The secret is out!

If you are a resident taxpayer of Clearview wondering why council is spending hundreds of thousands of YOUR provincial and municipal tax dollars on signage and “beautification” of business properties in Stayner and the surrounding area – Wonder no more.

It’s nothing to do with any original thoughts from our council on making Clearview a better place to LIVE, and everything to do with a program called “First Impression Community Exchange 1” (FICE) aimed at raising the visibility of an area for VISITORS.

FICE is a community tool provided by OMAFRA where a very small group of Councillors, municipal staff and community members from another municipality (in our case Gravenhurst) “evaluate” the community (in our case Stayner) for various aspects seen by VISITORS.

The premise of FICE is that “people who visit your community for the first time can offer fresh perspectives and unique insights about your services, transportation, accommodations and tourist attractions”.

On the face, it looks like a great tool to determine what could be done to improve the VISITOR perspective of a location IF used in combination with other tools to BALANCE an approach to improve the VISIBILITY of a community to both residents and visitors.

Reading through the report2 from Gravenhurst (conveniently not available from searches on the web site, get your copy2 below) explains almost every spending decision from Clearview related to the signage and Stayner beautification programs where your Provincial and local tax dollars are being used to improve the profitability of Clearview businesses without them having to put out one RED CENT!

Putting all of this money into Stayner does nothing to make the town more of a place to visit when Clearview itself has little or no visibility except as “The place where Roxodus DIDN’T happen”!

YOUR Provincial and Clearview tax dollars at “work”:
Image of Holmes-Agro facility East of Stayner

Holmes Agro – Does it look like this business needs the support of Ontario and local taxpayers to make it more “visible” to visitors? The “program” from which the payment came is for “downtown core” beautification, this facility,  is well outside of Stayner.

Picture of a boutique in Stayner

Joy’s Clothing Boutique – As best anyone can determine the money for this beautification project was used to change the paint colour of the trim around the doors and windows, This is a building that was only recently rebuilt after a fire in the adjoining property,

Is this really the best use of taxpayers money when many homeowners are having difficulty paying their tax, water and hydro bills and cannot afford to even do basic maintenance on their own properties?

When the new “roundabout” at the junction of Hwy26 and County Road 96 (formerly Sideroad 27/28) is finished, the “Stayner BYPASS” will be fully operational and no amount of money spent on downtown Stayner will entice those using Hwy26 going to Wasaga Beach, the new Casino and the ski hills to put up with the delays of having to wait in traffic jams through main street Stayner because of the council and staff promoted business section “improvements” (or realistically “impediments” to getting where you really want to go) .

Adding the new “McDonald’s”, proposed to be located near the busiest intersection in Clearview and drawing business away from the downtown core will just increase the traffic madness making the bypass another reason for travelers to avoid downtown Stayner.

Putting the new library out in the hinterlands next to the arena confirms that this council never had a clue about designing and developing a real “COMMUNITY” where all of the required services are available in one place and accessible to all. I guess the lot opposite the municipal offices originally purchased for the library will end up as an expansion for the ever-increasing number of new STAFF hires, few of whom (based on job titles) have anything to do with making Clearview a better and more accessible place to live with taxes the AVERAGE resident can afford.

Wake up councillors, let’s develop a plan for the future of the WHOLE of Clearview that is based on making it a better, more affordable and more accessible place to LIVE, NOT just to visit!

Questions for council:

Why will staff and council listen and act on comments from outsiders when most councillors (even Thom Paterson who previously was the only councillor holding “town hall meetings” is now ignoring email and telephone communications since his latest election) refuse to respond to the taxpayers of Clearview who take their time to ask questions about what this council is doing for those that live here?

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  1. Nottawa taxpayer

    Mayor Measures always had issues responding to letters and requests for information when he was a councillor and despite his assertions before being elected as Mayor that he will be more communicative, he’s already back in the (expletive deleted by editor) – OFF mode UNLESS there is a television camera or microphone in front of him!

  2. You’d think someone who’s career in the media arena would embrace social media in all its forms to interact with ratepayers. Not so much. Sad reportage by reporter Ian Adams is a great buddy of Doug Measures. Don’t expect any negative stories from him

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