latter comes with its own set of […]]]>

Written by
STOREYS editorial team

With today’s federal election, the Conservative Party of Canada is committed to making homeownership more accessible by modifying the B-20 mortgage stress test and cultivating a stronger market for homeowners. seven to ten year fixed rate mortgages.

While the former is welcome, the latter comes with its own set of issues, said Dustan Woodhouse, president of Mortgage Architects, adding that these reforms could increase the number of buyers eligible for the loan, but also lead to higher prices. long-term housing. .

“It may allow more Canadians to enter the market because it gives them more purchasing power, but it does actually raise prices. If he does something, he puts more buyers in the market instead of more supply. There is no counterweight on the supply side, ”said Woodhouse.

The fact that the supply of housing does not increase in proportion to the demand is only the tip of the iceberg, he added.

RELATED: Your Last Minute Housing Guide to the Federal Election

Under the Canada Interest Act, penalties for long term breaches are high. Since the average Canadian mortgage holder breaks the term in the third year, when the penalties are relatively low, borrowers who plan to do so with a fixed term of seven or ten years would be severely penalized. Tory leader Erin O’Toole did not say whether those sanctions under proposed Tory reforms would be less severe, Woodhouse said.

“The other problem with this proposal is that the seven and ten year mortgages both have massive, massive prepayment penalties,” he said. “In particular, in the third, fourth and fifth years, the penalties fall to three months interest at the five-year threshold, in accordance with the Interest Act. The worst I saw was on a 10 year fixed rate and customers paid an 11% penalty of the balance. It was a million dollar mortgage and their penalty was $ 110,000.

It is likely that the sanctions would ease because the Tory platform specified “create a new market”. Yet mortgage brokers rarely advise their clients to take out fixed-term mortgages this long, despite the fact that their brokerage fees would almost double to around 160-180 basis points.

RELATED: The Question of Having to Pay a Mortgage Penalty Isn’t If, It’s When

While offering longer terms on fixed rate mortgages would increase borrowing power by up to 10%, according to Woodhouse, increased demand from homebuyers in an under-supply environment could trigger more debt. bidding wars, pushing up housing prices further.

The Conservatives also promised to index mortgage insurance, currently capped at $ 1 million, to inflation, making homeownership less prohibitive. In addition, the party wants to eliminate B-20, which tests mortgages at 5.25% or 2% above the posted rate, whichever is greater, for borrowers who wish to purchase new mortgages from different lenders at the time. of renewal, Woodhouse mentioned. “A borrower could, in theory, shop around for a mortgage and get a lower rate than what he was paying. [They] could hire a broker to work for you and find it for you, ”he said.

Although the Canadian Real Estate Association and the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board have praised the federal parties for recognizing the housing supply crisis in Canada, there is near unanimous agreement that none of the proposals parties do not adequately address the supply in a meaningful way, especially in new towns lacking housing. like Toronto and Vancouver.

RELATED: Federal Parties Hurry To Solve Housing Problems, But Root Cause Fails

“Bureaucracy is a big part of the problem,” said Christopher Alexander, strategy director at RE / MAX INTEGRA. “It takes a year and a half to get projects approved. It’s a lot of bureaucracy.

A study by the Ontario Home Building Council (RESCON) showed, for example, that Toronto’s rezoning process took six months in 2006, but a decade later it was already three years long and half. The study also found that site plan approvals take 18 months starting in 2016. Most industry estimates now indicate that it can take up to two years. The RESCON chairman said redesigning the entire system would address excessive delays.

“The current system, quite simply, is inefficient and needs to be modernized and digitized,” said Richard Lyall. “However, we are not even close to what is happening. Right now, there are too many government agencies and departments with all their fingers in the cake, which only bogs down the approval process. “

Bureaucratic hurdles within Toronto’s city administration are so pervasive that even getting a simple project like the City Council-approved Rail Deck Park project was so strewn with roadblocks that after two years the project is probably dead, Alexander said.

“The project was crushed because the city council and the approval committee failed to reach a consensus. You have a platform to change the dynamics of the city for green spaces, which is sorely lacking, and the bureaucracy has also opposed it, ”said Alexander.

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BJP Expels Three Advisers Over Corruption and Extortion Allegations | Latest Delhi News https://ballingertx.org/bjp-expels-three-advisers-over-corruption-and-extortion-allegations-latest-delhi-news/ https://ballingertx.org/bjp-expels-three-advisers-over-corruption-and-extortion-allegations-latest-delhi-news/#respond Sun, 19 Sep 2021 11:58:11 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/bjp-expels-three-advisers-over-corruption-and-extortion-allegations-latest-delhi-news/ Gupta’s action comes months before municipal elections in the three municipal corporations. Councilors Sanjay Thakur (SDMC), Rajni Babloo Pandey (EDMC) and Pooja Madan (NDMC) were expelled. Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 5:28 PM IST Delhi Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party chairman Adesh Gupta […]]]>
  • Gupta’s action comes months before municipal elections in the three municipal corporations. Councilors Sanjay Thakur (SDMC), Rajni Babloo Pandey (EDMC) and Pooja Madan (NDMC) were expelled.

Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 19, 2021 5:28 PM IST

Delhi Bharatiya Janata (BJP) party chairman Adesh Gupta on Sunday kicked out three party city councilors for six years on corruption allegations. Gupta warned that if other lawmakers were involved in financial irregularities, they would not be spared.

Gupta’s action comes months ahead of municipal elections in the three municipal corporations early next year. Gupta said that even officers of civic bodies will not be spared if they are discovered to be involved in corruption. “Not only the councilors, but also the agents of municipal corporations (MCD) will not be spared either if they are discovered implied in corruption”, declared Gupta, quoted by the news agency PTI.

Saidulajab Sanjay Thakur advisor from South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), New Ashok Nagar advisor Rajni Babloo Pandey from East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and Mukherjee Nagar Pooja Madan advisor from North Delhi Municipal Corporation were removed from the BJP.

“You are informed that due to numerous corruption complaints brought against you, you have been removed from the main party membership for six years. You have been repeatedly informed and asked to fix your corrupt behavior, but to no avail. You are expelled from the party for six years with immediate effect, ”reads the expulsion letters sent to councilors.

The three civic organs of Delhi are governed by the BJP while the government is led by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The AAP is the main opposition party in these three MCDs. The AAP and Congress plan to use corruption in these civic bodies in upcoming polls of civic bodies.

The BJP in the 2017 civic polls did not give nomination tickets to any of the advisers because they faced corruption allegations. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in recent years has alleged that corruption and mismanagement in civic bodies by BJP advisers has led to poor financial condition of the three municipalities.

Notably, AAP MK Saurabh Bharadwaj accused ousted BJP adviser Sanjay Thakur of having connections to local builders and extorting money from individuals in April this year. AAP leader Durgesh Pathak also complained in August that ousted councilor Rajni Babloo Pandey and his relatives were involved in extorting money from people involved in illegal construction in the area.

The party released an audio recording between a builder and the councilor’s brother-in-law where one person said he gave money to city officials and also the councilor’s brother-in-law, but construction was blocked, reported the PTI news agency. HT was unable to verify the authenticity of the audio clip. The two advisers on respective occasions described the allegations as “baseless”.

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Enid officials demanded to cease all involvement in the Christmas display | Don’t miss it https://ballingertx.org/enid-officials-demanded-to-cease-all-involvement-in-the-christmas-display-dont-miss-it/ https://ballingertx.org/enid-officials-demanded-to-cease-all-involvement-in-the-christmas-display-dont-miss-it/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 22:00:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/enid-officials-demanded-to-cease-all-involvement-in-the-christmas-display-dont-miss-it/ ENID, Okla. – Enid town commissioners took no action on downtown improvements for a Christmas program following a two-hour executive session closed to the public on Tuesday. Officials also made no comment after the session on the city’s involvement in “The One,” an event scheduled for this Christmas season that a nonprofit says is likely […]]]>

ENID, Okla. – Enid town commissioners took no action on downtown improvements for a Christmas program following a two-hour executive session closed to the public on Tuesday.

Officials also made no comment after the session on the city’s involvement in “The One,” an event scheduled for this Christmas season that a nonprofit says is likely a constitutional violation.

Christopher Line, an attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, sent a letter to Commissioners and Mayor George Pankonin on Thursday asking the city to cease all infrastructure work and promotion related to the event.

Line said the city was using taxpayer funds for the event, including repairing sidewalks, installing markers and digging a sinkhole for a 140-foot-tall tree – called “the tree.” of Christ ”- and this is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment. establishment clause, which states that public entities such as governments cannot support one religion over another.

The letter asked for written assurances that the city would end the project.

“The One” is organized, financially supported and promoted by a private group of area residents, families and sponsors, and is expected to run for six weeks from November 26.

Line said the Foundation had received “several” reports from residents of the Enid area since the announcement in late July of “The One”.

Line told News & Eagle last week that the situation downtown was not as “crisp” as some of the violations the FFRF is dealing with across the country.

He said the FFRF receives between 3,000 and 5,000 complaints per year. The Foundation is often able to resolve more serious offense reports by sending a letter to the public entity, such as a school board or government.

“We see litigation as a last resort,” Line said, adding that the foundation hopes to get records from the city.

“We’re doing our best to sort that out here,” he said. “But it also seems pretty clear that something inappropriate is going on here and possibly illegal with the way the city is spending huge amounts of taxpayer money on it, let alone the approval. of this (event). “

Media representatives for “The One” planning team did not respond to a request for comment.

As seen on Tuesday, the sidewalks and corner knots have been repaired, and city contract workers are currently digging an approximately 15-foot receiving shaft for the tree, which will be erected. in the center of Park Avenue between Grand and Independence.

Beginning on the night of “Enid Lights the Plains,” after Thanksgiving, “The One” will feature many Christmas events, including church services, free concerts and dance recitals hosted by churches, groups and individuals.

Events will take place for 42 days around the 140-foot “Christ Tree”.

With the commissioner’s approval, the city has funded approximately $ 115,000 in infrastructure improvements, most of which are complete. The city will also cover the electric bill for the tree lights after installing power lines in a nearby utility easement.

City manager Jerald Gilbert said last week that he and city attorney Carol Lahman also received the letter, and Gilbert said the city attorney was planning a response.

Local lawyers with First Amendment expertise also questioned the city’s involvement.

Enid’s attorney, Stephen Jones, said a potential problem could be for the city to use taxpayer money to create what he called a “public platform” primarily for an obvious Christian message. to relay around the tree of Christ.

Jones said he believed the Christmas tree itself would not be legally problematic for the city, but “it’s the” Christmas tree plus “that brings this to the level where the city might face a challenge, legally “.

Citing the establishment clause, former Oklahoma law professor and attorney Rick Tepker also said Enid’s municipal government could create problems for itself by emphasizing and emphasizing a religious goal. for the tree.

“If they can’t come up with a realistic and overriding secular goal, they’re going to have problems,” said Tepker, who retired this year from teaching constitutional law at the University of Law school. ‘Oklahoma. “There are a ton of words in several Supreme Court decisions that suggest this type of religious motivation is evidence of an unconstitutional project.”


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We Need a City Council That Reflects Chicago’s Diversity | Editorial https://ballingertx.org/we-need-a-city-council-that-reflects-chicagos-diversity-editorial/ https://ballingertx.org/we-need-a-city-council-that-reflects-chicagos-diversity-editorial/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 00:31:34 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/we-need-a-city-council-that-reflects-chicagos-diversity-editorial/ The year 2019 brought a wave of change to Chicago City Council when new faces demanded a seat at the table and voters did. The results were historic. It was a sign that we are getting closer to our elected officials to look like the real Chicago we see when we go to our local […]]]>

The year 2019 brought a wave of change to Chicago City Council when new faces demanded a seat at the table and voters did.

The results were historic. It was a sign that we are getting closer to our elected officials to look like the real Chicago we see when we go to our local convenience store, walk by the lake, or take the L.

First, with Lori Lightfoot, the city’s first black woman and openly gay mayor. And then with the greatest number of Latino aldermen of all time and the fewest white aldermen since the adoption of the district system in 1923.

Then came 2021 with a reminder of what should motivate us to keep moving forward and have a local government that best reflects its citizens – census numbers. Vital data that will inform and influence the way in which the map of the city’s neighborhoods will be redrawn.

“What he’s basically saying is that we have a city that’s one third black, one third white, one third Latin, and then 5 or 7% of the Asian community,” Sylvia Puente, president, told The Sun. and CEO of the Latino Policy Forum. Times she first saw the data in August. “The challenge is that population numbers don’t always translate into fairness in the allocation of resources, fairness in our office holders, fairness in various ways.

Our municipal government should represent who and what Chicago is today – a majority minority city. We cannot let the crude political interest of keeping a seat stand in the way of the ambitious goal of mirroring the city we represent with. Cards cannot be designed just to protect cardholders.

Chicago is now 31.4% Whites, 29.9% Latinos, 28.7% Blacks and 6.9% Asians. On the city council, Latinos hold 12 seats, while white and black aldermen each hold 19 seats.

Latinos and Asians are the ethnic groups that have experienced the strongest population growth in the entire city over the past decade. There are now more than 819,000 Latinos in Chicago, up from 778,000 who lived here in 2010. The number of Asian residents in the city has also grown from about 144,000 in 2010 to more than 189,000 in 2020, a growth over 45,000.

There is currently no Asian representation on the city council. Person who is more likely to accurately represent, advocate and understand the growing needs of their community.

In 2019, community activists and political newcomers of the time Andre Vasquez (40th) and Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd) overthrew two titular white aldermen, bringing Latin American representation on the Council to 24%.

Lagging behind their population growth, members of the Chicago City Council Latino caucus have been more willing to ask questions such as “How are Latinos benefiting from this initiative?” And, when it comes to specific city contracts, “How many Hispanic companies are there on this?” “

It goes without saying that each group will want their voice to be heard. It’s a guarantee that, when voting on proposed budgets or ordinances, everyone wants answers about how a vote can harm or benefit the people they represent. The questions that the Latino aldermen have asked themselves are those which can lead to fairness and which come closest to fairness in negotiations.

Your representative does not need to be like you to protect and serve what matters most to your community or parish. But when it comes time to make a difficult decision, it’s more likely that a black person understands the challenges black people face and an Asian person advocates for the needs of the Asian community.

Breaking a 1923 diversity record is to be applauded. Briefly. It should also make us think about how long it took us to get here, and how much faster it could have been accomplished if city council had transformed along with our diversifying city.

The consolidated primary elections will take place on February 28, 2023, followed by the general election on April 4. These dates will come before you know it, and new faces in Chicago politics will begin to appear.

For those interested in change and have an idea of ​​what they want their local government to look like in 2023, now is the time to act.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.


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Supreme Court Police Suspension Disclosure Case https://ballingertx.org/supreme-court-police-suspension-disclosure-case/ https://ballingertx.org/supreme-court-police-suspension-disclosure-case/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:03:37 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/supreme-court-police-suspension-disclosure-case/ Rally at Statehouse for Police Accountability People are rallying for police accountability outside the New Jersey Statehouse Annex as lawmakers have voted on several bills that determine how police do their jobs. Thomas P. Costello, NorthJersey.com In January, when Woodland Park Police Lt. Erik Luker was suspended and fined, the borough offered almost no explanation […]]]>

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In January, when Woodland Park Police Lt. Erik Luker was suspended and fined, the borough offered almost no explanation for why.

Beyond a brief mention of “disciplinary charges” in a settlement resolution, there has been no elaboration. And since then, the borough has declined to say what led to Luker’s punishment, calling it a personal issue.

Whether the public can find out why one of the Woodland Park officers was suspended, and other details of the settlement, could be answered in a case that is being debated in the state’s Supreme Court.

Related: Police unions fight NJ attorney general to keep names of punished cops secret

Impact of the court decision

Apparently, Libertarians for Transparent Government vs. Cumberland County is about the public’s right to see a termination agreement, but its implications are much broader, argued plaintiff’s attorney, CJ Griffin, a transparency advocate.

“The ruling will have a bigger impact – it will apply to all government employees, including police officers,” Griffin said, adding, “This case offers the court an opportunity to ensure that the misconduct of the police are not swept under the carpet. “

In Woodland Park, residents who requested a copy of the settlement between Luker and the borough under the state’s Open Public Records Act were denied.

A resolution adopted by the borough council on February 17 indicates that the by-law resolves the disciplinary charges brought against Luker and “imposes, among other things, a suspension and a fine on Lieutenant Luker”.

“The settlement agreement will make it possible to avoid significant expenditure of time and resources on the part of the borough, its administration and its employees which would be necessary for the prosecution of the pending case”, indicates the resolution.

Police investigation: Protect the shield

The document could shed light on the suspension, but since this is a personnel matter, it is exempt from the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

Mayor Keith Kazmark and Acting Police Chief John Uzzalino said in June they could not comment on staff matters or publish the settlement.

“Although the records have been requested by the clerk, until the Supreme Court case is heard and resolved, the documents cannot be released,” Kazmark said.

Residents want answers

In June, George Scarpa, a resident of Woodland Park, urged the state attorney general’s office to look into the matter over concerns that Luker, an army veteran, was on the shortlist to become chief of police.

“I cannot get a definitive answer from the borough regarding Mr. Luker’s employment status,” Scarpa wrote to the state. “I am told that this is inside information and cannot be shared. For the greater good of the community at large should dictate that the borough share with residents the offenses committed, if any. which resulted in the suspension of an individual. ”

Scarpa also noted that Luker was involved in a lawsuit brought against the municipality by residents Robin and Michael McDuffie. In 2015, the borough’s insurer decided to settle the case by paying the couple $ 257,000.

“People of questionable character and temperament should not be considered for leadership positions in municipal government,” Scarpa wrote.

Pay stopped at the start of 2021

It is possible to reconstruct an incomplete picture of the Woodland Park case with other information available through public record requests. Luker did not respond to requests for comment.

From January 1 to July 1, Luker did not receive the first half of his $ 152,178 salary. On July 2, the agent wrote a personal check to the borough for $ 9,113.50.

Timesheets are considered public documents. Luker’s scorecard request showed that he had not been paid for six months, and a request for personal checks made to the borough showed a fine equivalent to 124 hours 34 minutes of wages.

What could not be confirmed was an agreement limiting Luker’s ability to seek promotion and the reason for the disciplinary charges.

Luker joined the department in 2005 and served in the Marines from 1999 to 2003, deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq. He worked for the Sheriff’s Department before being hired by Woodland Park and is active in the community’s veterans organizations.

New Jersey Supreme Court Case

Griffin, the advocate for open public records, argued the Cumberland County case in the state Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A key aspect of his argument is that the OPRA requires that public contracts be made public. This is in direct conflict with the OPRA exemption on disclosure of personnel records.

The case concerns a separation agreement between Cumberland County and a correctional officer who admitted to sexually assaulting inmates but was allowed to retire in good standing with his pension. However, it serves a broader public purpose, she said.

Allowing the public to read the contract “also allows the public to determine whether the public agency was reasonable in agreeing to the terms or whether the agencies are not ensuring appropriate liability for public employees,” Griffin argued on behalf of his colleague the public right to- known lawyer, John Paff, in the brief submitted to the court.

Paff’s Libertarians for Transparent Government is the plaintiff in the Cumberland case.

When asked if Woodland Park overstepped, Griffin and Paff both said the current Appeal Division decision was keeping personnel matters under wraps. That needs to change, they said, as the publication of documents involving serious police disciplinary action is in the public interest.

“It is absurd that we do not get these deals because they are contracts with a public employee and they often provide money to the employee etc.” Griffin said.

It could take months, or even two years, to get a ruling from New Jersey’s highest court, Griffin noted.

She said the exemption for such records has an added level of absurdity, as the state attorney general released a list of sanctioned officers and departments in 2020 in a move toward greater transparency.

Related: NJ Supreme Court rules Attorney General may release names of disciplined police officers

The list includes brief descriptions of the offenses that led to the dismissal, demotion or suspension of an officer for more than five days – situations like the one involving Luker.

However, said Mary Catherine Ryan, Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Passaic: “The most recent reports of major disciplinary actions included disciplinary action imposed between June 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Any disciplinary action subsequently imposed will be reported. by January 31, 2022. “


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Yukon governments to experience biggest increase in workers’ compensation board rates in 2022 https://ballingertx.org/yukon-governments-to-experience-biggest-increase-in-workers-compensation-board-rates-in-2022/ https://ballingertx.org/yukon-governments-to-experience-biggest-increase-in-workers-compensation-board-rates-in-2022/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:45:21 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/yukon-governments-to-experience-biggest-increase-in-workers-compensation-board-rates-in-2022/ Yukon employers shouldn’t expect to see many changes in their workers’ compensation board rates next year. The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board announced industry classification and rating rates for 2022 at its annual general briefing on Wednesday. The largest increase will go to governments – with rates for this group rising 6.3%. Kurt […]]]>

Yukon employers shouldn’t expect to see many changes in their workers’ compensation board rates next year.

The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board announced industry classification and rating rates for 2022 at its annual general briefing on Wednesday.

The largest increase will go to governments – with rates for this group rising 6.3%.

Kurt Dieckmann, CEO of the board, says this increase in the government group – which includes the territorial government, as well as First Nations and municipal governments – can be attributed to invisible injuries in the workplace.

“Ultimately it comes down to the increase in psychological injuries and the cost of those claims is considerably higher than the cost of physical injuries,” he said at the meeting.

Meanwhile, Resources & Transportation Low will see the biggest rate cut next year, dropping 4.7%.

Kurt Dieckmann, CEO of the board, says this rate hike in the government group can be attributed to an increase in psychological injuries in the workplace. (Claudiane Samson / RCI)

But overall, the rates that employers will pay won’t change too much.

Board chairman Mark Pike said the stability reflects safety and return-to-work efforts in Yukon workplaces as well as the board’s heavily funded position late last year, despite the pandemic .

“The COVID pandemic shows why it is so important to keep our target range at a fully funded position,” Pike said.

The Board Funding Ratio is designed to keep employer contribution rates stable and to protect the fund against catastrophic workplace events and fluctuations in global markets. It is calculated by dividing the total of its assets by the total of the liabilities.

The funded position increased from 141% in 2019 to 132% last year, approaching its target range.

The board says that as the funding position approaches target levels, the rates move closer to the actual costs of the compensation and occupational health and safety systems.

The 2022 contribution rate and sector classifications can be found here.


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3 BIFF members go to government authorities https://ballingertx.org/3-biff-members-go-to-government-authorities/ https://ballingertx.org/3-biff-members-go-to-government-authorities/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 12:06:14 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/3-biff-members-go-to-government-authorities/ Three other members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered and handed over their guns to troops of the 92nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Maguindanao province, officials said Thursday (September 16, 2021). The three surrendered on Tuesday, September 14 and were then introduced to Brigadier General Ignatius Patrimonio, 1st Brigade Combat Team Commander, at […]]]>

Three other members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered and handed over their guns to troops of the 92nd Infantry Battalion (IB) in Maguindanao province, officials said Thursday (September 16, 2021).

The three surrendered on Tuesday, September 14 and were then introduced to Brigadier General Ignatius Patrimonio, 1st Brigade Combat Team Commander, at the Old Capitol in Satan’s Village, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.

Patrimonio only identified them by their pseudonyms as Alias ​​Nasser, Alias ​​Munib and Alias ​​Bensar, who are followers of the BIFF Karialan and Bungos factions.

They handed over a 7.62 millimeter (mm) sniper rifle, a 5.56 mm Ultimax submachine gun and a rocket-propelled grenade, according to Patrimonio.

The three transferors of BIFF received financial support from the municipal governments of Shariff Aguak, Datu Hoffer and Datu Unsay.

Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force-Central, congratulated the troops and local government officials for the good results of their strong collaboration and coordination.

Major General Generoso Ponio, acting commander of Western Mindanao Command, said the breakthrough in the campaign against terrorism and violent extremism is attributable to the holistic approach taken by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the unwavering support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. communities.

The three people going to the BIFF were taken into custody at the 92IB headquarters at Hill 150 in the village of Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.

They will then be enrolled in the government’s reintegration program.

With the surrender of the three, the number of BIFF members who visited the central Mindanao region increased to 108. (SunStar Zamboanga)


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West End Community Center and King George High School to be redeveloped https://ballingertx.org/west-end-community-center-and-king-george-high-school-to-be-redeveloped/ https://ballingertx.org/west-end-community-center-and-king-george-high-school-to-be-redeveloped/#respond Tue, 14 Sep 2021 21:08:00 +0000 https://ballingertx.org/west-end-community-center-and-king-george-high-school-to-be-redeveloped/ Public consultation is about to begin on the redevelopment and expansion plans for the West End Community Center and King George High School in downtown Vancouver. The city government announced today that a ‘virtual launch’ of the planning process will take place next week, which will turn into additional online engagement such as surveys and […]]]>

Public consultation is about to begin on the redevelopment and expansion plans for the West End Community Center and King George High School in downtown Vancouver.

The city government announced today that a ‘virtual launch’ of the planning process will take place next week, which will turn into additional online engagement such as surveys and workshops asking the community what they want. would like to see.

The current community hub facilities are aging and not sized for the growing population of the inner city peninsula, especially the level of growth catalyzed by the city’s West End community plan. The region’s population is expected to increase by 10,000 between 2013 and 2043, which represents approximately a growth of around 20%.

In collaboration with the Vancouver School Board (VSB), the city is looking to replace the West End Community Center with a new, larger facility, including a new ice rink and an expanded Joe Fortes library. There could also be spaces for the elderly, arts and cultural facilities, daycare centers, new outdoor equipment and a new on-site facility for Fire Station # 6, which is currently located about two blocks in an aging building.

The existing community hub is framed by Denman Street to the west, Haro Street to the north, Barclay Street to the south, and a pedestrian path and residential buildings to the south.

Aerial view of West End Community Center and King George High School. (Google Maps)

King George High School West Community Center

Exterior of West End Community Center and King George High School. (Google Maps)

The redevelopment would also entail the replacement and expansion of King George High School, which is currently located in a building constructed in 1963 on the Barclay Street side of downtown.

VSB judged the existing King George building to be in “very poor condition” and one of the most earthquake-vulnerable structures in its school system, risking catastrophic failure in the event of a major earthquake.

According to the school board’s latest long-term facilities plan, King George’s enrollment in 2019 was 535 students, well above its operational capacity of 375 students. Demand for enrollment at King George is expected to reach 770 students by 2029.

Enrollments at King George are already “phased out” due to limited capacity, and a lack of expansion would result in waiting lists and the catchment area’s greater reliance on Kitsilano High School .

VSB presented a possible option to build a new King George with a capacity of 1,000 students, an increase of 625 students over the existing operating capacity. However, this reconstructed expansion option has not been supported by the provincial government to date, and no funding is available for a basic seismic upgrade of the current building.

King George High School West Community Center

Exterior of West End Community Center and King George High School. (Google Maps)

The municipal government originally budgeted $ 10 million in the 2019-2022 city-wide capital plan for redevelopment planning and design work, but that amount was reduced to $ 2 million by the council as part of the recalibrated capital plan due to the pandemic and the need for “planning phase to ensure adequate public engagement. Design work has been postponed to the next capital plan starting in 2023.

Earlier this year, the city and the Vancouver Park Board launched a public consultation on the rezoning needed for the $ 500 million Britannia Community Hub project. Based on the master plan approved in 2018, the 18-acre Britannia site would be reconfigured to allow for an expanded school, new and improved public spaces, replacement community and recreational facilities, new cultural spaces and affordable rental housing.

In July 2021, city council approved the rezoning request for an additional new Coal Harbor primary school in a complex that also contains social housing. This project is also linked to the replacement of a new Lord Roberts Annex Elementary School in Nelson Park as part of a BC Hydro utility upgrade.


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