Season’s Greetings Ward 1;
With the Holiday Season upon us I wanted to pass along my warmest wishes to you and your family this year. This has been a truly blessed Holiday season thus far in Guelph and I’ve had the privilege of attending numerous local events including, the inaugural Guelph Gives fundraiser on Dec 2nd; the annual Secret Santa Guelph fundraiser in support of the Children’s Foundation on Dec 7th; The Royal City Church and Life Center on Dec 17th, and the Lakeside Christmas Hamper program on Dec 19th. Each event served to remind me of the wonderful and caring neighbors that make up our Guelph Community.
In terms of City business it has also been an eventful first month on Council. Since the Inaugural Ceremony on Dec 1, Council has immediately moved forward with nominations for standing committees and local board appointments, visioning sessions, and preliminary 2015 budget discussions. I’m pleased to have been appointed to serve on the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee as well as the Well Interference Committee for the term 2014 – 2018. I’m also pleased to have been appointed to serve on the Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) Board.
Looking ahead to the New Year, the focus for council will soon turn to budgeting and I encourage residents to continue forwarding me their thoughts and inputs on City matters. Finally, as a means of efficient communication I want to take this opportunity to reflect on a few common items that I have been corresponding with residents over to date.
The 144 Watson Development (East Guelph) is an important part of the East End Commercial/Employment growth plan. This was a complex decision, however I am committed to my campaign position supportive of the overall vision for the East End Mixed Use Node (see campaign position here www.ward1guelph.ca/2014/09/east-end-commercial). Further, as part of my committment to transparent decision making I’ve outlined my thoughts and decision making process on the development here www.ward1guelph.ca/2014/12/144-watson. I encourage all residents to read it as an update on the overall plan for East End commercial growth.
The York Road and Victoria Road Intersection has become a concern for both vehicle traffic and pedestrians in recent years due to the loss of the right turn lane and sidewalk easement on the southeast corner of the intersection (i.e. at the Tim Horton’s on York/Victoria). In response to resident concerns, I recently received the following correspondence from the City engineering department stating, “we (the City) are actively working with the adjacent property owner (southeast corner of York and Victoria) to finalize agreements with respect to property matters. We anticipate completing the agreements this winter and that would put us in a position to start work in spring 2015 to reinstate the right turn lane and sidewalk.” I will continue following this in the New Year.
Residential Parking Restrictions/By-Law Enforcement – It’s come to my attention that City By-Law has proceeded with residential parking restriction enforcement on a number of Ward 1 Streets. In particular, By-Law has targeted double parked vehicles on single lane driveways that have been extended/widened. I would encourage all residents to be mindful of Zoning By-Law Section 5 for Residential Zones (http://guelph.ca/city-hall/by-laws-and-policies-2/zoning-by-law/) and encourage residents to park vehicles in their garages during the winter months when the overnight on-street parking prohibition is in effect (November 1 to April 30).
The IMICO Property – To date I have been encouraged by some early conversations with staff at City Hall and I am hopeful that some positive announcements in terms of public engagement are forthcoming in the New Year.
Future Town Hall Meetings – With many files progressing it is an exciting time to live in Ward 1. As such I’m committed to keeping residents informed through social media (twitter @ward1guelph), the www.ward1guelph.ca blog, the e-newsletter and regular Town Hall meetings. To this end, look for Town Hall announcements in the East End as well as closer to Downtown within the first quarter (Jan – March) of 2015.
Once again, warmest wishes from my family to yours this Holiday season.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a prosperous New Year!