Of late County councillors and Canada Day: Phil-ling In returns

In homage and remembrance of the last Prince Edward County raised editor of the Picton Gazette the late Phil Dodds, this corner will endeavour on an irregular basis to recreate a ‘Phil-ing In’ editorial where views on multiple topics are offered.

A SAD PASSING

This corner was crestfallen to hear of the passing of a good Prince Edward County farmer and councillor in Kingston earlier last week.

There was no mistaking Brian Marisett’s politics. A three term councillor who was elected by rate payers in Athol twice under Mayor Leo Finnegan and once under Mayor Peter Mertens as a councillor for the Town of Picton, Marisett came to the horseshoe to represent everyone one but he especially had a soft spot for those who might not be acknowledged by the processes of municipal government.

Marisett’s herculean efforts to bring a skatepark to the Prince Edward County Fairgrounds was one very public part of a solid legacy of advocating for young people and seniors and those that might not understand or recognize their worth in the municipal apparatus.

To a man, anyone that served on council during Marisett’s tenure from 2003 to 2014 could recognize the dutiful nature the councilor would approach each issue, often holding the hearts of the people he represented and conversed with when it came time for deliberations.

When Marisett sought and was elected for one of the two seats in Picton, the electors in Athol chose to send Jamie Forrester to Shire Hall and the current councillor told the Gazette Marisett was a passionate advocate of the agricultural community, green energy and practices, and a driving force behind the skateboard park.

“He was also very concerned about rising costs in the County and the impact that had on the community. When making a decision he conscientiously reviewed all the facts and listened to varying positions. Brian was a good friend and I was proud to serve with him on council,” Forrester said.

This corner couldn’t state it any better. Marisett was a friend to many, many people who cared about our Prince Edward County community and were involved in municipal government for the right reasons.

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT

The news that the Picton Recreation Committee is stepping back from organizing a fireworks display as part of the local Canada Day celebrations will no doubt start making the rounds this weekend and, predictably, the social media hyperbole will follow.

As if the PRC’s sole and singular purpose was to fund and organize a light and explosion show on our former Dominion Day.

The reasons behind the PRC volunteer group arriving at this decision are laid out in Debbie Rankin’s Letter to the Editor on Page 9 and they include cost over duration and environmental concerns and both of these concerns are warranted.

Outside of fireworks, there aren’t too many places in the Quinte area to watch $6,500 go poof in the matter of ten minutes and the story of a Toronto man who lost his dear canine companion and spent weeks living in his car in a fruitless effort to find Noah was perhaps one of the most discussed Picton Gazette stories of 2019.

It should be stated Craig Pittman didn’t lose his dog as a result of the Picton edition of the 2019 Canada Day Fireworks but ones ignited by a home owner in South Marysburgh however, the impact of fireworks on both domestic and wild animals is well documented.

But for those that would pillory the PRC on social media, we ask 1) did you contribute via donation to Picton fireworks efforts in the past? and 2) if a service club or organizing committee was looking for volunteer hours or organizational help to take over the Picton fireworks display, would you be willing to donate?

If the answer is no, you need not comment further. If the answer is yes, congratulations you are one step closer to spending weeks of your free time as well as all of your Canada Day holiday taking on a massive community project on an annual basis.

-Jason Parks