Report on PRATAC activities

Pakenham, Ramsay, Almonte, Taxpayers Action Committee (PRATAC)

It has been very busy since we had our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September and I am sure many of you are wondering what has happened since then.

We have had five Executive meetings. We established different committees, which are functioning. So far the following have been set up, Finance, Research, Membership, Coverage for Municipal and County meetings, Communications and Publicity, and, a Phone Committee.

We had a float in both Christmas parades. We received a little criticism for it being political but we were simply trying to get our name out and have people know that PRATAC exists.

We have a request in to Council for them to consider a forum where an individual or group that has concerns could meet with the Councillor(s) of their ward, representatives of the Municipal Dept. with whom they have the concern. They would then sit down and try to sort out the issue. Sometimes making an effort to see both sides of the problem can lead to its resolution.

Part of the same request was for a period of 10-15 minutes to be set-aside at the beginning of each Committee of The Whole meeting, for questions to Council, or simply to bring an item to their attention. The suggestion was, that there would not be any discussion or answer at that time, but only that someone from the Town would respond within 7 days. You would at least have the satisfaction of knowing that all of Council was made aware of your problem or feelings. This request has been accepted by Council for further discussion and hopefully for implementation in some similar format.

Sections 3.1, 3.2 3.3 of the Constitution were discussed and it was decided that they would have to be reviewed and refined to reflect a more tolerant approach. The final version will have to be brought to next years annual meeting for its approval.

We have submitted a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to the Town for disclosure of the points of evaluation in connection with the selection of the RFP for the River walk design. We feel that when the winning bid is 28% higher than the second place bid, all points of consideration in issuing the contract should be disclosed, especially when the second place bid was from a local contractor.

There is a Freedom of Information (FOI) request in the works as well for information on all of Mississippi Mills Parks and correspondence with potential purchasers of the Don Maynard Park. When there is more information available on any of these issues we will inform everyone as soon as possible.

The November 22 meeting of the Executive of PRATAC was held at Bridges Bar and Grill in Pakenham. The turnout was somewhat disappointing but there was good discussion. One of the invited Councillors was present and participated in the discussion.

We had some involvement in a couple of conflicts between individual residents and the Municipality. Both issues, with much assistance, have been resolved.

We are presently installing a system for e-mailing in a format, which will allow us to contact everyone easily. The system we are using now will only allow about 35 e-mails to be sent out at once. Now that we have about 500 members to contact, it is a bit onerous. We are working on collecting mailing addresses so that those who have only a landline as a contact will also receive a newsletter.

We can use more members on all of our committees. We are in need of your help, your input, your ideas, since you are the key to making PRATAC work. There is strength in numbers and numbers will make our reasonable requests to Council difficult to ignore. So if any of you have not yet signed up, we would be pleased if you would do so. Tell your friends and neighbours. We are going to reach out to more of our community in the following months.

Dates for our bi-weekly meetings will be posted on the PRATAC website. You are welcome to attend any of our meetings and to submit questions or suggestions. This can be done on the website or by phone to any one of the Executive.

We are working on membership cards. They should be out by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

We hope that you have had a good Christmas and wish you all a very Happy & Healthy New Year.  We are going to provide more information to you on a regular basis in 2017.

Thank you all for your continued support and encouragement.

Yours truly,

The Executive of;
Pakenham, Ramsay, Almonte, Taxpayers, Action, Committee (PRATAC)

Brian Gallagher – President
Gerry Belisle – Vice President
Ed Wilson – Treasurer
Carmel McCann – Director -Pakenham Ward
Kevin Guerard, – Director – Ramsay Ward,
Phil Wood, Gloria Leonard & Lucie Lefebvre – Directors – Almonte Ward,
John Dalgity (Consultant) and Diane O’Brien (Secretary)