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I had a fantastic time with some good friends at the 2014 Mayor’s Riverfront Walk as we celebrated the City’s Birthday!

Sincerest congratulations to the Youth Leadership Award recipients including Foad Karimian who has been running a successful entrepreneurship program at the Accelerator for high school students and also the unemployed, as well as Michelle Gajewski who is the President of the Polish Canadian Students Association at the University of Windsor.  Great work!

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I had a wonderful time at the South Asian Centre banquet.  Great food.  Fantastic entertainment.  Wonderful celebration.South Asian Dinner

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1 – Car Pro Industries waiver of fees deferral Yay 10-0 Deferral
2 – Targeted Initiative for Older Workers renewal Yay 10-0 Delegation
3- Blight mitigation update Yay 10-0 Consent
4 – Declaration of Vacant Land Yay 10-0 Consent
5 – Declaration of improved properties Yay 10-0 Consent
6 – Application to Innovation Fund Yay 10-0 Consent
7 – 2014 BIA Budget Approval Yay 6-5 Delegation
Report No 187 – Concrete Barriers Yay 10-0 Consent

 

Item #7 – The nine Business improvement Areas (BIA) across Windsor presented their budgets for 2014.  Administration put forward several recommendations including approving the budgets or working to complete the budgets for eight (8) of them.  The City administration recommended that Council not approve the 2014 budget for the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Area (DWBIA) which was asking the City to forgive $152,073 it owes the City for streetscape improvements while asking for an extended repayment period for the additional $101,352 it owes the City when the 1 Riverside Drive property was reassessed.

The total under consideration was $253,426.

I voted to support the City’s recommendation to reject both the forgiveness and the ten year repayment plan.  Of primary consideration for me was the fact that more than 30 per cent of DWBIA funding goes towards administration costs.  This seems very high to me.  In essence, the DWBIA levies a tax on small business owners each year and one-out-of every three dollars ($1 of every $3) of that goes towards DWBIA salaries and other office expenses.  Seems to me there is some fat to be cut here.  We all have to tighten our belts.

Although I will not support forgiving the money that is owed to the City by the DWBIA, I will support a longer repayment period if the DWBIA can demonstrate an effort to bringing administration and salary costs down.

Report #187 – A report regarding concrete barriers aka Jersey Barriers came before Council.  In short, Councillor Valentinis had put forward a Council Question in September 2013 asking Administration to report back on whether time limitations or prohibitions can be placed on private land owners who place concrete barriers on their vacated lots.  The City recommended not put any restrictions on the use of concrete barriers.  No other city has such restrictions since it is necessary to secure vacant lots to prevent vandalism, littering and unauthorized use.  Although I supported this motion, it is my view that the question itself is faulty as is the approach.   The City should pursue establishing options for private landowners to choose alternatives e.g. placing large concrete planters with trees/plants in place of the unsightly concrete barriers especially in gateway intersections—such as—the vacant former gas stations on the corner of Forest Glade Drive and Tecumseh Road East.  Though this motion passed,  I will continue to pursue an alternate to jersey barriers with the City such as the use of concrete planters with trees/plants in order to maintain the standard of our neighbourhoods – which in my opinion concrete barriers simply degrade.

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FAB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I attended the kick off of the Food.Art.Bikes (FAB) @ City Cyclery last week where about 90 people listened to a half dozen presenters put forward their vision for a more livable City through music, food, art, and recreation.  Kudos to the organizers.  Now let’s roll up our sleeves and do the hard pedaling of making these inspiring ideas a reality around town!

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We hosted our third annual Practise Your Pitch session for regional finalists who are representing Windsor and Essex at the Canada Wide Science Fair.  These are our next generation of innovators and job creators.  Last year’s finalist–Alex Dean–was recently named by MacLeans Magazine as one of Canada’s Top Future Leaders for his invention of a sonar-based belt that helps the visually impaired navigate their surroundings.  Alex is in Grade Twelve!  These kids are like shooting stars across the sky and I’m just so privileged to be part of their trajectory even if for a brief moment in time.  Good luck!

 

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I had the great privilege of participating in the re-dedication ceremony for the WWI Veterans Memorial at Memorial Park attended by veterans, students, city officials as well as RCMP and Windsor Police Services.  It was a terrific way to pay our respects to those who served, who fought and who sacrificed for the values and freedoms we enjoy and that form the foundation upon which stand our schools, our places of worship and our halls of government.  Thank you.Memorial Park

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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
Report No. 217 – Dawson alley closing Yay 10-0 Delegation
Report No. 216 – Buckingham alley closing Yay 10-0 Delegation
Report No. 215 – Huron Church permit Yay 10-0 Delegation
1 – First Quarter Variance report Yay 10-0 Administrative
2 – Status report compliance Yay 10-0 Communication
3 – Summary of hotline issues Yay 10-0 Communication
4- Time spent in open camera Yay 10-0 Communication
5 – Internal audit report Yay 10-0 Presentation
6- Revised audit plant Yay 10-0 Presentation
7 – Concern citizen hotline process Yay 10-0 Presentation
       
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ITEM # and DESCRIPTION_ IREK VOTED COUNCIL VOTED TYPE OF ITEM
1 – Establish tax rates Yay 10-0 Presentation
2 – Canadian Transit Company retaining wall Yay 10-0 Consent
3 – Status regarding clocks on Ottawa St. Yay 10-0 Consent
4 – Servicing agreement Yay 10-0 Consent
5 – Application to close alley north of CNR Yay 10-0 Consent
6 – Fire services bylaw Yay 10-0 Consent
7 – Tender California Ave. sewer Yay 10-0 Consent
8 – Car Pro Industries festival Yay 10-0 Deferral
9 – Construction of curbs and gutters Yay 10-0 Consent
10 – Pinoy Athletics request Yay 10-0 Delegation
11 – Central Box Study EA Yay 10-0 Consent
12 – Peacekeepers and Afghanistan Memorial Yay 10-0 Delegation
13 – Campaign Wake Up Windsor Yay 10-0 Consent
14 – Transfer of surplus funding Yay 10-0 Consent
15 – Utility cut restoration Yay 10-0 Consent
16 – Create corporate sponsorship policy Yay 10-0 Consent
Report No. 186 – Mediterranean Seafood parking Yay 10-0 Delegation
Report No. 185 – Opening our Streets Yay 10-0 Delegation
Notice of Motion – Accountability Act of Ontario Yay 10-0 Deferral

Item #12 – Council unanimously approved the establishment of a Memorial to Peacekeepers and Veterans of the Afghanistan War in Reaume Park, while also approving the inscription of Afghanistan on the Cenotaph at City Hall Square.  The delegation featured a stirring speech by Windsor Police Officer and Afghanistan Veteran Mike Akpata.

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Hundreds of people came out to plant hundreds of trees in Ward 7 in the Aspenshore area off McHugh Avenue as part of the ERCA-sponsored Earth Week celebrations.

Windsor has one of the lowest proportions of tree coverage in Ontario, hence this was a very important way to build up and pass along a natural heritage to future generations.

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