Submitted by Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward Councillor –
Happy New Year, Kitchissippi! I hope everyone had a safe and cozy holiday season. We had a busy 2018 and we’re ready to hit the ground running in 2019. Read on to find out what’s happening at city hall.
This term of council I will be serving as the chair of the information technology sub-committee, as vice-chair of the transportation committee, and as the only urban core member of the planning committee. It’s been well-reported in the press that councillors from the urban core were frozen out of committee chair and deputy mayor positions that would give them a seat at the finance and economic development committee, the mayor’s de facto cabinet/executive committee. My motion to add councillor Menard and Brockington to planning committee was defeated at council, and I and eight other councillors voted to reject the Mayor’s nominations outright.
The budget direction report was also passed, with four of us dissenting. Staff will now prepare a budget draft that anticipates a citywide tax supported levy of no more than three percent. These funds will address increased labour costs and support critical infrastructure renewal projects. This would add no additional debt, but I anticipate that there will be little new funding beyond inflation to address the ongoing housing crisis, increase our social services, or improve our other pressing needs.
In better budget news, an additional $400,000 has been approved for the Rosemount Library renovations! The new glassed-in reading room at the front was well-received by folks I spoke with at the open houses showcasing the revised plans, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.
We’ll resume pop-up office hours shortly, so keep your eye on the newsletter for more information about where and when we can meet up to chat all things Kitchissippi. In the meantime, we do have a community meeting for a potential development at 258 Carruthers coming up on January 15, and another meeting to discuss the Westgate (1309 Carling Ave.) development. More information on that at kitchissippiward.ca. I hope to see you there!