Letters to the Editor, August 14, 2014

Pine Lake loan by-law

Dear Editor,

In the very near future there will be a registration held concerning a by-law which, if passed, will allow the town of Hudson to spend up to $750,000 for repairs to the Pine Lake dam. It is possible that the advanced notice of the registration day will be to the minimum that is required by law. Therefore, all citizens who have an interest in this subject and wish to express the view that this action of council in the matter of Pine Lake is inappropriate, need to be vigilant and make themselves aware of the time and place of the registration.

Some years ago the citizens of Hudson were hoodwinked by a registration process concerning loan by-laws for the building of the new fire hall. In that case, in terms of both the nature of communication and scheduling of the date, the minimums, as stipulated by law, were followed. The result was that by a slim margin, approximately 385 registrants of 425 required, the town ended up with a fire hall that is over-built for the town’s needs and consequently carries high operational costs. The fact that the town did or did not need a new fire hall was not the issue - for surely a new facility was needed. The issue was, however, what design of building and at what cost, would meet the needs. In the current situation concerning Pine Lake, the citizens are being asked to approve the borrowing of funds to execute a project that is ill-defined. At a minimum the town should determine the optimum solution, with an indicated cost estimation before requesting the adoption of a loan by-law.

Whatever you position, whether you are a citizen in favour of re-damming the lake or not, it should be of interest to you to know what the proposed solution entails, what the expected life cycle of that solution is, and what other proposals have been considered along with the pros and cons of each. You may be a citizen that feels the town just should not be repairing the dam and spending town funds when more important infrastructure is in a shameful state of repair. The current administration is now into its 10th month in office and it still has not provided forward financial projections for the next three to five years. The list of capital expense demands is extensive and this situation demands a rigorous plan which prioritizes those projects. The Pine Lake project must be considered in the context of all other demands on capital expense; by pursuing an individual project, like Pine Lake, we are falling into the ways of previous administrations which lacked solid financial planning.

Marcus Owen

Hudson

Pine Lake cost concerns all Hudsonites

Dear Editor,

I am an elderly but concerned resident of Hudson and wish to remain anonymous at this point for fear of retribution, but I would like my heartfelt comments to be heard as I feel very strongly about what is happening in and around Hudson.

I am absolutely appalled and disgusted with the article ‘Pine Lake area residents looking at legal action’ (Your Local Journal, July 17) with regard to a group of disgruntled people that feel they have the right to bring unnecessary cost to the already burgeoned and impoverished coffers of the town. They are about to sue for non-compliance regarding repairs to the Pine Lake Dam. The mayor’s response stated in the article that any related costs to address this issue would inevitably fall to the citizens (i.e. the taxpayers) – So that now involves me and everyone else regarding their tax dollars?

In previous statements he said before any decision on repairs to the dam happened that a meeting and a vote would be held for ALL the resident taxpayers of Hudson. Pine Lake was deeded and now belongs to the Town of Hudson and thereby to ALL its residents who pay taxes. Surely we have the right to be heard as this affects all of us and not just a selected few.

The costs for the dam are huge and should not be a priority at all as there are more serious situations in Hudson that effect everyone’s lifestyle that must be dealt with first and foremost. Meanwhile, it is good to see that Pine Lake has now regressed to its original form, as was created and intended by nature, as a natural and beautiful ecological area for us all to enjoy.

I watched the televised interview with one of the lake area residents who said by not having Pine Lake at the bottom of the garden has taken away its ‘lake-front’ status and therefore reduced her property value. Really? If that’s what this is all about then shame on you.

As anyone living in Hudson right now is suffering the same sad fate with regard to their property values. Take a look at the huge inventory of homes for sale and no buyers. Believe me – it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Pine Lake. It is not the reason, nor the answer, and definitely not the priority here.

Enough is enough with the bullying.

Hudson is already broken and teetering on the edge. All our roads are crumbling, huge potholes and cracks like a war zone, we have no painted lines on our main roads – a hazard with all the speeding traffic – we have no path lines for our children or the elderly to safely walk into town (sadly, both are accidents waiting to happen).

Our downtown area and sidewalks are a disaster, our park lands are overgrown and shabby, and there is an endless list of other real disasters that befall our once “beautiful and desirable” village, sadly long gone, along with corruption and stolen tax dollars.

You cannot get blood from a stone. So instead of us all suing and fighting for our rights, let us look at stopping the bleed, working together to rebuild our village so we can all benefit in the future.

A concerned taxpayer of Hudson

Parental involvement in education

Dear Editor,

Soon over 20,000 students will either be entering or returning to schools of the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

These children, between the ages of five and 16, will spend only 15 per cent of their time in school. By next June, over 80 per cent would have done quite well and either graduate or be promoted. That said, in 2006, the Scottish Government passed the Parental Involvement Act because there was a realization that parents play a vital role in their child’s education. The idea was to encourage parents to work closely with the school because they are the most important influences on their children’s lives.

The bill was based on long-standing research pointing that parental involvement in a child’s education is a key factor in determining their success in life. The ‘Act’ states the decision-making process to be school-based, and education authorities “must listen” and “give proper responses” to the Parent Councils, which are Scotland’s version of our Governing Boards.

Closer to home, the Ontario government launched a “Parent Involvement Policy” in 2010 that provides funding to schools to engage parents in the education of their children, and offers strategies for success (parentinvolvement.ca).

Evidence has shown that when parents get directly involved with their children’s education, students are more motivated and, consequently, gain higher marks. Moreover, to help combat the dropout rate, the best weapon to keep kids in school is, indeed, parental engagement.

Quebec has the highest dropout rate in Canada. The government should consider providing more tools and more money to schools, to involve parents, to help increase student success, and encourage our youth to stay in school. This act would not only ensure more kids face a brighter future with the prospect of jobs, but also help the overburdened taxpayer supporting fewer people without jobs.

Chris Eustace

Pierrefonds

Thank you

Dear Editor,

The recent Once Upon A Time flower show was a hit thanks to everyone that gave of their time – from the beginning to the end of the show/ story. Those that took part in the show look forward every year to presenting this ‘gift’ to the community – and the community looks forward to viewing the creations on display. The main exhibit was in the Community Center and the Hudson Legion was the location of our Tea Room. A BIG thank you to those that contributed to our door prizes: Centre Décor Hudson (Lea Durocher, who also created the design of our pedestals); The War Memorial Library; Fraser McBain; and donations from our members. I hope everyone enjoyed the experience – whether submitting entries, winning a ribbon or trophy, or having a refreshment in our Tea Room.

The winners of the arrangement section voted on by the public were: 1st place: (F) Brenda Kerney; 2nd place: (A) Deborah Harvey; and 3rd place (E) Heather Gibbs.

The ‘all points’ winner was Hudson Garden Club member Deborah Harvey.

Thank you to everyone,

Kathy Conway

Director, Hudson Garden Club

Flower Show 2014

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