ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
11.4 – Windsor Essex 10 Year Housing & Homeless Plan Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.3 – Draft Subdivision Plan Maguire Street Yes 10-0 Delegation
8.8 – Town of LaSalle Transit Service Yes 10-0 Consent
8.6 Report 67 WBC gap between St. Rose & George Yes 8-2 Referral
8.7 Wyandotte Street Windsor Loop Connection Yes 8-2 Referral
11.1 & 11.2 Proposed Riverside Baseball Park Yes 9-1 Delegation 

 

Item 11.1 & 11.2 Riverside Miracle Field Baseball Park: I enthusiastically voted YES in favour of the redevelopment of the old Riverside Arena grounds into a Miracle Field Baseball & Recreational Park.

This is a wonderful example of the best kind of leadership – grassroots leadership from a remarkable community organization – Riverside Minor Baseball – and the surrounding community of Old Riverside.

Sincerest kudos to the Farrow Family who stepped up and demonstrated the positive power of business leadership in our community.

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
10.2 South Cameron on Street Yes 10-0 Deferral
10.1 Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island Review Yes 10-0 Presentation
8.3 BIA Cross border marketing initiative Yes 10-0 Consent
11.2 Lonsdale Proposed Parking – Compromise Solution favoured by residents Yes 7-3 Delegation
11.1 Open Streets Windsor report Yes 10-0 Regular
11.3 Parking Clearances at Recreational Trail Crossings Yes 10-0 Deferral
11.4 Agreements Broadway @ ETR crossing Yes 10-0 Consent

 

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.10 – Kinsmen Park community garden Yes 10-0 Consent
11.1 – BIA budget approval Yes 10-0 Consent
8.13 – 1207 Drouillard Road rezoning Yes 10-0 Consent
10.1 – Sandison rezoning Yes 10-0 Delegation
10.2 – Sandwich Gateway Roundabout  – Heritage Features Yes 10-0 Delegation
10.2 – Sandwich Gateway Roundabout – Statue Location No 6-4 Delegation
       
Motion: Matchette Road Closure EA Yes Not Supported Not Supported
10.3 – Report No. 95 re: Matchette Road closure – Eco Passages Yes 10-0 Delegation
10.4 – Inquiry regarding process for Matchette Road closure – Eco Passages Yes 10-0 Delegation
10.5 – Inquiry regarding process for Matchette Road closure – Eco Passages Yes 10-0 Delegation
       
11.2 – 673 Caron Avenue demolition deferral Yes 10-0 Consent
       

 

Item No. 10.2 – Sandwich Gateway Roundabout Location:

I voted in favour of the heritage features of the Sandwich Roundabout, however I voted NO on the location.

To be clear – I actually like the vision put forward by the proponents of the roundabout location for the statute, but I also understand that the Sandwich community has an important say in the matter.

The reason I voted NO is because I felt the City could have taken a pause to consult with the residents of Old Sandwich Town.  This is particularly true when one considers that the original location – Patterson Park – was approved unanimously by the previous City Council and it is the location, which organizations such as the Sandwich Town Business Improvement Association (BIA) support.

At the very least – the community should have been consulted on the change in plans that until now had been broadly supported by residents and City Council.

Item No.  10.3 & 10.4 & 10.5 – Inquiry Regarding Process for Matchette Road Closure:

On Monday night, I put forward the following motion:

That Council directs administration to pursue an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the closure of Matchette Road from Titcomble to the northerly edge of the developer’s property – and that the matter be referred to the 2018 budget deliberation.

The motion was not supported by my Council colleagues, which means the motion was defeated without discussion or debate.

I want to emphasize that we were not deciding to close Matchette Road that night.

The motion sought to gather more information – and more facts – through an Environmental Assessment (EA) to see whether the closing of Matchette Road was feasible.

It may be that the report would conclude that the disruption to the transportation network and to neighbouring communities would be severe.

Or the report may have discovered that the traffic could be diverted seasonally or permanently with manageable impact.

The fact is – we don’t really know.

What we do know is that Ojibway sets our city apart.  What we have in the Ojibway Prairie Complex is a natural urban park that exceeds New York’s Central Park in scale and most nature preserves in North America in ecological diversity.

And that in itself, many would argue, is enough to warrant looking into ways of expanding the protections afforded this unique park while elevating its position – perhaps as a national urban park or with a UNESCO Heritage designation as recommended in the Parks Master Plan unanimously approved by City Council in 2016.

Before the Rouge National Urban Park was established in Toronto – a 79.1 sq. km park that is the first national urban park in Canada- Parks Canada consulted with 20,000 Canadians and 200 organizations including all levels of government.

Public consultation is also at the heart of the EA process and it gives the breadth of our community a voice in what could be a transformative decision for our City.

In an EA process, City Council has a voice.

Community organizations have a voice.

The Aboriginal community has a voice.

And last, but certainly not least, business has a voice.

The legal concerns brought forward Monday night are valid. The concerns brought forward by the developer are definitely valid.  The voice of the community is, of course, always valid.

As a result, I think that an EA would be the perfect vehicle to bring all of those concerns into a broader analysis and consultation process.

That is why I moved for an EA – because it provides a platform for gathering technical information and for measuring the pulse of the community on this issue.

It is easy to give into fear of the legal risks, engineering challenges and political uncertainties.

With vision, I believe it is possible to rally a community – and work together to overcome all three.

I believe that a pragmatic, measured and informed approach is the way forward when it comes to balancing economic and environmental concerns – and an Environmental Assessment (EA) would have provided an important piece of the puzzle.

Although my EA motion was not supported – Council did eventually unanimously agree to explore the possibility of incorporating eco-passages along Matchette Road as a mitigation effort to reduce mortality of species at risk crossing the road.

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
7.3 – TD Friends of the Environment Yes 10-0 Deferral
11.4 – GECDSB Bus Bay and encroachments Yes 10-0 Deferral
8.8 – Upper Little River management plan Yes 6-4 Delegation
10.3 – Pilot project for EPIPens @  Forest Glade Arena Yes 3-8 Delegation
8.11 – Downtown Collaborative garden Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.1 – 2017 Tax Policy – Ratios No 8-3 Delegation
11.3 – Riverside Baseball Park Yes 10-0 Deferral
11.2 – BIA Assistance Fund – Memorial Cup Yes 10-0 Consent
 Item 7.2 – Waterront property Acquisition – ex Abars  Yes  10-0  Referral

 

Item 11.1 – 2017 Tax Policy Ratios: Council already set the tax levy January – tonight City Council was deliberating on how that tax levy cost will be divided among the different tax classes, for example:

  • Residential
  • Farm
  • Commercial
  • Vacant land/parking
  • Industrial

Although I acknowledge the very good work by Administration in putting this complicated puzzle together, ultimately I could not support the way the tax burden was divided among tax classes because it raised the tax ratio among job creators such as commercial property owners while at the same time reducing the tax burden on vacant property owners.  Furthermore, even after assessment is taken into consideration, another job creator class – shopping centre owners – ended up paying more than the previous year.

In principle – I cannot support a distribution of the tax levy which raises tax ratios or tax impact on job creator classes such as commercial and shopping centres – while at the same time reducing the tax burden on vacant property owners – a tax class which creates zero jobs.

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.7 – Beach access mats and mobi-chairs for Sandpoint Beach Yes 10-0 Consent
10.1 – Rotary Centennial Plaza Yes 10-0 Presentation
11.1 – Amendment to HST component Yes 10-0 Regular
10.2 & 10.3 – Taxi Study Report Yes 8-2 Delegation
n  In-Taxi Cameras No 4-6 Delegation
       

 

Item 10.2 & 10.3 – Taxi Study Report: City Council voted in favour of introducing a regulatory framework that will allow Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber & Lyft to operate in Windsor.  The framework is the most stringent in Canada and includes:

  • Mandatory Vulnerable Sector Check – which goes above and beyond the standard background check
  • An annual car inspection for cars less than five years old, and a semi-annual inspection for cars older than 5 years
  • A ten year vehicle age limit
  • Report on cameras in TNCs and Taxis within one year

I also asked for two friendly amendments which were not accepted by my Council colleague who put forward the original motion:

  • That an expanded decal with expanded information be mandatory
  • That a report come back to Council about instituting a per-ride-fee that that would generate additional revenue for Handi Transit from each TNC ride – something that was negotiated in Ottawa.

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.1 – 2017 Vacancy Rebate Program Yes 8-2 Regular
8.23 – GECDSB Bus Bays and Parking Yes 10-0 Referral
11.4 – Vacant property registry Yes 10-0 Deferral
8.8 – Draft subdivision Maguire St Yes 10-0 Deferral
7.2 – Assessment update report MPAC Yes 10-0 Presentation
8.17 – Sign bylaw amendment 29 entertainment group Yes 10-0 Consent
11.1 – Pattison outdoor sign LED Yes 10-0 Referral
8.12 – Sandwich Fire Hall stables Yes 10-0 Delegation
11.2 – Residential rental licensing Yes 10-0 Deferral
11.3 – Residential rental enforcement Yes 10-0 Deferral
       
       

 

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
8.7 – McNorton Multiuse Trail Yes 10-0 Consent
8.21 – Zoning Bylaw 4350 Howard Yes 10-0 Delegation
10.1 – Festival Plaza finalization Yes 10-0 Delegation
10.2 – Ouellette Avenue streetscape Yes 10-1 Delegation
8.19 – Waiver of Fees for Diving Plongeon Canada No 6-5 Delegation
11.1 – Exemption from Demolition Control N/A 9-0 Delegation
10.3 – Karen Street One Way No 3-7 Delegation
11.2 – Sandwich Street roundabout Yes 8-2 Regular
       
       

 

Item 8.19 Waiver for Fees $75,000 for Diving Plongeon Canada: I voted NO on the waiver of fees for Diving Plongeon Canada in the amount of $75,000.

Firstly – providing a waiver of fees for a brand new sports/cultural organization like the diving club – while existing clubs like the Windsor Aquatics Club pay $120,000 in annual fees to the city – is patently unfair.

Second – I am not against Waiving of Fees.  I have supported waiving of fees for the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF), the Downtown Farmers Market, the OFSAA Provincial Championships, the Filipino Community Basketball Tournament, and the Via di Italia Cycling Race among others.

In these instances – the organizations have clearly demonstrated (a) a significant economic benefit to the City of Windsor (b) a community-wide quality of life benefit.

In short – these organizations met a higher standard for a waiver exemption.

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
7.3 – Design Guidelines for fencing along Riverside Drive East Yes 10-0 Communications
7.4 – Use of Aerial drones in Parks Yes 10-0 Communications
11.1 – Phase 1 of Cabana Corridor Yes 10-0 Regular
11.2 – Roseland AGM Yes 10-0 Consent
11.3 – Canada 150 and Ontario 150 Grants Yes 10-0 Consent
       

 

Item No. 7.3 – Design Guidelines for Fencing Along Riverside Drive

Riverside Drive is classified as a Scenic Drive – making it the jewel of Windsor’s road network.

Residential property owners go to great lengths – and make serious investments – to maintain a high standard of landscaping and fencing along the waterfront of Riverside Drive East.

It only makes sense that the City of Windsor, as well as commercial and industrial property owners, maintain the same level of standard as residential property owners when it comes to fencing – and in particular the goal of the report is replace rusted, industrial chain-link fencing with something more appropriate to the waterfront location.  A good example is the rusted, chain-link fencing on the Ford Motor Company property in Ford City across from Drouillard Road.

The purpose of the report is to develop a mechanism that will encourage industrial and commercial property owners along the waterfront to upgrade their industrial chain-link fencing and replace it with something more decorative – a perfect example of quality fencing can be found along the property of Hiram Walker.

The City already has programs that encourage commercial and industrial property owners to improve their fencing – such as the Sandwich Community Improvement Plan (CIP) that provides a grant up to $15,000 or 50 per cent of the cost to improve fencing OR the Little River Fence Improvement Grant.

This report directs administration to expand that program along the waterfront to the Ford City CIP.

Finally – it is imperative that the City of Windsor also replace old chainlinked fencing along municipally owned waterfront property and replace it with something of a higher standard the reflects the pride of place that is our waterfront.

 

Item 7.4 – Aerial Drones in City Parks

I support the use of aerial drones for recreation and commercial purposes.

This report simply examines whether our regulations are sufficient to make sure that the safety and privacy of residents using our parks – such as Sandpoint Beach and Ganatchio Trail as well as playgrounds etc. – are protected.

Currently, our regulations align with what most municipalities across Ontario have in place.

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
5.1 – PwC Internal Audit Yes 10-0 Delegation
5.2 – Internal Audit Yes 10-0 Delegation
5.3 – Hotline Issues Yes 10-0 Delegation
5.4 – Implementation of audit recommendations Yes 10-0 Delegation
5.5 – Internal Audit employee hotline Yes 10-0 Delegation
5.6 – Management action plan for audit Yes 10-0 Delegation
6.1 – Compliance with applicable laws Yes 10-0 Business
6.2 – Delegation of authority report Yes 10-0 Business
6.3 – Audit Planning report 2016 Yes 10-0 Business
       
       
       

 

 

ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
11.1 2017 Operating Budget Yes 2-8 Presentation
11.3 2017 5-Year Capital Budget Yes 10-0 Presentation
7.2 2016 Flooding Event debrief Yes 10-0 Presentation
11.2 2017 Sewer Surcharge update Yes 10-0 Regular
11.4 Recycling in city facilities Yes 10-0 Regular
11.5 Bulk item collection Yes 10-0 Regular
11.6 Rodent extermination program Yes 10-0 Regular
11.7 Post traumatic stress disorder legislation Yes 10-0 Regular
11.8 City Wide WPFFA retirees and survivor benefits Yes 10-0 Regular
11.9 Weekly free admission day for museum – maintain status quo Yes 10-0 Regular
11.10 2017 Operating budget for WECHC Yes 10-0 Regular
11.11 – Municipal poverty reduction initiatives Yes 10-0 Regular
11.12 Facilities master plan Yes 10-0 Regular
11.13 Road Quality Assurance investment Yes 10-0 Regular
11.14 Dougall Avenue Two-Way conversion report Yes 10-0 Regular
11.15 Dougall Two-Way conversion No 3-7 Regular
11.16 Central Box Yes 10-0 Regular
11.17 Grand Marais Drain update Yes 10-0 Regular
11.18 Operation review of 311/211 Yes 10-0 Regular
11.19 School neighbourhood policy Yes 10-0 Regular
11.20 Norman Road sewers Yes 10-0 Regular
11.21 Lighting on South National Street Yes 10-0 Regular

 

Item 11.1 & Item 11.3: 2017 Operating Budget & 2017 Five-Year Capital Budget

The Mayor and City Council delivered an Operating and Capital Budget for 2017 that includes a 1.73 per cent increase to the tax levy.

This includes increases to so-called independent Agencies, Boards and Committees (ABCs) – such as Windsor Essex County Health Unit, EMS, Essex Regional Conservation Authority etc. – of about $3 million over which City Council has no direct control.

Despite the increases from the ABCs plus significant inflationary pressures – for example, about $2 million more in hydro expenses than the year before – the 2017 tax levy is actually lower than the 2008 tax levy.

To put that into perspective – since 2008, the total tax levy for 23 cities across Ontario has gone up on average by 23 per cent.

Windsor’s tax levy has actually gone down by 5 per cent.

Some highlights for Windsor and Ward 7:

  • Funding to prioritize completion of Sanitary and Storm Water Master Plan in 2018 rather than the originally planned 2020.
  • Funding for review of capacity at Pontiac Pumping Station at Little River Pollution Control Plant
  • Funding for hiring technicians that will expedite applications/inspections for Basement Flood Protection Subsidy Program
  • Funding for continuation of Basement Flood Protection Subsidy Program
  • Rat Control program will be reinstated as a free service
  • Funding for hiring a Quality Assurance Technician for road construction and road asphalt
  • Cat voucher program will be maintained
  • Additional building inspectors hired to reduce backlog of property standards complaints
  • Bulk collection pick up with be an option for residents
  • Workplace initiative for persons with disabilities will be maintained
  • Funding for splash pad at Forest Glade Community Centre in 2020

I vote “No” on the following:

  • A $50,000 increase to the marketing budget for Adventure Bay

I voted “Yes” but City Council voted “No” on the following:

  • Tennis Court rehab and maintenance program
  • Park Bench maintenance program
  • Park and bicycle trails maintenance program
  • In-Land water rescue from Windsor Fire Service

The Enhanced Capital Budget will provide $400,000 for the following two projects:

  • $200,000 to rebuild the basketball court at Forest Glade Community Centre
  • $200,000 to begin engineering work for the Mulberry/Banwell roundabout as designed in the Banwell Road Environmental Assessment.

The projects that were submitted for the Enhanced Capital Budget for Ward7 included but not supported by Mayor and City Council:

  • $2.64 million for Banwell Road reconstruct
  • $600,000 for road repairs in Ward 7 – roads to be determined by City Engineer
  • $300,000 for accessible playground