I would characterize this term of council as a success. We are moving forward very nicely.
In my term as Deputy Mayor and member of Simcoe County Council, I have worked tirelessly and diligently to implement my campaign commitments to develop and implement a strategic plan, champion open, transparent and accountable government and push for fiscal responsibility and restraint while improving our municipal services for our residents.
As one of the first orders of business, this Council developed a Community Based Strategic Plan which identified the 5 priorities of our residents, namely, accountable local government, public access to a revitalized waterfront, culture and the arts, healthy lifestyles and support for economic growth.
This Council has made significant strides
With this as our roadmap, this Council has made significant strides in all five areas.
Under accountable government, Council adopted a new Code of Conduct, a new Procurement Policy, adopted live streaming for all council and standing committee meetings, retained an Integrity Commissioner through the County of Simcoe and struck a Public Inquiry to look into the 2012 sale of 50% of the Town’s utility, Collus.
Under Public Access to a revitalized waterfront, Council developed a waterfront masterplan in 2016 and is currently constructing the indigenous healing circle as part of Phase 1 of the master plan. Under supporting economic growth, Collingwood has been ranked as the number 1 entrepreneurial community in Canada and we continue to work not only with new businesses but to support and assist existing businesses.
Under fiscal restraint and responsibility, Council has reduced the Town’s debt load by over $12 million to its lowest amount since 2007, adopted a pay as you go policy to prohibit any new debt until a benchmark is achieved and keeping municipal tax rate increases to an average of approximately 1% per year over the term of this Council.
Under Healthy Lifestyles, Collingwood was recently named one of the top communities in Canada for outdoor activities and retirement destinations.
This Council installed a skate park at Heritage Park, improved the minor ball diamond, updated the active transportation plan and received the bronze bike friendly community award.
Under culture and the arts, this Council has expanded the number of festivals and events in Collingwood building on the success of the Elvis Festival, continues to support heritage and work with the arts community to promote events.
Collingwood’s waterfront is as beautiful in winter as it is in spring, summer and fall.
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