It’s officially been one year since I was elected as councillor of Ward 7. The year has been busy and gratifying. I often get asked “How do you like being a councillor?” In case you are wondering, I love it! Being out in the community, helping you with your concerns, working for the betterment of the town-all these things are very satisfying. I was recently asked by the a reporter at the Herald which accomplishment I am most proud of it and what I hope to achieve. Here is my answer:
I have worked with the residents and council to reduce the speed limit in an area that sees heavy truck traffic and created new community safety zones around hamlets in south New Tecumseh. I had the support of council in reviewing our current fill by-law and updating it to meet current best practices. Council also supported my motion to have an audit of the environmental testing taking place at the Tottenham Airfield fill site. What’s most important is that I have been available to my residents. I worked to resolve issues, answered questions and represented their concerns on council, working for the betterment of the rural south New Tecumseth resident.
An important issue that council needs to address over the remainder of the term is the impact of growth, the pressure of that growth , what it will look like and how it will affect the residents, businesses and community groups. The rural nature of New Tecumseh is one that that attracts people to this area. We need to ensure that access to nature, healthy communities, clean water and our small town appeal are mirrored in the developments and our policies.
Council begun our review of the budget this week. The next month is filled with meetings to discuss the budget. You have an opportunity to comment at the Public Planning Input session on Thursday November 12th at 7:00 p.m. The council budget deliberation sessions are open to the public and those take place November 9th at 10:00 a.m., November 17th at 10:00 a.m. and other dates TBA.
Fill by-law review
As you may know, there are times when more than one level of government is involved with a project. One example of this is the Tottenham Airfield site and another is the gravel pit at the 10th Sideroad and the 5th Line. On my initiation, council directed staff to review our current fill by-law using the OSTF (Ontario Soil Task Force) best practices with an eye to dealing with situations that are multi-jurisdictional in nature. We want the ability to control those aspects of a project which fall within our jurisdiction while minimizing the negative impacts from those areas which fall under other governments control.
The review of TAC documents and process is ongoing. We hired Environmental Engineers to audit the site and their documents looking for discrepancies and deficiencies. They will be providing a report to the Town which will be brought forward at the November 23rd Committee of the Whole meeting 7 p.m.. Our approach has been responsible and reasonable given the situation. We imagine TAC will oppose the Town should the decision be to proceed with borehole sampling and testing. Should our consultant find that their sampling and testing protocol has been less than sufficient, the approach taken by council can be used to counter TAC’s opposition.
The Town is in the preliminary stages of negotiating the site plan amendment for the second runway. There are many things we have learned from our past which we will use to draft this new agreement.
Remember to please contact me should you have any questions or concerns.