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

WARD 3, MONTEAGLE 


Nov. 30, 2017                          Around the Council Table

The following comments are highlights; full minutes of Nov. 1, Nov.14 and Nov. 22/2017 Council Meetings are available on-line: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents

OMB Hearing: On Nov. 7 & 8 three sessions were held (day & evening on Nov. 7 & all day on Nov. 8). Everyone had opportunities to be heard. One person even had a long distance telephone call-in commentary and several written submissions were read in the absence of the writers. We are waiting for the OMB decision.
HH 2018 Capital Budget was presented at a public Special Meeting and was passed at the Regular Council meeting (also open to the public) on Nov. 22/17. $1.7M is budgeted for road repairs, vehicles replacement, building repairs and administrative computers acquisitions. The revenue to cover these expense will come from Municipal Levi, Fed. & Prov. grants and from HH reserves. The Capital Expenses will now be incorporated into the 2018 Operating Budget which will be presented early in the New Year.  For details of the 2018 Capital Budget please go to: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/47363?preview=57460
Emergency Management & Civil Protection Act Seminar: On Mon. Nov. 27/17, I along with CAO Pat Pilgrim, Dep. Mayor Roberts, Councillors Hagar and Matheson attended a presentation on Disaster Legislation. The presenters were Leanne Latter, Emergency Planning Co-ordinator of Hastings County and our own Fire Chief Pat Hoover. Of the many things I learned, I will emphasise the following. Be prepared to be self reliant (food, fuel, self generated power, pet needs) for at least up to 72 hours. Pat Hoover’s advice is to have a “GO KIT” ready in case of an evacuation order. How to prepare?? Go to: https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit  

FCM Grant: On September 26th Hastings Highlands was approved for a grant amount of up to $20,000 to complete The Hastings Highlands Buildings & Facilities Strategy through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Municipal Asset Management Program.
Auditors for 2017 Collins Barrow Municipal Auditors will continue to be looking at our books for the fiscal year 2017.
Someone’s Junk is another’s Treasure: Councillors Hagar’s & Matheson’s terrific idea was approved to designate Two (2) Reusable Goods Days coinciding with the Household Hazardous Waste Days in the months or July and October 2018. On those days surplus items may be placed at the end of drive ways to be gathered by interested others. What a great idea. Items of use will be continued to be of use and we will reduce what goes into our landfills.
2018 Elections: HH will use telephone and internet voting for our municipal elections. BUT if you like to cast your ballot at a polling station on voting day, you’ll be able to do so. There will be lots and lots of information at a later date. A public education process is planned.
CFDC: A proposed agreement with Community Futures Development Corporation was discussed at the Nov. 22nd meeting. Lots of questions were raised. In order to gather more information for an informed decision, a motion to postpone the discussion to the Dec. 6 meeting was approved. 
Library’s finances: HH Library Board had an unexpected sum of $31,140 come available. On Nov. 29, 2017 the auditor from Collin Barrow stated at a HH Library Board public meeting that the Library has an “Accumulated Surplus” of $55,000. This is composed of $24,000 of capital assets plus $31,140 amount of operating surplus. Board member Christine Hass asked if this (the later) is “real money?” to which the auditor had a one word reply “Yeap”
                                                 
In The Community
Remembrance Day. It was my honour and privilege to be asked by Mayor Bloom to lay the HH Commemorative wreath during the memorial ceremony at the ANAF.   
McAlpine Corners, a very dangerous intersection was made safer by our roads crew after complaints of near collisions due to obstructions to the view of drivers. Most of our intersections were created for “horse and buggy” speeds. If you know of any others that need attention please let me know or bring it to the attention of the staff.
Hastings County Assistance programs: There is several assistance programs from the County go to: https://quinte.cioc.ca/record/VIQ0317 for full information. One example is: “Hastings County offering down payment help” reads a headline by Luke Hendry in the Intelligencer.  For details go to:   http://www.communitypress.ca/2017/11/27/hastings-county-offering-down-payment-help?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook
Constituency Work: I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. I’m happy to assist. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, Tab to “Write Your Comment or Message” above here on www.alexwalder.com (privacy protected), send me an e-mail to awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on face book Alex Walder.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 31, 2017
                                            Around the Council Table
The following comments are highlights; full draft minutes of Oct. 4 and Oct. 18/2017 Council meetings and Grant Committee & Budget Ad-hoc Committee meetings of Oct. 24 available on-line.
Councillor Nancy Matheson: Sincere best wishes to Nancy for a quick recovery from her recent surgery. She is the ultimate example of dedication. Attended and took an active part of the Oct. 18 council meeting, following which on the same day, she travelled to Toronto to be admitted to the hospital. We look forward to her return!
OMB Appeal Hearing: The scheduled hearing for Oct 5 & 6 was restricted to a pre-hearing consultation during which new dates of Nov. 7 & 8, 2017 was set for the hearing of the appeal.

Grant Committee: The Grant Committee moved ahead on several initiatives. Council approval was granted to submit a grant application to Ontario’s Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.
East Ontario Trails Alliance (OETA): Deputy Mayor Roberts resigned as Council’s representative to the OEAT Board of Directors. I agreed to take his place as the HH’s liaison. OEAT administers over 2400 km of motorized and non-motorized trails that have a very large economic impact. Excellent information is available on their web site https://www.thetrail.ca     

Council Representation on Selection Committees for Senior Staff: My motion:THAT COUNCIL appoints Two (2) members of Council to be part of the selection and hiring for Senior Staff starting with the selection, interviews and conversations pertaining to the Chief Building Officer position. Defeated.
Ministry of Education: A letter from the Minister of Education to HH Municipality was tabled. In it the Minister communicated that HPED School Board will receive $609,875 targeted “to improve the educational experiences of students in communities such as [ours]”. The Minister’s letter continued with a statement of expectations that “Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board will work with the Municipality of Hastings Highlands and community members before making decisions that impact students.”  My motion, to have a letter sent to the Board Chair Lucile Kyle and Director of Ed. to assure them that HH is ready to work with them to meet the Minster Hunter’s expectations. Carried.
Capital Budget for 2018 the Ad-Hoc Budget Committee moved forward on a proposed 2018 Capital Budget. The proposed budget will be presented for discussion at a public meeting on November 14 at 6 pm. This proposal contains 22 needed roads projects, 1 building repair and 4 vehicle/equipment replacements for a total of $1,640,667 of Capital Budgeted expenditures.
Asking Questions Pays Off. In response to my questions to our Treasurer; HH Library Board has an unexpected sum of $30,000 that became available. The auditors will explain at a soon to be scheduled public meeting.
                                               
In The Community
Play Bridge at the Library. A small group has been meeting at the library on Tuesdays at 1:00 pm to play Bridge. New participants, experts as well as those wishing to learn the game, are always welcomed.
Maynooth Food Bank:  They ask that as our seasonal residents close their cottages for the season, please consider making a donation to our local Maynooth and Area Food Bank. Non-perishable food items that are not past their best before date. Place food items to be donated in bags and leave on veranda at 113 Young Street, Maynooth (small house across from Old Community Centre), or in drop box at Hastings Highlands Municipal Office.
Constituency Work: I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. Most inquiries this month had to do with the upcoming OMB hearing and the recently uncovered library fund.
I can be reached at 613 338 0028, Tab to “Write Your Comment or Message” above here on www.alexwalder.com (privacy protected), send me an e-mail to awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on facebook Alex Walder.

​-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

​​September 30, 2017

                           Around the Council Table
The following Comments are highlights; full draft minutes of Sept. 6, 2017 meeting available on-line at https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/47365?preview=55393  
Councillor Seat Vacancy filled: On Sept. 6, Frank Hickey was sworn in as Councillor for Ward 1.
Grant Application for Hwy 62 reconstruction: Council authorizes the submission of an application for the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF).
Waste Management: Following the orders of the Min. of Environment & Climate Change. HH staff will start immediately to prepare Sand Bay Landfill for closure and convert site to a WTS (Waste Transfer Station). The only change for rate payers is that Sand Bay will not accept brush and leaf and yard waste (no longer allowed to burn at the site), see all 9 waste site locations and time schedules check on-line at http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/userfiles/files/2017Winter%20HH%20landfill%20hours.pdf
LED Signage: 5 documents were tabled that constitutes the accord between HH and Hospice North Hastings with respect to the erection and operation of the LED sign. 4 of these addressed Council’s support for working with Hospice North Hastings and 1 was the a Policy statement by HNH Board of Directors that out lined the details of the operation of the LED Sign (to view the HOSPICE NORTH HASTINGS Electronic Signage Policy Policy#10 see pg. 133 at https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/47363?preview=55317. Council directed HH Staff to arranges with Hospice North Hastings a procedure to monitor and report to Council that Hospice North Hastings follows its own Electronic Signage Policy, Policy #10.
Employee Relations: Council approved an Appeals Procedure for a disputed Performance Evaluation for non-unionized employees. Also Council recognized and thanked the services of 9 long time employees (of 5-39 years) and celebrated with a delicious BBQ lunch for all employees.  
Grants Committee: Sept. 6, the committee reviewed 15 submissions for suggestions from the public, staff and council for projects for which grant funding should be sought. The suggestions will prioritize and three (3) potential ideas for which Grant Funding could be sought.
East Ontario Trails Alliance (OETA): As alternate rep. to Deputy Mayor Roberts, I attended the OEAT Board of Directors meeting on Sept. 7/17.  I will be reporting about meeting to Council on Oct. 4.
An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Hearing will take place in the Hastings Highlands Centre of the Hastings Highlands Municipal Building located at 33011 Highway 62 North, Maynooth Ontario K0L 2S0 at 10:30 a.m. for two days, Thursday, October 5th , 2017 and Friday, October 6th, 2017.  The Hearing is being scheduled to hear comments regarding By-Law # 2017-35 (Ward Boundary).
                                     In The Community
Algonquin Land Claims: There are two Public Open Houses hosted in our area by the Provincial Government to review the Draft document in progress to transfer 117,500 acres and a $300 million capital funding to the Algonquins of Ontario and to define the Algonquin rights related to lands and natural resources. The meetings will be held in: Whitney – October 3, 2017 at the Lester B. Smith Community Centre – 32 Hay Creek Road in Whitney from 4-7 and Bancroft – October 4, 2017 at the Faraday Community Centre at 13 Lower Faraday Road in Bancroft. These will be an opportunities for the public to receive information and to comment on the Draft Environmental Evaluation Report – Transfer of Provincial Land to the Algonquins of Ontario. Excellent information can be had on line at: www.Ontario.ca/algonquinlandclaim​.
The Inter-Lake Association supports Maynooth Food Bank:  They ask that as our seasonal residents close their cottages for the season, please consider making a donation to our local Maynooth and Area Food Bank. Non-perishable food items that are not past their best before date. Place food items to be donated in bags and leave on veranda at 113 Young Street, Maynooth (small house across from Old Community Centre), or in drop box at Hastings Highlands Municipal Office.
Constituency Work: I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. I’m happy to assist. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, Tab to “Write Your Comment or Message” above here on www.alexwalder.com (privacy protected), send me an e-mail to awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on face book Alex Walder
.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 31, 2017                                            

                                  Around the Council Table
Councillor Seat Vacancy: Due to the sad and untimely passing of Bert Cannon, our good friend and long time member of Council his seat was declared vacant. By a split vote of 4-2 the Council passed a motion to offer the seat to …"the Candidate who ran for the position that is vacant from the most current Election who received the most votes but was not elected from Ward 1". I voted “yes” on this motion. To vote no would have caused further time delay, possibly incurring substantial cost and time delay. By voting for this motion I also affirmed the credibility of my own appointment under similar circumstances.
Ad-Hoc Budget Committee: Council appointed Deputy Mayor Roberts, and myself with Mayor being an ex-officio member to the Committee. The 3 of us along with upper administration staff will prepare a draft municipal budget for 2018. As according to the instructions of Council, the Committee will provide periodic progress updates.  
Victorian Order of Nurses for Canada – Fees for Hastings Highlands Gymnasium: The VON requested relief from the rental fees. I spoke vehemently in favour of cancelling the rental fee currently being charged for their health and safety program which they offer free to HH seniors. My proposal was soundly rejected and the status quo to “maintain the current rental fee of $15.00/ hour..” was reaffirmed by a recorded vote of 4-2.  
Power Point Presentations: I enjoyed and learned from two excellent presentations were made to Council on “Summer Municipal Intern Projects” and “Succession Planning in Hastings Highlands”. The former, by Sydney Martin, Summer Municipal Intern and the later, by David Stewart, Treasurer/Deputy CAO; and Sydney Martin.
LED Signage: My motion for information “to direct staff to research and present with background any agreement and/or bylaw between Hospice and Council with respect to the erection and operation of the electronic sign on the Municipal property”. Carried
County response to HH Council’s questions regarding Economic Development:  A letter to Hastings Highlands Council from Warden Rodney Cooney was included in the Communications Items of the Aug. 23 meeting's Agenda and is available for all to read.
New Legislation Regarding Nominations of Candidates for the 2018 Municipal Elections: Staff will seek clarifications from The Minister of Municipal Affairs for possible exemption from the requirement for municipal council candidates to have their nomination endorsed by 25 electors in a municipality with less than the prescribed number of electors. The question to be answered: what is the appropriate threshold number of electors in a municipality for the exemption to apply?
                                   In The Community
Congratulations to Carol Russell on her appointment by Hastings County Council to the Economic and Tourism Development Advisory Sub-Committee.
Congratulations to the Bancroft Area Stewardship Council and it’s director, Keith Buck, organizers and all participants on a hugely successful Garlic Festival event in Maynooth on Sat. Aug. 19/17. Best wishes for next and subsequent years. You have set a very high bar which I’m confident that you will continue to raise.  
3 Public Meetings I attended and provide the following briefs. Contact me for more detailed information.
      Introduction of Hastings County Draft Official Plan on Aug 28/17, HH Centre, 9:30 AM was well attended. I had a very informative opportunity to get information about the OP for the County. Excellent information is available on-line www.hastingscounty.com/content/county-official-plan
     Algonquin Land Claims Information session on Aug 29/17, Sword Hotel, 6:30-8:00 PM was hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. The session was exceedingly informative. I cannot emphasize enough that we all must become well informed! HH along with 30 other municipalities are included in the Draft Report presented. It is in everyone’s best interest to become well informed. Excellent information is available on-line and in 9 Public Open Houses planned Sept. 20 to Oct. 11/17. Start by accessing https://www.ontario.ca/page/algonquin-land-claim and https://files.ontario.ca/maa-algonquins-ontario-settlements-area-boundry.pdf . Other means of contacts are: Ontario Information Centre, Algonquins of Ontario Land Claim, 31 Riverside Drive, Pembroke ON  K8A 8R6; Phone: 613-732-8081,Toll Free: 1-855-690-7070 or 1-844-276-9091; e-mail eerfeedback@ontario.ca
      Hastings Prince Edward District School Board session on Aug 30/17, NNHS, Bancroft, 6:30-8:00 PM. The topic was “Community Planning & Facility Partnership”. The presentation was a class act. The Q/A inevitably moved to schools consolidation & disposal in North Hastings. The numbers presented seem to suggest that HH two schools Birds Creek & Maynooth with enrolment above the 60% of capacity (threshold to be considered for closing) have dodged the bullet for the time being.     
Constituency Work I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. I’m happy to assist. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, Tab to “Write Your Comment or Message” here on www.alexwalder.com (privacy protected), awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on face book Alex Walder.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 24, 2017

                                  A Special Posting

​                              Innuendoes, Half Truths, Untruths 
A response to Lorraine Fell’s “Did You Know...” article, published in The Bancroft Times, Thursday, August 17, 2017, page 8.
As we recall, just a few weeks ago Lorraine Fell publicly apologized for her accusations against HH Council. On that occasion, for her own lack of research and judgement, she blamed the media. But, here we go again; Lorraine is misrepresenting the facts on a different issue. Is there a hidden agenda? There is no denying, Lorraine has an absolute right to create her own opinions. But not her own facts!
HH Council was compelled to act when presented by a fully legitimate and legal HH Ratepayers’ Petition. Council was held to a narrow time line by Provincial Legislation. After much research, consultation with experts in the field, in receipt of the best advice available, having reviewed The Supreme Court of Canada precedents and individual soul searching, HH Council chose to protect the Democratic and Constitutional rights of our electorate to VOTER PARITY. In Canada a vote, is a vote, is a vote! No electors’ vote can be allowed to be “diluted” by having a higher value to the votes of other electors.
The real issue is VOTER PARITY not Wards vs At Large. Clearly in the status quo, one elector’s vote can have twice the clout of another’s in HH.  The At-Large electoral system, with all its real and imagined pit falls is a legally accepted remedy to the unfair system that’s now in use. Lorraine’s own words explained that “In the year 2000, Mr. Dalgleish was instrumental in amalgamating the three townships together to form the new Municipality of Hastings Highlands. He was elected that year as the first mayor of HH” (during that single term, Mayor Dalgleish is also credited with accepting the albatross known as Hwy 62). The unfair electoral system has been in practice since amalgamation. A long list of ratepayers from all 3 wards petitioned, forcing Council to act, to bring VOTER PARITY and to end the electoral injustice. Alternatively, HH could face further expensive litigation that would surely end in the favour of the petitioners (as advised by experts in the field).
In her article Lorraine challenges her readers to ask questions. Something which Lorraine did not do enough (if at all).  A Councillor casting a “No” vote is of little merit. Yes ask questions!  Do ask those who voted “No”: Why alternative motion(s) were not proposed? Why amendment(s) were not raised? Most importantly why did you vote against your own constituents’ right to VOTER PARITY?
This reply was the result of collaboration among Community and Council Members.


                Why an OMB hearing is scheduled for HH.
HH Council was compelled to act when presented by a fully legitimate and legal HH Ratepayers’ Petition. Council was held to a narrow time line by Provincial Legislation. After much research, consultation with experts in the field, in receipt of the best advice available, having reviewed The Supreme Court of Canada precedents and individual soul searching, HH Council chose to protect the Democratic and Constitutional rights of our electorate to VOTER PARITY. In Canada a vote, is a vote, is a vote! No electors’ vote can be allowed to be diluted by having a higher value to the votes of other electors.
The real issue is VOTER PARITY not Wards vs At Large. Clearly in the status quo, one elector’s vote can have twice the clout of another’s in HH.  The At-Large electoral system, with all its real and imagined pit falls is a legally accepted remedy to the unfair system that’s now in use. An appeal to The OMB of the Council’s actions has been launched by Mr. Brent K. Dalgleish and will be heard during a public hearing at the HH Municipal Building on Oct. 5 & 6, 2017. Mr. Dalgleish, a resident of Ward 1 of HH, was instrumental in 2000 in amalgamation and the formation of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands. Subsequently, he was elected as the first mayor of HH. During that single term, Mayor Dalgleish is also credited with accepting the albatross known as Hwy 62. The unfair electoral system has been in practice since amalgamation. A long list of ratepayers from all 3 wards petitioned, forcing Council to act, to bring VOTER PARITY and to end the electoral injustice. Alternatively, HH could face further expensive litigation that would surely end in the favour of the petitioners (as advised by experts in the field).
Respectfully submitted by Alex Walder, (www.alexwalder.com)
Councillor, Hastings Highlands. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

​​To: July 31, 2017

                            Around the Council Table:


Councillor Bert Cannon: We all mourn the sudden passing of Bert. He was not only an outstanding Councillor and colleague but also my good friend.  I offer our  most sincere condolences to Lorraine and the entire Cannon Family for their loss.
Honouring Councillor Mike Leveque:  Two plaques  honouring the late Mike Leveque were dedicated to his work and memory. One ceremony was on July 19, 2017 to be placed in HH Municipal Building. The other, on July 27, 2017 at the Faraday Offices sponsored by the joint Municipal Dog Pound Committee.
Hastings County support for Economic Development in HH: Continuing update of the June 28 meeting when Council members were afforded an opportunity to ask questions from the visiting Warden Cooney, AMO rep. & Tweed Major Jo-Anne Albert and County CAO Jim Pine.  When my turn to ask questions came, I opened with the following:  “Economic Development is a huge interest for Hastings Highlands. It is in both our best interests [Municipality and County] to have a healthy, economic situation at Hastings Highlands. We are a huge contributor to the County”. HH is by far the largest levi payer of the 14 Municipalities. I pointed out that during their presentation in which the three spoke of activities in the County, “Hasting Highlands was only mentioned once, to confirm that it is the largest funds contributor of the 14 Municipalities to the County coffers.” The only response they gave to my prepared questions was that responses will be provided. “Written responses will be coming” adding “that the questions were with the staff and written responses were being prepared. The responses have been received and if anyone would like to see the questions and answers, please contact me and I will send out a copy.

The Grant Applications Committee is seeking input from the Public, Staff and Council. An ad to that effect has been placed with the local media. Ideas and priorities for projects that you would like to see being considered for applications, are of interest to the Committee. Please submit suggestions to the Municipal Office by Aug. 1.
HH Employee Relations: 1) A settlement has been reached and ratified by both or CUPE members and HH Council for a 4 year contract. 2) Senior staff continues to work on a fair and independent Performance Evaluation Appeals Procedure  for our non-unionized employees.
Award Nominations: HH has nominated  3 very worthy people for recognition of their care and contributions to our community. 1) Carol Russell is our nominee for The Hastings County Tourism “Champion” Award. 2) Christine Hass is our nominee for the Hastings County “MVP (Individual) of the Year Award. 3) Chief Pat Hoover is our nominee for the National Fire Chief of the Year Award. 

                                  In the Community

Hastings County – "I Left The City Show": Episode 9 featured Michele Gallo. What an incredible ambassador for Hastings Highlands. His interview with Andrew Redden, Economic Development Manager for the County  is a must see and a must share!  Copy and paste this in your browser’s address bar  http://ileftthecity.ca/episode-9-michele-gallo/

Constituency Work: I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. I’m happy to assist. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on face book Alex Walder.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To: June 30, 2017
                             Around the Council Table:
Fate of Maynooth Public School
I had prepared a lengthy report on this topic to keep our community up to date on the potential closing of MPS. But I deleted it having been pre-empted by the following: STOP THE PRESSES! The Ministry of Education announced late on Wednesday June 28/17, a moratorium on school closings while the Government revamps its policies on school closings.                                                                                               Grants Committee Committee Members: Sarah Sobanski, Victor Bodnar, Councillor Nancy Matheson, myself and a welcomed addition as alternate Councillor Tracy Hagar. Victor, Tracy and I attended a grants application training seminar on June 6 given by the Trillium Foundation, a branch of the Ontario Government. This committee formally met for the first time in June 23, 2017. Following accomplished: Committee appoint Mr. Vic A. Bodnar as Committee Chair. A selection process for available grants was begun. The committee is seeking in-put from the Public, Staff & Council.
Rezoning in Birds Creek On June 8, a rezoning process was initiated by the HH Planning Dept. to accommodate the sale of 2 properties in Birds Creek. The rezoning was granted at a Special Meeting of Council on June 20, motion. These properties will be developed for new and very welcomed industrial enterprises in HH. 
Official Fiscal Audit HH has received a clear audit for the 2016 fiscal year.
Hastings County Officials at HH Council Meeting Rodney Cooney, Warden, Hastings County, Jim Pine, CAO, Hastings County & Jo-Anne Albert, AMO Representative and Mayor of Tweed attended and responded to some probing questions from HH Council Members. A number of questions that were left unanswered will receive answers in writing after due consideration.
Senior of the Year Award was presented to Joe Shulman at the start of June 28 meeting of Council. Congratulations Joe on this recognition of your many contributions over many years to our community!
Watershed Canada Presentation At a Special Meeting of Council on June 28 Barbara King of Watershed Canada. Barbara outlined some trends currently happening on waterfront properties and shared program results from surveys of waterfront residents on what they value about living on the water and what barriers exist in engaging people to become stewardship of their lands. She also discussed what actions are needed to ensure that the lakes in Hastings Highlands remain healthy and how collaboration with lake associations and other partners can result in positive change.  Barbara also made recommendations towards actions that can be taken to protect our lakes and rivers as well as shared opportunities for participations in stewardship programs offered by Watersheds Canada. I attended the presentation which was followed by questions fro Council Members and the public. *The description of the event was taken directly from Barbara Kings presentation documents.
Appeal to OMB re: At-Large Voting in Hastings Highlands An objection to the Council’s decision to change the voting system for council members from ward to at-large representation was launched to the Ontario Municipal Board. The latest information is that the hearing will be held some time in Oct/Nov of 2017.  

                                                       In the Community:
NORKLA (North Kawarta Lake Association) Event on “Lake Health” On Saturday June 24, along with several HH community members, I attended two highly informative presentations. Rick Esselment, renowned expert and Ont. Gov. Consultant, presented on septic systems health in general but specifically on properties adjacent to water. The second presenter Professor Barb Elliot, a local however an internationally famed expert spoke on Shoreline Health in our lakes and rivers. Literature from both is available for the asking from the Municipal Office.   

Constituency Work I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. I’m happy to assist. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on face book Alex Walder

________________________________________________________________________________________

To: May 31, 2017

Around the Council Table:

Fate of Maynooth Public School
Lucille Kyle our School Trustee and Chair of HPEC School Board accompanied by The Board’s Vice Chair Dave Patterson and Mandy Savery-Whiteway, Director of Education attended the meeting on May 17/17. Many issues were raised regarding the status of education for our students and specifically of the fate of Maynooth Public School. No direct responses were offered to some very important questions. The process of closing of MPS may begin starting in Sept./17. A commitment was given by Lucille Kyle that the community will be part of the impending discussions. Please contact me for more details.
2018 Elections
On May 3rd Deputy Mayor Roberts introduced a motion:THAT Council discontinues the use of all Election Signs in Hastings Highlands effective 2018 Election.
I interrupted the discussion with a motion to defer and moved that “staff to obtain a legal opinion” as to the legality of such a resolution.
My Secondary Motion to Postpone was Carried
Fairness to our Employees in HH Employee Performance Evaluation Policy
Walder/Cannon (250-2017) motion discussed and carried
In fairness and respect to our employees, Staff will research and return to Council an additional clause to the HH Employee Performance Evaluation Policy to outline access to an independent appeals procedure.
Grants Committee
A new joint committee of members of the Public and Council was created to write Grant Applications as opportunities arise in order to increase non-tax revenues (motion: Hagar/Walder 158-2017). Members are Sara Sobanski, Vic A. Bodnar, Councillor Nancy Matheson & my self. To that end,I will be attending an Ontario Trillium Fund workshop on applying for OTF Growth Grants.
Commendation to Staff 
Walder/Matheson (274-2017)
THAT Council give commendation to Operations staff and indeed to all staff for their "above and beyond" during the past two weeks of flood issues and damages. Carried
Project Lifesaver
The Council on behalf of the residents of HH donated $1000 to the Alzheimer’s Society of Hastings-Prince Edward for the purchase of 2 tracking bracelets.


In the Community:

Hastings County Business Enterprise Coordinator
Mayor Bloom sponsored a successful Meet & Greet with Mark Hanley "Small Business Co-ordination" for Hastings County at The Arlington. The following day, Mark was formally introduced at the Regular Meeting of Council. Mr. Hanley is available to assist any HH resident with issues and challenges faced in establishing, improving small businesses. His services are funded by Hastings County. Contact information is available at the reception desk of the Municipal office.
Mike Bossio our MP
Was at the Hastings Highlands Public Library in support of the Art Show on Saturday May 6, 2017. Distributed the coveted “Canada 150” celebratory pins. Thanks Mike.               
Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for Maynooth P.S.
Linda and I attended this very worthy fundraiser held at Emond Hall on May 13/17
Funds raised will go to support Students’ Activities and Equipment for the Shade Shelter and the kindergarten play area.
I was a lucky recipient a door prize, a HH hat which I will be pleased to wear.
Constituency Work
I had the opportunity to respond to a number of requests for information from friends and constituents. I’m happy to assist. I can be reached at 613 338 0028, awalder@hastingshighlands.ca or by a pm on face book Alex Walder
Governance Seminar (topics included: impending Bill C-68; Municipal Councils’ Code of Conduct, Ethics and role of Integrity Commissioners)
Mayor Bloom, CAO Pilgrim, Deputy Clerk Huschilt and I attended a very informative Seminar and Q&A offered by Fred Dean on May 24/17 in Pembroke.
Apology accepted
I’m happy to accept Lorraine Fell’s public apology after she researched the actions leading to the reconstruction on S. Baptiste Lake Rd. Lorraine is a valued member of the HH community.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To: April 30 2017

​                                                Around the Council Table:


South Baptiste Lake Road repairs
Urgently needed due to failed section of road. A serious safety & liability issue!
Causeway across Redmond Bay only access with in HH for ratepayers, private & commercial vehicles to/and from the east end of Herschel
Walder/Robinson motion 209-2017 to repair (Carried Apr. 19), tender issued, repairs to start asap.
2018 Elections
Council authorized use of Telephone and Internet voting for the 2018 election (Matheson/Walder motion 144-2017)
Voter Parity in HH established  - 5 Councillors, Deputy Mayor and Mayor to be elected At-Large through out HH (Walder/Hagar motion 141-2017) Carried
HH Employee Performance Evaluation Policy
Policy proposal reviewed and discussed.  In fairness to our employees, I felt that an Independent Appeals Process is an essential part of an Employee Performance Evaluation Policy. I spoke to that and will introduce a motion at May 3rd meeting.
Walder, Notice of Motion received April 19, 2017 during Council Meeting. THAT Council requests the addition of an Independent Appeals procedure to the Employee Performance Evaluation Policy and a salary grid.
HH Council Procedural By-Law Review and Update
Many refinements were addressed during a long and lively discussion. The proposal to move “Question Period” to the beginning of the meetings and to limit public’s questions to published agenda of the day was thoroughly discussed. I felt this was an erosion of the privileges of the public and the media. I spoke in opposition to this item as did others including members of the public gallery in attendance. After the long discussion, I introduced a motion to leave the timing of the “Question Period” to be at the end of the meetings as is the current practice. (Walder/Hagar motion 232-2017) Carried
Fate of Maynooth Public School
Lucille Kyle our School Trustee and Chair of HPEC School Board has accepted Council’s invitation (Walder/Hagar motion 163-2017) and will be attending on May 17/17. The meeting is a Regular Council Meeting the public may attend. If anyone has questions or comments please forward them to Councillor Nancy Matheson or to any other member of Council to be posed to Lucille.
Economic and Tourism Advisory Committee of Hastings County
Dr. Carol Russell appointed as HH delegate to Hastings County Sub Committee (Walder/Cannon motion 212-2017) Carried
HH Senior of the Year Nominee
Joe Shulman (Hagar/Walder motion 213-2017) Carried
Ontario Ministry of Seniors Affairs certificate to be awarded at June’s (Seniors’ Month) Council Meeting


                                               In the Community:


Jacques Brel Alive and Well Living in Maynooth                                                                A fantastic production, a real “SMASH”! Touched the heart of this old curmudgeon.
Seed to Feed
Attended Pot Luck, April 26/17
This event raised awareness of the new Community Garden to be tended by students and staff of Maynooth Public School on property donated by Chris Hass.
Hastings County Business Enterprise Coordinator
Mayor Vivian Bloom arranged for Mark Hanley, Hastings County’s new Business Enterprise Coordinator  to attend a “meet and greet” people of HH and to explain his services to HH established or emerging businesses. Mayor Bloom also arranged to have the Arlington host this event. Date/Time:Tues May 2/ 7PM.
Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for Maynooth P.S.
Will be attending this very worthy fundraiser on May 13/17. Funds raised will go to support Students’ Activities and Equipment for the Shade Shelter and the kindergarten play area.
Call the School for your tickets @ 613-338-2816
Date/Time/Place:  Sat. May 13./5:00PM-7:00PM/HH Centre’s Emond Hall 


​--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


To: Mar. 31 2017

2017 BUDGET
The 2017 Draft Budget was presented to the Public at a sparsely attended meeting in the evening on Mar. 8/17. Although few in numbers, those present had excellent questions and some great comments. The following day at the regular meeting of council the Operating Budget was approved. I supported the passing of the 2017 Budget because of the work and consideration that went into it. The Municipal levy is increased by 1.65%. The County and Education portion of the total taxes is to be announced by those bodies at a later date. But our impact on the rate payers, for the first time in several years, is respectful and matches the increase in the cost of living.


ELECTORAL SYSTEM
As a group of petitioners showed that “Yes, you can fight City Hall”; but not the Supreme Court of Canada. The Voter Parity imbalance was addressed.  After much discussion, deliberations, public and expert consultations and soul searching, Council passed a new electoral process for Hastings Highlands by a recorded vote of 5 to 2. The current Wards System of elections was replaced by an At-Large Electoral  System for all members to the Municipal Council. All of the options in front of us were far from perfect, some indeed untenable. I voted to go At-Large, because other options were indefensible due to one or more of the factors of cost, legality and countered the legal experts’ input. 

MADAWASKA ROAD REHABILITATION
All I can say about this topic is what we were advised by our lawyers.
“The project was a large infrastructure project for the municipality.  Ultimately the project was completed and we are happy with the results.  As with any construction project the circumstances surrounding building and executing the contract can be complicated and sometimes litigation arises. Although we feel we did nothing wrong and the settlement contains no admission of liability, after consulting with our lawyers we felt that it was in the best interests of the taxpayers to avoid a lengthy and expensive trial by settling this outstanding claim.  As negotiations of the settlement were conducted in closed council meetings, on advice of our lawyers we can not comment further on the process.”

WASTE MANAGEMENT
I made the following motion on Mar. 9/17. 
Council and Staff to explore and report back ways, including a “user pay” system, to accommodate Waste Management for residents with accessibility issues.
Carried

I was motivated to raise this concern on behalf of the numbers of constituents who contacted me and by my conviction that a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable. What of those among us who are incapacitated and are unable to heft their bags of garbage into a vehicle, let alone into the bins and the infamous hole? I am confident that people of good will can come up with strategies that will be acceptable. I will report on the progress as this issue proceeds.

INVITATION TO LUCILLE KYLE, OUR AREA TRUSTEE AND Prince Edward Hastings School Board CHAIR
The storm clouds are once again gathering over the status of Maynooth PS. Council feels the urgent need to receive clear update regarding a very significant part of our community. We are in receipt of a 6 page letter from the Hon. Mitzi Hunter, Minister of Education for Ontario in which she declares the Province’s expectation that from the earliest moment of consideration by a Board of Education “municipalities and community partners are [to be] consulted regarding the potential accommodation changes” (a.k.a. school closing).
I moved and was supported by the Council that a formal letter of invitation, signed by all members of Council, be issued to Lucille Kyle, our trustee and Board Chair. It is our hope that she will accept and a meaningful dialogue, consultation and collaboration will ensue.

NEW BY-LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Our new By-Law Enforcement Officer, Mike Priestley, was introduced to and welcomed by Council. As evidenced by a group photo displayed on the Municipalities web-site  http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/index.php
Mike’s contact info is…..
Mike Priestley - Bylaw Enforcement Officer
Phone: (613) 338-2811 Ext. 222 to leave a message with the Planning Clerk 
Phone: After hours please call: 1-877-338- 2818 to leave him a message
Email: bylawofficer@hastingshighlands.ca

MAYNOOTH & HASTINGS HIGHLANDS BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (MHHBA)

During the evening of Mar. 28/17, under the expert leadership of Carol Russell a well attended “brainstorming” session was held. The topic was “how to attract more tourists to Hastings Highlands”. Great people! Great ideas! Great food! Carol & friends will reflect on the “blue sky” suggestions and I’m sure that good results will come.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

To: Feb. 28, 2017

CONNECT to INNOVATE
I was in touch with Mike Bossio, our MP and chair of the Rural Caucus. He is very well informed on the matter and shared many important and informative details with me. Including but not limited to:
“Connect to Innovate” is a Federal Government funded with $500,000,000 to improve mobile broadband access for rural communities through out Canada.
There are 2 initiatives in “Connect to Innovate”. A high capacity network called “backbone” and a peripheral network called “last mile” for those areas that border on zones that are already served with acceptable service.
Areas in Hastings Highlands are eligible for both. Construction of additional towers may  be necessary.
Thus, I called for a review HH’s Antenna Siting Protocol By-Law 2013-073.

Committee to Update HH Antenna Siting Protocol
I chaired, by all accounts, a very successful ad-hoc committee to update HH’s Antenna Siting Protocol. It was a pleasure to  work with Councillor Matheson, CAO Pilgrim, Acting Deputy Clerk Suzanne Huschilt and 2 Members of the Public: Diane Thompson and Skai Sungalis. We presented an amended Draft By-Law to Council on Feb. 22. It was well received and unanimously passed as By-Law 2017-022. The Municipality is now in a better position to protect the rights of the people of HH in locating sites for new communications towers by proponents such as Bell and Rogers.

ELECTORAL SYSTEM – Wards vs. At Large
Results of the comments by the members of public were presented to Council on Feb. 22. Details can be found on the Municipality’s web site (Feb. 22 meeting’s agenda). A Public Meeting on the topic is scheduled for Mar. 9, 2:00 PM. I look forward to receiving more input.

2017 Budget
Council received a draft 2017 budget presented by Treasurer David Stewart.  A summary General Ledger is available on the Municipality’s web site Feb. 22 meeting’s agenda. A public presentation of the draft budget is scheduled for Mar. 8, 6:30 PM. I look forward to hearing from all.

 

To: Jan.18, 2017


Treasurer to Include Accruals in His Report

The monthly cash flow general ledgers are of limited usefulness without the showing Accruals. As in successfully managing one’s own house hold finances it is necessary to know not only the a period’s income and expenses which have been already completed, but it is essential to know those revenues and expenses which are owing and the cash flow remains to be completed.

To that end I made the following motion:

As we approach the 2017 Budget process this motion is to provide a clearer picture of Hastings Highlands’ over all fiscal status. It is essential that the Council in its deliberations consider both the cash flow projections as well as those incomes and expense that are on the books and are imminent for 2017 and beyond.

I move that the Council directs staff to provide both cash flow projections and accruals of income and expenses in time for the beginning of the deliberations for the setting of the 2017 Budget.

CARRIED


Sale of Original Shore Road Allowances

I voted in favour of the revision of the revision of the By-Law 2017-12 for the Policies and Proceduresfor the Sale of Original Road Allowances.

My reasons are the following:
The existing version was passed in 2011, some 6 years ago, and is overdue for update, which was initiated by the Robinson/Matheson motion (296-2016) on June 1, 2016
As reported at the Dec. 7 meeting there is an average of 6 applications / year
As tabulated there are 18 open application files some current, some aged, 2 on the books since 2004
The acquisition fee increase for a 150’ expanse (beyond that to remain at $3/ft) to a minimum $2000 from $950 (set in 2011) is still a bargain and is a recognition of the market realities
This by-law does not force anyone to participate and does not in any way impede the purchase or sale of the property
On the contrary, according to real-estate professional, consulted by the planning dept., report that the owner stands to increase the value of their property by up to $25000
This one time expense will yield increasing property value year after year to the owner
But all the above aside
This Council has the duty to represent the greater public and to act in consideration of the well-being of the Municipality.
I see, that part of our duty is to maintain the fees aligned with the market, failing that, missed revenues must be raised through the tax rate increases to the all the ratepayers
This is nothing else but a Municipal fee change, overdue after 6 years, charged to those who wish to so apply and to potentially realize a substantial increase in the value of their private lake front property


Antenna System Siting Protocol for the Municipality of Hastings Highlands (Notice of Motion Background)

​Two very important events at the close of 2016 occurred and were well publicized in our local media.
CRTC ruling on Dec. 22, 2016 that “access to mobile broadband and High Speed Internet Services are essential services” for Canadians.
Minister Navdeep Bains of the newly created Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development plans for a programme called “Connect to Innovate”.  A $500 million program to assist rural communities access to high speed broadband internet service.
To further investigate, I was in touch with Mike Bossio, our MP and chair of the Rural Caucus. He is very well informed on the matter and shared many important and informative details with me. Including but not limited to: “Connect to Innovate” is spearheaded through Hastings County
There are 2 initiatives in “Connect to Innovate”
A high capacity network called “backbone” and
A peripheral network called “last mile” for those areas that border on zones that are already served with acceptable service.
Areas in Hastings Highlands are eligible for the project
Construction of additional towers may be necessary
According to an article in Bancroft This Week (Jan. 6/17) by Sarah Sobanski, the deadline for applications is Mar. 13.I requested and received from our CEO an electronic copy of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands By-Law 2013-073, enacted on Nov, 20/2013 titled “Antenna System Siting Protocol for the Municipality of Hastings Highlands”. This is an essential tool for the Municipality, granted by Industry Canada, to retain an important level of local control for the placement, location, function and when eventually obsolete, and out of use, the timely dismantling of these structures. With an eye on the time-line created by the deadline of Mar. 13, and in the best interest of our community to be able to benefit from this important programme.


I tabled the following motion to be discussed on Feb. 9: I move that:

On this date of Feb. 9, 2017, a committee be struck to review and update BY-LAW 2013-073 and to present any and all amendments to this By-Law to Council for passing at the General Council Meeting on Feb. 22, 2017.



To: Dec. 7, 2016


Municipal Structure aka At-Large vs Wards

On Nov. 23, Robyn Rogers made an excellent presentation to on the topic of Municipal Structure. I recognise the imbalance in voter numbers in the 3 wards. The source of the issue is that Ward 3 has substantially fewer electors than each of the other two, yet has the same representation at the Council Table. This may seem unfair and may potentially result in “dilution of the votes in Wards 1 & 2. It is necessary to address this be brought to equability. The question is HOW? It’s a big hot button question. 5 proposals were presented but likely there are more alternatives.

A PUBLIC COMMENT FORM has been made available to the electors of HH to be returned by Feb.1, 2017.  It is my hope that analysing these responses will yield a locally generated resolution rather than a potentially expensive outside imposed one.     

 

Sale of Original Shore Road Allowances

My opinion as expressed at Council:  Given that according to statements from real estate professionals that the increase in property value may be as high as $25,000, the new proposed cost structure is still a huge bargain. Periodic update of these charges is necessary and is in the best interest of the greater good. Council has a responsibility to the assets of the Municipality not only to the few (average 6 per year) who may wish to add to their personal wealth.

 

Garbage

Good meeting in terms of information. Somewhat disappointing public attendance, I counted 24 in the audience. There were very good questions and responses from professionals. I am undecided and am researching to come to a conclusion. I am bothered by the predicament of the elderly and the incapacitated who are unable to take their garbage to 1 of the 9 dumps (some soon to be transfer stations). I have done much thinking on how this could be approached. I have some ideas and suggestions that I will explore with stake holders before I wish to go public. The big factors are of course cost,  existing binding contracts and the impact of the regulations for the new Provincial Law "Waste-Free Ontario Act, 2016", already having received Royal Assent and now being loaded with the Regulations.  I invite the opinions from all sides of the issue.