Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday November 29, 2008

The stores are busy with Christmas and your hard working Council is getting its year end projects tidied up.

First the budget. As reported, the County approved its budget with an increase of 3.4%. Your Town appears to be zeroing in on 2.9%. The final budget meeting (You May Not Speak) will occur on Wednesday December 10th at 5:45 pm at the Town.

Second planning. County Council adopted its new Official Plan. Midland continues to have significant concerns about the County’s expectations for our growth and “urban” boundaries. We now are waiting to hear if the Province will accept the plan. The Town will start its own planning process with a series “visioning” workshops. These will occur:
1) Session One: Saturday January 24th 9 am – 1 pm
2) Session Two: Tuesday February 3rd 7 pm – 9pm
3) Session Three: Tuesday February 10th 7 pm – 9pm

On Tuesday December 2nd the SSEA will present its draft Sustainability Plan for the area. The meeting will take place at 7:00 pm at the NSSRC and present the results of a consultative process covering our economy, environment and society.

A Public Hearing will be held on Wednesday December the 3rd at 7:00 pm (You May Speak). The hearing will accept input on the rezoning of the residential property at 519 Yonge St. to accommodate a tri-plex.

Later that evening at 7:10 pm will see the PAC meeting (You may speak). Two items of interest:
- Discussion on sale of Town parkland to the GB Native Friendship Centre
- Review of the wording of our proposed Home Occupation By-Law, currently under appeal to the OMB.

And lastly, SHARE will be holding a film night at the Centennial Museum in Penetanguishene at 7:00 pm. They will be screening a comedy “Everything’s Cool”, a spoof on global warming.

Gord McKay

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday November 23, 2008

It’s going to be a busy week for we hard-working Councillors. (What!….Am I not hearing any sympathy???)

Monday the 24th starts off at 5:30 pm at the Town when we discuss your upcoming water and sewer rates. (Participate at Discretion of Chair).

Then at 7:00 pm we move into what will be a lengthy Council Meeting (Deputation Only). The meeting will start with possibly 6 deputations. Residents are bringing forward such issues as:
- The Physician Recruitment program
- Concern about our taxes
We will also discuss:
- The County’s change of heart in reinstating the heavy waste pick-up. Midland is set to adopt the voucher system and has taken no further action to reduce the amount to waste headed to landfill.
- The $1.2 million grant from the province to help our capital projects. It is good to see but unlikely to be repeated over the next few years.
- The proposed increase in the parking permit rates.
- The Town’s comments on the County’s Official Plan, describing our growth, employment and infrastructure targets.
What is not on the agenda is any follow-up to the heated discussion on whether we should be able to vote for our local hospital Board.

On Tuesday November 25th at 9:00 am the County will vote on its Official Plan. The meeting will take place at the County of Simcoe Council Chambers, 1110 Highway 26, Midhurst.

On Wednesday November 26th at 5:45 pm we will discuss the second draft of the Town budget. (You May Not Speak). Coming out of this meeting should be a fairly clear indication of where tax rates are headed.

Enough said.

Gord McKay

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday November 8, 2008

What a glorious week. I hope you had a chance to savour the summer weather. Now getting back to work…….

This Monday at 7:00 pm the General Committee will meet at the Town (Written Comment). The relatively short agenda includes:
- A proposal by the Severn Sound Environmental Association to restructure themselves as a Joint Municipal Services Board. The proposal contains significant changes to staffing levels and costs.
- A recommendation to increase parking permit rates
- A recommendation that Midland use a voucher system for heavy garbage items. Each household would receive two $25 vouchers a year.
Not on the agenda is the staff report requested at the last Council meeting respecting hospital governance.

Tuesday is Remembrance Day. Please take the opportunity to come out and honor our veterans.

Councillors will meet on Wednesday the 12th at 5:45 pm to further discuss the budget (You May Not Speak). In addition to hearing budget proposals from a number of agencies we may get into a discussion about where our tax rate should be headed.

And lastly, on Tuesday November the 18th at 7:00 pm the Zero Waste Simcoe group will hold a public meeting at the NSSRC. The meeting will tell you about local initiatives for waste reduction and the provincial government’s call for ideas to change our waste systems. The outcome of this debate will have a real impact on the taxes you pay and what you put at the curb.

Gord McKay

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday November 1, 2008

It has been a while since my last communication. No excuses but it has been a busy Fall.

Your Council has had two meetings regarding your 2009 taxes. At first draft the rate increase is sitting at about 6%. Your Council is aware of the economic circumstances facing the taxpayer – the Mayor spoke to this matter at our last budget meeting. Our next budget meeting will be held on Wednesday November 12th at 5:45 pm (You May Not Speak). At that time Council is likely to start closing in on what the final tax rate should be. If you want to participate this is a good time to be in touch with your Councillor.

And on other taxing matters:

- MPAC has calculated that Midland residential properties have increased in value by 20.15% since the last valuation in 2005. This increase is being phased in over 4 years. So this year the average residential assessment increase is 4.95%. What about your own taxes? That depends upon the tax rate set by Town Council. Simply, if your own MPAC increase is above 4.95% your taxes will increase by more than the Town tax rate increase; if less than 4.95% your taxes will increase by less than the Town rate. Sorry about the math.

- Your water and sewer rates will be discussed in a report to Council on Monday Nov. 24th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. This will be followed by a Public Meeting (You May Speak)
on Wednesday, December 3rd from 6:00 to 7:00.

This Wednesday Nov. 5th the Planning Advisory Committee will have an unusual closed session starting at 6:30 pm. The regular PAC meeting (You May Speak) begins at 7:00 pm. A relatively quiet agenda including two items devoted to the upcoming Town Planning exercise.

On Thursday November 6th the County of Simcoe will hold a Public Information Session on the draft County of Simcoe Official Plan. The meetings are from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the County of Simcoe Council Chambers in Midhurst. The draft plan will go to County for a final vote on November 25th. Midland has raised a number of objections to the County Plan.

And finally, on Thursday November the 13th Council will hold a meeting at the Town to discuss the new Library addition.

Gord McKay