Monday, April 25, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

There is nothing like a long Easter weekend to put one in a good mood – and delay the release of News from the Town.

Tuesday April 26th starts with County Council at in Midhurst. Items include a decision on whether to change the County’s import /export policy on waste, plus a public meeting on Development Charges.

At that day is the Grand Opening of Chigamik, your new community health centre. The celebration takes places at their location at
845 King St
.  All are welcome.

In the evening are three Town meetings. At Midland Council meets to review the Chamber of Commerce relationship with the Town.  Then we go in camera for a personnel matter. At is Midland Council. It should be a colorful meeting as we will be decked out in the Penetanguishene Kings hockey sweaters. A long agenda including;
-          a public meeting
o        naming a road allowance -
Reid Ct.
(by the new Shoppers Drug mart)
o        election sign by-law
-          initial discussion of a new sailing event for Midland/Penetanguishene
-          by-laws to allow the Moranis property at 422 King to be rezoned; the Recycling Specialties Inc. proposal for rezoning 1001 Franke Kindred; and the deferral of the Employment Area study
-          a by-law to set our tax rate - bottom line, the average home will see a property tax hike of 1.5% this year

On Thursday April 28th at your Council will meet to discuss strategy at the NSSRC. This meeting is open to the public. You are welcome to come and hear what Council considers as our Town priorities over the next four years.

And on Sunday May 1st get your running shoes on:
-          the YMCA is hosting 3 different runs starting at the YMCA building in Little Lake Park
-          is the Steps for Life event in Pete Peterson Park
-          is the Hospice Huronia Hike starting at the Penetanguishene Curling Club.

Happy walking.

Gord McKay

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday April 16, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Just back from the Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival. (It felt more like the Winter Carnival).  I am beginning to regret having put my dahlias out so early.

The week starts with a Special Meeting of Council on Monday April 18 at in the Library Assembly Room. This will be a Public Meeting to discuss the proposed user pay (bag tag) system for our garbage. This is your chance to tell Council what our garbage fee system should look like. You are most welcome to participate.

Tuesday April 19th will see the Zero Waste Simcoe AGM.  The meeting will feature Don Gordon (Atlas Block) telling us about their innovative LEED products. Plus it will discuss the ZWS initiative to make waste part of the upcoming provincial election. The meeting is at at the YMCA building off of
Elizabeth Street
, opposite the library. All are welcome.

On Wednesday April 20th everyone in Simcoe County is invited to a special meeting at the County Council chamber starting at . This informational presentation will tell you about the County’s plan for your waste over the next decade. 

Then at Out of the Cold marks its season end with a pot luck dinner for all the volunteers. Another good year for these selfless individuals who look after the homeless in our midst.

On Thursday April 21st I Georgian College will hold a meeting to put the final touches on their Skilled Trades Expo slated for May. Over 450 students from all over Simcoe County will come to Midland to see our excellent campus and Town.  More information to come.

The Town offices will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Have a safe weekend.

Gord McKay

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday April 10, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

The April showers have started with a vengeance. The ice is starting to exit the bay. Mother Nature is getting busy and so too the good people of Midland.

Recap:  This past Wednesday the Planning Committee debated the draft Employment Area Policy Review document.  After much discussion and reflection on the input from citizens, the Committee will recommend to Council that the review be deferred and we turn our attention to nailing down the “vision” for our Town’s future.

Monday April 11 starts with an in camera meeting at at the NSSRC.  Then at is the regular General Committee meeting. A lengthy agenda but we should be able to get though it expeditiously:
-          amendment to our sign by-law to address recent problems with election sign placement
-          announcement of our final tax rate increase – coming in at +0.8% for the average assessed home.
-          announcement of major 2011 road construction projects – Hugel from First to Eighth, and
Second St.
from Dominion to Easy

On Wednesday April 13th is another of our important public meetings.  This one is on the topic of Heavy Waste. We will listen to citizens comment on the problems of having to transport heavy waste to the transfer station and discuss what options are available to improve the situation.  The meeting will be at at the NSSRC.

Thursday April 14th is a special day for all our volunteers in North Simcoe.  A volunteer appreciation event will be held at the NSSRC starting at .  Refreshments, politicians and entertainment will be provided. Please come and thank the many many volunteers who make Midland work.

April the 14th also sees the start of the Midland Public Library “Spring Readings” series. Your chance to meet and hear three talented authors on three evenings at at the library.
            April 14 - Richard Zourawski – Media Mediocrity
            April 15 - Ellen Jaffe – Feast of Lights
            April 16 - Roger Bell – Candy Cigarettes

Some other events you want to be aware of:
Saturday April 16; - come and see your mayor sawing wood at the annual Elmvale Maple Syrup Festival
Saturday April 16: - A Soldiers Story the War of 1812.  A special presentation at the Midland library as part of their Literacy Project
Saturday April 30: – the annual Huronia Foundation for the Arts dinner. A memorable evening for $50.

And please remember we need beds for our hospital - vote every day at

Gord McKay

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday April 3, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

As all gardeners will attest, it’s great to get outside and get dirty again. Spring has arrived!

I will be attending Bayview Public School this Monday to be a reader in their Blue Spruce literacy program. Education is so important to our community. My sincere appreciation to all our good teachers and parents.

This Wednesday April 6th it’s all about planning.  At at the NSSRC is a Public Meeting on Planning Matters. Two items on the agenda:
-          a zoning amendment for the Moranis property on
King Street
-          a zoning amendment for the Recycling Industry Inc, application for Franke Kindred Rd.
Following that is the Planning and Development Committee.  An interesting agenda including;
-          the Employment Area Review.  The discussion will be interesting as there is no recommended staff position on key content.  Rather staff is asking the Committee to provide direction on eight topics, such as the “criteria for conversion of non-strategic employment areas”. (For a further comment on this matter, check my blog at )
-          discussion on renaming Little Lake Park Road for the Martels
-          update on the Urban Growth Node initiative

On Friday April 8th at at County Council Chambers in Midhurst you are invited to a presentation on the launch of the Canadian Index of Well Being – a measure of how we and our environment are getting along.

In closing, a note to help you follow Council. Items that come before Council must first be prepared by staff. The agendas showing what is being worked on are on our website. For example, you can see the upcoming Community Services agenda items at

Please vote every day for our hospital beds at

Gord McKay

Steering the Ship

Over the past few months your Council has set in motion a number of initiatives that will significantly affect the future of our Town. These initiatives often start with an unassuming staff report:
-         Urban Growth Node – Will determine what town services we will share with Penetanguishene and what they will look like
-         Joint Police Force – Will create a new police force to serve both Midland and Penetanguishene
-         Taxi Industry – Will rethink our taxi industry to offer a quality service at a low cost
-         Heavy Waste – Will propose a convenient way for residents to transport their heavy waste
Each of these initiatives requires that Council properly balance the policy options, the service implications and the costs so that we can keep our quality of life on a sustainable track.

Council has before it another major policy matter – the “Employment Area Policy Review”. While the title itself is enough to make many readers change the channel, this review sets the stage for our economic future. It will, once completed, start to lock in major industrial areas in our Town, thereby limiting those lands to industrial uses. The challenge facing Council is that this decision is being made based largely upon a policy review. Key questions such as how much industrial land is needed or what are Midland’s prospects for new industry coming here will not be addressed until later.

It’s true that Midland has lost many industrial jobs over the last decade and with them the companies and talented people have gone elsewhere.  We do need an employment area review to start changing the planning balance back in Midland’s favour. A successful review will produce a document that satisfies both the provincial policy requirements while giving Midland the flexibility it needs to attract quality jobs in a rapidly changing world.

Our future prosperity – our jobs; our hospitals; our street repairs; our homes – will depend upon how well we decide.