Emo looking for new councillor

Emo council has decided to begin the search for a new councillor by sending letters to the runners-up from the last municipal election inviting them to seek Doug Hodge’s recently-vacated seat.
Council could have held a by-election but decided against it, citing the high expense as the reason.
It also could have sent letters to all the households in the ward, asking for volunteers to step forward, or decided to continue with just three councillors until the next election in 2003.
In other news, S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis met with Emo council to present the OPP’s business plan.
Sean Latimer of the Emo Figure Skating Club also met with council to discuss the increase in ice rental rates at the Emo/La Vallee Arena.
“Our concern is that we’re a very small club,” the former Emo councillor said of the $5/hr. hike. “We got the letter [about the increase] the day after we sent out our fee [letter].”
Compounding the club’s problems is the proposed non-smoking bylaw that could affect crowds at the Fort Frances Bingo Hall. The skating club holds a Bingo there every second week to help raise money.
“We’re in jeopardy of closing,” warned Latimer if the Bingo Hall closes. “[Club members] are absolute darlings and very good ambassadors for your community.”
With the increase in ice fees, the club’s operating budget will increase from $18,000 to $21,000.
Latimer and his father, Steve, also spoke of the benefits organized sports bring to the community.
“I can say uncategorically that kids involved with organized sports don’t become involved with the law,” said the elder Latimer, a former OPP officer.
“It creates a work ethic and they learn to work as a group.”
Latimer also said councils are “fiscally responsible” to invest in organized sports.
“I don’t think we question the importance of organized sports. Our task is how much can our municipality subsidize? We’re stretched to the limit. Where are we going to get it? I’d love to pay it all,” Emo Reeve Russ Fortier replied, adding the arena board has no capital reserve.
“There’s no way to generate revenue.”
Sean Latimer said he understood the budget for this year is done but remained optimistic for next year. “It’s a done deal but maybe next year?”
In other news from its Aug. 29 meeting, Emo council:
•approved expansion plans to Borderland Esso during a public meeting;
•approved the appointment of Gerd O’Sullivan to the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) committee
•agreed to send requests for letters of support from municipalities in the Kenora and Rainy River districts for the proposed bio-mass waste disposal and recovery pilot project;
•approved Sharon Demchuk’s letter of application to sit on the Emo Toy Library’s Advisory Committee; and
•approved Wade Demchuk’s letter of application to sit on the Emo Recreational Board.
The next regular council meeting is slated for Sept. 24 at 7 p.m.