Hi! How are you? I hope you continue to have a fantastic summer. The nights are cold, but the daytime highs are still reaching into the 20s. Hopefully you have a chance to enjoy the warm temperatures still.
Middlesex Centre Council is now back to its normal 2 meeting per month schedule, and we have our first meeting of September tomorrow. Here is what you can look forward to.
No closed session! 🙌
The meeting minutes for July 17, 2019 and August 14, 2019 are now available. Some residents have already noticed a change in how the public meeting comments are recorded. I understand there is far less detail now when it comes to what the public has said at these meetings; detailed notes are still being maintained by the respective staff (e.g. Planner, Development Review Coordinator), but not the Clerk. While I am assured that this revised method does meet the requirements set out in the Municipal Act, I’m not a fan of the change either.
Delegations, Presentations & Petitions
The Governor General Sovereign Medal for Volunteers will be presented to Launie Fletcher by Mayor DeViet and Fire Chief Colin Toth. Launie is a long-time firefighter who has served his community very well for decades! Congratulations Launie.
In what I believe is a first for my time on Council, the Donkers-Hurlbut Municipal Drain Extension is now deficient because one of the property owners has withdrawn their name from the petition. The engineer will present their report and then we will vote on whether to close the file later on in the evening.
And finally, Peter Simcisko of Watson & Associates will present us with their update on Middlesex Centre’s Asset Management strategy; current state, future state, replacement costs, etc.
- The proposed Parks and Recreation Area by-law is mostly in great shape. There are a few things that concern me, mostly broad statements like people not being able to “use a sports field for any game or practice” unless authorized by the Director or a permit. I’m waiting for staff to call me back to talk those through.
- I like being able to have the Clerk approve Municipally Significant Events without Council getting involved, but I’m not certain a $5 million insurance policy is needed. That would added $125 – $300 in costs for hosting the event, though thankfully it is the default amount provided by firms like Duuo.
I don’t have any comments on the other Consent Agenda items at this time.
After Councillor Scott’s motion last month, which I seconded and voted in favour of, directing staff to look into crosswalk options on Longwoods Rd near Springer Rd/Victoria St, staff are recommending that we ask Middlesex County to install a pedestrian crosswalk. Hopefully we can get this approved and County Council will agree. If so, it sets a good precedent for another high traffic area, that being Komoka Rd for all the children and seniors attempting to cross it.
A few items to highlight here:
- Under a process started by the previous Ontario government, lead by the Ontario Liberal Party, the Progressive Conservative administration is continuing the march toward a Blue Box program that is paid for by producers. This is good news.
- The City of Kitchener is asking the federal government to get involved in the “flushable wipes” debate. I will remind everyone that there is no definition for “flushable” and the vast majority of items branded in this way, if not all of them, are not, in fact, flushable. Please throw them in the trash.
- The Conservation Authorities are all concerned about potential changes to mandates, reduction of funds from the province for flood mitigation, and other issues.
- Our consultant for development charges and asset management, Watson & Associates, has provided lengthy feedback to the Province on proposed changes to development charges and the incoming community benefits charges. There is still a lot of uncertainty to work out by January, and I’m not confident we will get there. I hope the province will agree and push back implementation dates.
- Wasaga Beach also issued a very strongly worded, one might even consider it rude, letter to the province asking it to back off on further municipal amalgamation without evidence that the desired outcomes (reduced costs, better service) were actually achieved in the late 90s when, for example, Lobo Township, Delaware Township, and London Township were amalgamated into Middlesex Centre.
Otherwise, to keep you updated on other things I have been up to, I recently reached out to the leadership at Parkview Public School, MPP Monte McNaughton, and Middlesex OPP’s Detachment Commander to set up meetings about a variety of topics. As I have more to share with you on those fronts, I promise to do so.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments or concerns to share, please let me know.