Windsor Star photo - IrekMy name is Irek Kusmierczyk and I am honoured to be your voice on Windsor City Council as the Councillor for Ward 7.  Welcome to my blog called Forward 7.  Scroll down and you’ll find posts about issues residents have raised at the door, ideas and plans for improving Ward 7, how I voted on matters before council, and discussions about innovative best practices in other cities.  I hope Forward 7 becomes a space where we can connect and a first step in making City Council more transparent, accessible, accountable and responsive to residents.  I invite you to surf my site and as always I am available any time to talk in person, by phone or email.

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Spent a couple of hours on a weekend ward walk snapping some photos of maintenance issues north of Tecumseh Road East.

We’ll bring these matters to Administration’s attention and seek remedial action.

Here are a few photos from the ward walk.

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1-      Brownfield Rehab Grant Dougall Avenue Yes 10-0 Consent
2 – Site Plan HDGH Transitional Stability Centr Yes 10-0 Consent
3 – Service level targets 311 Yes 10-0 Consent
4 – Vacant Land surplus Yes 10-0 Consent
5 – Concession operations RFP Yes 10-0 Consent
6 – Indian Road demolition denial Yes 10-0 Consent
7 – Talent management program Yes 10-0 Consent
Report No. 362 – Open Streets Yes 8-2 Delegation
Report No. 347 – Eastlawn Avenue rezoning Yes 10-0 Consent
Report No. 349 – Uhaul former Wickes Site Yes 10-0 Consent

 

 

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
6.1 – Delegation of Authority Yes 10-0 Business
6.2 – Compliance with Applicable Laws Yes 10-0 Business
6.3 – PwC Summary Hotline Issues Yes 10-0 Business
6.4 – PwC Audit Recommendations Yes 10-0 Business
6.5 – PWC ESWA Yes 10-0 Business
6.6 – PwC Manage Infrastructure Yes 10-0 Business
6.7 – PwC Purchasing Card Review Yes 10-0 Business
6.8 – PwC IT Governance Yes 10-0 Business
6.9 – 2015 KPMG City Wide Report Yes 10-0 Business
6.10 – City Wide 2016 BIA Budget Review Yes 10-0 Business
6.11 – YQG 3rd Quarter Yes 10-0 Business
6.12 – WCU 3rd Quarter Yes 10-0 Business
6.13 – Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario Yes 10-0 Presentation
6.14 – Memorial Cup LoU Yes 10-0 Business

 

Item No. 6.7 – PwC Purchasing Card Review:  13,600 purchases totalling $3.2 million each year were made using purchasing cards or P-Cards.  That is a significant number.  What is concerning is that when PwC looked at a sample of PCard purchases – they found that 38 per cent were not reviewed and 75 per cent had no explanation for the purchase.

We need tighter control of purchasing cards.

In addition to the recommendations, I put forward a motion that Administration report back on the feasibility of following the City of Toronto model which publishes all P-Card purchases online every month as open data.

 

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The basketball courts next to Forest Glade Community Centre have been in terrible condition for many years.  It is unacceptable considering that they are located in the heart of Forest Glade and adjacent to the arena, library, community centre, tennis courts and baseball diamonds where thousands of residents of Forest Glade gather for recreation.

As you can see from the photos – there are basketball poles with no backboard, some with no rim, and others with no backboard and no rim.  Most are badly deteriorated.  The basketball court surface is rutted, overgrown with weeds and a public safety hazard.

I emailed these photos to the Mayor and the Executive Director of Parks on January 7th, 2016 and have had discussions with Administration about bringing these courts back up to an acceptable standard.

Check back here for more updates.

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I kick-started 2016 by taking a few photos of the dilapidated state of the median on Banwell Road between Little River and Wyandotte Street East.  This median has been a sore spot for residents of this gateway boulevard for years.  It is a gateway boulevard because thousands of residents use this boulevard as their main thoroughfare in and out of East Riverside.

The Mayor has an open door policy where Councillors can raise concerns and Ward specific issues – and so I took full advantage by presenting the Mayor with these photos on January 5th and meeting with him in his office to discuss possible solutions to this longstanding problem.

You will observe in the photos that 10 out of 35 tree wells sit empty, unkempt and overgrown that represent a staggering 29 per cent of the total tree wells on the entire stretch of boulevard. You’ll also notice that the median is stained in some parts and the photos illustrate crumbling concrete in others.

On January 4th, 2016 I tabled a Council Questions asking the Parks Department to report back with a plan to improve the median on Banwell Road.

Check back periodically for updates as I work with Administration to get this issue resolved.

 

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1-      RFP SCBA gear for Windsor Fire Yes 10-0 Consent
2 – Connecting Links grants Yes 10-0 Consent
3 – Appointment of integrity commissioner Yes 10-0 Presentation
4 – Downtown Windsor Community Collaborative Yes 10-0 Delegation
       

 

 

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1-      Pedestrian lighting on Ottawa Street Yes 4-6 Delegation
Report No. 362 – Open Streets Yes 10-0 Deferral
Report No. 333 – 3329 Sandwich Zoning Yes 10-0 Consent
       

 

Item No. 1 – Pedestrian Lighting on Ottawa Street:  Mr. Barry Horrobin – a certified Law Enforcement Planner with the Windsor Police Department – provided testimony based on his 26 years of experience that the new LED lighting installed on Ottawa Street is insufficient and unsafe.  Public Safety is paramount and that is why I voted to install additional lighting in order to address the gap in lighting and gap in public safety on Ottawa Street.  Unfortunately, the majority of Council saw things differently and voted down the additional safety measures.

 

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1-      MOU Mobile Command Unit Yes 10-0 Consent
2 – Essex County Fire Services Training Yes 10-0 Consent
3 – 2016 Annual Temporary Borrowing Yes 10-0 Consent
4 -2016 Interim Property Tax Bill Yes 10-0 Consent
5 – Caesars – FINA Agreement Yes 10-0 Consent
6 – Windsor Economic Development Delivery Strategy Yes 10-0 Presentation
7 – City of Windsor Visual Standards Yes 10-0 Consent
8 – Refuse and Recycling from Outdoor Furnishings and Bush Shelters Yes 10-0 Consent
9 – Cabana Road reconstruction Yes 10-0 Consent
10 – FCM Leadership in Asset Management Yes 10-0 Presentation
Report 343 – Service Mold Aerospace Yes 10-0 Consent
Report 318 – On street parking modifications Yes 10-0 Delegation
Report 336 – Chateau Park Lodge Yes 10-0 Consent
 

 

Item no. 5 – FINA Agreement with Caesars Windsor: Taxpayers of the City of Windsor will cover $400,000 in hotel expenses at Caesars Windsor for organizers and delegates of the FINA World Swimming Championships.

Report No. 343 – Service Mold Aerospace: City Council approved financial assistance to a local homegrown aerospace company called Service Mold Aerospace valued at just under $500,000 in order to support expansion and job creation –which is the top priority for City Council.

 

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IREK’S TOP 21 CITY COUNCIL MOMENTS OF 2015

√  Campaign promise fulfilled

  1. Balance the budget with zero tax levy increase  √
  2. Improve transparency by voting YES on Auditor General √
  3. Support job creation and retention by voting YES on three Community Improvement Plans (CIP) and a Brownfield Redevelopment CIP to support local industry expand factories and create jobs √
  4. Take a pause on big ticket purchases by putting forward motion to eliminate $2.5 million Riverside Tunnel Underpass √
  5. Build strong neighbourhoods and improve quality of life by voting YES on East End Community swimming pool √
  6. Build strong neighbourhoods by voting YES to keep open Windsor Water World, Adie Knox and Seminole Public Library √
  7. Prioritize key infrastructure such as roads by introducing motion to bring in outside expert to review asphalt specifications while reassessing City’s quality control & maintenance programs √
  8. Mill and pave Tecumseh Road East from Forest Glade Drive to Banwell Road √
  9. Maintain Lakeview Park Marina as public marina with increased capital investments
  10. Improve accountability through performance review of Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation
  11. Improve accountability and transparency by publishing entire 2015 voting record online @ www.irek.ca √
  12. Support a 20-Year Strategic Vision for the City of Windsor
  13. Windsor Essex Youth Advising City Councillors (WEYACC) – a program that engages youth in local politics supported by myself and Councillors Bortolin, Holt, Marra, Bachetti – successfully brought forward resolution to support amendment to Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the Right to a Healthy Environment
  14. Putting taxpayers first by voting NO on New City Hall that went $8 million over budget despite major reductions in design and not counting $7.2 million parking garage √
  15. Introduced motion to support homegrown cultural and sporting events such as the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) and Tour di Via Italia cycling race
  16. Voted YES to support the Downtown Windsor Farmers Market
  17. Put taxpayers FIRST by voting NO on new $300,000 sports tourism office and unnecessary $186,000 recycling guru for City staff √
  18. Protected Windsor’s architectural heritage by voting NO on demolition of St. Barnabas Church
  19. Voted YES on consolidation and expansion of Windsor Public Library
  20. Successfully included High Tension Cable Barriers in upcoming EC Row Environmental Assessment (EA) to improve transportation safety
  21. Successfully convinced administration to remove concrete jersey barriers from residential areas and replace with more aesthetic planters
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