COUNCIL UPDATE – August 09, 2016

The Council meeting was the last of the summer season. We return to the regular schedule of meetings in September. We had some interesting discussions around the table about a few items – and I will highlight the ones that generated the greatest volume of debate.

First though, it was wonderful to see that Council approved the live-viewing of the final Tragically Hip concert, to be screened in the Town Park on August 20th. Though it did take a bit of circular discussions to get there, I am pleased to say that the concert viewing is a “go” and I am looking forward to seeing residents at the park for this once in a lifetime event. I want to add a special thanks to the group of community volunteers that are working together to get this done!!

The other issue I wanted to speak about is the concern which residents have raised regarding GO parking at Our Lady of Grace Church. While this was not an item on the agenda, as I, as well as the rest of Council have concerns about how this issue arose in the first place, we raised it at the Council table. Suffice to say, if the residents had not alerted us to it, we as a Council would never had been aware. Metrolinx just installed signs (to indicate GO parking at Our Lady of Grace) without informing the Town. I asked our Director whether the signs would be permitted as is by our sign by law. I was informed that they would not be. Thus, in my opinion those signs should come down immediately. Metrolinx should be encouraged to work with the Town and engage in meaningful consultation with both the residents in the area as well as the Town.

While I appreciate that this is an agreement between 2 private parties, given that this temporary parking program falls within the heritage district, there must be consultation with the Town to ensure that relevant town policies/procedures and/or bylaws are adhered to. That is why I submit that those signs should come down. If this was a resident or a small business that just went and put signs up without adhering to town approved processes and/or bylaws then the Town would remove them immediately….So my question was (and is) why not in this case? There should be the same standard of adherence for everyone – residents, businesses and government agencies alike. Staff are currently speaking with Metrolinx to get some answers. I have spoken with staff from our MPP’s office who are working to ensure that these consultations will happen. We will work together on this to make sure that the best interests of the town are first and foremost. I will keep everyone updated with any new info as it becomes available.

The last item that I wanted to speak to is a motion that I put forward under New Business. I moved a motion to see heavy truck traffic prohibited on Henderson Drive. Truck traffic was always banned on Henderson. But during construction on Bloomington, trucks were temporarily allowed to use Henderson. The problem, however, is that the temporary allowance has now become permanent. I am pleased to say that my motion passed and heavy trucks will be prohibited on Henderson. The proper signage will be placed on Henderson in the very near future. As for the speeding and other traffic issues on this street, these issues will be put to the traffic advisory committee agenda, once the committee is up and running in late September.

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