Dear Ward 2 Resident,
First of all, thank you for entrusting me again with the honour and privilege to represent you on Belleville City Council. I enjoy meeting with you, discussing issues, addressing your concerns and championing your ideas.
I hit the ground running and at the first regular Council meeting of this term, I introduced a Notice of Motion that City Council host a “Health and Homelessness Summit“, which was passed unanimously on December 12. Planning is underway for a summit on April 13 and it is anticipated that an “Ending Homelessness Plan” will be developed with measurable results. Stay tuned for details.
I believe in true representation and service. I understand the simple fact that I work for you and my Council experience will ensure you have an effective representative that will continue to work for you.
It is important to hear from you at Election time, but in order to truly represent you, I need to hear from you regularly. I will continue to maintain this website and social media presence to keep you informed and a way for you to share your thoughts with me. In addition, I will be hosting bi-annual town hall Ward meetings prior to Capital and Operating Budgets to get your feedback before making decisions with your tax dollars, to provide you updates on city business and to field questions as my accountability to you. Check out the news section for details.
I would like to focus on the City’s customer service policy and departmental performance in the upcoming term. While I have previously championed key performance indicators for city departments, this is the first step in an overall performance management program. This needs to be designed to ensure enhanced service delivery, optimal customer service and value for money.
I would encourage you to take a few moments and review some of the results that have been achieved during previous Council terms. Just select the “Issues / Results” tab above to learn more. I will build on this momentum and have outlined some initiatives for the current Council term.
I look forward to engaging with you throughout the Council term and I would invite you to connect with me on social media.
My focus remains steadfast in ensuring the issues that are important to you remain front and centre at City Hall. After all, it is about your community and your priorities.
Issues / Results
Some Priorities for the upcoming Council Term (2022-2026):
- Introduce a motion that City Council host a Homelessness / Mental Health Summit, as the entire community has a part to play in elevating and supporting those in need.
- Protect current funding and advocate for more in relation to the Comprehensive Road Maintenance Program to ensure our sustained focus on good roads does not change.
- Propose city-wide pre-budget consultations to enhance citizen engagement, including public meetings and community surveys.
- Set Operating Budget targets for city staff to ensure tax impact is minimal.
- Enhance Open Government by modernizing City Council meeting times, having all committee meetings streamed online and greater ease of access to municipal records.
- Reintroduce my motion for the creation of a Lobbyist Registry to ensure transparency at City Hall.
- Reintroduce my motion for a Vacant Building Registry which would be self-funded to target chronic vacancies and prevent urban decay.
- Create a Performance Management system, which includes annual department plans, results-based budgeting, and performance agreements for all employees, with the goal of focusing on our corporate priorities, enhanced service delivery, optimizing the customer service experience and ensuring value for money.
- Support measured and reasonable public – private waterfront development that enhances community space.
- Continued focus on a diversified economy, including private investment in tourism infrastructure.
- Continue to advocate to senior levels of government in relation to active transportation (cycling / pedestrian facilities) over Hwy 401. Monitor rural broadband expansion.
- Promote the greater utilization of volunteer firefighter component of the Belleville Fire and Emergency Services to ensure cost-effective level of service.
- Continue to host bi-annual town hall Ward meetings to hear your concerns, ideas and maintain my accountability to you.
- Expand the physician recruitment program to include nurse practitioners and other health care professionals, which will require advocacy and discussion with the provincial government.
- Build upon our subdivision and community parks that now have new playground equipment with the installation of splash pads and multi-purpose play surfaces (outdoor skating rinks, basketball and tennis courts).
- Enhance public safety in our neighbourhoods by requesting a review of lowering speed limits to 40 km/h and other public safety measures for our roads.
- Propose the implementation of Community Engagement Surveys to obtain feedback on city services and programs as well as provide every resident with the opportunity to help shape our City with their ideas.
- Increase property tax credit for low income seniors & ODSP recipient homeowners to $1200 per year by 2026 in order to continue to help with the affordability to remain in their homes. It is currently $800 per year and was $200 in 2014.
- Peer Review – Belleville Agricultural Society Market and Financial Feasibility Study (New Fairgrounds Development)
- Attempted to have Transit Route 9 (Thurlow) removed from 2022 Base Budget adjustments as permanent budget expenditure – Motion was not recognized by Mayor
- Point Anne Road Reconstruction
- Adoption of updated City of Belleville Strategic Plan
- Council Support of a Ministerial Zoning Order for Black Bear Ridge – Fully Serviced Resort Area and Cost Recovery Agreement
- Short Term Accommodation – Licensing and Regulation
- Approval of the operation of Warming Centre by Hastings County, including $25,000 from Social Infrastructure Fund for nightly operation
- Approval of a Lease Agreement between the City of Belleville and the Belleville Agricultural Society (New Belleville Fairgrounds)
- Disposal of Surplus Land – 633 Sidney Street – Donation to Habitat for Humanity
- Approval of an amending agreement to the Lease, Loan and Licensing agreements between the City of Belleville and the Belleville Senators (relief period due to pandemic and extension of original agreement to 2027)
- Black Diamond Road Sanitary Sewer Extension and New Belleville Agricultural Fairgrounds Site Services
- Approval of Operational Review of City of Belleville Transit System
- Approval of the Comprehensive Citywide Asset Management Plan
- Vehicles for Hire By-law passed
- Approval of Firefighter Memorial Monument to Honour Belleville Fire and Emergency Services Line of Duty Deaths
- Voted against receiving the Ad-Hoc Council Candidate Review Committee – Vacant Ward 1 Council Seat – Recommendation
- Voted to appoint Tyler Allsopp (next candidate on election ballot) to fill vacancy for City Councillor (motion passed)
- Open Air Burning By-Law is passed
- Voted for appointing next candidate on ballot to fill council vacancies
- Loan to the Quinte Humane Society
- Voted to approve the Commercial Pop-Up Project
- Approval of Consulting Services for Municipal Serving and Site Plan for the New Belleville Agricultural Fairgrounds
- Completion of a Parkland and Recreation Master Plan
- Voted to appoint Carol Feeney (next candidate on election ballot) to fill vacancy for City Councillor (motion passed)
- Community Improvement Plan Implementation
- Climate Emergency Declaration for the City of Belleville
- Approval of Internet and Telephone Voting Systems for Municipal Election
- Belleville Public Library voted to permanently eliminate late fees to reduce barriers to library use
- Standardized Sign Campaign – Mental Health and Emergency Housing Contact Info
- Consulting Services for the Completion of GeoTechnical Investigations for the Reconstruction of Phillipston Road
- Reduced speed limit on Farnham Road to 50 km/h
- Voted against Ward Boundary Amendments – process was flawed
- Expansion of Cityview Program to include Planning Services to Support Comprehensive & Efficient Review of Development Applications
- Consulting Service to Prepare Next Generation 911 Plan
- Approval and Adoption of New Official Plan for the City of Belleville
- Finalization of Development Charge By-Law
- Introduced a Motion (passed) for a resident survey pertaining to Transit Route 9
- Sale of former Memorial Arena and Legion building for $900,000 to Task Force Engineering for redevelopment
- Annual Social Infrastructure Grant of $50,000 to Grace Inn Shelter approved for 2020, 2021 and 2022
- Voted against firing of Integrity Commissioner in a recorded vote
- Donation of property at 93 Dundas Street East to Habitat for Humanity
- Advocated for housing and mental health service providers engagement with Warming Centre clients
- Completion of an Infrastructure Phasing Strategy to Support Growth and Development
- Voted to appoint Tyler Allsopp (next candidate on election ballot) to fill vacancy for City Councillor (the motion failed).
- Social Infrastructure Fund was increased to 10% of Casino Revenue (up from 5%) and the maximum amount for a Social Infrastructure application be increased to $50,000 (up from $10,000)
- Maitland Drive Paved Shoulder – Sidney Street to Hwy 62 (Active Transportation Connectivity)
- Waterfront Pop-Up Shop Development
- Implementation of 4% Municipal Accommodation Tax (revenue to promote tourism)
- Doubled the Belleville Community Arts and Culture Fund to $50,000 and increase the maximum individual grant amount from $3500 to $5000
- Line painting for all rural roads was added to annual Operating Budget – an important public safety initiative
- Approval of a Tree Canopy and Natural Vegetation Policy
- Property Tax Relief Program equal to 100% of City’s share of municipal taxes for Veteran Service Clubs
- Funding commitment to Hospice Quinte Capital Campaign – $1 Million (2019 to 2024 using Social Infrastructure Reserve for 2 years followed by Elexicon Dividend for remaining years)
- First City Housing Summit was convened with community stakeholders
- Doubling of Property Tax Rebate Program for Low Income Seniors and ODSP Recipients to $800 by 2022
- Field of Ability constructed at Parkdale Veterans Park
- Ward 2 Transit Survey to Ward 2 residents to evaluate transit service delivery options in Ward 2
- Funding commitment to the Quinte Human Society New Facility Campaign – $400,000 (2019 to 2026 annually $50,000 – Elexicon Revenue Reserve Fund plus a $1 Million Loan Guarantee
- Pomax Core Fire Services Review Public Release
- Naming of Corporate Assets Policy approved
- Operation of an Overnight Warming Centre
- Acquisition of Former Hillcrest School Property for a Community Park Development
- Servicing and Reconstruction – Design (Farnham Road from Maitland to Kipling)
- Annual Shave and Pave Program – $1,250,000
- Annual Resurfacing Program – $1,250,000
- Annual Slurry Seal Program – $250,000
- The Comprehensive Road Maintenance Program received an increased funding allocation for 2018 with $1.25 Million dollars for the shave & pave program, $1.4 Million dollars for the rural resurfacing program and $250K for Slurry Seal Resurfacing Program.
- Construction Tender Awarded – New Police Services Facility – construction underway with completion in 2019.
- Active Transportation By-law passed.
- Municipal Accommodation Tax – Consultation process implemented.
- Amendment to Business Licensing By-Law restricting number and locations of Pay Day Loan Establishments (My motion).
- Property Standards By-law Amendment – Reduction of time for vacant buildings to have boarded up windows (My motion).
- Departmental Performance Indicators and Community Dashboard Display implemented (My motion).
- Tender approved for Mineral Road & Maitland Drive reconstruction – includes curbs, street lights, and sidewalks.
- No change to Fire and Police Service area rating of property taxes for 2018.
- Tender awarded for Latta Bridge Reconstruction.
- Funding allocated in capital budget for playground equipment at Boyd Park in Deerfield Subdivsion.
- Traffic control Synchronization – Phase 1 – 16 Intersections.
- I introduced a motion setting 2018 Operating Budget target that was accepted by council that staff prepare a draft 2017 operating budget with an overall tax rate increase of no more than 1.5 per cent, with no reduction in current levels of service. This was important given significant Capital Budget Program and its impact on taxes.
- 2018 City Budget had favourable tax impact for residents (Cannifton Urban 1.46%, Cannifton Rural 2.10% and Rural 2.52%).
- The Comprehensive Road Maintenance Program received an increased funding allocation for 2017 with $1.25 Million dollars for the shave & pave program, $1.25 Million dollars for the rural resurfacing program and $250K for Slurry Seal Resurfacing Program.
- Met with HLA Member of Parliament in Ottawa to advocate for rural broadband internet.
- Contract awarded for Mudcat Road Reconstruction – completion date in 2018.
- An ATV By-law was approved permitting All Terrain Vehicle use on rural municipal roads as per the Highway Traffiic Act (My motion).
- Reduction of speed limit to 40 km/h in area of Foxboro Public School to enhance public safety (My motion).
- Enhanced grass maintenance Highway 62 / Highway 401 interchange – Provincial contract was inadequate – Received encroachment agreement and awarded contract to ensure better image of City as travellers enter our community (My motion).
- A Request for Proposal was approved to complete an update to the City of Belleville Official Plan – this is an important mechanism as we plan for future growth, that includes inclusive zoning, affordable housing, and complete streets.
- Yardman Arena Expansion and Renovation Project – Total Budget $20.5 Million – approximately $10 Million investment was required to maintain this asset “as is”. With the additional funding, the City was able to attract professional hockey as well as provide an improved venue for concerts, conventions and trade shows.
- I introduced a motion for staff to investigate the creation of a Lobbyist Registry in order to enhance transparency at City Hall. Unfortunately, this was defeated in a recorded vote 5-4.
- The Vacant Unit Tax Rebate program for commercial and industrial properties will be phased out by 2020. Rebates for 2018 will remain at 30% but the application must include marketing plan as well as meet property standards for eligibility. 2019 rebates will be reduced to 15%. It will be important for next council to consider reserve account for this tax revenue to create grant program for entrepreneurs with new start-ups to fill vacancies.
- I had requested a staff report for Council’s consideration regarding a comprehensive overview of all by-law enforcement activities. Council has since adopted a new proactive by-law enforcement policy, particularly as it relates to property standards.
- I introduced a motion setting 2017 Budget target that was accepted by council that staff prepare a draft 2017 operating budget with an overall tax rate increase of no more than one per cent, with no reduction in current levels of service. This was important given significant Capital Budget Program and its impact on taxes.
- 2017 City Budget had favourable tax impact for residents (Cannifton Urban 2.00%, Cannifton Rural 2.00% and Rural 1.20%).
- A new Comprehensive Road Maintenance Program was implemented city-wide. Allocations included $1 Million dollars for a shave & pave program, $1 Million dollars in new funding for a rural road resurfacing program. This program also includes crack sealing and other new initiatives.
- City signed 8-year agreement with the AHL Belleville Senators.
- Funding for a Recycling Centre at the Thurlow Landfill
- Work as commenced on a Revitalization Plan for Thurlow Park (Harmony Road)
- New playground equipment was installed at Clarence Bird Park with Settler’s Ridge subdivision.
- Two new fire stations were constructed and opened in Ward 2 (Station #3 – Old Hwy 2 and Station #5 – Hoskin Road)
- 2016 City Budget had favourable tax impact for residents (Cannifton Urban 0.09%, Cannifton Rural -0.35% and Rural -0.17%)
- A number of Capital projects were completed – Bronk Road Rehabilitation and Bridge Replacement, Grass Boulevard Reconstruction,
- Council passed my motion (May 11, 2015) for the creation of a committee to implement a Departmental Performance Standards Committee. This will provide clear measurable results related to service delivery.
- Doubling Property Tax Credit – Low Income Seniors / ODSP Homeowners. I introduced a motion, which passed at Council in a By-Law on April 27, 2015 to have this tax credit increased annually by $50 so that by 2018, this property tax credit will have doubled to $400.
- An asphalt pathway on Sidney Street has been approved from Bell Blvd to Millennium Parkway. This will address a significant public safety issue in terms of pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as enhance connectivity over Highway 401. (Capital Budget, February 26, 2015) (My motion).
- Funding has been allocated for playgrounds in Canniff Mills and Settler’s Ridge subdivsions. This is a significant community enhancement for these neighbourhoods. (Capital Budget, February 26, 2015).
- Funding has been approved for a number of Thurlow Ward roads to resurfaced and for others to have the initial designs completed for road reconstruction. (Capital Budget, February 26, 2015)
- Council approved my motion to change the Regular Council Meeting times to 5pm. This will ensure greater accessibility for citizens that work to attend council meetings, either to make a deputation or observe from the public gallery. The purpose is to ensure increased citizen engagement. (January 12, 2015). Unfortunately, Council voted to return to a 4pm meeting time effective April 11, 2016.
- Service delivery expansion – Curb side leaf and yard waste pick-up as well as Christmas Tree pick-up in Thurlow Ward has been implemented as a regular service. This is important considering residents have already been paying for this service in their property taxes for a number of years. This equalizes the service across the entire city. (My motion).
- 2015 Budget tax impact – (Cannifton Urban 2.24%, Cannifton Rural 3.05% and Rural 3.67 %).