Letters to the Editor
I am writing to share my objection to council’s decision to remove communication from the Springwater News and provide a direct mailer instead. The Springwater news is well received and very well read by all Springwater Township residents. It would make absolutely no sense to withdraw news from this newspaper simply to replace it with a mailer. You would be duplicating the exact same coverage area so why go to the extra expense? Not to mention mailers are almost always thrown away without a second glance. The Springwater news sits on many counters and coffee tables until everyone in the household has read it cover to cover.
Also, by supporting this local newspaper you are showing Springwater residents that you support us. Our businesses, our interests, our thoughts on what is happening in our Township. The very residents you are meant to represent.
This decision, if it succeeds, would most certainly be reflected at the next election.
Regards, Roslyn Watkins
Publisher, Farm View Newspaper
I have lived in environs of Elmvale for almost 40 years and continue to look forward to receiving the Springwater News in our mail box
Local papers have almost disappeared, Elmvale Lance, North Simcoe News, Barrie Examiner, due to modern technology reducing ad revenues. Inclusiveness issues today seem to Exclude seniors who grew up with hard copy newspapers as the prominent source of information about the world we live in globally but more immediately what’s happening where we live. I recall hearing all the business and market news as a ten year old boy.Former Barrie Examiner V.I.P. Fred Grant,visited our home daily armed with his paper and the Globe and Mail to tirelessly read to his blind friend who lived with us (as his tenants) to keep the man updated. I sat on the stairs and just listened. What an example of friendship! Mike Jacob’s efforts before and now Linda Belcourt are last vestiges of newspapers that don’t disappear by pushing a button.
Council should realize that local news in hard copy is important and handy. Try to cut out and post your grandson’s home run or goal on your fridge without this paper. Taking control of what gets printed or told when and how often under the guise of budget savings for the township is a dangerous form of censorship especially if the decision isn’t fact based. Councillors need only look at page two of every issue to see exactly where and how many papers are distributed not make incorrect statements about readership. The Springwater news is read and enjoyed by every community in a 20 mile radius of Elmvale. The little birds in my latest gifted bird box told me so. The recent contested issues argued at council and factually disputed in letters to the editor criticizing Councillors’ comments lead one to believe council’s cancelling support for and use of the paper to keep taxpayers informed is suspect at best. Please reconsider this decision.
Respectfully submitted from Hillsdale rural route reader
I am writing with respect to the apparent decision of Council to stop using the Springwater News for distribution of Springwater Link. From the facts provided in the article in the Springwater News there appears to be no logical basis for making such a decision and I would ask Council to reconsider.
The current costs for using the Springwater News are $1841.67 per month. The proposal to use a direct mail option is in the order of $7000 per month for a budget increase in the order of $5000 per month or $60,000 per year. The distribution lists used by the Springwater News and a direct mailer are the same, and the mode of delivery the same. Why therefore would Council consider it necessary to spend an extra $60,000 /year to replicate an existing system that is efficient, effective, and requires minimum supervision by Township staff? From a simple financial consideration, there is no justification for such a change.
Councillor Fisher suggests that his constituents do not read the Springwater News. Why does he think they will read a separate direct mailing that appears as yet more flotsam and jetsam in our mailbox? Surely an attractively presented newspaper is more likely to get a constituent’s attention and therefore deliver the information in the Link, than a folded single page mailer that is indistinguishable from many others.
Councillor Fisher also suggests it is not Council’s role to lobby for local business. I thought Council’s role was to support the Township’s constituents and represent their interests. A local business owner should expect support from Council where appropriate and where such support is not detrimental to the community at large. Support for a local enterprise such as the Springwater News benefits the community at large, supports local SME’s to provide employment and, by all accounts, provides the Township and therefore the taxpayers with significant savings over alternative providers. It is a win -win -win, so where is the problem and why has this been raised and voted upon without proper consultation? The alternative adopted by Council deprives a local enterprise of income, moves that financial benefit to an organization outside the Township and duplicates a process already in place. It makes no sense however you look at it.
If the council is attempting to improve communication, something that would be desirable, this is not, in my opinion, the way to do it. A much better approach would be to revert to the norm in Mayor French’s tenure where each Councillor (with one notable exception), the Mayor and Deputy Mayor provided an informative column on matters arising in their ward. This was published in the Springwater News and I, and I am sure others, felt much better informed and had an appropriate context to consider the decisions of Council. If Councillors feel they are unable to perform what seems to be the essence of their role, keeping their constituents informed, the funds used for direct mailing could instead be used to fund an intern from a journalism course at a local college to assist the Councillors. A much better use of taxpayers money.
In a similar vein, more effort could be put into making the Link digestible by adding explanation and context to the rather turgid but necessary notices that are currently provided. Finally, the funds proposed for direct mailing could be applied to improving the accessibility of information through the township’s website. I have attempted to find and retrieve information on several occasions and have found it difficult. Eventually the information is found but usually by a circuitous route which is difficult if you do not have the exact reference under which the item is indexed. Spending money in this regard would be a lasting benefit to all.
I trust you will consider the above comments in the constructive manner in which they are offered and continue with the delivery of the Link by way of the Springwater News.
Yours sincerely, John Orange
Just some of the online comments:
Leanne Hochevar – May 15, 2023
Springwater News is a local treasure and an inexpensive and environmentally friendly option to share news with our residents. Also there is a digital version for those who prefer non-newspaper option. In addition to those reasons a direct mailer costs a lot to money and from what I understand they plan on having it in an envelope which also costs money and will be tossed into the trash. Keep the Springwater Link local.
Linda Smith – May 15, 2023
I think this is a personal vendetta against Springwater News by at least one of Springwater Council members and this is deplorable.
Dan McGinnis – May 15, 2023
This has always been a needed source of communication.
Gillian Reynolds – May 15, 2023
Springwater News is the to-go-to place to get local news.
Very disappointing, I hope voters remember this for the next election, and do their homework before voting.
Comments on the petition:
Michelle Minnema – May 19, 2023
We need Springwater news and stop wasting money
Shelley Brooks – May 17, 2023
Why change what already works, and works well.
Lynn Graham – May 17, 2023
Too much clutter and save the environment- go digital.
Jenny Adamson – May 17, 2023
I work for canada post and I delivery on my route I know everyone enjoys there paper every 2 weeks
Pat Fergusson – May 17, 2023
Elmvale and Springwater is where I grew up, and raised my own family. The Springwater News is a local treasure that should be supported by every resident, as well as by every level of local government!
Jelena Rajkovic-Bennett – May 17, 2023
I enjoy reading the spring water news on paper!
Amy Smith- May 17, 2023
It costs $1800 a month for them to run in the local paper. That’s a paper every 2 weeks. The monthly mailer will cost approximately $3400 a month. Let’s make smart decisions!
Nicole Hubbard – May 16, 2023
It’s a part of the community I grew up in and people cherish it.
Dennis Gannon – May 16, 2023
Springwater News is the primary publication for our municipality. I have firsthand knowledge of the efforts that go into this publication and receive many comments from people who diligently read the paper. Newspaper reporting is tough as the facts need to be fully scrutinized before publication. That occurs with this publication. Direct mail is marketing that receives little attention as was noted in the recent municipal election. Keep the notices and information local and encourage more to read the Springwater News.
Anita Chiasson- May 15, 2023
Support our local paper!! What is the reason for this ? I can’t figure it out. ?
Lynn Mills – May 15, 2023
It just makes sense to support our local newspaper. They have taken enough out of village already.
Wanda Allen – May 15, 2023
It is refreshing to note that the Editor, Linda Belcourt is very diligent in her “Fact Checking” before she will allow anything in the Springwater newspaper. Well done Ms. Belcourt. That is not the norm these days. Springwater residents need to hear truthful information. There has been far too much misinformation floating around.
Erin Patterson – May 15, 2023
This is a significant amount in money. I believe statistically more mailers are thrown directly into the garbage verses the newspaper. Our tax dollars could be spent in a more beneficial way.