Are Bill 66 and Springwater Township a “marriage made in heaven?”

January 19, 2019

Mayor Don Allen: “But we’re also not going to handcuff ourselves, we’re very keen on economic development.”

AWARE News Network
January 10, 2019

Springwater’s Allen on Bill 66: projects in works
‘Not going to do anything untoward, but not going to handcuff ourselves’
Kate Harries

Mayor Don Allen

Springwater Council voted last night to take a wait-and-see approach on Bill 66, after being told by Planning Director Brent Spagnol that he was not in a position to provide meaningful comment.

However, Mayor Don Allen made clear that the proposed legislation – decried in some quarters for allowing municipalities to set aside environmental protection and government transparency – may be useful.

“There are things in play as we speak that potentially we could use Bill 66 – as best we know it and as we continue to find out about it – to help with respect to that economic development,” Allen stated.

“I can’t say any more right now, it’s early stages,” he added, indicating that there is more than one project that is in the works that could benefit from the provisions in Bill 66.

The matter was on the agenda because of a letter from the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition urging council to commit not to use Bill 66. Such resolutions have been passed by numerous councils across the province, including Bradford-West Gwillimbury.

Text of SCGBC RLSC open letter re Bill 66

Spagnol said the comment deadline set by the province (to January 20) is too short, and the province has provided insufficient information. In particular, he would want to review the regulations related to the “open for business” bylaw before advising council.

Springwater CAO Robert Brindley said council rightly has concerns about the environment and potential abuse of power.

“At the same time there may be instances within Springwater where such a bylaw might be advantageous, where it doesn’t affect those things. We don’t have the details yet to make those decisions. At the same time, the motion proposed in this correspondence I feel is premature until we know those rules.”

Brindley suggested that council may decide to put what he called “more belt and suspenders” in terms of keeping some environmental protection in any “open for business” bylaw process.

Allen described Bill 66 as “a very surprising bill in different ways because of the number of acts that it catches,” but he said it’s hard to interpret at this stage because of the lack of regulations.

However, “the majority of people in the township elected us because they felt we could do the best job. So you put your faith in us as a council,” he told those attending and watching the council meeting. “We’re not about to squander that.”

He added: “This is a municipal council-generated initiative, it’s not a developer-generated initiative, it’s with respect to employment lands, not residential, so it certainly won’t happen with this council that this is abused in any way to the detriment of the environment.”

He promised: “And as has been the case with the previous council, and will be the case with this council, there will be full and open disclosure and communication of public meetings where that’s appropriate so have faith, we’re not going to do anything untoward with respect to this.

“But we’re also not going to handcuff ourselves, we’re very keen on economic development.”

Councillor George Cabral echoed Allen’s call for the electorate’s trust. “I certainly see the concern, I would like to think that everyone would have some faith in us.”

Councillor Jack Hanna asked that staff respond to the province to the effect that the township does not have enough information, but will determine its course of action in the future once the regulations are received.

http://aware-simcoe.ca/2019/01/springwaters-allen-on-bill-66-projects-in-works/

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When is Springwater Township planning to demolish or “decommission” the Midhurst Community Centre?

April 8, 2016

Sometimes it helps to ask politicians, in writing, important questions.

Springwater Council Web

(l) Don Allen, Perry Ritchie, Katy Austin, Bill French, Sandy McConkey, Jennifer Coughlin, Jack Hanna

1. Email from author to Midhurst ward councillor (Mr. Jack Hanna), Township of Springwater

FROM: Les Stewart
TO: Jack Hanna <jack.hanna@springwater.ca>
CC: Bill French <Bill.French@springwater.ca>
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:31
SUBJECT: Midhurst Sports and Wellness Centre proposal

Mr. Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5
Township of Springwater

Mr. Hanna,

I would appreciate an update on the Township’s evaluation of this proposal.

I would also like to have an opportunity for a meeting so that I can make sure my facts are correct about how this proposal will affect the Midhurst Community Centre at 74 Doran Road, Midhurst.

Regards,

Les Stewart

2. Response from Mayor French

FROM: Bill French

TO: Les Stewart, Jack Hanna

CC: Ron Belcourt <Ron.Belcourt@springwater.ca>, (Director of Recreation, Parks & Properties)

Robert Brindley <Robert.Brindley@springwater.ca> (Chief Administrative Officer)

DATE: 24 March 2016 at 11:51

Les:
It was referred to staff for feedback. It will not be reviewed until we finalize our Master Recreation Plan which will not be complete until later this year.
Before the advancement of any idea or concept, it would be subject to rigorous review and public input. But at the same time we commend people that have ideas that try to enhance our various communities.
Appreciate your interest.

Best Regards

Bill

Bill French
Mayor
Township of Springwater
2231 Nursery Road
Minesing, ON L0L 1Y2
P 705-728-4784 ext. 2040
F 705-728-6957
C 705-718-7031 or
416-587-7030

3. Reply by author

FROM:: Les Stewart
TO: Bill French
CC: Jack Hanna, Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 12:05

Mayor French,

Thank you for the update.

I take from this that the proposal, which called for demolishing the Midhurst Community Hall by fall 2016, will not be happening.

I have attached a current Springwater News article by Ruth Byers.  She notes Midhurst and many township residents had worked very hard to preserve 164 years of continuous civic building presence. It may be of interest to the Corporation that the Midhurst United, St. Paul’s Anglican and Midhurst Baptist churchs rented the Doran Road facilities while their congregations struggled, successfully, to construct their own buildings in our community.

Considering the season, it’s nice that the current church congregation renting (Old Apostolic Lutheran Church) won’t become homeless by this administration.

At least for now, eh?

Regards, Les

4. Mr. Jack Hanna comments.

FROM: Jack Hanna
TO: Bill French, Les Stewart
CC: Ron Belcourt, Robert Brindley
DATE: 24 March 2016 at 16:39

Mr Les Stewart
Further to the response from Mayor French you will note in the Draft Recreation Master Plan a recommendation to “decommission the Midhurst Community Centre” my objection to this is part of the public record.

Regards,
Jack Hanna
Councillor Ward 5

Meeting asked for….meeting…

Therefore, the French administration, staff & councillors seems to be pleased with the accuracy of the traditional and social media coverage.

Posted also on iLoveMidhurst.ca.


Springwater Township’s Budget 2014: On auto pilot for passing on Feb 25th or a sprawling disaster?

February 13, 2014

Who the current administration serves (elected and senior staff) is on clear display during Springwater Township’s annual budget process.

budget 2014 strategic3

Linda Collins Robert Brindley Brent Spagnol

Brent Spagnol, Mayor Linda Collins and CAO Robert Brindley (l to r)

The CAO and senior staff recommend a budget. They serve at the pleasure of the CEO (mayor) as defined by provincial law.

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillors create a strategic plan that is the dominates everyone’s actions to all legitimate stakeholders. Since the control of $ by elected officials is a fundamental democratic function, each passing council must ask the tough questions to ensure our $ are spent wisely and not squandered in these most of uncertain times.  The minimum they can do is  to do no harm and especially don’t poison the fiscal well for the next legislators (huge debt, no reserves, etc) mandate. (Municipal election in 10 months. Disclosure.) Springwater Township is a creature of the provincial government.

A Top/Down Hierarchy:  Province of Ontario (Premier and Ministries)– Mayor and Council — Citizens/Voters/Taxpayers — Senior Staff  — Employees  (l to r)

In senior staff’s most recent 183 of 458 pages (so far) of document, February 10th – Draft 2014 Consolidated Budget, page 7 it states:

Council’s Strategic Plan (2012 – 2014)
Vision: To actively promote Springwater Township as a municipality of unique communities with opportunities to
cultivate, grow and prosper.
Mission: To provide accountable representation and maximize efficiencies.
Values: Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

While it maybe difficult for you to know, I would encourage you to attend the budget the meetings. The next one is February 18th at 1 pm on Nursery Road. I assume it is open but I haven’t heard back from my request for information from Mayor Collins. again, lol

If you can’t make it, ask the following people that have been their in your place:

  • Katy Austin, registered candidate
  • Sandy Buxton, President, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association, MRA
  • Bill French, gadfly,
  • Barb Kutcher, Community Organizer, MRA,
  • Kevin Newman, Logistics Chair, MRA,
  • Ann Spence, and
  • others I missed (sorry…will edit).

These are the ones that I knew in the crowd but please, identify yourselves the next time you see me at Council. I’m the one with the white bear pin. 😉

Without great information sharing, How can we assign an appropriate reputation to our elected and non-elected officials? Remember: Sunlight is the best Disinfectant.

Accountability, Approachability, Integrity, Respect and Responsiveness

Very transparent.

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca.

 

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