The regular scheduled meetings of the Tiny Township Council are at 7:00 pm on the second and last Wednesdays of each month. On the third Wednesday, council meets as Planning Board at 7:00 pm. It is interesting and informative to attend and observe. Federation directors Pat O’Driscoll and Frank Hughes attempt to cover each meeting to keep cottagers informed of Council actions.

SPENDING PRIORITIES. . . FIRE PROTECTION OR TOILETS? Most members of Tiny Council have been cool to spending on fire protection while acting like they are “hot to trot” on providing toilets for day users along the shore.

Councillor Doug Taylor spearheaded a request for the Ontario Fire Marshall to study the fire fighting capabilities of the Township this year. The findings were very unimpressive. The Fire Department, run for many years by Guy Maurice, the former Clerk, as Fire Chief, was in terrible shape!

Some of the fire trucks are in poor mechanical shape, with worn pistons and bearings. With one truck, you have to avoid stepping on the runningboard or it might fall off! The fire halls are not much better: 3 pumper trucks will only fit through the low doors when they are full of water! The township boasts about having the Huronia Airport, but pray there is never an emergency there, because our Fire Department has no foam equipment and no training in its use! Our 75 fire fighters are dedicated volunteers, but so is the chief!

Councillor Taylor sponsored the motion earlier this year to have the Ontario Fire Marshall study the situation and make recommendations. Believe it or not, one Councillor (Fern Maurice) actually opposed having this study done, even though it was done at no cost to the township! Others grumbled about the possibility of having to “spend money” on better fire fighting capabilities.

The recommendations will cost money, however. They are likely to include new equipment and, in particular, a full time qualified Fire Chief, because Tiny is the largest and most populous municipality in Simcoe County, with a lot of assessment to protect, including your cottage and mine!

Doug Taylor will be supporting the recommendations strongly. He has also spearheaded the immediate allocation of $100,000 for a new fire truck, despite the apparent inclination of other councillors to spend our tax money on toilets for beach day users.

Fire protection has been taken for granted by cottagers for far too long. Taxpayers have been too complacent in not demanding better performance from Tiny Council on fire protection. It should be the highest priority for spending of our tax dollars, shouldn’t it?

Let Tiny Council know how you feel. Write to Reeve Ross Hastings, Deputy Peter Stubbins, Councillors Gail Barrie, Fern Maurice or Doug Taylor c/o Tiny Municipal Office, Perkinsfield, Ont. L0L 2J0, or fax them at 705-526-2372. Or let Doug Taylor know directly if you support his initiatives on fire protection: call 705-549-8388 (fax, 549-6939).

PERMIT PARKING . . . DID IT WORK? This summer, a system of permit parking was introduced at about 8 locations along the Tiny beaches. The intention is to provide priority for residents of the township in getting access to some parking spaces before they are all taken up by day-users from elsewhere.

Some beach associations have advocated this system for 20 or more years, as implemented at many popular beach locations in the USA. Previous Tiny councils kept saying it couldn’t be done. Councillor Doug Taylor, one who advocated it during the last municipal election and who supported introducing it this year, is now undertaking an analysis of the results.

There had been some negative comment in the Midland papers from town residents who now have a slightly longer walk to the beaches from where they can park for free, and who resent walking past empty permit spaces they can’t use. They complain that Tiny uses town arenas, etc. (for which Tiny pays), so why should they have to walk a little more to get to the beaches in Tiny (for which they don’t pay). Not logical, but that’s their beef.

Council created permit spaces at: Con. 2: 20 spaces Con. 4: 14 spaces Con. 8: 30 on the right of way (None in Stott’s Park) Con. 10: only a few Con. 11: 12 spaces Con. 12: 25 spaces Con. 13: 15 spaces Con. 16: 30 spaces

The total number of parking spaces reserved for Tiny residents is about 150, a small fraction of the total available. Many of the spaces seem to have been little used, so maybe it will be another year before Tiny residents get used to the system.

Councillor Taylor will be getting together all of the statistics on how many permits were issued, how much the spaces were used, tickets issued, and other problems. The analysis should show whether the system is working well overall, and whether the numbers of spaces at various locations or the rules for using them need to be adjusted for next year.

If you have suggestions about how permit parking worked in your area, pass them on to Doug Taylor, 705-549-8388 (fax, 549-6939).