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-Jim McManaman

In the 2014 election, I identified a number of priorities that I felt the City needed to address in the upcoming term of Council. In reviewing my campaign materials for this article, I was pleased to note that by working together, City Council and Staff have made progress on many of those issues...along with many other important achievements.
2 years into this term of Council‎, a group of strong individuals have come together to form a strong team. There have been many debates and disagreements, but ultimately, consensus has been reached on a number of issues that will benefit this City for years to come. Some of the highlights include:

Assessment growth- for the City to prosper, we must grow the tax base. Installing the water and sewer services to the area near the Hospital is an expensive initiative and involves some risk‎...but it is a project that I believe will facilitate strong growth in that area of the City.

Redevelopment of City Hall- ‎our municipal headquarters was in such poor shape that our heating system was essentially condemned this spring. The roof leaked in many areas, there were mold issues in the basement, the windows were from the early 1960's, the walls had no insulation, the air conditioning didn't operate, the building was not truly accessible to people with mobility issues, the electrical system was inadequate...the list is endless. This Council recognized that the deficiencies could no longer be ignored and made the tough financial choice to bring the building up to modern standards.

2016 Service Review-Every service the City provides was reviewed extensively. This led to ‎over 60 alternatives being identified to the current service delivery model ‎which resulted in $865,000 in savings to the City budget.

Infrastructure deficit - through the budget process, Council has managed to significantly increase the amount we commit to our capital infrastructure every year. There is much more to do, but progress is being made.

Committee restructuring- while this initiative may seem small, it has allowed our Staff to work‎ more efficiently. Streamlining the number of Committees allows Staff to spend their time more effectively, instead of constantly preparing for and attending multiple meetings.

Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade - the project of upgrading our sewage plant to secondary treatment has spanned over the terms of several Councils. This is the largest project ever undertaken by the City and our most important environmental initiative ever. It should be completed in the spring of 2017.

Youth Recreation - very early in this term, the City was able to reach an agreement with Meaford that allowed us to streamline and simply the process for Meaford children to use City facilities.

Over the next 2 years, I am hopeful that we can move forward on the Downtown Riverfront Precinct revitalization plan as well as develop a more regional approach to services with our municipal neighbours.


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