Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday June 26, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

A quiet Sunday morning so a visit to Little Lake Park was in order. The new Community Garden is alive with beans, tomatoes, peas and flowers – no geese – a church service on the bandstand – no geese – a family party overflowing the gazebo. Come down and get in on our best kept secret.

On Monday June 27th at your Council returns to work with an in camera meeting to discuss a land exchange and land acquisition. Then at in the Council Chambers is the regular meeting including:
-          the vote on the new taxi by-law
-          the vote on how to use our 2010 budgetary surplus
-          a discussion on the Santa Clause parade
-          a vote on naming a laneway in honor of the Martels

On Tuesday June 28th at the attention turns to County Council in Midhurst. County Council will discuss Midland’s request for a heavy waste transportation pilot, as well as make a decision on the disposition of the Site 41 lands. Later that day your Mayor and Deputy Mayor will meet with other municipalities who have been designated “urban growth nodes” to discuss common concerns.

Wednesday is graduation day in Midland.  The formal events take place at at St. T’s and MSS. An exciting day in the life of our community.  Drive safely.

Thursday, it’s back to County Council for a strategy session at the County Museum. We will be deciding on such things as the County’s vision and our role in supporting hospitals and assisted housing.

Friday is Canada Day - a day for fun and being out with friends.  Little Lake Park, is the centre for family fun – check out the following link.

And that takes us into vacation time. Your editor will be taking a bit of a break in July and August. News from the Town will be sent when major items break. For regular updates please visit the Midland Town website at In closing I will leave you with a status report – my assessment of how the first six months of Council have gone. Please visit:

Enjoy your summer.

Gord McKay

Mayor’s Status Report – June 2011

The last six months have been busy ones for Midland Council. It’s time to provide a checkpoint on how we are doing. While progress is normally measured against targets, your Council is still working on its strategic objectives. So the following observations are my own and reflect on the major items that Council has had to deal with in 2011.

Council Decorum – All Councils take time to “settle in” as they get used to the job and the people they will be working with.  We are no exception. The first three months were somewhat challenging. Over the second three months Council decorum improved markedly to the point that the media coverage has turned from Council behavior to the issues we are working on. There is civility around the table, good debate and even a few laughs. We are headed in the right direction.

Budget and Taxes - Setting the 2011 budget and tax rate were two of the first challenges handed the new Council. Your Council tackled the issues by holding two special meetings to ensure matters were debated. In the end Midland ended up with a 2011 tax rate increase of 0.8%, one of the lowest rates in recent years.

Taxis - Your Council brought back the taxi by-law and voted to keep the flat fare taxi system. Public input and Council debate were well done.

Heavy Waste – The citizens of Midland want a heavy waste transportation solution. Waste services are delivered by the County.  Your Council got creative and petitioned the County to allow Midland to become the site for a heavy waste transportation pilot.  We are currently awaiting a response from County.

Regular Business – Much of Council work is the “regular business” of passing by-laws that affect everything from purchasing vehicles, to community gardens, to reducing geese populations in Little Lake Park. In addition, your Council responds to residents, researches briefing material and collectively participates in over 35 committees. Council is still on a learning curve to do all of this work efficiently.

In addition to items already on the docket, your Council has also taken on some major new initiatives.

Council Strategy – Your Council initially took some time to warm up to the idea of setting a Council strategy. Over the last two months, Council has met three times to agree on strategic objectives.  All Councillors have actively participated in this important exercise that will guide our work in the years ahead.

Joint Police Service - In response to a request from Penetanguishene, your Council has agreed to joint discussions on having a new police service covering both Midland and Penetanguishene. Decisions over the coming months will determine how this moves forward.

Urban Growth Node - Your Council voted to move ahead with the Urban Growth Node – an initiative that will see the Towns of Penetanguishene and Midland work together more cooperatively. Over the last five months your Council together with Penetanguishene have lead three Town Hall meetings, established an Efficiency Task Force and adopted the implementation plan. Good progress.

Economic Action - Council has joined with our three neighbouring municipalities to determine what we should be doing about economic development. The work to date has led to a set of principles for cooperation and a draft economic strategy and action plan.  Council will shortly decide on a course of action for economic development.

The foregoing are my observations about Council. They do not address the work of our staff and community partners which has been considerable in keeping Council informed and on track.  In summary, good progress for the first six months. The next six should be even more interesting.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday June 19, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

I was out sailing on the bonnie HMS Badger yesterday. The Ship’s Company made fine sailing companions, even though there were some disturbing murmurings about holding the mayor for ransom. A good time - good neighbours - gotta love Midland.

Recap – This past Thursday the Towns of Penetanguishene and Midland held a third public meeting on our joint urban growth node.  The 50 some attendees provided comments on the fourteen areas identified for cooperation, how we should work together and how to keep the public engaged. The course is set – the work begins.

This Monday June 20th the Town will hold a special public Council meeting at at the Town Hall to discuss three topics:
-          the Council strategy - our list of priorities and a direction to staff on how they are to be implemented
-          Council committees – how many should Councilors participate in and how we should manage our involvement
-          Penetanguishene’s water study project

Tuesday June 21st may seem a little like Ground Hog Day. We will gather again at to inaugurate our waterfront trail connection to the Tay trail.  The ceremony takes place on the waterfront trail behind Baytech off of Highway 12.

On Wednesday your mayor will be traveling to Barrie in the morning to get a preview of the new Georgian College Wellness Centre. This centre will train the health care professionals who will serve our community in the years ahead. Later that afternoon its off to Midhurst to meet with the provincial facilitator about how the province can help our Urban Growth Node.

Thursday June 23rd is a very special day. One year ago a tornado struck our community, damaging property and changing lives. Please take a moment to reflect upon those who were affected, the amazing support we received from our emergency services and neighbouring communites and the spirit that moved Midlanders to rebuild our great community.

Thursday at the Georgian Bay General Hospital will hold its AGM at in the hospital cafeteria. Then at our local McDonalds holds their official re-opening.  This is your chance to drop in and see the extensive renovations at their store on Hwy 93.

On Saturday June 25th at head over to Victoria Harbour to help them celebrate their 100th anniversary. The day will include a parade, free hamburgers, a time capsule and many family festivities.

And in closing, my congratulations to Penetanguishene on the installation of their new dock.  A beautiful structure and well worth a visit. This may be the start of dock envy.

Gord McKay

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday June 11, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

The busy summer season is upon us. This morning saw the Midland Kids fishing tournament – over 400 young fishers enjoying the sport.  This afternoon our 724 Squadron Air Cadets held their 48th anniversary review – marching, demonstrations, Legion pipe band – what a place.

On Monday June 13th at is an in camera meeting to discuss personnel matters.  Then at in the Town Hall is the General Committee meeting. A lengthy agenda including;
-          the new taxi cab by-law
-          discussion of our 2012 budget targets
-          a proposed joint water project with Penetanguishene
-          a recommendation for a tall ships event in 2013 and a “Champlain Centre” in Town

Thursday June 16 at the North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation celebrates 25 years of building our community. The event will take place at the Huronia Municipal Airport.  Please call to tell them you are coming at 705-526-1371.

That same Thursday at at the Brian Orser arena in Penetanguishene is the third public meeting in our Urban Growth Node project. The meeting will summarize the input from our first two meetings and lay out a course of action.  Please come out and help us shape our future.   

On Friday June 17th its back to summer starting with the Chamber BBQ on the Town dock at . For $10 you can eat as much as you want. Then at that evening Midland hosts the famous Rotary Party on the Dock. Tickets are still available.  Don’t miss it.

Saturday the fun continues. The BIA downtown merchants invite you to a street sale and community market day. From to there will be music, food and good times on
King Street
courtesy of some of the friendliest merchants around. At that morning look for your Mayor to set sail from the Town dock bound for Penetanguishene.

On Sunday there is a special service of dedication sponsored by the Midland and Port McNicoll Legions. The event starts at at St. Margaret’s and St. Mark’s cemetery.  You are welcome to attend.

Gord McKay

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday June 5, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

I’m just back from a walk along our lovely waterfront trail with the sprightly ladies of “Grandmothers’ Hands”.  If you want a treat, come down to the water and see Midland at its best.

On Monday the four North Simcoe municipalities will be holding an Economic Summit for municipal councillors. This event will give us a rare chance to meet our neighbouring councillors and learn how economic development will help our communities.

Tuesday June 7th at at the County museum, County Council meets to start its strategy planning session. The session involves all 32 County councilors, an external facilitator and should be completed by July. As an FYI, Midland Council should be holding its third strategy planning meeting towards the end of the month (date to be announced).

Thursday June 9th at is the Waypoint AGM at Oak Ridge gym 500 Church in Penetanguishene. (Waypoint is the former Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene)

Friday June 10th at Midland Honda will host its post-tornado Grand Reopening Event. A warm welcome will be found at their dealership at 868 King. Please call 526-1344 to let them know you are coming.

On Saturday June 11;
-          Saturday (and Sunday) sees the Family Day and Fly–In at the Huronia Municipal Airport. Music, displays and aircraft rides – fun for all from to
-          The 724 Midland Lions Air Cadet Squadron will hold its ceremonial review at the NSSRC at
-          An interdenominational discussion of faith and life will be held at at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building at 1573 Golf Link Rd.

Summer should be a time of few worries. We all need to take a few precautions to make sure that we are safe. The following is an important message from our Midland police.

Midland Police Service would like to remind the public to “Lock it or Lose it…”
·        Keep your vehicle locked at all times when not in use
·        Remove valuables from your vehicle that are in plain sight
·        Lock up your bicycles at all times
·        Keep out buildings and doors locked to your home at all times
In March and April 2011, (50%) or more of all thefts were a result of people leaving property in plain view, or not securing property. 
Please do your part and lock it up!

Please help our good police officers help you. Thank you.

Gord McKay