Town of Midland
Last evening in a vote of 9-0 Penetanguishene chose to continue their contract with the OPP, and turned aside an opportunity to join with Midland in the creation of a new joint police service.
This outcome is a disappointment for the Town of Midland. When Midland responded to Penetanguishene’s Request for Bid some nine months ago, we made it clear that we wanted to talk with them about a new form of policing - a joint service to be shared equally by the two municipalities of Penetanguishene and Midland. We were told that before such discussions could happen that we had to bid on a pre-defined service requirement – to bid as if Midland was providing an arms-length service to Penetanguishene. We reluctantly agreed. When the numbers were in the OPP had bid $xx and Midland $1.6 million. In addition we advised that if we could just sit down and talk about a joint service that there were further savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be shared between the two communities. That discussion will now not happen.
Some two years ago the Towns of Penentguishene and Midland joined forces to petition the Province to become a “joint urban growth node”. The citizens of both communities have since worked together to define what that means - to find opportunities for cooperation, to reduce municipal costs while improving the service efficiencies for both communities. It is sad to realize that a major opportunity to make this optimism a reality has been lost.
We remain neighbours – good neighbours. But we go forward with the realization that the path will be longer and costlier than we had hoped.