We have all felt the wrath of the early and very cold winter this year.
The snow clearing operations on the residential streets were hampered by the numerous snowfalls, which weren’t large enough to trigger the cleaning of the streets. I received many calls at my office about the challenge this has created. While this has been inconvenient for most it has created additional barriers for our elderly and handicapped that live in our community. I have brought these concerns forward to our Public Works department as part of its review of our current snow clearing operations.
At City Hall, we are also in the process of reviewing the draft Capital and Operating Budgets for the next fiscal year. I have had a lot of input from residents of the area about these budgets. This year’s budget has created quite a dilemma for many citizens in the area. While these budgets address one of the most important concerns facing our area — the crumbling infrastructure of our streets and roads — it comes at a price. This budget is recommending a modest increase in property taxes. While I am reluctant to agree to these increases, improvements to our local and regional streets are badly needed. This budget also provides for a number of significant investments such as the Louise Bridge rehabilitation project, the completion of the twinning of Molson Street project, and the construction of the North East yards. This budget also provides funds to construct a much-needed splash pad for children in the area.
One major cut in this budget that effects our area has been the elimination of last year’s controversial increase in the Constituency Representation Allowance. As the councillor for the area I was able to distribute these funds to local organizations and charities to assist them in programming or buying supplies in their work with children and seniors in our neighborhood.
As we celebrate the holidays in our own unique traditions it is a good time to reflect on the joys and trials over the year with our loved ones and families. I trust that everyone will find comfort, strength and joy over the holidays and I hope that you will also find abundant blessings in the new year.