Greetings Friends,

As summer comes to an end and many of our households shift back into school mode, I wanted to update you on the summer that was at City Hall and start to bring your attention to Guelph’s 2016 budget season.

JulyIn many respects, July was defined by the month long Speedvale Avenue debate. Specifically, the debate on whether to maintain this important East/West corridor as a four lane road or reduce it to a single lane of traffic in each direction (with a center turn lane) in order to accommodate bike lanes. My sincere thanks to all who provided input and delegated to council. While I believe the decision to keep Speedvale four lanes was the right decision, I’m also taking comfort in knowing that a fully transparent, public engagement process was carried out. As I said at council in July, regardless of the outcome I was satisfied with the process and that is a credit to the many residents who made their voices heard.

August With August came a break from meetings at City Hall and some valuable family time with Katherine and the boys. It allowed for more opportunities to connect with Ward 1 residents, small business owners and local advocacy groups as well as time to work with City staff on a number of small but important projects/initiatives in our community. Projects such as reestablishing regular maintenance schedules for public spaces and lane ways (i.e. grass cutting) throughout our Ward; improving signage and public safety along a number of residential streets in advance of the school year; and finally, seeing a number of disconnected sidewalk corridors be completed in the East End  (along Grange Rd and Watson Pkwy). While small in cost I believe these projects go a long way in fostering a sense of completeness in our neighborhoods. They represent tangible returns on taxes paid and reaffirm the “front door” services that residents care about. Thank you to City staff for helping complete these important initiatives.

September – This month brings the start of an exciting project for our Ward with the reconstruction of Lyon Park off York Street. For all the baseball families in Guelph this is a welcome site because with the park reconstruction comes two new baseball diamonds.  I know this great community project will undoubtedly bring even more mid-summer excitement to one of our City’s most welcoming neighborhoods.

For more info please see attached link.

October – With the fall comes the 2016 City budget process and this year will once again challenge Council to keep Guelph’s livability and affordability in focus. My preparation for this year is well underway and I encourage residence to please make your opinions heard. To this end, City Hall has created a budget simulator in order to further encourage public input to this years budget. Please take the opportunity to provide your thoughts into this important process. You can also provide input directly to council by emailing [email protected] or you can email me directly at [email protected].

In closing, once again I hope you and your family have enjoyed your summer and are well rested for the fall. A reminder that as the days get shorter this month, please keep community safety in mind while driving. For many families transitioning back to school is the busiest time of year so please be mindful of kids walking, biking and getting on and off those school buses.  Finally, to all the parents and grandparents with kids starting team sports, music lessons, singing, swimming, dancing (etc), I wish you well at those early morning practices and late night rehearsals.  You’re doing a great job!