Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday March 22, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen

It has been a week unlike any other.

The death of Stephan Kramp was an absolute shock. He was my right hand at Council for the last four years and a close colleague for many years before that.  Always very passionate, he believed in the truth and would pursue what was right despite the sacrifices involved. He was creative, whimsical and intelligent.  He cared about people, especially those who were having a tough go in life. And he cared deeply about Midland.

Stephan, you will be missed.

The regular business of the Town is dimmed by the loss of Stephan but it goes on nonetheless.

On Monday 23rd there will be a closed meeting of Council at 6:30 pm to consider committee appointments. Council meets at 7:00 pm. The agenda includes:
-       Four presentations including three Awards of Merit
-       Three deputations:
o    Overview of the upcoming Champlain commemoration
o    Preview of the Terry Fox run for Midland
o    Presentation by the Georgian Bay Trails group
-       A Public Meeting (you may speak) to remove the holding symbol from the property at 1081 MacDonald Road (the RSI property)
-       Discussion of the traffic lights at King and Galloway
-       Ratification of the CLAC and OPSEU labour agreements
-       Approval of our 2015 budget. It is coming in at a 0.68% increase but police is not included at this time.
-       Vote on having Midland provide building services to Penetanguishene – good cooperation between the municipalities.

Tuesday the 24th will see me down at County Council at 9:00 am.  A major topic for the meeting will be the taxation structure for the County. Midland will benefit this year from our slow growth in assessment, as the tax burden is transferred to areas of the County that are growing faster. A good news – bad news story.

At 1:00 pm the North Simcoe Housing Working Group meets at Town Hall.  The Group will start the work of delivering new affordable housing in our area. You are welcome to attend.

The Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce will hold its AGM at the Brooklea golf club staring at 5:00 pm. Then at 7:00 pm is a very special treat – the Vienna Boys Choir performs at St Paul’s church.  Has Midland arrived or what?

Wednesday the 25th is equally busy. The Doctors Recruitment committee meets at PGH at 8:30 am. At 10:00 am is the Downtown Safety Committee meeting at Town Hall. This meeting will feature a discussion of the different models that may be used to improve our community’s safety. You are welcome to attend. The Cancer Society flag will be hoisted at Town Hall at 3:30 pm.

From 6:00 to 9:00 pm will be a viewing for Stephan Kramp at the Carson funeral home.

At 7:30 pm the first “Lakehead Challenge” will take place at the MCC. This new forum-style program is presented by Lakehead University in cooperation with the MCC. The topic will be "The Challenge of Indigenous Canadian Relations."  Panel members will include Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux (Vice Provost of Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead University), Ogimaa Duke Peltier (Wiikwemkoong Anishinabek), and Joseph Tokwiro Norton (retired Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake).   There will be discussion of economic, governance and territorial issues. The audience is also invited to get involved in the discussion. You are welcome to attend.

Thursday March 26th.  At 7:30 am the Midland PUC will be holding a Breakfast and Communications meeting to discuss its distribution system and present conservation awards.
At 9:00 am you may want to attend a talk by Ron Neumann about driving sales growth for companies. Ron is a fascinating speaker with a lot of experience. The talk is at the Brian Orser arena in Penetanguishene. Please contact the North Simcoe Community Future Development Corporation if you plan on attending. Their number is 526-1371

The funeral service for Stephan Kramp will take place at St Paul’s church at 1:00 pm.

On Friday 27th at 11:00 am is the regular Waterfront Project Steering Committee meeting. The Committee will be reviewing its Terms of Reference, now that the signing of the Midland Bay Landing agreement has occurred.

Lots to do in the evening:
·         At 5:30 pm is Waypoint’s 2nd Annual Fundraising Dinner, An Evening with Clara Hughes. The event features great music, exceptional food and an exclusive opportunity to meet Clara, all in support of your mental health hospital.
·         At 7:00 pm, Quest hosts its 11th annual juried art show at the gallery in the MCC.  You are most welcome to attend.
·         At 7:30 pm the Friends of the Keewatin are hosting a talk by John Willis, Curator of the   Empress of Ireland display at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.  He will be telling the story of the Empress of Ireland.  The event is at the Huronia Museum and begins with hors d’oeuvres and wine at 7:00 p.m. followed by the lecture at 7:30 and coffee, and sweets at 8:30. Tickets are $50.00 per person.


-       It’s the Sweetwater Festival.  Pancakes, maple syrup and a good time at Wye Marsh. I will be there for the 9:00 am start, to help the pancake flippin
-       8:30 to 9:30 pm is Earth Hour.  Be kind to our earth and turn your lights out for an hour

-       Sweetwater Festival continues at the Wye Marsh
-       Books to Eat takes place at 2:00 pm at the library.  The third year for this most unique and tasty event.
-       Magical Moments of mystery and beauty from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the Library Restaurant.  This fundraiser for We Are the Villagers includes tarot reading, make-up demonstrations, food and much more


Last week saw one of the most historic events in Midland’s history – the signing of a development agreement for our Midland Bay Landing property. It was an excellent ceremony bringing together the citizens of Midland, the Council and our new partners Mountain Ridge Estates and their Chinese investors (see attached)

While I could dwell on the significance of this agreement for Midland‘s future, I am also sensitive to some of our citizens having concerns about our new partners. The negotiation team went through those same concerns and by conducting our due diligence over the last six months, those concerns were resolved.

All land development bears a certain amount of risk.  The negotiation team understood that the Town had to be protected from bad things happening. With the help of senior legal support the Town negotiated protections for almost every eventuality. Some of the contractual protections include:
-       Mountain Ridge Estates will spend its own money for the first 18 months just remediating the land. The Town does not even transfer the land until after we are satisfied with the environmental work.
-       Following the environmental work, the Town will receive letters of credit for the full purchase price and all public elements in advance of any work being done. If trouble occurs these funds will be used to complete any remaining work.

Concern about a project of this scale is understandable.  The agreement that was signed will ensure that our new partner is safely focused on delivering the vison held by the people of Midland.

Gord McKay

Be part of Midland’s Year of Bold Action - 2015

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