Mayor's Message - December 4, 2016

Posted on Sunday December 04, 2016

Hi all, Bonjour

We are off to a great start for the Holiday season with yesterday’s Seniors Council craft sale, Santa Claus parade and tree lighting. Many thanks to our town staff, our volunteers, youth council, friends of the museum, the Lions Club and to all of those who took part in the parade, all of your efforts resulted in a fantastic day !!

The start of December marks the halfway point of this term of council.  From a town perspective it has been an engaging 24 months, as a council we have had our funny moments, heated debates, shared passionate beliefs, brainstormed together, all of which have resulted in some very solid decisions. Looking back at the past 24 months we have delivered back to back responsible budgets, launched a transit system, opened our new splash pad, built an amphitheatre, reconstructed all of Champlain Road, we see the growth of new homes being built, commenced work on our official plan, hired a new Recreation & Cultural Services Director along with the extremely critical hiring of our new CAO who will lead us into the future.  I look forward to the next 24 months and in particular delivering a newly reconstructed and vibrant Main Street next year.     

At the County level the halfway point means that elections take place for the roles of Warden, Deputy Warden, Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs. While the pace is hectic and the workload of wearing both the Mayors hat and the Wardens hat can at times be pretty intense I have truly enjoyed my two years in the dual role as Mayor and Warden. I believe that as a County Council we have accomplished a significant amount and made some very wise decisions in the past 24 months.  Having the support of my lovely wife Jan who allows me to do what I love, knowing the quality of those whom sit on County Council, the strength of our local Town Council and having the benefit of Anita who is a second to none Deputy Mayor and coming to know the Wardens role over the past two years I have put my name forward to run for Warden for a second term. The workload over the past two years, sees, in general, a 70 to 80 hour week occur.  I do get queries on how I manage my time between the two roles, generally the week is split about 30-35 hours on town items and 40-45 hours on county items, should my peers choose to re-elect me I anticipate the same workload going forward.  Funny enough, our Town CAO shared with me that he was asked just the other day if he ever gets to see me given my schedule, Jeff’s response was that he sees me more than he has seen any of the former Mayors he worked for, looking back I note that Jeff did not say if he thought that was a good thing or a bad thing, I’ll have to ask him !!  

Others local neighbouring north Simcoe politicians putting their names forward for County Chair or Vice Chair committee positions include Midland Mayor Gord McKay, Tiny Mayor George Cornell, Tiny Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma and our own Deputy Mayor Anita Dubeau.

Elections take place on December 13th.

Everywhere I have been in the past few weeks concerns about the intersection of County road 93 and Vinden have been raised. I can share that at the County level our staff have also received calls and emails. I just wanted to let you know that our county staff are actively looking at this intersection. Consideration is being given to the installation of a protected left turn configuration (a dedicated left turn signal is installed permitting cars to turn left in both directions before the main lanes of traffic are permitted to go). This will be evaluated along with a speed study that will occur this spring, (we cannot do the study now as our County speed testing gear would interfere with snow ploughing).  In addition, there is a complete street study underway for all of County Road 93 that has just commenced and it will include this intersection. Please stay tuned for further updates. 

The 2nd Annual Tay Township Toy Caravan is set for this Wednesday morning. Once again Eric Conroy of the SS Keewatin, Tay Mayor Scotty Claus and his group of Santa’s helpers will be distributing toys to various charities across North Simcoe. Benefitting from this very generous and thoughtful undertaking in our town is our local Legion and We Are The Villagers.  A big thanks and shout out to Eric, Scotty and all the volunteers !

Councillor Debbie Levy and her fellow EDCNS folks will host the Manufacturers’ Roundtable-Celebrating 2016 this Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 at Weber Manufacturing Technologies Inc.   Many North Simcoe Manufacturers will be attending along with local Mayors and members of the EDCNS Board of Directors.

Tuesday is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Anita will be attending the ceremony and laying a rose on our towns behalf in remembrance of one of the women murdered in Ontario this year. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Midland.

The 17th Annual First Light Event at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons concludes this Thursday evening, a fireworks display will cap the evening off.  

This Friday afternoon GBGH is once again breaking new ground, they will launch the final phase of their Emergency Department project. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

The Sistema Huronia Music Academy has launched a fund raising campaign to help them eliminate their 2017 budgetary shortfall. For more information and to make a donation visit www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/sistema-huronia-music-academy

The Museum has received an email from the North Pole this week!  Santa is very excited to be coming to Penetanguishene to have breakfast at the Museum with all the girls and boys on Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 11th from 8:30a.m. – 11:30a.m., both mornings. There are so many activities and crafts for the kids to enjoy, so  don’t miss out! Make your reservation today!

The Mayor’s Week at a Glance

Monday, December 5

  • This year MP Bruce Stanton, Doug Leroux, Anita and I along with many others are joining in on the Eating The Math campaign that sees us live off of a food box for a week.  The campaign is an effort to raise awareness of systemic poverty and some of the related challenges with food security. Be sure to tune into KICX 106 tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. as I speak with fellow participant Carey Moran about this initiative. Next I am off to CTV to speak about Eat the Math with Heather Butts who is also participating. To find out more about Eat The Math click the link to the website: https://signedevents.com/canada/port-mcnicoll/simcoe-county-eats-the-math/
  • I attend a Weekly Update Meeting with Anita and Jeff 
  • I meet with York Regional Chair Wayne Emmerson (their version of a warden)
  • I attend a Media Update
  • The Penetanguishene Library hosts an Ugly Christmas Sweater Workshop from 5:00p.m.-7:00p.m. All you need to participate is a sweater to decorate and the Library will provide supplies needed for the “ugly” .  There is limited registration, so be sure to sign up at the Library.  

Tuesday, December 6

  • In the morning, I will be travelling to ROCK 95 to provide County updates.
  • Councillor Doug Leroux and our Seniors Committee meet at 10:00 a.m. in the John Desroches Boardroom
  • The Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe hosts the Manufacturers' Roundtable to celebrate 2016.

Wednesday, December 7

  • I am travelling to Collingwood to say a few words of welcome at  the Bruce Grey Simcoe 2016 Regional Conference.
  • The Town of Penetanguishene Council and Committee of the Whole meet in Council Chambers at 7:00p.m. Links to the December 7, 2016 agenda are available below:

Council: https://penetanguishene.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/216734

Committee of the Whole:https://penetanguishene.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/216732

To watch Council and Committee of the Whole meetings via live stream click the link provided: http://www.penetanguishene.ca/en/townhall/council-meetings.asp?_mid_=9825

Thursday, December 8

  • I will be returning to the KICX office for an update with Carey Moran on Eat The Mat, so be sure to listen in.
  • I am traveling to the Simcoe County Offices for a meeting with the Audit and Finance Committee
  • In the afternoon, I attend a weekly media update

Friday, December 9

  • To wrap up Eat The Math I will be speaking at Eat The Math Challenge.
  • I attend a meeting with Waypoint Centre for Mental Health for a discussion about fundraising initiatives
  • I’m then off to join our local hospital to celebrate the launch of the final phase of Emergency Department for the Groundbreaking Launch of The Emergency Department Project at Georgian Bay General Hospital.
  • Once again Hospice Huronia is offering the opportunity to celebrate your special someone by making a donation in their memory for the 2016 “Tree of Remembrance”. Located at the old Penetanguishene Hospital site of Georgian Bay General Hospital in Penetanguishene. Each light placed on the tree represents a beacon of love and hope. I will be speaking at Hospice Huronia for the lighting of the Tree at 7 p.m..
  • In the evening, I attend MPP Patrick Brown’s Christmas Open House

Saturday, December 10

  • In the holiday spirit the Town of Penetanguishene has their annual Christmas Party for our volunteers, Committees, Council members, and our hard working Staff!

Please visit our Community Calendar to find out more about what December has to offer http://www.penetanguishene.ca/en/calendar/events/Default.aspx?_mid_=9680  

For more information about what’s happening at the Town of Penetanguishene like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: @penetanguishene 

I’ll wrap this up for today, take care everyone!

Gerry