Dissolve LSB? Dennis Township (Red Rock, Pebble Beach) Vote Results are in

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Today the residents of Dennis Township South (Red Rock, Pebble Beach) voted on the Dissolution of the Local Services Board. (LSB)

131 votes were submitted in total.

Final results

To Dissolve LSB – 89

To Maintain LSB – 41

Spoiled ballot – 1

The Board would like to thank all those that participated in the vote and special thanks to Donna Holmberg, Glenna Malleau for sign in and Ken Lavoie, Larry Masters counters, Tammi Stevenson and Laura Coccimiglio as scrutinizers.

*****

Earlier Story Published: Oct 21, 2017 @ 06:34

On Monday, October 23rd the residents and landowners of Dennis Township South will hold a vote to keep their fledgling LSB or dissolve it.

The LSB received governmental approval last November. Its main goal was to bring 911 and basic fire equipment into the Township. There is no responding fire department for structural fires.

The 2016-17 Board, led by Laura Coccimiglio, received notice from Bell Telephone that they would change their 911 installation policy regarding the necessary fire component so that Dennis Township South could qualify for complete 911 installation. Sections of the Township would have their own stocked sheds of basic fire equipment that would be accessible to landowners with an organised group assisting. The intention was to stop a fire from spreading. The Township does not have the population or budget, which is $66.00/year/landowner, to accommodate anything bigger.

For the past 4 years the Red Rock Volunteers has raised much of the money needed to finance both 911 and fire equipment. The Board was ready to proceed with the first requirement which was to have the area GIS mapped.

The 1962 Planning Act required 4 ½ acres of waterfront property be set aside to give the 65 lots, that existed at the time, water access and the basic right to be on the land for brief periods of time. This was done through easements. The 2016-17 Board arranged to have title turned over to the Township so that Federal and Provincial grants to develop the property would provide some return from increasing Provincial Land Taxes.

Shortly after the New Year two seasonal residents, Dave Poluck and Lorna Rudolph, formed the Dennis Township South Association of Ratepayers (DTSAR). The goal of DTSAR is to dissolve the LSB. A fire presentation in April left residents with the impression a full-service fire department was planned and cost prohibitive.

DTSAR also advocated that the cost of bringing 911 in was too much and the Township could always manage with just the phone numbers of each individual service requested in an emergency.

DTSAR objected to developing the land set aside in 1962 and/or title transferred to the Township. Residents were erroneously given the impression that they could sell their easement and unfortunately thought their easements had been cancelled with the transfer.

As always, no one likes to pay taxes. Even though an LSB is the one “governing” body that advocates for a community and works in the best interests of its community, there will always be those that feel any tax money paid is too much.

In August the Dennis Township South LSB held elections. The DTSAR group was elected. They hope to dissolve the LSB which means that 911 installation will be halted, plans and equipment to try and contain a fire and maintain an emergency plan will cease. Also, the 4 ½ acres will likely end up in government control. Provincial Land Taxes, with increases, will continue with little opportunity to recoup anything for the Township through grants.

A vote will be held Monday (the 23rd) at Holy Trinity Church from 1-7 p.m. A “No” vote is in favour of keeping the LSB. A “yes” vote is in favour of dissolving the LSB.

*****

Please see David Poluck’s response to this letter in the comments section below.

 

15 COMMENTS

  1. I find it amusing that the former LSB people do not see that they are the reason we are all upset. You started a LSB with out asking anyone if WE wanted it. You got together with YOUR friends and voted yourselves in. You changed ownership of a piece of COMMUNITY PROPERTY that will now become crown land (solely YOUR fault) without asking permission from even one share holder of that property. Democracy is apparently not in your vocabulary. You want what you want and we simply MUST comply. Uh…NO! Voting YES tomorrow to remove any chance of being further bullied by a small group of control freaks…. Get out and vote YES everyone!

    • This is patently incorrect and should not be your basis for voting. The were several meetings to ask about whether the community wanted an LSB. The turn out for the vote was the biggest for anything EVER in the Township. The results of the vote went to the MNDM who then granted us an LSB status. Then there was a meeting, well advertised, at which the Board was elected. The main goal/mandate of the LSB was to bring in emergency tele-communications and start on some kind of fire protection as funds became available. At the Power Point presentations to become an LSB Block B was clearly discussed as the best bet for us to get money back from taxes and would be our goal to get it into the hands of the Township so that we could use it to bring in grants. The 1962 Planning Act set it aside for the Township but because it was unorganised there was no entity to turn it over to. Once we became an LSB it could be turned over, with all easements intact, and at no cost to the community so that’s what we did. It was clearly stated at the early LSB meetings and recorded in the minutes that it was what we would work on because it would be such a valuable asset to the community.(See the minutes at lsbdts.ca) Did you go to meetings to voice your opinion or read the minutes? All meetings were open for discussions. Now that it is in the hands of the community we get to decide what to do with it instead of it sitting there as an empty bush lot that most easement holders weren’t even aware of. We are aware of MANY easement holders who wanted this to happen because they saw real value in the opportunities it presented. You lost nothing with the change of ownership from a private citizen/company to the LSB. You gained power and opportunity and the LSB worked very hard to give you that and more. If you vote to dissolve the LSB YOUR vote is to risk losing it and giving it to the government. I’m an easement holder and I am not happy to see that as a possibility. I want a return for my tax dollar and a good return on my investment in my property. Developing Block B at some point in the future does that for all of us. Nothing happens to the property without input from the easement holders and the community. That is the absolute truth and that is democracy. Don’t be angry at the past Board, be angry at the people who misinformed you.

      • Sorry, but your long winded responses are falling on deaf ears. You did everything in a very small circle of friends until word got out. I, and many others have absolutely no trust in any of you. YOUR agenda, is not shared with the majority. That is why none of you were re-elected to the board…. in a REAL vote!

  2. Sorry Loreen, I don’t agree with you at all, and I think your article was very one-sided and to call out Lorna and David specifically for organizing a group is not right. Just to be clear – I am not a part of DSTAR and I voted NO in the first meeting to form an LSB. I thought that very first vote was extremely unfair and only found out about it last minute, many people missed that initial vote because of the lack of organization. If I recall correctly the LSB was voted in by a slim margin. Everyone that was for it was certainly well informed and present, those of us that were not in that loop were not well advised of the vote.

    Recently I received confusing material in the mail from the LSB. Do Lorna and David know you mailed out Lorna’s letter a copy of which I got in the mail? The letter she wrote was to someone named Allen I think, i don’t even know who Allan is or what the context of that letter was even about. But getting that in the mail seemed like a tactic to shame them, and that I absolutely don’t agree with.

    Now we have a vote on ONE day only again…..and guess what? It’s moose hunting season…..and guess what? I know 3 other seasonal property owners that are hunting this week, and all 3 want the LSB dissolved, their voices won’t be heard because they can’t be there in person to vote! That is a sad fact.

    A small few with a clear agenda are out-voting many who are unable to be at the vote Monday in All because of moose hunting season!!!

    I’ve been going to redrock for over 40 years, my parents had a place out there when I was 5, we had NOTHING but a lot of bush, bears and rough terrain, no electricity at all for anyone in those days. Some of best memories are those summers.

    Over the years I think things have improved greatly, Heartbreak Hill (which we fondly called it for years) is gone because they had to improve the road entrance to get those windmills in there. That was by far, over the years one of the biggest dangers in my opinion, and was glad to see it fixed.

    Now I see the LSB working on plans to overhaul the road after the windmills because of the tight curves and silly things like that. I think that is ridiculous and a waste of time and money, it’s a winding camp road for godsakes, there are signs to warn of that, leave it be.

    I’ll be there to vote YES to dissolve, I wish my three buddies who are gone away hunting could be there to cast their vote to dissolve as well. Like it or not, this backs up what Dave is saying about the problem of only being allowed to vote in person.

    • Lorna’s letter was sent to Alan who was the LSB secretary at the time. The letter was read at an LSB meeting and is part of the LSB file. It was, and should be, available at any time for any resident to read as long as the LSB exists. it was included because of the contentious misinformation that was put out there by DTSAR of which Lorna is a founding member. Mr. Chorney’s letter was included to try and correct the misinformation since no one wanted to believe the Board. If you look at communications from DTSAR or attended their meetings you will see that Dave and Lorna were the co-ordinators and founders. It isn’t an unknown fact and which I would think they’d be happy to take credit for. The first LSB vote came after advertising all over the Township with many ads so big you didn’t need to get out of your car to read them. It was also advertised in local papers, close to the mail boxes, on the Soo Today box window, on Facebook and through phone calls. The MNDM complimented us on how well we advertised and how we had done far more than required. There were no funds to do all this so everything was funded by individual donations. The LSB was criticised for not making information available despite regular monthly meetings, notices of coming meetings and then minutes posted along the roads, a web page and emails to those who provided their emails to us. There were no funds from taxes available to the Board until end of April which means we paid out of our own pockets everything needed for the first 6 months. Very little of it was repaid from the taxes which gives the second Board a lot to work with. So, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to reach people there will always be people who argue that it wasn’t enough. Also the LSB is not involved with straightening the road. That is your Roads Board. Here is the bottom line: by dissolving the LSB you are telling the government that you will readily pay your Provincial Land Tax and never ask for anything in return. You will never bring extra money into the Township in return for your taxes that would be available to the Township through an LSB. You will not have much of a voice in government because you will not be part of all LSB’s who are fighting for fair taxation, representation and benefits for our tax dollar. You are insuring that the Township will not have equal access to 911 for a very long time despite the fact that the money has been raised over the past 4 years to start installing it tomorrow. You will not have the beginnings of some type of coordinated fire response that the Township can use as a base to build on as the Community grows. There are about 90 more lots that can be built on, more if bigger ones are subdivided. So, it will remain every man for himself in a time of crisis for years to come. If a structural fire starts we have to hope that it respects property lines and does not spread to another structure. and another, and another. There are people up here with no house insurance. How do you think they will recoup their losses if your fire is the one that burnt down their home? That makes everyone very vulnerable to law suits and people are, as we learned, quick to threaten to sue. We will also be the perfect tax payer with icing on top because the 4 1/2 acres that was so contentious an issue could end up going to the government because LSB assets can end up there. That lot, had it been developed could have been an asset to the community, could have brought in a lot of grant from Federal and Provincial grants, made the community a better place and more fun in which to live which in turn makes properties more desirable to buyers. That means higher selling prices. You need only look from year to year to see the number of places being built and see the number of young kids that show up at our picnics to see that we are growing. The LSB was asking for under $6.00/month to make this a safer place to live, to give us a voice, to lobby with other LSB’s, to bring in 911, something to try and stop a fire, to organise an emergency plan and have equipment available that would be funded and maintained through taxes. Such a miniscule amount to cause so much anger and dissention. Dissolve the LSB and we have no voice and have no way to get anything back for our taxes. Look at your PLT print out and you will see part of your taxes goes to fund LSB’s. Part of it goes to SSM for social services. So if you want to continue funneling your money to other communities, give acreage to the government, deny 911 services to the community and have no plan for a fire or other crisis, vote to dissolve. If you want something back for your taxes and see the need for a safer community that is growing, and want a voice to represent you in government, vote to keep the LSB and then vote for Board members willing to fight for you and Dennis Township. One last thing, the original Board was starting to work with the other LSB’s to change the Local Services Board Act. Dissolving the Board because of the proxy vote issue, was never mentioned as a problem until now, that I know of, and I went to all 3 poorly attended information meetings. So do we dissolve the LSB, lobby to say we want changes to the LSB Act to allow proxy votes, and then reinstate the LSB? If you want changes be part of the groups already lobbying for change not some lone voice in the wilderness begging to be noticed. I want something back for my taxes and I want somebody working for me and in my Community’s best interests. That’s what an LSB does.

      • This is my point, I am a seasonal owner, I am not in the clique, I own other properties and I can’t be as involved (obsessed?) as you are and attend every meeting and info session. But I am expected to understand a random letter with zero context about some in-fighting going on, and lawsuits and whatever. All other info is emailed, why was this snail mailed to me? Who payed for the stamps? The fact that you would even assume every property owner would have understood the reason for receiving that in the mail, is indicative of how insular it has all become.

        I will say however, I specifically asked at the very first meeting why I wasn’t advised of a very important vote, and was told a completely different story than what you are saying here! And I’m not going to go back on forth with you, I know what I was told, and in my presence the MNDM didn’t ‘compliment’ the out reachl, lol, they said what was legally required was done
        Obviously you live there all year round, I don’t, and I didn’t buy property there for community, and public picnics and public spaces. Some people have different priorities than others. That’s life.

  3. Attacking people is easy…..let’s stick to the issues….

    YES vote to dissolve the LSB
    = $9000 of your tax money goes to the Government of Ontario
    = Block B goes to the Government of Ontario – goodbye easements
    = no improvement in neighbourhood safety
    = form a resident’s committee to improve our safety at a greater cost than a LSBli
    = little chance of forming an LSB in the future when you see the light

    NO vote to dissolve the LSB
    = tax holiday for 2018…..your LSB tax will be $0 but you still get the advantages of a LSB
    = continued progress on improving the safety of your community
    = continued search for government grants to return tax dollars back to the community
    = continued efforts to meet concerns of the easement holders while retaining control of the property
    = continued Strong Voice on behalf of the community to change legislation from membership in the LSV Council

    MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION AND VOTE, PLEASE

  4. Proxy votes was not the impetus DTSAR formed. Nor should 22 voters (some are probably American who cannot vote regardless) ability to vote be the difference between whether or not a Township should be able to install 911, start with the basics to have SOMETHING to control a fire, put itself in a position to recoup some tax monies that are now going to support SSM and other LSB’s. This is the most important vote this Township will make for many, many years to come. Information from DTSAR was misleading. You would be in a much better position to change legislation when you work with ALL the other LSB’s who are fighting for the same thing and the previous Board had started to do. DTSAR has also put the land they made people think was taken from them at risk of going to the government. So, rather than pay 18 cents/day to support the community and make it safer you are now making sure we pay all our Provincial Land Taxes plus increases, and putting us in a position of having a very weak voice in government, AND giving the government 4 1/2 acres of waterfront property. Isn’t it interesting that DTSAR is the group who got easement holders so angry about their “loss” of property is now the catalyst to make sure they lose it? Other LSB’s have functioned under the Act for decades; you didn’t even want to give yours a chance. I wonder if Dave Poluck had been successful in being elected to the first Board if we would be talking about dissolving. I suspect not. You started to dissolve in January at our second LSB meeting. Your April meeting was to support dissolution by making residents think the LSB was going to raise taxes to finance a full service fire department. Unfortunately you knew that was not what we were planning but you kept quiet on what the real plans were. It was the turning point for many residents, many who still believe we were planning full service. All the time, effort and events that the Red Rock Community Volunteers spent to bring the community together and raise money to install 911 and fire has gone to waste. What is left is a very polarised community, substantially weakened in all areas where we were building from a position of strength. Democracy does work but only when the information put out into the public is based on truth. DTSAR has made people so angry they don’t want to hear the truth. The previous LSB held monthly meetings telling the truth, warts and all, but DTSAR took the warts, made them into mountains, and then did not focus on the remedies that the LSB had negotiated to benefit the community. I suspect that is why the DTSAR group, who is now the LSB, tried so hard to limit dissolution presentations to 5 minutes, questions to 10 minutes, to try and muzzle people from talking about the history that got us into this mess. Plus crammed all information meetings into such a very short time frame. People are war-weary. If they don’t show up to vote it is more likely that, than their concern that a hand full of voters couldn’t vote by proxy. The other LSB also let spouses of the person on deed to their properties vote which helped get DTSAR voted in. Although the Act says they should be on deed very few LSB’s don’t respect common law rights, knowing that if the spouses whose name on the deed dies, the surviving spouse has the right to sell the property so should have voting rights. To dissolve the LSB and then lobby to change the Act, to cancel 911 plans when money has already been raised to cover, to leave the Township with no fire protection or plans for crisis and a sure way to support them for decades, to accept increases in taxes thereby funneling our money to areas outside the Township, and to turn over acreage to the government, all the while polarizing the community might make sense to you but it escapes me. I, personally feel that contributing 18 cents a day, $5.50/month to this community is a wise investment. People will drop that much for a coffee and not think twice. Dissolve the LSB every one loses. I think you focused so much on dissolving you did not give much thought to the big picture and long term damage if you succeeded or the long term advantages if the LSB succeeded. The article is truthful.

    • At the request of ten(10) Inhabitants, which request must be put to a vote of the Inhabitants in accordance with the NSBA (NSBA, Sub-Section 32(1)),or
      3. By order of the Minister (NSBA, Section 30)

      I guess we’ll see tomorrow which direction the voters decide. Dissolve or maintain. It in the end is all really up to them.
      Except the Minister in the very end in the legislation will make the decision.

      Just wondering…any idea who has been posting signs that say vote NO to dissolve the LSB.
      Either they are confused or are possibly attempting to confuse the voters when clearly the answer of YES is for dissolution and NO is to maintain. This matter has been already sent to the ministry.

  5. So let’s though the baby out with the bath water. If there are problems in the legislation then let’s work together to solve them and build on the good things that an a LSB brings to a community . Please be opened minded and give it more then 9 months to see some positive results . Is your glass of water half full or half empty think about tomorrow not just today.

    • Two wrongs never make right. Are you suggesting that we continue on knowing full well that the legislation that governs board actions and in reality does-not serve the needs of the voting inhabitants due to the seasonal nature of the area? If it was that simple to change….why has it not been done?
      It in the end if you are fine with the way things are and you believe that good things as suggested come without standardized voting practice the please…Vote No.
      Nine months or fifteen years as we have heard…good legislation gets good results but bad compounds the success you seek.
      I’m not looking at half full nor half empty….I’m looking at the glass containing water. I’m voting Yes to dissolve….we can do better than this legislation.

  6. There are two sides to every story. This article is very one-sided from the previous lsb board members. There was a new board elected in September on the assumption of dissolution of the lsb of Dennis township. I am a rate payer in Dennis township and have been to the information sessions. The first session was nothing more than larry masters pointing a finger and making accusations. This was suppose to be their time to give reasons for keeping the lsb. In my opinion it was like watching a temper tantrum from a 2 yr old. The third information session he actually heeded to what the meeting was intended for. There are many other factors to this situation so please don’t rely on this one sided view posted on here.

    • Tammi, I understand your frustration. My reason for involvement from the beginning swirls around the legislation.
      Simply….It is outdated and deficient when it comes to voting.
      Are you aware that because the NSB Act does not allow for proxy, absentee nor advanced voting…that approximately 22 eligible voters will not be able to vote on the question of “Are you in favour of the dissolution of the Local Services Board of Dennis Township South Board Area? Yes or No..
      Why? Because they are not in the area and physically able to attend the vote….Nor when at the only time of the fiscal year when the budget is to be voted on by the inhabitants that they again are denied their right to vote because of an out dated and deficient legislation. Unfair, unfair.
      As we have worked through the process to dissolve as outlined in the legislation it has become quite clear to me that I cannot support an LSB that exists with unfair voting rule that in effect take the rights of ratepayers away to choose their direction. It defeats the whole purpose of democracy.
      Larry and I have been in correspondence with the ministry for proxy voting but we were informed again that it was not possible.
      If the legislation gets changed I would welcome a second look…but in the here and now I will vote YES to dissolve. I can not overlook the fact that in order to get a service, I would have to dismiss and ignore or step on the rights of others to do so.

  7. You and the Dissolution vote

    The following information relates directly to what under legislation will happen be it in the affirmative or negative following the Northern Services Board Act. As found in the LOCAL SERVICES BOARDS GUIDE FOR INHABITANTS AND BOARD MEMBERS DISSOLUTION OF AN LSB a Board may be dissolved in one of three (3) ways:

    1. At the request of the Board, which request must be put to a vote of the Inhabitants in accordance with the NSBA (NSBA, Sub-Section 32(1)),

    2. At the request of ten(10) Inhabitants, which request must be put to a vote of the Inhabitants in accordance with the NSBA (NSBA, Sub-Section 32(1)),or
    3. By order of the Minister (NSBA, Section 30)

    Dissolution Vote
    The Local Services Board of Dennis Township South has passed a by-law to hold a dissolution vote in support to a neutral survey conducted by the Dennis Township South Association of Ratepayers and also give support to the process as found in the NSBA whereas; At the request of ten(10) Inhabitants, which request must be put to a vote of the Inhabitants in accordance with the NSBA (NSBA, Sub-Section 32(1))

    On Monday October 23, 2017 eligible inhabitants of Dennis Township South will be asked to vote on the question of;
    “Are you in favour of the dissolution of the Local Service Board of Dennis Township South’s Board Area? (YES or NO”)
    Understanding the action of your vote:
    YES VOTE
    To vote in the affirmative (YES) on the ballot question of “Are you in favour of the dissolution of the Local Services Board of Dennis Township South Board Area?
    • No present service will be lost
    • Taxation will cease after disillusion process is finalized
    If the inhabitants vote to dissolve the Board Area the Minister of MNDM will complete the
    following steps.
    The Act states that the final decision is in the hands of the Minister of M.N.D.M.
    Prior to the Minister making a decision respecting the dissolution of a Local Service Board, MNDM will undertake a due diligence process that may include without limitation the following:
    1) Consultation with other Ministries on the dissolution of the LSB including any impacts that may exist as the result of loss of services to the Board area.
    2) A review of the complete list of assets and potential liabilities of the Board that may exist at the time of dissolution.
    3) A review of the process undertaken by the Inhabitants to ensure transparency and compliance with the requirements of the NSBA. Elements reviewed include without limitationthe information provided to affected inhabitants, postings of notices and process to conduct meetings
    Once the due diligence process is complete, a recommendation is then made by MNDM to the minister who will then make a final decision on the dissolution of an LSB and the board area. Should the Minister choose to proceed with the dissolution of an LSB, the minister makes an order:
    (a) dissolving the Board and Board area(NSBA, Sub-Section 32 (2)), and
    (b) making such provisions with respect to transfer of liabilities and assets of the Board as the minister considers appropriate (NSBA, Sub-Section 32 (3)).
    NO VOTE
    To vote in the negative (NO) on the ballot question of “Are you in favour of the dissolution of the Local Services Board of Dennis Township South Board Area?
    The Local Services Board will remain in effect.
    • Taxation continues
    • The existing board will continue with the duties and responsibilities as outlined in the Northern Services Board Act as the Local Services Board of Dennis Township South.
    • The administration of the Board will follow the requirements of the MNDM.
    • Decisions for actions regarding services as outlined in the NSBA within the Board area will be determined by good governance practices including public consultations and solicitation of direction of the inhabitants, to be followed by a general vote prior to budget review.
    Voting Criteria

    Supporting documentation will be required to prove eligibility to vote, included but are not limited to: proof of residency within the proposed area, proof of property ownership within the proposed Board area, proof of age and Canadian citizenship Affidavits of eligibility will be provided. Neither proxy nor absentee votes are allowed under the NSBA.

    LOCAL SERVICES BOARD OF DENNIS TOWNSHIP SOUTH 2017-2018
    Democracy doesn’t work…you have to work at it. Your voice does matter…Be part of the process.
    David Poluck Roy Wing Lorna Rudolph DebbraDzilums Martin Palahniuk
    253-2645 254-6357 946-3290 759-51 23 542-2982
    Email: [email protected]

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