Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Score another good thing that the present council has achieved.

Fort Erie Town Council ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with its unionized employees at its town council meeting on February 24.

The three year agreement prevented a potential strike by over 80 town employees represented by C.U.P.E. (Canadian Union of Public Employees)

This council has already ratified a budget that has the lowest tax increase in eight years and now, there's another three years' contract with critical town employees.

Not bad for a group that has had trouble "working together."

Of course, some will grumble about the recent one-year agreement with the Point Abino Association. Even The Post's James Culic could not contain his disdain for the money spent on the refurbishment of a national historic landmark. He reports that the town spent close to one million dollars to restore the light house. Actually, the figure was around $400K of taxpayer money to match a grant from the government. The remaining was from the sale of the Keeper's Cottage which was part of the original package purchased by the town over a decade ago. All in all, it was a good deal; an improvement of previous agreements as to access through the private road to the lighthouse.  It matches many such historic landmarks in that it isn't always open or easily accessible. Other lighthouses in fact, are just as difficult to access because of location.  Too bad some people can't put aside their prejudice against what they perceive as "rich Americans" to appreciate the beauty and importance of the Point Abino Lighthouse.

Of course, there are a few left who think that the Americans own most of the waterfront properties. I would say that the percentage of American owned lakefront properties has diminished greatly in the past few years. A lot of recent purchases of lakefront property has been by Canadians.  Funny how no one was upset when the summer residents paid taxes and utilities year round, thus making a major contribution to the town.  Some vilify Americans because a few chose to speak up about the proposed twelve story condo on public waterfront land.  Seems like a no-brainer that people who enjoy the beach would be against a looming tower, privately owned, on public waterfront property - the last in Crystal Beach.

Some are upset that the old Crystal Beach Pier is being removed. I just wonder who is paying for that since it belongs to the Crystal Beach Tennis and Yacht Club.  Sadly, it was also the scene of a tragic accident a couple of years ago. Maybe it is time to let it go. It can never be used again as a pier and it has become an eyesore.

We're still waiting for the removal of the snack bar and the Molinaro sales office that still has an "Open" sign near the door.

Give the Bay Beach Properties back to the people and let them decide what to do with it. I hope that certain town players understand now that they can't force people to accept a bad idea. The whole Bay Beach Development was conjured up by a town planner who is long gone; never lived here; and who refused to accept that the people of the community did not want a twelve story building (or two as it was first proposed) taking up the public shoreline.