Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Lots of negativity rolling around this election season. The myth of the 4 to 3 vote is just that.  Only 1% of all council votes were settled in this manner. 

Bob Steckley had to go to the media to dispel a rumour.
Got it, mayor-by-five-votes?


How the Councillors Elected by the People Have Improved Our Quality of Life

Held the Line on Property Taxes
  • Lowest tax increase in 8 years (2.72%)
  • Reserve Replenishment Policy approved to reduce future tax hikes
  • Gave you a $0 water increase

Supported Smart Development - Subdivision Plans Approved
  • Marz Homes (179 homes and condo units in Crystal Beach)
  • Spears-Highpoint Secondary Plan (187 homes on Garrison Road)
  • Nigh Road Subdivision (10 estate residential dwellings)
  • Dominion Estates  (homes and townhouse units on Dominion Road)
  • Stevensville Neighbourhood Plan expedited
  • Industrial development charges reduced to encourage new projects
  • Continued support to EDTC to promote economic development and tourism
  • Put forth as part of an amendment to the Development Charge By-law, which waived development charges for new industries coming into Fort Erie.

Ensured Residents' Health and Safety

  • New fire hall built with gaming revenue
  • Hospital Advisory Board created
  • F.A.S.T. service improved for residents with disabilities
  • The first community to set up reserve funding for the new hospital

Improved Roads and Public Transportation
  • Thunder Bay Road resurfaced
  • Dominion Road resurfaced
  • Crescent Park pumping station upgraded
  • New Central Avenue Bridge scheduled for 2015 ($13 million from Region)
  • Crystal Beach sidewalks upgraded
  • Transit service expanded with new vehicles
  • Transit service for Stevensville, Black Creek, and Douglastown in progress

Improved Municipal Drains
  • Frenchman’s Creek, Beaver Creek, and Schooley drains rerouted and repaired
  • Appeals from residents resolved without a provincial hearing

Promoted Fort Erie
  • Downtown Ridgeway renovation completed with new Market Square
  • Optimist Park soccer field upgraded with lights and improved drainage
  • Ott Road baseball park enhanced with porta-potties
  • Connelly Park purchased in Thunder Bay area
  • Skating arena fees frozen

Encouraged Tourism
  • Increased funding to help save the Fort Erie Race Track ($150,000 more than previous Council’s commitment)
  • Canadian Motor Speedway unanimously approved at each stage
  • Point Abino Lighthouse renovated to preserve this national historic landmark ($400,000 federal grant secured)
  • Road allowance encroachments at Waverly Beach resolved
  • Communities-in-Bloom funding led to first prize in national competition

Improved Town Operations
  • Operational Review approved to reduce excessive costs (conducted by Western Management at half the budgeted amount)
  • 25 recommendations offered to improve efficiencies
  • $500,000 found for potential savings in risk management
  • Processed a staggering 700 Reports in the past four years.

All this was accomplished while Councillors Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard were under constant attack through compliance audits, accusatory billboards, flyers, newspaper articles, conflict of interest lawsuits, and finally a vexatious lawsuit from a developer who waited ten months until just before the election to file it. 


  1. yeah but THE FOUR stood against dIRTYdOUGS special interest groups(the only special interest group here). You know the ones who have had their dirty little fingers all over our tax $$$ or made lots of $$$ off those who made key decisions in power positions or are well employed but do little or nothing for their excessive paychecks.

    The minute these dirt bags realized 4 years ago that THE FOUR actually possessed a conscience and their sweet little back room deals where in jeopardy, billboards and flyers were posted.These are the true special interest groups in FE. The ones with $$ to gain not a group of people who are attacked for trying to preserve the last and best beach in the area.

    Wake the frig up Fort Erie these people are stealing you blind and have proudly put forth their dirt bag champions in every ward for their greedy cause .......$$$$$$

    Fort Erie politics stripped of all the spin/lies/hype.

  2. There have been people that have supported the idea of handing over that beachfront property for excessive development from day one. Not a careful improvement of the existing property with covered shelters, improved restrooms, paid lifeguards, better food concessions. All this is considered development as well, but the type of "soft" improvement that improves the beach experience. There are other supporters who would support excessive development be it to sell everything from a few more restaurant meals to junky furniture and goofy slipcovers to perspective tenants of some ill concived overpriced residence on the water. These types are also the ones who see the $$$$$ and are as mistaken as any of Dougs carpetbaggers. We will continue to support the boycott of businesses who would sell out the community for financial gain.

  3. For well over six years I have continually asked myself why our mayor is so strongly promoting the Molinaro condo development?

    Is it best for the Town, the taxpayers?

    The community obviously has been reluctant to give up our only public beach waterfront property in Crystal Beach.

    What benefits would the condo development offer us had they achieved the sales that they needed to proceed?

    Income from selling the exquisite beachfront location? NO, it would have been given to the developer.
    Development charges? NO
    A community pavilion for beachgoers? NO, just a locked room at the back corner of the complex that the public could rent ahead of time.
    Well, a sufficient washroom and change rooms? NO, the plans seemed to have scrapped the washrooms with only 2 extra toilets provided for women and that building would have been located in a "flood hazard zone"
    Retail store income then? NO, the proposed stores were not possible because the second floor of the private patio showed a pool.
    Lots of concrete to sit on to view the lake? NO, most of that space would have to be cordoned off for restaurant patrons because liquor would have been served.
    Oh, a sandy area to view concerts or a skating rink in winter on the sand to the east of the building? NO, the MNR said that is for the endangered toad artificial area since their hibernation area was where the underground garage [that wasn't underground],

    and the contract dictated that the Town is responsible for all the maintenance of the outdoor patios. What a sweet deal for the Molinaros, no wonder they want back in!

  4. Also, the escalating costs of infrastructure improvement that would be borne by the taxpayers in order to service the condo tower. Everything but the building itself would be up to the taxpayers to maintain. The Molinaros were offered a sweet deal. The ones they should be suing are Rino Mostacci, the former town planner who came up with the idea to sell off/transfer the lands to a developer and the mayor who told them the development would have no problems being approved.

  5. The biggest problem was that our former Town Solicitor did not do her due diligence, the title was very unclear, as two rights of way criss-crossed the area that the Town wanted to give away, also when you have rights of way in the way of clear title, they have to be closed, also under the Municipal Act, the neighboring owners of property have the right to compensation ,for the loss of enshrined access to the beach.If any body is to blame for this mess, it is an unqualified lawyer, who never should have been hired in the first place, it is obvious to me she was not properly vetted before she was hired, so we need new hiring protocols at Town Hall., that's my opinion.

    1. Heather Salter allowed herself to be controlled by the Molinaro's lawyer. She did not properly research the title. It is evident that she copied the Molinaro's information without checking. Even their mistakes were transcribed by Salter in legal documents. She defied council's request for documents in her possession. Told Don Lubberts to "get it through Freedom of Information." Unprofessional and disrespectful to certain councillors, she was video-recorded making faces behind the councillors during council meetings.

      The true problem at council meetings has been the attitude and behaviour of the mayor-by-five-votes, Doug Martin who has displayed an appalling lack of leadership and civility as he continually interrupts and throws tantrums at council. Again, it is all on tape. Perhaps when he finally hangs up his chain of office, someone should put together a "hi-lite reel" of his greatest moves.

    2. I understand that it is also up to the purchaser to research the title of the land. I think Heather did as she was directed to do and hide things under the table. I guess the Molinaro's didn't think they needed to do that as we were giving them the land!

  6. This is truthful is it not?
    Our esteemed mayor wasn't supposed to vote FOR the agreement to give Molinaro the Bay Beach lands. In contentious issues he is supposed to vote AGAINST, according to Robert's Rules. However, he doesn't seem to think that rules were written to be followed, but to be ignored. This whole mess is on his head not the four councillors.

  7. One of the greatest concerns potential buyers of the condo units was the absolute title issue. Would you put up thousands of dollars to buy something on land that may or may not belong to the developer? Even with assurances, I would be very uneasy as I would think so would the majority of prospective buyers. That issue alone held sales back. So that begs the question as to why did Molinaro wait so long to apply for the title, which may have helped his sales. Now if the decision comes back not in the town's favour, what then?

  8. Roberts' Rules do not tell anyone how he or she is supposed to vote.

    1. I wondered about that but I'm no expert on Robert's Rules. I was under the impression however that the mayor only votes when there's a tie or a registered vote. Martin was more than eager to cast his vote in this council. I remember that Redekop did not vote unless it was a tie when he was mayor.

  9. Hahaha laughing at one of the Ward 5's candidates new slogan "taking back Ward 5 from non voter special interest groups". I actually had some respect for this man before this post and his posts about the lawsuit from Molinaro. I thought he may have been an original thinker but guess not.

    1. I'm curious as to whether his true colors are just coming out now or whether he suddenly turned. I noticed he got the most "likes" when he said something anti-American on Facebook, so maybe he just decided to go with what the people wanted, as he's always said he planned to do. Problem is (for him), I bet not many of those "likes" came from the ward he's running in, since the citizens of Crystal Beach tend to be an open and accepting lot. More importantly, he's finally "revealed" himself to be clearly pro-condo, and unless I'm very mistaken, that's gonna get him likes with the Mayor's crew but not with Ward 5 voters.

  10. Roberts Rules of Order are more like Roberts Suggestions of Order, a set of guidelines that may be used in all sorts of meeting situations, if respected by the majority of those attending. From some of the antics we have seen at council meetings from both those observing and those under "obligation" to conduct a civil proceeding, (again Roberts Rules...etc) it would appear that the rules of order were pretty far from the minds of most of the people in that room. Nice thought but seemingly unrealistic, for the time being anyway. Maybe in future??

  11. Ninjaws again with the funny stuff. "Watch The Candidates Debate Here". What debate?? We've heard more heated discussions between 2 plaid garbed lawn donkeys over the various attributes of a particular brand of lawnmower at the Tired Canadian. Debate?? More like answer prescreened questions in the most monotone way possible, the most boring answer wins. How about that trash about "shovel ready" propertys? What next? Boots on the ground?? What a snoozefest yawn factory. A debate on the issues would be most welcome, but lets not call that exercise in dullness a debate. Just when you think those drones couldnt find another way to fly their "im small c Conservative flag, this waste of time gets burped up by the Chamber of Commerce. I guess that thank you at the end was in order, THAT was a great cure for anyone with insomnia.

  12. Robert's Rules clearly define that if a matter is tie and contentious, the matter is to be voted down.

    Sandy Annunziatta], Tim Whitfield and Martha Lockwood voted FOR the condo development at Bay Beach.
    Bob Steckley, Anne-Marie Noyes and Rick Shular voted against the condo development.

    The tie-breaker vote was from mayor martin who has fought and fought for the Molinaro development. A FOUR TO THREE VOTE.

    1. And now Martin defends the Molinaro's right to sue the town. Just exactly WHO is he working for?

  13. That was a clear example of Molinaros Rules of Order. Martin would be like that cat that jumps up on the counter in the kitchen to lick the butter. Not supposed to do that, but that butter tastes sweet. Can you imagine the abuse Doug would have had to endure from the Molys of Oakville if he had sided with the Bob, Anne, and Rick's?? No butter for you Doug. Who knows what was going on in the background? No Christmas card from uncle Moly. No chance to trash the village of Crystal Beach that has so many bad memorys for him from an incident that happened while a teen...we leave that for another posting, but he knows what that is about. Rules of Order?? That is for meetings where millions of dollars are not being discussed, and the principals of the issue can't be bought.

  14. I find it odd that the people that keep bashing Americans and those who own private beaches, want to give PUBLIC land to a PRIVATE developer who will turn it into more PRIVATE residences. Does that make sense or is it only in the minds of those who don't know how to think?

    1. There are many places in the US where all the beaches are public, like Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod. Mansions sit on land bordering the beach. The beach is public. Back in the day, people who bought lakefront homes in the Fort Erie area were told by the realtors and local officials that the beach in front of their cottage was "private" even though it is considered Crown Land to the high water mark. Someone should have the balls to enforce or make changes to the Great Lakes Shoreline policy. They're afraid that prominent Canadians would object, in my opinion. I am all for the entire Great Lakes basin to have public beaches where people could walk, sun and enjoy the water anywhere - like Cape Cod and other places.

  15. As well as the coasts of the USA, the coasts of Mexico are always public land. To the people who live there the idea that someone or something could restrict your access to the waterfront is a totally foreign idea.In Hawaii there are places where large hotel companys like the Hiltons etc..have tried to make land they purchased and developed on "private" to the residents renting rooms or living on site as staff. That did not go well for them. After thousands of years of settlement by the Hawaiians on the coast, they were not about to see the lands their parents and grandparents used for generations become "kapu" (forbidden) by some pale golf shirt wearing tribe from the other side of two oceans without a fight. In their system of land division a small portion of oceanfront was always included in any block of owned land. Even today long narrow tracts of land extend from the water often up to high elevations on the slopes of the mountains. Still, the waterfront remains public domain. Where in the world have the Americans of recent times not settled and tried,(often successfully) to change what was seen as fair,and respect local values?? What an example to set for the rest of the world looking on. So the waterfront of the lake in this tiny town is supossed to be "private"?? It looks pretty public to me, and to my relatives going back a long way, long before the American invasion of our public lands began.

    1. Don't like you calling it an "American Invasion." Many Americans bought waterfront property back when it was cheap and built homes on the property. They were told that the beach in front of their property was theirs/private. They acted accordingly. The American summer residents have supported the economy of the villages on Lake Erie for generations. When Fort Erie amalgamated in 1976, Crystal Beach had a very healthy town surplus, mostly through taxes collected from the amusement park and summer residents. It was said that, at one time, the population of Fort Erie doubled in the summer months. That was mostly American dollars coming into town. We will never see those days again as the Americans are less likely now to buy property in Canada and many are divesting themselves of their Canadian property. Luckily, places like Crystal Beach and certain areas of Ridgeway are seeing an influx of Canadians, many from the GTA who want to escape the bustle of a big city for a quieter place.

      Don't blame Americans for taking advantage of cheap prices in Fort Erie. I remember my parents bought our summer home in Bay Beach for $5000. in the 1960s. That was a good price then. we weren't rich either. My father was a fire chief in Buffalo.

  16. All that may be true, but it doesent change or adress the fact that the waterfront should be considered public land. Lets not get too far off topic here. As Sharon mentioned people purchasing property MAY have been told (incorrectly) that the waterfront that came with their purchase is private land. The high water mark may or may not have been mentioned, (or conveniently forgotten over time). Time will tell if this oversight will be fixed, Dont worry too much about the American invasion remark, there are many countrys that have to face that unpleasant reality with much bigger fish to fry than a quiet walk on a seemingly public beach.

  17. @ Andre C. Check out this article before you blame the U.S. for the waterfront situation in Ontario when it seems to me that you might better be thanking it for providing a model for solving it. It's not a trivial point, because much hostility is incorrectly directed toward property owners for a situation that is not their fault. On official maps of Fort Erie, I have seen lots indicated with boundaries extending right out into the water. I don't know why the waterfront Crown land policy would not apply, but apparently it doesn't. If it did, then Shorewalking legislation would not be needed in Ontario, but, since, in fact, it is under consideration in Ontario, it must not already be in force. Right? Fortunately, as stated in the article below, there is a model for moving forward: "With a U.S. Supreme Court case to back it up (the court ruled in 2005 that Michigan residents had the right to walk along that state’s more than 5,000 kilometres of shoreline), Shorewalk soon convinced other residents and municipal governments across Ontario that there was no reason the same right of passage could not be recognized here, too." http://shorewalk.ca/news/walking_rights.html

  18. The 66 foot chain reserve is enshrined in a document that now exactly 200 hundred years old this December, it is called the Treaty of Ghent. which formally ended the War of 1812-1814 , in that document the Great Lakes are referred to as seas, and that they be none military no war warships, but coast guard allowed, the 66 foot (chain) reserve is in force around the entire Great lake System, and has been enforced by every law suit that happened in many Lake States, this deal here along our shores is encroachment on Federal lands, and verbal deals made by real estate agents who were over eager in getting their commissions.by selling lakefront property.The Province has different rules over their inland lakes, ponds etcetra., A very large bulldozer should go from one end of the beaches and crush all fences that encroach on"Federal Property" down to Waverly Beach..

  19. So then, Porgey, do you think this means that Shorewalking legislation is superfluous for Great Lake property because the right to passage by walkers along the shoreline of the Great Lakes already exists? And do you think that those maps of waterlots I'm talking about (I assume you've seen something like them; there are some on Town of Fort Erie maps right near Bay Beach, for example) are simply invalid? If so, then I think it is up to the government to make that clear rather than for homeowners to realize on their own that the property maps they were given on their deeds are incorrect. Do you agree?

  20. I sincerely believe that clarification would help a lot, as the Provincial Government does enforce Federal laws, and I don't see how this is any different,This 66 foot chain reserve deal has gone to many Great Lake States already and the right of passage has been upheld,.somewhere in my filing system I have news paper clippings that attest to State Supreme rulings say that right is enshrined in law.


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