Arthur Goes to Council February 6th 2017

Source: Panoramio/Photo by Martin halme

Gary Baldwin, a principle, a good cop

Gary Baldwin is a man who makes lists before entering city council with key pieces of information to extract. His questions are both pointed and open ended. At one point in the lead up to the selling of PDI, councillor Baldwin simply asked “if PDI is going to be unprofitable in the near future, then how is Hydro going to make up that difference, I highly doubt they are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts”. He gives presenters a chance to come clean, and the collective shame in the room is real when the questioned evade and duck.

Gary is Ashburnham co-councillor alongside the previously covered wounded wolf, councillor Keith Riel. His background as principle shines through as the good cop. As a principle, the best way to get to the truth is to ask questions. Debating with children is a waste of time, and Gary, who is active in questioning period is often silent in discussion takes this to heart.

No to say that he see’s councillors as children, he just knows that as the good cop of Ashburnham ward, he can let Riel wage a war long lost in discussion, while he mines the truth in question period. He plays to his strengths, votes progressively, and loses a lot in the downtown voting block of Riel, Therrien, Pappas and himself.


Pond Economy’s and water viscosity.

There was a motion regarding something to do with sports and the Peterborough Petes getting more money at council. For coverage on that please visit the bevy of local websites that are deeply invested in their local Beer League Hockey time. One item of significant importance is the state of Peterborough’s flood protection.

City staff identified a 6 million dollar gap in the budget between money being spent on the upkeep of stormwater ponds and the money needed to upkeep these ponds. The city proposed that a certain amount of money be allocated from property taxes to be directed towards addressing this need.

The money would be designated by a property by property assessment, those with larger properties with harder surfaces (read as concrete, asphalt) would have more money allocated, those with smaller properties with softer surfaces (read as grass, or sponges) would have less money allocated. This ignited a raucous debate over the pond economy in Peterborough.

Councillor Dan McWilliams seemed to have the impression that these ponds could be designated as potential tourist attractions or swimming pools for the community. City staffer Alan Seabrooke and anyone who understands the core purpose of these ponds was equal parts puzzled and grossed out by this line of inquiry. Seabrooke, responded in a mystified manner “I hope that no one is swimming in these ponds”.

Stormwater ponds serve as outlets for runoff for misfit water that has no place on or in the human body. Water from brown snowbanks riddled with cigarettes goes into these ponds. The dirt that the people of peterborough throws on snow goes into these ponds. These ponds would be uniquely viscous swimming pools.

Stormwater ponds are framed as something that prevents flooding, which tracks well with middle aged whites who hold vigils to all the man caves lost to mother nature. However they also serve as sacrificial lambs too Otonabee river, taking cigarette butts and runoff filled water and purifying it prior to is’ pilgrimage back into the water supply and into humans.

Peterborough water water as it stands is a unique consistency and acquired taste, letting it deteriorate further by not allocating funds is ballsy. Seabrooke stated that “I am surprised people have not been banging down my door about this issue…it’s not only a matter of quantity, but of quality as well”.

The plan is that over the next ten years, the city will see an annual average increase in the money allocated from property taxes of about $17. By the end of the process $170 dollars on average from property taxes will be allocated away from other services and funneled into stormwater ponds. The council voted in favor of water quality and decided to make up the $6 million dollar gap over the next ten years.


Peterborough Regional Health Center, The inception point for Bubonic Neglected Grandmothers

The PRHC employs about 2,200 people in the city of Peterborough and serves our grandmas, grandparents, and when we get to drunk and break a bone while wrassling a backyard bro, us. The hospital managed to hit up many goals like reducing waiting time by 11%. To put that in perspective if you broke your shin while engaging in a high stakes hop scotch, an 8 hour wait time is now a 7 hour and ten minute one. Incredible.

Another improvement made at the PRHC is the establishment of 24/7 visiting hours of patients. On a functional note, this means that those who do shift work can now visit their loved ones. On a tough note, young people can now feel guilty at all times a day and all times of the week for never visiting their grandparents.

More importantly, Councillor Parnell is hot on the trail of ripe grounds for a bubonic outbreak. Only 80% of physicians have their flu shot and a frightening 60% of actual employees have the shot as well. Every zombie outbreak starts with the flu, let’s be thankful that the hospital is out in the middle of nowhere and out of the reach of students and not downtown.


PED Sees opportunity

General electric recently laid off 150 employees and Peterborough Economic Development is trying to give them a hand. They are incredibly humble to realize that they cannot influence the actions of global corporations. But they are reaching out to these freshly unemployed people of peterborough, to put them in touch with local businesses for employment

However part of the PEDs plan is to create a startup culture in Peterborough, so where the public may see 150 in need of a job, PED see’s 150 potential new businesses. President and CEO of PED Rhonda Keenan stated that PED is looking to see if anyone who was laid off is looking towards “self employment” through PEDs business advisory function.

The form that these businesses may take will be a topic of hot discussion for future generations. That being said, it would be a wonderful impact on peterborough’s prosperity if the workers of the world united to start their own revolutionary startup.


About Josh Skinner 60 Articles
Josh Skinner is a loose cannon that gets results in the field of Journalism. He began in Radio doing interviews with local community members with his show Trent Variety, in 2015 he produced his own radio series for CanoeFM titled My Lands are the Highlands, both of which you can find at He has since decided to pick up writing at Arthur Newspaper and can often be found lurking in the shadows at City Council meetings, observing high octane conversations about city planning and zoning.