/Money meant for streamlining CAO suggests 

Money meant for streamlining CAO suggests 

By Chad Ingram

County councillors discussed what the municipality might do with new funding from the province during a meeting on March 27.  
last month, the heads of local council received correspondence from
Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark, informing them their
municipalities would be receiving one-time grants.  
County of Haliburton will receive $725,000, Dysart et al and Minden
Hills each $542,255, Highlands East $534,469 and Algonquin Highlands
“I believe there will be an
expectation that we will be reducing our costs,” county chief
administrative officer Mike Rutter told councillors. 
of the letter from Clark reads: “While this investment is
unconditional, it is intended to help modernize service delivery and
reduce future costs through investments in projects such as: service
delivery reviews, development of shared services agreements, and capital
investments. Our government believes that municipalities are best
positioned to understand the unique circumstances and determine how this
money is spent.” 
At a special budget
meeting in February, county councillors agreed the municipality should
embark on a governance review/shared service exploration. 
all local municipalities are represented at the county council table,
it was agreed that the conversation should take place at the county
level and migrate down to the four municipalities as required,” read a
report from County Warden Liz Danielsen. 
told councillors he was meeting the CAOs of the four lower tiers
regarding the governance review, and said he would bring a staff report
back to council. An inventory of services already shared by the
municipalities is expected to be completed in May. 
all received substantial amounts of money that certainly has service
delivery review attached in the language,” said Algonquin Highlands
Mayor Carol Moffatt. Moffatt suggested that perhaps some of the money be
used towards community safety and wellness plans the province is
requiring municipalities to complete, and “which we feel will end up
costing more money than it’s worth,” Moffatt said. 
all seemed to agree the mandated plans were a waste of time, with
Danielsen saying that sentiment extends to other municipalities
throughout the province. 
“Everybody is
off the charts that it is ridiculous, it’s onerous, it’s too expensive,
it’s just useless,” Danielsen said, adding there was some advocacy for
asking that the requirement be removed. 
While everyone may agree the plans are not useful, municipalities are still mandated to complete them, Moffatt noted.