Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday January 27, 2008

The work of the Town never ceases. So I apologize if this e-mail is a bit longer than most.

I am often asked by residents if they can speak at Town meetings. Frankly there is no simple answer. So in future I will annotate my e-mails to tell you what you can expect at a meeting. First of all, Town meetings are open to you unless they are closed by a motion of Council. This does not happen often so please feel free to attend. Now:
1) Town Council meetings do not allow you to speak. You may contact the Clerk in advance and ask to make a deputation. You will then be scheduled into the meeting. (“Deputation Only”)
2) Most other Town meetings typically do not allow you to speak. Your speaking is at the discretion of the Chair. You may, however, write your views to the Chair of the meeting. (“Written Comment”)
3) A few meetings invite you to speak. These are Public Meetings, as advertised in the paper, and the Planning Advisory Committee meeting (at present). (“You May Speak”)
Hope this change helps you better participate in our Town meetings.

The big meeting of the week is the Town Council meeting this Monday January 28th at 7:00 pm. (Deputation Only).

Among the more interesting items:
The Snowmobile Committee will deliver its “final” recommendations to Council. It will be up to Council to decide where this goes next.

The group proposing the Wakeboard event at Little Lake Park will be back, hopefully with some good news.

A deputation will be made regarding the walking trail placement through the Captain’s Cove development. Some residents have expressed a concern about having the trail in their back-yard.

Council will consider passing a by-law to request $2.4 million from the Provincial infrastructure program for our library expansion.

And last but not least, Council will debate what salaries the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors should all be receiving in the days ahead.

The Town budget process is about to get interesting. The next meeting is February 5th at 6 pm at the Town (Written Comment). With most of the review completed, the meeting should get down to setting a near final budget and hence your tax rate for 2008.

Finally a few closing items:

There is talk of a Bass Tournament coming to Town in early September. The Chamber of Commerce seems to be taking the lead on this one.

Midland Winterfest is scheduled for next weekend. Please get out there and enjoy this great place we call home.

Our first Family Day is Monday Feb 18th. Most stores will be closed in Midland. Please check with your merchant.

Gord McKay

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday January 20, 2008

It is not often I have to snow-blow my driveway three times in one day. Winter is back with a vengeance!

A relatively quiet week at the Town. This Thursday sees the next Snowmobile Committee meeting – 7:00 pm at the Town. After more than a year of meeting, I understand Chairman Jeffery hopes to wrap it up and move recommendations onto Council.

Speaking of Council, it will next meet on Monday January 28th at 7:00 pm. Two items should garner some debate. Council will vote on whether to permit the wakeboard event on Little Lake this summer. Council will also debate what type of salary increase is appropriate for the Mayor and Councillors. If you have any thoughts on this, please let me know.

This week sees a very interesting meeting being sponsored by the Huronia Communities Foundation. They will be holding an “all charities planning session”. Over 20 local charities will attend to plan how long term funding may be made available to them.

And in February the long discussed Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) exercise should get started. The project, sponsored by the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation will survey a large number of local businesses to gain insight on the local economy. A good starting point.

Lastly a plug for The Out of the Cold program. You are invited to our Open House at Knox Church on Saturday January 26th from 1-3 pm.

Gord McKay

Oh! Canada

I read with dismay the sad state of our nuclear research industry, once a flagship of this young proud country. And then the other haunting images of our past come flooding out – Canada the peacekeeping nation once respected around the globe – Canada the country of natural abundance and environmental good sense - Canada the country of fairness and justice and not the national shame of Maher Arar and Karl Heinz Schreiber.

Why have we lost our direction? Why do we now get nervous about wearing our flag on our backpack? Selling our oil has been great for the national economy but beyond that the good news gets pretty thin. The answer is not in our stars but in our leaders. Do we expect too much – assuredly. But our partisan system of parochial politics seems to doom us to forever being the best country that almost was.

The good news is that we are a people of hope. Looking to our own collective resources we can set new directions and make the needed difference. And if our leaders care to stop and listen maybe they can find their own way as well.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday January 10 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen

Windy! I was looking out at Midland Bay yesterday and saw one of our ice-huts headed towards Port McNicoll. Hope all are safe.

An interesting Planning Advisory Committee meeting last night. Mr. MacKell presented a summary of the many developments in Town. For 2008 we will see construction start at Bayport Village (off of Sunnyside), Captain’s Cove (on Aberdeen) along with the Wal-Mart expansion and the new Brick store. Mr. MacKell told us of the potential for more than 2,000 new dwelling units over the next 5 years. It has been a long time since Midland has seen such growth. If you would like more details please give me a call or Mr. MacKell at the Town.

Council will meet again on January 28th at 7pm (note the time change). Council will vote on the contentious Wakeboard event that was deferred from the December meeting. It looks like environmental concerns will determine the outcome.

Upcoming meetings:
- The Pesticide meeting for January 10th is cancelled. The Town is looking at February 21st as a possible reschedule date.
- The Snowmobile Committee next meets January 24th at 7pm at the Town. The Chair is hoping to prepare recommendations to Council at this meeting.

2008 may see the creation of two new Town Committees. The Mayor would like to set up a Task Force on housing. We are also looking at setting up a Trails Committee to address the development and management of all the Town’s trails.

And in closing:
- The Out of the Cold program is hosting an Open House at Knox Church on Saturday January 26th from 1-3 pm. Please come out and see our new homeless shelter.
- Garfield Dunlop MPP is hosting a levee at the Midland Legion this Sunday the 13th at 1 pm.

Gord McKay