​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ALEX WALDER, COUNCILLOR HASTINGS HIGHLANDS

This website is being used for Council Work . It is totally funded at my expense. The views expressed are my alone and do not represent the views of the Municipality.  

Mar. 31, 2020.     
Life has changed in HH 
Covid-19 has impacted the governance of Hastings Highlands. Our highest and first priority is the personal safety of everyone. To that end and in compliance with County, Provincial and Federal directives and authorizations measures have been and will continue to be implemented that include but are not limited to: closure of all municipal facilities, including HH Library, to the public, a total fire ban. As of Mar. 15, 2020, Council Meetings have been postponed; the Municipal Emergency Control Group has been engaged and meets daily. I am confident that HH is well positioned to successfully come out on the other side of this pandemic.
HH’s Current Response. The commitment and professionalism of the entire HH Staff under the leadership of our recently appointed CAO David Stewart is unparalleled. Emergency Responding, Servicing Roads, Waste Sites, Communications (telephone & internet) with Staff and Council are maintained.  Communiqués via media press releases, fb posts at “Hastings Highlands Centre” as well as daily updates on www.hastingshighlands.ca  are issued regularly.
HH Emergency Plan There is a wealth information related to HH Operations and Services during an emergency as well as sound advice for public and individual safety measures. Go to: https://hastingshighlands.ca/services/emergency-services/https-hastingshighlands-ca-wp-content-uploads-2019-09-2018-073-municipal-emergency-plan-pdf/ 
Council Meetings The Provincial Government has amended the Municipal Act of Ontario to allow Municipal Councils to meet on an electronic platform with provisions for Transparency and Accountability. To date, 3 Council Meetings via Teleconferencing have been scheduled for April. Announcements of these meetings for Apr. 6, 8 and 15 have been posted on HH website where agendas and minutes will follow. Go to: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=659
Late Breaking Announcement… As of April 1, 2020 a TOTAL FIRE BAN is ordered in HH. “Due to the risk of exposure to Covid 19 during responses to fires. The Chief Fire Official of Hastings Highlands has issued a TOTAL FIRE BAN that prohibits all open fires…..The fire ban will remain in place until further notice and will be lifted as soon as conditions allow.”  
Constituency Work: I continue to invite questions, comments, statements of concern and dialogue. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, send me an e-mail to awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or a pm on facebook to “Alex Walder”. 

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Feb. 29, 2020.     
                                   
 Around the Council Table
Hastings Highlands Library will receive continued and increased support from HH Municipality. In addition to their requested cash increase  to $141,500 for 2020, the HH Library will continue to be provided with the additional support of treasury services, IT infrastructure, debt servicing (building space), hydro, heat, cleaning service and maintenance.    
2020 Operating Draft Budget was the topic of lengthy discussions and scrutiny during 2 public meetings (Feb 3 & Feb 10/2020). HH’s day-to-day revenues and expenses forecast for 2020 is a balanced budget of approximately $11M. Council directed staff to further fine tune the draft and to return it with a limiting factor of 1.53% increase in the Municipal’s portion of the overall property tax assessment. The total assessment rate is still subject to the Provincial and County levies to be finalized by them later in the spring.   
Maynooth Revitalization and Other Capital Expenses are progressing well. Tenders and Request for Proposals (RFP & RFQ) for large projects such as Road Repairs, Maynooth Revitalization, Service Buildings’ Repairs and Construction and Replacement Cycle in our Fleet have been issued and are awaiting quotes due in March & April for early spring starts.
Waste Management Ad Hoc Committee The important and long-term work of the Waste Management Committee, Chaired by Councilor Gerrow, is due to be elevated to a Standing Committee. As long as we’ll have waste, we’ll need the ground breaking, activities, investigations, recommendations and focus on education of this committee. The hard work and commitment of the committee members deserves everyone’s support.
Integrity Commissioner Tony Fleming a C.S.,Certified Specialist in Municipal Law at Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP is up for reappointed for another 1 year term as HH’s Integrity Commissioner.
Hastings Highlands Fire Department 2019 Annual Report with several recommendations came to Council on Feb 19/20. Its comprehensive internal analysis of the HH Fire Services will be a topic for a Special Meeting in the coming month(s).
                                                 
In The Community
Butter Tarts in Maynooth! I’m posting this report early in the last day of the month to help promote the 1st Annual Butter Tart Festival in Maynooth. It’s happening TODAY​ Feb. 29, in the HH Centre from 10 AM to 3 PM. So head on over and enjoy the dozens of varieties.   
Long Talks In The Woods is a new series of weekly events at the Hastings Highlands Library on Fridays 12 noon to 2 PM. I, along with 20 interested participants, attended the 2nd session on the topic of “Sustainability”. Saun Sellers’ presentation helped me to begin to formulate a better understanding of an oft used and misunderstood concept. I look forward to future sessions.     
Meals on Wheels service has come to HH. Care North Hastings has begun a once a week delivery of a full meal prepared by Chris Hass of Memories Bakery and Tea Room. To register for meals or to become a volunteer, call: Care North Hastings at 613-332-4700.
Let's Play Bridge:  Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM in the Library. Always ready to welcome new players. Learn to play, improve your game or come to help others improve their game. 
Constituency Work:  Many of the initiatives with which I become involved are direct results of conversations with constituents. My preferred interaction is person-to-person contact. I can also be reached at 613 338 0028, send me an e-mail awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on facebook Alex Walder. Please accept this invite as a sincere offer to listen and dialogue.

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Jan. 31, 2020
As we begin the 4th year of these monthly postings, I am very pleased and honoured by the continued interest. I have started a new tab for “My Activities at Council 2020” and have made all the postings for 2019 available on another tab for review and reference (2018, 2017 & 2016 are available upon request).     

                                    Around the Council Table
Maynooth Revitalization
HH Council approved the design plans for Maynooth. The entire cost is budgeted in the 2020 Capital Budget. D. M. Wills Associates presented three options. Council decided to go with an amended version (no cross walk) of Option 2. The entire presentation with cost estimates for each option is available at: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/6CA3B0CB26E345568C910D273BDC1DE4-HHR%2062.%20Presentation.%20January%208,%202020.pdf
Miscellaneous Grant Applications Deadline Date extended to Feb. 28, 2020 to be widely publicized in order to alert community groups and others as they prepare their requests to Council.
“The Manhatten Project” a locally made movie with professional cast and additional local talent, received enthusiastic approval that the film’s Premiere be jointly hosted by HH and HH Business Association. The showing was a great success in spite of the snow/ice storm on the day and evening. I’ve been informed that $750 from the entry fees was donated to Maynooth Food Bank. To my regret I was unable to attend, having previously arranged to represent HH (along with 2 other Council Members) at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association’s Annual Conference.
A Severance Application of a Property on Lake St. Peter All final decisions with respect to severances are a Hastings County jurisdiction. Our Municipal Council has in the past expressed our opposition to this severance. Further information has been received from County. HH Council re-affirmed its opposition pending further comment from “legal and other sources”. 
New Parking/Stopping By-law was approved by Council. It would be in everyone’s best interest to be well informed. BYLAW 2020-009 REGULATING THE TRAFFIC AND PARKING/STOPPING OF VEHICLES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF HASTINGS HIGHLANDS includes fines, both in this by-law as well as being subject to Administrative Monetary Penalty System (A.M.P.S.). Also included the authority to have vehicles towed and stored at the owners expense.  The entire parking by-law may be accessed at: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/94E79FF937D84F109EEECE2B6222FE6B-2020-009%20Regulating%20Traffic%20Parking.docx
Procedure Manual governs Council proceedings.  After a rigorous review and update, on Jan 22/20 “Council passes Bylaw 2020-007 being a bylaw to govern the proceedings of the Council of the Corporation of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands.” It’s a good one, well worth being familiar with it.
Facilities User Fees updated. But its application has been has been “extended until after the Miscellaneous Grants are approved by Council.” The intent of the delay was in consideration for the groups preparing their grant applications.
Invitation to School Board Chair, Lucile Kyle and Director of Education Sean Monteith was issued by Council. Watch for future developments.
ROMA  Along with two other Members of Council and two Members of Staff, I attended the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference Jan. 18 – 21. Among the very informative and of timely sessions of interest were: Cannabis in Your Community: Medical Grows - Challenges and Opportunities, Plenary Sessions addressed by  Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Minister of Health , Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, MPAC Values Ontario Sponsored by MPAC and a very eye opening session on Cyber Security and Closed Meetings.  A more encompassing report will be forth coming to Council.

                                                 
In The Community
Mayor’s Diary published on fb, are interesting, regular postings.  They serve to inform, to engage and to promote public discourse. As they are posted, related questions and comments for more details have been asked of me. Unfortunately, I must listen and decline until Council and Staff have the opportunity to explore, discuss and formulate official HH positions. I encourage those wanting more that what is in the Mayor’s posts to address Vic directly. I doubt, if I would ever be accused of silence or lacking an opinion on a Municipal matter but since the fb postings are subsequently copied as the Mayor’s Report to Council, my comments are reserved to be made at the appropriate forum which is at the Council Meetings. 
Save the Dates: Feb. 10, 2020 Public Meeting to present HH’s 2020 Budget. For official notification please go to: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=hastings%20highlands%20centre&epa=SEARCH_BOX
Let's Play Bridge:  Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM in the Library. Always ready to welcome new players. Learn to play, improve your game or come to help others improve their game. 
Constituency Work:  Many of the initiatives with which I become involved are direct results of conversations with constituents. My preferred interaction is person-to-person contact. I can also be reached at 613 338 0028, send me an e-mail awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on facebook Alex Walder. Please accept this invite as a sincere offer to listen and dialogue.

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