On Tuesday, December 2, the new South Frontenac Council is sworn in.
The past month we have been busy “learning the ropes”: meeting procedures, the budget process, who to contact for what, conflicts of interest and a multitude of necessary bits of information. I have also spent my time reaching out to members of the community. Some of you have expressed an interest in being kept up to date on council proceedings. Others are interested in specific concern: increased resident participation; a more responsive council; addressing climate change; protecting and improving our natural environment, particularly lakes; more senior’s housing and housing for adults with disabilities; creating a biking network; and improving out partially maintained roads.
Public Notice for Comment on New Subdivisions
I have suggested that for subdivision plans and larger developments the current two week notice required under law is too short. These project have been in the works a long time, often for years, with the developer preparing their proposal. It only seems reasonable to give local residents a longer time to comment on a proposal. I have given notice of motion to give the public 6 weeks before a public meeting to comment on the Johnson Point development. I will follow his up with a proposal for a more general policy for these types of developments.
Public Comment on the Budget
I have also raised the idea that the budget process would benefit from an opening where members of the public can comment on a draft of the budget before a final decision is made. There is no opening in the current budget process. I will raise this issue in December, and see if Council is agreeable to try it this year, if not, then for next.
Climate Change and Bikes
I have talked with numerous people about bringing together a committee to consider ways that the Township can reduce its carbon footprint, both through encouraging more renewable energy sources and by increasing conservation. Similarly, there is an interest in creating a network of bike routes in the area. If you know of anyone who is interested in working on these projects please contact me. I hope to have a meeting within the first few months of the New Year.
Partially Maintained Roads
There has been discussion of standardizing maintenance on partially-maintained township roads. An update was given to the last council in September. If you are interested in this topic I can send you a PDF of that report, it is very short. This will be followed in the new term by a consultant’s report and more staff information. I have suggested that early in the process residents and road committees on these roads be brought together to comment on how the township should approach our 45-50 partially maintained roads.
Of course there are many more issues. I would appreciate your comments on these and anything else you think is important.
If I do not get a chance to talk with you before the holiday, have a great Christmas and happy New Year.