Norisle preoccupation detracts from real issues facing the town

It is time for Assiginack voters to take stock of their municipal councillors

To the Expositor:

In support of Milan Lee’s letter to the Expositor about the waste of taxpayer dollars going to court over the rusty old Norisle that will never sail again.

Thousands of grant dollars have been spent on the boat in the past. We hear the Norisle has been stripped of everything that previous tax dollars paid for on the ship in the past. Now the dispute between the group and township will end up in court which will cost more tax dollars. What a shameful waste of tax dollars. I have seen letters of support from people to refurbish the Norisle to a cruise ship but haven’t seen or heard of letters with any donations to help pay for the work to be done. This would be unfair to the local taxpayers who don’t get any value from their tax dollars.

Both Assiginack and Tehkummah townships are refusing to repair or replace Rodgers Creek Bridge and telling us the bridge is not a priority. This shows the council is not appreciating the taxpayers that voted for them. They just didn’t get elected on their own. I’m sure it will be different next time. A change is necessary for this upcoming election from top to bottom. There is nothing on the Assiginack 2018 priority list for the country or the bridge. In 2015-16 we were told nothing was being considered for the bridge in this term of council. Looking back, the Slash never was a priority in the council’s eyes, only when it came to tax collection time. Lakeshore Road is listed as part of the cycle route, which Assiginack made a motion that they highly support cycling tourism. Tehkummah made a motion to have the bridge replaced. Then a motion was made by Assiginack to close Rodgers Creek Bridge on the cycle route, what kind of tourism are we promoting? The Lakeshore Road was the first road from South Baymouth to Manitowaning going through the Slash, Squirrel Town, Hilly Grove, Clover Valley to Manitowaning.

There has always been a bridge at Rodgers Creek for three hundred plus years. The bridge has always been maintained by both townships. Back in 1974 both townships replaced the bridge at a 50/50 cost. The agreement still reads the same even when the councils of the day said they didn’t have it. We found the agreement with no problem.

It would be very interesting to compare the number of people that entered the Norisle to the number of people that crossed the bridge in the last 40 years. Councillors should remember they were voted in power by the taxpayers. Maybe councillors should remember there are 50 plus high taxed homes and cottages on Lakeshore Road. I believe this means the councillors should work for all the taxpayers—border to border—equally.

Polling assessment in Assiginack: the four highest assessed polling stations (note the town being the lowest on the list): No. 1, $21,427,150,  Lake Manitou; No. 2, $18,678,884, the Slash; No. 3, $14,912,238 north of Manitowaning; No. 4, $14,304,096,  Manitowaning.

We have a petition of 300 plus names with the majority being Assiginack taxpayers. We were told by a council member that a petition is just a piece of paper with names on it. However, according to legal advice, it is more valuable than just a piece of paper with names on it. We believe the main reason there has been no action is because the bridge is located in the Slash, which makes it a non-priority thanks to the council of the day. I guess they forget the bridge has been there much longer that the councilors have been here.

As quoted in The Manitoulin Expositor for the Assiginack Council Notes, 2018 Budget Priorities, Councillor Reid stated she didn’t “want anything important left off the table,” Councillor Moggy stated he was “all for town repairs to garage, new fire hall and the Burns Wharf,” Councillor Fields stated “a generator for municipal office and new fire hall,” Mayor Moffat stated “set money aside for the garage,” no statement made from Councillor Case and CAO Alton Hobbs stated “running the marina was a cost of $38,000.” Again, did they forget about the repairs for the bridge and why was this not addressed?

In conclusion, Assiginack ratepayers please make an educated decision on who you vote for in the next municipal election.

Andy Bowerman