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Port Stanley News RSS Feed  Editorials Chapter 2 - Have you ever wondered why taxes keep going up?

by Doug Harvey

Chapter 2 - A Good Past Example

Several people politely informed me that they thought that I was full of hot air, had an extremely negative opinion and had absolutely no proof of any weeds growing out of control in Central Elgin. Well, that could be true, but to me it's mostly a matter of opinion due my budget and staff limitations.

As my choice of a past example will be using local historical event information, please be advised and try not to be offended as my version of what was a pivotal point in time is examined.

I remember life in Port Stanley before the idea of a Blue Flag Beach. It seemed busier back then. That's when Port hosted those weekend festivals that filled our village to the brim. Wow was the word for those crowds, but that didn't last forever, the story back then was that it was cancelled due to event organizers not finding enough people to help manage and support the event. Now this is just my personal opinion using my past experience as a gauge, but that time to me was when Port Stanley was it's busiest from then (2001) to present day.

I used that idea of a Blue Flag Beach as a pivotal point because after Port stopped having those weekend festivals, the village never seemed to fill up with people quite as much causing business's I would imagine, of having a harder time in this seasonal tourist town making ends meet. It is my own personal opinion that the idea of a Blue Flag Beach was introduced during this lull to rebrand the Port Stanley Beach to help reverse declining numbers of visitors to the village.

It sounded like a great idea at the time, but little did we know how that idea would transform into a never ending expense over time. To qualify for that designation we had to have certain number of lifeguards on duty during specific hours for the entire summer season, and supply clean water testing results that exceed minimum Blue Flag Beach standards. To tell you the truth, I never really thought about all the details, requirements, and things that would come to pass in having a Blue Flag Beach, but I do learn quick from experience. All these necessities come at a yearly recurring cost that never seems to go away and even includes a yearly designation application fee. Then there was leveling and sand cleaning expenses that happen before the next season begins and everyday in the morning just before the beach opens. That's when the sand gets cleaned of any previous days garbage, fluffed and smoothed out and even guarantees removal of any unwanted cigarette butts and drug utensils. Every year the expense of having a Blue Flag Beach gets larger and the list of updates and improvements gets bigger.

If I look at this Budget item as an example of a flourishing weed infestation, I can only try to imagine how this could have gone differently had we not followed that path to a Blue Flag Beach. I also look at the changing crowd that seems to come and enjoy all those efforts that go into this designation, and I wonder if we have done enough to satisfy their evolving needs. Sometimes when I'm down at the beach I can't help but feel sympathetic to those beachgoers that have to carry everything except the kitchen sink to our lovely beach, and have to look for a space big enough for their troubles. I think that Central Elgin should provide some sort of beach rental system similar to what campgrounds offer to guarantee a spot and a shuttle service to get those weekend tourists from the parking lot to their prepaid beach-site.

Coming Soon Chapter 3 - Another Good Example

Coming Soon Chapter 4 - A Good Future Example

Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2019 11:34:41 AM EST

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