During our meeting on October 13th, County Council had a detailed and productive discussion about our options to recover legal costs from AWARE Simcoe related to the Tecumseth Estates Inc. (private property) tree clearing matter. We decided to continue with the process and will review our options once a final decision on costs is made by Justice Eberhard.
It is extremely important to note that should the court determine that costs or partial costs be awarded, this would be a recovery of $23,000 of taxpayers' money that was spent by the County of Simcoe as a result of this court injunction hearing which was initiated and launched by AWARE Simcoe. This is not a revenue stream; instead the recovered tax dollars would ultimately be utilized in provision of the important County municipal services undertaken on behalf of all our residents, as they would have been had we not had to defend ourselves in this legal action taken against us.
Public input is extremely important to County Council. In fact, our Council worked diligently on this file, we listened to our residents' feedback, we read e-mails that were submitted, and we reviewed citizen presentations during a full-day public hearing. Our efforts resulted in a fair and democratic decision being made, which the judicial system ultimately supported.
As elected officials, we represent all our residents and must make important decisions in the best interest of all our constituents, not just a select few.
These fundamental principles guide our decision making and strategic management of tax dollars. We look forward to the court's decision on this matter.
Simcoe County Warden