Irek’s Votes – December 18, 2017

10.2 – Parking App Implementation Yes 10-0 Presentation
8.6 – Monmouth Road Parking Changes Yes 10-0 Consent
11.4 – Concession Group Canada agreement Yes 10-0 Referral
8.2. – New Windsor Public Library Sandwich Branch Yes 10-0 Delegations
11.3 – Parking Garage Improvements No 9-1 Delegation
11.1 – Sewer easement expropriation Yes 10-0 Consent
11.2 – Corporate LED lighting conversion Yes 10-0 Consent
8.7 – Dieppe Park Riverfront lighting, benches and trash improvements Yes 10-0 Consent
 Council Question: Snow Removal  Yes  10-0  CQ


Item 8.2 – New Windsor Public Library Sandwich Branch: I wholeheartedly supported and voted YES to the building of the new library branch in Sandwich Town. Not only will this investment maintain the heritage of the Old Firehall – but this new modern library will enrich the lives of residents for generations and I am confident will spur additional investment in Sandwich.

Libraries are so much more than just book exchanges – they are social spaces where residents meet and talk and collaborate. They are places where technology and innovation are made accessible to everyone. They are places of economic development where folks go to improve their skills, connect to employment and spark their careers.

8.7 – Dieppe Park Riverfront Lighting, Benches and Trash Improvement: Kudos to the Parks Department for once again bringing forward an excellent initiative – this time an investment of $685,114 to improve and replace lighting, benches and garbage receptacles in Dieppe Park.  I voted Yes.

11.3 – Parking Garage Improvements: I support improvements to the Goyeau Street and Pelissier Street parking garages – two old garages constructed in 1965 and 1979 that are showing their age and historic under-investment.   In particular, I support the roughly $300,000 in security improvements e.g. lighting, CCTV cameras.

However – I could not support the overall total price tag: $4.07 million.

Simply put – that is a significant amount of money and there are other priorities that would make substantially larger improvements to the Quality of Life of residents or the Economic Development potential of the City.

A more pragmatic approach would see the City make a more modest initial investment to immediately improve the conditions of the garage, while also setting a long term capital improvement schedule through the Off Street Parking Reserve Fund. One does that by setting monthly pass prices that are reflective of the true cost of operating and maintaining a garage.  At present – the City heavily subsidizes monthly passes and charges significantly lower rates than any comparable municipality.  This is reflected in the fact that the Off Street Parking Reserve is in a perennial deficit – and it is this Reserve Fund that should serve ongoing maintenance.

That is a more pragmatic path towards proper asset management – and one that allows us to invest funds in the short term in areas with more impact on the lives of residents than parking garages.

One further note – I am of the position that the City should consider selling one of the two garages which, as they age, will become more expensive to maintain.

Council Question – Snow Removal: Concerned that the level of snow removal was inconsistent after the first major snowfall of the year – with many streets in Ward 7 having been skipped over  – I asked the following Council Question:  “That administration review the residential snow clearing level of service policy and provide options to enhance the service along with estimating the associated enhanced costs, and include comparisons with like sized cities in Ontario”.  That Council Question was adopted by Council.