Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday February 26, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

February is drawing to a close - can spring be far away? It’s not been a bad winter for the Town’s snow plowing budget.  Let’s hope there are no surprises in March.

With spring comes gardening. On Monday February 28th at at the NSSRC you are invited to participate in a discussion to start a “Community Garden” in Midland.

That’s it until Friday March 4th when Garfield Dunlop is holding his annual Lasagna Dinner in support of Wye Marsh. Sittings are at , and . Tickets are $10:00.

This past Thursday the County released a statement indicating that our garbage collection was going to be changed to “user pay” next year.  The Green Bin and Blue Box collections would remain the same but every bag of garbage would have to have its own tag. While many details have yet to be decided upon, including the cost of a tag, this system will help us all realize that there is a cost to every bag of garbage that we put out.  And by reducing the amount of garbage we produce we can save some money. Two issues people keep raising:
-          Is this a new cost/tax?    The answer is no. Each household currently pays for its bag(s) of garage through the waste levy portion of your municipal taxes. The garbage portion of the levy will go away and will be replaced by the bag tag fee.
-          People will just throw their garbage in the ditches.   Approximately 60 communities use bag tags. They have found that when the system came into effect that there was a short term increase in unlawful garbage disposal but typically after three months it returned to the “normal” level.

And finally, advance notice of some upcoming meetings:
-          The first of the Council strategy session meetings should be announced to take place during the next two weeks (no date yet). These are public meetings.
-          The Planning Department will be organizing a special public meeting to hear your views on what areas of Town should be set aside for future industry and what areas will be for other uses.  An important discussion about our future. (no date yet)

Gord McKay

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday February 20, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

As is often observed about Canadian weather – it is never boring.  Hope that’s not the end of spring for 2011.

Recap – This past Thursday some 50 plus citizens from Midland and Penetanguishene met at MSS to plan our common future. Community building at its best. Look for a summary report on the conclusions, likely by mid-March.

Recap – Penetanguishene’s Winterama was a great success despite Mother Nature’s best attempt to blow it away. An evening parade, a midway and politicians “shooting turkeys” – something for everyone.  I am pleased to report that Deputy Mayor Kramp came home with 3rd prize and a pound of bacon.

With Monday being a holiday, your Council will meet on Wednesday February 23rd starting at with an in-camera meeting.  Then at is the regular Council meeting at the NSSRC. Items include:
-          a Public Meeting to receive your input on new fees and charges for 2011 plus Council’s one third tax free allowance
-          Council will define the topics to be covered under its Taxi By-law review process
-          two planning items including a decision on the 281 Cranston Cr. application, and an update on the Hillcrest portico

A number of other items that are being worked on.

·         The Midland Police Service is continuing its work on a response to the Town of Penetanguishene about providing a policing service
·         Councillor File and Councillor Pendlebury are organizing/leading our Council strategy session. The first meeting should be in early March. All Councillors will be providing their views on Council’s priorities. I will be giving News from the Town readers my own views in the days ahead
·         A committee is being formed to start our community garden project. The first meeting is Monday Feb 28 at , NSSRC Community Hall B.

Gord McKay

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday February 13, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Spring is in the air; dinner hour is now accented with daylight; snow mountains are melting.  Maybe the groundhog was right!

Monday February 14th is Valentines Day .  Your Council will be gathering at at the NSSRC for its General Committee meeting.  Lots of items on the agenda including:
-          discussion of a “Community Garden” in Midland.  If the idea is well received, staff will hold an open organizational meeting on Feb 28th at
-          update on the progress of our joint policing proposal with Penetanguishene
-          introduction of the  taxi-cab by-law review. Council will consider what topics it will focus on in conducting the review

Thursday February  17th is a busy day. It starts at with the Seniors Council meeting at NSSRC – come and meet our very involved seniors.  Then at the second Joint Urban Growth Node meeting takes place at Midland Secondary School.  The first meeting, attended by some 60 residents of Penetanguishene and Midland established a “list” of areas we should be looking at for joint growth and efficiency. (See attachment)  This second meeting will have attendees select a topic and then brainstorm with a small group about what should be accomplished.  I hope to see you there.

From serious stuff to fun stuff.  Friday February 18th is the start of the Penetanguishene Winterama.  Some of the highlights for politicians will be the parade on Friday at and then the “Turkey Throw” (no jokes) on Saturday at . For more information please consult

And in closing, advance notice of a very important celebration in our area. The Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene and the University of Toronto are forming a partnership.  The launch event will be Friday, March 11th, It will take place at the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene,
500 Church Street, Oak Ridge
Gymnasium.  Please RSVP to or 705.549.3181 x 2073 by March 2nd, 2011

Gord McKay

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday February 6, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

A full day of “Winterfesting” on Saturday – everything from Spelling Bees to Polar Bear Plunges – and now onto the Superbowl.  Winter just isn’t long enough.

There is a blood donor clinic at the Best Western on Monday February 7th from to . They need what only you can give.

You may wonder how items come to be placed on the General Committee agenda each month.  Well the items are promoted through one of three monthly briefings held between staff and Councillors. The briefings ensure items are ready for discussion. The agendas for these briefings are starting to be placed on our website. You can see the Community Service briefing agenda at

On Wednesday February 9th at at the NSSRC, your Council will hold a special meeting to discuss how Council should go about developing its own strategic plan. Council has not developed its own plan in recent years so the discussion could be wide-ranging.

On Friday February 11th Lakehead University is conducting an interesting symposium – The Role of the University in Economic Development”.  This topic is particularly pertinent for two reasons:
-          Lakehead is positioning itself to be “Simcoe County’s University”
-          Our recent Urban Growth Node meeting identified economic development as one of our top challenges

A closing note.  Our area’s registered Dental Hygienists are offering a “Gift from the Heart” this Saturday from to at the Genesis Dental Clinic.  They are providing free dental services to those who cannot afford proper dental care. From my years at Out of the Cold this is a vitally needed service. My thanks to our area dedicated dental hygienists.

Gord McKay