​​​​Oct. 31, 2018
                                               
Around the Council Table
Honouring Staff for Their Record of Service at the Oct. 3/18 council meeting. 10 staff members received recognition for their service to HH. Congratulations to:
Milka Hider - 5 years, Casual Administrative Assistant
Jessica O'Reilly - 5 years, Information Tech Librarian
David Reeves - 5 years, Operator
Penny Wodzak - 5 years, Waste Site Attendant
Amber Olmstead - 10 years, Fin. Analyst for Receivables and Taxes
Karl Douglas - 15 years, Operator
Jason Hicks - 15 years, Operator
Ian Leathem, 15 years, Operator
Allen Prentice, 15 years, Mechanic
Ruby Casselman, 20 years, Waste Site Attendant
Memorendum of Agreement was concluded between the Municipality of HH and the HHLibrary Board. Full document is available at https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/BADD7F74BB4743ABA03D2D673CFCE6C7-REPORT%20-%20Memorandum%20of%20Understand%20(MOU)%20with%20Libra.doc

Oct. 17 Council Meeting Most of the input came from members of the HH Community and Staff. Personally speaking, it was a welcomed change.
Delegations: Two delegations brought forth issues of concern to the attention of Council. Both spoke of roads safety considerations in different areas of the HH
Presentations
Library events, Rod Moffitt HH Library CEO, out lined a marvelous long list of events taking place at our Library.
Jenny Katz presented an informative update of the Community Youth Hub. The multimedia presentation may be vied at:  https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/BADB1B88F9B6434B8553BABC830E2B62-HHPL%20Community%20Hub%20Presentation.pdf

In the Community

Elections 2018 A long campaign that started on May 1/18 reached its climax on Oct. 22/18. After the votes were counted the official results are as follows:
OFFICE                                           ELECTED CANDIDATE
1.   MAYOR                                            Vic A. Bodnar
2.   DEPUTY MAYOR                             Tracy Hagar
3.   COUNCILLOR                                 Tony Fitzgerald
4.   COUNCILLOR                                Nancy Matheson
5.   COUNCILLOR                                  Dorothy Gerrow
6.   COUNCILLOR                                  Tammy Davis
7.   COUNCILLOR                                   Alex Walder
Spark had its 1st meeting on Oct 19/18.  “Sparking a Grassroots Housing Initiative” is a newly formed community based organization. The meeting was chaired by Diane Eastman and attended by 23 members of an extended HH/Bancroft community, dedicated to responding to the need for Affordable Housing. I will continue to work with this group and provide timely reports on our progress.
Hastings County Community and Human Services Department, Housing Services  discussion group. On Oct. 24/18, affordable housing initiatives and housing assistance services were described at a session by County officials to a number of municipal representatives from HH & Carlow-Mayo.  
A Comment: Within the past month I have had the opportunity to be part of 3 discussion groups, the preceding 2 and The Poverty Roundtable on Sept. 26/18 (reported on in my Sept. 30/18 post). The need and challenges are great! Our community’s resolve is equal.  
Poetry Slam: An official Notice of motion will be filed on Nov. 7/18 to appoint Greg Thomas of Maynooth as HH’s Poet Laureate. The gauntlet is thrown down at the feet of neighbouring jurisdictions. Select your Poet Laureate, your Champion and let them have at it in a Tournament of Poets. 
Bridge: (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! New players/learners are welcomed.
Constituency Work I consider this part of being a Councillor very important. A number 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, 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. Please accept this invite as a sincere offer for dialogue.
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Oct. 24, 2018

Thank you

The voters of Hastings Highlands have spoken. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the New Council that will be sworn in to serve the people of HH for the next four years. I will continue to post my monthly reports to inform and to connect. This web site will now revert back to be used as a communications tool for my Council Work.

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Sept. 30, 2018
                                               
Around the Council Table
Prudent management of HH finances At the meeting on Oct 3, Council passed two motions to direct staff to take action for further transparency and to protect HH funds. One was to direct staff to provide reports on a quarterly basis of the expense incurred by departments. The other was to bring forth a policy plan to take specific action to protect the cash assets of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands. I supported both directives.

Non Motorized Trail Group chaired by Cathy Trimble requested a contribution of $2500 from HH to augment the locally generated funds necessary to apply for a 50/50 Provincial Grant for trails marketing. HH has a 1 km trail that is being considered for some necessary and very costly remediation/upgrades before it could be set in use. A different & separate Trillium Capital Grant application will be made by N-MT group for the actual remediation/upgrades. I have concerns about the costs associated with construction, operational costs and the future maintenance of this 1 km trail. The money that was currently asked for, was part of the “leverage” to obtain a grant for marketing expenses of 19 km of trails (of which only 1 km is in HH). I recognize the potential benefits to HH community for such an asset but until we can be sure that there will be the needed funds to construct such a trail, marketing something that doesn’t exist would not be sound. I am in favour of the idea to have such an asset in HH but not marketing it before it even exists. I supported the motion by Council not to donate the funds but “to set aside $2500” and hold on to it until we can be sure that all the necessary funding will be in place.   
Economic Development Russ Grant, HH’s Economic Development Coordinator in his update to Council presented his observation that a serious hurdle to the now many events that are attracting visitors to HH is the few available overnight accommodations. “No Vacancy” signs are common during our many popular events. He proposed that an increase in Bed & Breakfast accommodations may be a win, win situation. To that end, he along with two facilitators, Mark Hanley (Small Business Coordinator for Hastings County) and Christine FitzSimons (Air B&B Host and workshop presenter). Organized two well attended orientation sessions for interested local home owners. Russ tells me that the sessions were so well received that others may follow.         
                                      In The Community 
Maynooth Madness was again a great success over the long weekend, glad to see the crowds out to enjoy it.
All Candidates Meeting sponsored by HH Interlake Association, was be held on Sept 8/18 in HH Centre's Emond Hall. The hall was filled to capacity.
Algonquin Inodewiziwin Child and Family Care Centre Grand Opening was a wonderful celebration. Honouring elders, speeches of welcome and gratitude, dancing, singing, drumming circles and a delicious meal was followed by visit to view the Center’s Facility next door in Maynooth Public School. On a personal note, I am happy to have had the opportunity to spend some time with Chief Stephen Hunter and for us to become better acquainted.  
Poverty Round Table of Hastings Princed Edward Some 40+ people of the greater North Hastings Community came together to discuss the document: “MOVING FORWARD, Recommendations for Community Action”. Community members, Council members and Candidates discussed the role and responsibility of Municipal Governments in the easing the blight of poverty in our community. My group focused on two initiatives which are within the powers of municipalities. 1) How libraries could be used as resources centres to assist the completion Secondary School Graduation Equivalency Diplomas.  2) What are actions that municipalities could undertake to facilitate affordable housing.
Poetry Slam: Calling all Poets and those who enjoy poetry! Hastings Highlands is proud to present our first annual Poetry Slam. Place: The Arlington in Maynooth,  Date: October 17, 2018, Time: 7 pm to 9 pm.  Entrants will present samples of their poems to our panel of Celebrity Literate Judges. They will select the first Poet Laureate for Hastings Highlands. Everyone is welcome to join us for an evening of fun and entertainment. Light snacks provided. For further information and registration contact: Tracy Hagar at: 613 334 7421
Elections 2018 “The Municipality of Hastings Highlands is getting ready for the 2018 Municipal Election. Electors have been mailed a ‘Voter Instruction Letter’ which provides information on the process to vote on-line or by telephone. Most letters have been mailed out and Elections Staff will be working on revisions to the Voters’ List. Updates will be going out the first week of Oct. by mail. Please call (613) 338-2811 ext. 201 or ext. 277, or visit the municipal office to update your information on the Voters’ List. Voting begins on October 9 and runs right through to the close of the election on October 22. During this two-week period, a ‘Voter Help Centre’ will be provided during office hours at the municipal office in Maynooth to anyone wishing to vote by internet at a kiosk or anyone needing assistance voting. Please visit the municipal website www.hastingshighlands.ca for more information.” The source for the above message is a facebook posting by the HH Centre staff.  
Bridge: (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! I'm very busy campaigning, but an afternoon of playing bridge is a priority! New players are welcomed.

Constituency Work I consider this part of being a Councillor very important. A number 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, 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. Please accept this invite as a sincere offer for dialogue.
My Campaign 10 Candidates are running for 5 Councillor seats. Each voter is eligible to select 5 from the list of the 10 Candidates. I’m respectfully ask to be 1 of your 5 you select. I have been making personal visits, sending out mail and will be placing ads in the local papers. My preference is personal interaction, if I missed you, please call or message with your questions and comments.
Assistance to get to the voting place on Voting day & early dates Anyone unable to vote online or by telephone and needs a ride to get to HH Centre please contact me at 613 338 3377, through this web site or by email alexwalder62@gmail.com .











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Aug. 31, 2018
                          Around the Council Table                                                            Maynooth PS use of HH Gym A very good news story….. On July 5th, information was given to me that HH was invoicing Maynooth PS for the use of the HH Centre’s gym. In the subsequent couple of weeks, I confirmed my recollection that the intent, of the Council lead Mayor Ron Emond, was to allow free use of the gym by our local school. Time was short before the start of the new school year, so I used an available procedure to allow discussion and a vote to be completed during the Aug 15 council meeting. In a unanimous recorded vote Council agreed to allow Maynooth PS free access to our gym.

Council Compensation is always a “hot button” item. Due to a new Revenue Canada regulation, previously long held exemptions will cease as of Jan 1/19. This will have implication for 2019 budget for HH. Available options were examined. 1) to reduce council members’ honorarium compensation and 2) to maintain current net honorarium. Both will result in additional expenditures to HH tax payers. The approximate difference in cost to the Municipality between options 1 & 2 is less than 1/2%. A decision was carried by a recorded vote (6 for, 1 opposed) to adopt option 2. I am in favour of maintaining current net honorarium. My reasons include but not limited to: County Council voted & recommended the same; all other local municipalities (which I was able to research) voted as we did. But these were not my only reasons. I voted for the minimally more costly option to settle the issue now for future Councils. Also, if this or other Federal policy change(s) were to impact our employees, I would vote to maintain our staff's current net salary.     
Aid Agreement Our residents and visitors in the eastern most section of HH can feel more secure that emergency response for ambulance and fire protection now has a more rapid response. HH & Madawaska Valley have concluded an “Automatic Aid Agreement” that will substantially reduce response time to that area of HH.  
Cooling Centre This summer’s heat waves are likely over but for future safety, HH has passed a policy that will provide for the opening and operation of certain air-conditioned municipal buildings as Cooling Centres.

Community Infrastructure Grant HH is once again making an application for a Community Infrastructure Grant for the needed repairs to Hwy #62. The Municipality of Hastings Highlands is eligible to apply for up to $1,730,892. The application deadline was Aug. 28/18. Both Treasurer & Operations Managers assured Council that the deadline can be met.
Elections 2018 Log on to  www.voterlookup.ca to make sure that you are on the voters’ list. A BIG WORD OF CAUTION from personal experience! It takes 10-14 days or more to edit or add names to the list. VOTER LOOK UP is a valuable web site for the full information about the new voting rules. Go to: http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/deptdocs/Communications%20Toolkit%20-%20Municipalities.pdf 

All Candidates Meeting sponsored by HH Interlake Ass'n, will be held on Sept 8/18 9:00 am to Noon in HH Centre's Emond Hall. Details about the meeting and Candidates may be accessed at:  https://www.hastingshighlandsallcandidates.ca/ 
                                     In The Community                                                   Garlic Fest Our second annual Garlic Fest was an unmitigated success! Congratulations to the organizers and participants. A special “shout out” to Keith & Donna Buck for their leadership and ideas.
Graphite Bible Camp Annual Pig Roast A great time was had by all at this year’s pig roast. The food and weather and entertainment was superb!
Birch Bark Canoe in Maynooth Beautiful canoe was built over a period of weeks as an Anishnabe Baptiste community projects. Raffle tickets for the finished product are available at the SunRun Café and other outlets in Maynooth.
School Board & Community Planning & Facility Partnership Meeting which I attended on Aug. 20 was held at York River PS by HPEDSB. Information about available "surplus space" in local schools was presented to the audience. I was there to hear of the projected enrollment status of HH’s two schools; Maynooth is at 65% capacity and Bird’s Creek is at 66% capacity. With these numbers, neither school would be targeted based on enrollment for a Pupil Accommodation Review (a.k.a. closing process) when the Province wide moratorium for PAR is ended in 2019. But it was made clear that among other factors “Aging Facility” may be a crucial consideration. Maynooth PS was built in the mid 50’s. This issue must remain to be monitored.    
Pool of Dreams Some time ago, money was raised in North Hastings Municipalities for a community swimming pool and the funds placed in a trust. Recently, the word got out that the trustees are considering giving the now substantial amount to Highlands East in Haliburton County for a pool in Cardiff. In my opinion, since the fund was raised by the people of North Hastings, it should be used for their benefit. Yesterday, I attended a gathering of interested individuals during which many suggestions were floated and an organizing committee was formed. This morning (Aug.31) an update & background piece was posted on Facebook by Tracy McGibbon go to her time line, the long article is a worthwhile read.   
Bridge: (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! We've had some great games this summer. New players are welcomed. Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy and CEO Rod Moffitt. Thanks to each of you for your support and hospitality.   
Constituency Work I consider this part of being a Councillor hugely important. A number 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, 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. Please accept this invite as a sincere offer for dialogue.
My Campaign: I’m asking for your support to continue as Councillor in HH. Many signs have been posted all around the municipality. This is what mine look like:









I posted my signs from Bangor’s River Rd. in the North East and Herschel’s Forest View Rd. in our South West and many points in between in Wicklow, McClure and Mounteagle.  It is a pleasure to get off the major roads and enjoy the people and scenery on our routes "less traveled". I will be speaking at gatherings and at the All Candidates’ Meeting on Sept. 8 in Emond Hall. I will make personal visits to as many individual homes as I possibly can.  If I miss you, but you want to speak with me in person, please call or message. 

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July 31, 2018

                                  Around the Council Table
HH Fire Service:  TOTAL FIRE BAN IN AFFECT FOR HASTING HIGHLANDS continues. Fire Chief Koroscil informed Council that he is prepared to issue fines to offenders. The ban includes, but is not limited, to activities of any kind involving burning, open flames, outdoor cooking using charcoal or wood BBQs, fire crackers etc. are not allowed during the ban (gas BBQs with lids OK).
Auditors’ Report:  HH’s Independent auditors from the offices of Collins Barrow presented their findings for 2017. Their comments were very favorable to our fiscal status. Highlight include: continued a balanced budget (slight surplus to be added to 2018 reserves), long term debts declining as per scheduled principal payments, healthy reserves of $4.7M ($100K increase from 2016) and $21M of total accumulated surplus. Full report can be viewed at: www.https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/EC30DFD2B6474FF0A505857ED9D952C6-DELEGATION%202017%20HH%20Council%20Presentation.pdf          Consolidated Financial Report for HH: Treasurer David Stewart presented the newly formatted quarterly report. The presentation reflected HH’s the fiscal status from Jan.1/18 to June 30/18 in clear and informative manner. I was pleased to note the reporting of actual as well as accruals. My questions regarding the location of the cash reserves were also answered. The cash reserve is held in a separate account with the Bank of Nova Scotia. This leads to another issue, the need for formulating an Investment Policy By-Law. The Treasurer’s full reported can be viewed at: www.https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/22B1223723C14FD1ADA8DECF3583A85F-ATTACHMENT%20_1%202018%20Q2_TO%20BE%20PRESENTED_July%2018.pdf         Property Standards By-Law: During the discussion of the amendments to this by-law, I raised the issue that the required element of an “appeals committee” is not constituted. While I approve the need for the Property Standards By-Law, the Municipality must offer the necessary remedies within it. Thus I made the following motion: “Walder/Hagar (373-2018) THAT Council postpones discussion of set fines for Property Standards Bylaw until staff produces a terms of reference for a Planning and Regulatory Matters Committee.”           Poetry Slam: My motion to appoint a Poet Laureate for HH was carried with a “friendly amendment” which I accepted and now reads as:  Hastings Highlands pursue a “Poety Slam” Competition where interested Poets will read their work and a Poet Laureate will be selected for a set period of time. Set for some time in the month of September (Set time period 18 months). Councillor Walder, Gerrow and Hagar will form a group with members of the public to carry out the “Poetry Slam”.                                                                              Poop Talk and Aliens: Look for the soon to be posted 3 part video of the seminar on the HH Library’s web site.                                                                                                   Elections 2018 THE MUNICIPALITY OF HASTINGS HIGHLANDS OFFICIAL LIST OF CANDIDATES can be viewed at: http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/council.php. Yes, you will find my name among the 10 candidates for the 5 seats for Councillors. VOTER LOOK UP is a valuable web site for the full information about the new voting rules. Go to: http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/deptdocs/Communications%20Toolkit%20-%20Municipalities.pdf  
                                       In The Community                                                    Pride at the HH Library: On Saturday, July 28, Hastings Highlands Library hosted Fay and Fluffy Story time: Drag Queens Read to Kids. This was the first of seven planned events at various locations in Maynooth (6 more in August) to rejoice inclusivity, be welcoming and to celebrate that every individual is special. Roy Mitchell’s video report may be viewed on facebook at HYBLA TODAY.     

Bridge: (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! New players are welcomed. Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy and CEO Rod Moffitt. Thanks to each of you for your support and hospitality.   
Constituency Work I consider this part of being a Councillor hugely important. A number 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, 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. Please accept this invite a sincere offer for dialogue.
                                         My Campaign:                                                                  I’m asking for your support to continue as Councillor in HH. I will be happy to visit constituents and also to place my sign upon request.










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June 30, 2018
I’m pleased to continue these monthly posts. From stats, both formal (web host visits stats) and informal (casual personal contacts) the feedback is very encouraging.
The following comments are highlights from my perspective. Full agendas and minutes of Council Meetings are available at:  https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents . In order to comply with the recently enacted HH Social Media Policy, I am obligated to “include a clear statement, easily found and readable, on each website …..indicating that [this site] is being used for Council work and or Campaigning”. The header on each page satisfies this requirement.
                                        Around the Council Table
HH Fire Service: A detailed News Release issued from HH began with the statement that “The Council of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands has decided to sever the Joint Fire Services Agreement with the Town of Bancroft.  The Municipality has hired Danny Koroscil to be their full-time Fire Chief to head the fire department..” Further information may be received by calling the municipal Office.
Poop Talk and Aliens: By all accounts the POOP TALK and ALIENS seminar was a great success. The organizing “working group” was made up of Ann Judson, Janice and Harold Harris, Cathy Bujas and yours truly. A very special thank you goes to Harold Eastman for his work as Videographer. The video of the mornings three sessions will be posted on line.
HH Economic Development Coordinator Russell Grant “hit the ground running. He has initiated exploratory sessions with many of the stakeholders. I am confident that under his leadership the economic development and tourism initiatives will be a great success for the Municipality.
East Ontario Trail Association (EOTA) is moving ahead with an action plan for the One Pass System. Updates will follow as information becomes available. Free trail maps may be picked up at selected local businesses and the Municipal Office.
New Fiscal Policies were approved by Council to control Debt Management and Corporate Expenses for HH. Arrangements have also been made to enable ratepayers to pay their tax bills with credit cards. Be alert! The 3rd party institution that will process the payments will add a fee to the payer for the convenience.
2018 Senior Citizen of The Year Award was presented to Chris Hass in recognition for her many contributions that make HH a better place in which to live. Thank you Chris and Congratulations!
                                          
In The Community
Maynooth Public School students’ use of the HH Gym: In response to requests from members of our community I have begun to explore options and strategies to open our gym to the youth of HH. I’m in the early stages of information gathering; to that end, I’d like to invite anyone to comment and assist.
HH & Maynooth Business Association supper meeting was a very enjoyable few hours. Thank you for the invite! The dedication and commitment of the members is impressive. They are the “movers and shakers” who have revitalized our municipality.
Sarah Sobanski an outstanding writer, reporter and columnist with Bancroft this Week is moving on to a “bigger market”. All our best wishes go with her. Our loss is Metro Media, Peterborough’s gain.   
Bridge: (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! New players are welcomed. Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy and CEO Rod Moffitt. Thanks to each of you for your support and hospitality.   
Constituency Work I consider this part of being a Councillor hugely important. A number 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, 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. Please accept this invite a sincere offer for dialogue. 

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May 31, 2018                 
The month of May has been an unusually busy month for council meetings; 5 for the month. The following comments are highlights from my perspective. Full agendas and minutes of Council Meetings are available at:  https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents
                                    Around the Council Table
Social Media Policy: In order to comply with the recently enacted HH Social Media Policy, I am obligated to “include a clear statement, easily found and readable, on each website …..indicating that [this site] is being used for Council work and or Campaigning”. The header on each page satisfies this requirement.
Welcome to Dorothy Brown-Gerrow: At a special meeting of HH Council, Dorothy was selected to fill the vacancy on Council. I congratulate, welcome and look forward to working with Dorothy.
2018 Hastings Highlands Tax Rate: All components that make up the property tax rates have been finalised. The combination of the Municipal, County and Education Levies have resulted in a 0.93% DECREASE in the in the HH property taxes.
HH’s 5 Year Roads Repair Plan: Anyone interested in seeing the schedule & estimated cost (2016 dollars) of road repairs can go to http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/deptdocs/5-Year%20Plan%20%28modified%29.pdf and check it out.  
Poop Talk and Aliens: Save the date to attend: Saturday, June 23/18, 9:00 AM to Noon, Hastings Highlands Centre.
Fireworks By-Law Following an extended period of time for research, discussions and public input, the Draft Fireworks By-Law as presented failed to receive the support of Council. I did not support it because, in my opinion, it was not “simple and enforceable” as was requested.
Library: On May 16, HH Council formally declared that we will not take part in the proposed plan to amalgamate the library services with those of the neighbouring municipalities. HH Council also recognised the similar decision made earlier by the HH Public Library Board.
Appointment of an Economic Development Coordinator: Russell Grant was selected to this one year contract position. Mr. Grant is to provide leadership in drafting an economic development and tourism strategy tailored to our Municipality.
Hastings Prince Edward District School Board: HH Council received a response to our letter of concern over the continuation of substantially below provincial averages scores for students of HPEDSB. Inexplicably the Board's response ignored our clearly stated concern about the long continuing gap in our students’ results when compared to those of the rest of the Province. It seems that Lucille Kyle, Board Chair and our local Trustee does not address in her letter that there is a problem which is the first step toward a resolution.
                                          In The Community
Andreas Pandikiu: A very fine young man who has been an integral part of our media community, Moose FM 97.7, followed his escalating career path and has accepted a new position at a radio station with a bigger market. His listeners and friends will miss him. Cornwall’s gain is our loss! All my very best wishes go with you “kedves fiatal barátom” (Hungarian to English translation: my dear young friend).

2018 Municipal Election: With the support and encouragements of many people, I officially declared my candidacy for a seat on HH Council. I extend my gratitude to all who signed my required endorsement form. The 2018 Municipal Election officially got started on May 1st. The list of Candidates who have, to date, registered their nomination may be seen by going to http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/council.php​ , Elections 2018, Unofficial List of Candidates
Provincial All Candidates’ Meeting: On May 22, I attended the all candidates’ meeting at NHSS. The 4 Candidates made lots of promises. One of them will be held accountable for his.
June 7 Provincial Voting:  Take note! Many Voter Information Cards mailed by Elections Ontario list Combermere as the location of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands building our voting place instead of Maynooth. Do not go to Combermenre! Vote in Maynooth!  
Bridge (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy and CEO Rod Moffitt. Thanks to each of you for your support and hospitality.   
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. Just saying again…. This final entry is a standard paragraph that I paste to the end of each month’s content. BUT please take it for what it is …. a sincere invitation for dialogue. 

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Apr. 30, 2018                 
The following comments are highlights from my perspective. Full agendas and minutes of Council Meetings are available at: http://www.hastingshighlands.ca/council.php
                                           
Around the Council Table
Social Media Policy: In order to comply with the recently enacted HH Social Media Policy, I am obligated to “include a clear statement, easily found and readable, on each website …..indicating that [this site] is being used…. solely for Council work”. The header on each page satisfies this requirement.
A letter of concern to our School Board: Hastings Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) Director’s Annual Report was presented to HH Council at the April 18 meeting. I spoke of the continued low achievement of the HPEDSB when compared to the Provincial Standards. The Board wide results of the 2017 Provincial Standardised Tests are once again terribly distressing. I asked that a letter of concern be sent to Lucille Kyle Chair of the Board and our local Trustee, to the Board Members, Director of Education and copies to the Minister of Education and to both Hastings and Prince Edward County Councils. More details are accurately reported in a short article by Sarah Sobanski in Bancroft this Week go to:  http://www.bancroftthisweek.com/?p=9006
2018 Hastings County Budget: Was passed at County Council. The County Levy portion to our property tax for 2018 is increased by 1.8%. We are still waiting on the Province’s Levy for the education portion to be factored in. So far it’s 0% for the Municipal Levy, 1.8% for the County Levy and Education Levy TBA.   
Poop Talk and Aliens: Save the date to attend: Saturday, June 23/18, 9:00 AM to Noon, Hastings Highlands Centre.
Fireworks Draft By-Law: Hastings Highlands Council has received the requested second draft by-law to control & limit the use of fireworks. After some discussion I moved, seconded by Councillor Robinson, to defer the discussion to May 30, Carried. This will provide time for further research and public input. The revised draft is available for public input at the Office or by contacting the Municipality at 613 338 2811.
                                           
 In The Community
Bancroft Council: I attended the Bancroft Council meeting on April 10/18. They passed the following resolution without discussion: “That the Town of Bancroft notify the Municipality of Hastings Highlands that the Town of Bancroft officially requests notification of any application for development within Bird’s Creek and the County Forest.” During the Questions from the Public, I pointed out that no reciprocal offer was forth coming, in which Bancroft would notify HH of their development plans. Mayor Jenkins was welcoming and agreed that possibly such reciprocal arrangement would be a good idea.

Jam for Jess at the Arlington: When hard times fall, the community pulls together. On Saturday, April 7, 2018  was the Jam For Jesse and Echo and G. There were many musical artists to entertain. A marvellous selection of visual artists and collectables were auctioned. I was happy to join a full house of supporters of the Locherer-Hanna family. 
Library: I had fun at the Library! North Hastings Children’s Services sponsored a program for Kindergarten and Pre-kindergarten children in recognition of National Kindergarten Day. There were activities for the children & information for parents/caregivers. An opportunity to re-live the past, long past; 45 years ago I taught kindergarten with that experience to rely on, I offered to read a story or two. Thank you to Nancy for suggesting several books to use. Late Breaking News: On Apr. 26, the Library Board announced on their facebook page that: “After listening to public opinion and discussing the pros and cons of the Union Library proposal, the Hastings Highlands Public Library Board has decided to decline participation in the Union Library.”
Bridge (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy.  Our new CEO Rod Moffitt joined us for a few hands. Thanks to each of you for your support and hospitality. 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. Just saying again…. This final entry is a standard paragraph that I paste to the end of each month’s content. BUT please take it for what it is …. a sincere invitation for dialogue. 

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Mar. 31, 2018                 HAPPY EASTER AND PASSOVER
The following comments are highlights from my perspective. Full agendas and minutes of Council Meetings are available at: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents
                                           
Around the Council Table
Voters’ List: Check to see if you are on the voters’ list for upcoming Provincial and Municipal & Board of Education Elections. Go to https://www.voterlookup.ca/index.aspx  and follow the on screen directions.
2018 Operating Budget: Council & Staff got it right! The Municipal Levy portion of the HH property tax will have 0% increase in 2018. Maintaining all services. Keeping to the asset management plan. Keeping to the reserve policy. For detailed information go to:  https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/59050?preview=61135
Library: A lot of energy has been expended on a proposal for the formation of a North Hastings Union Library for 5 neighbouring municipalities. There were two public meetings, media coverage, and letters written. I stand opposed to this proposal. My reasons include but not limited to: Loss of autonomy, Dissolution of the HH Lib. Brd., Uncertainty of status of current staff, Unequal funding requirements (HH’s annual contribution would be substantially more than of the others’), Inequality of voting powers on the proposed Union Board. As it is now, under a reconstituted HHLB and with the leadership of a new CEO, HH Library is serving our community exceedingly well.  

Poop Talk and Aliens:  Plans are proceeding in high gear for the Septics and Invasive Species Educational Seminar. Understanding how to ensure high water quality in HH is everyone’s challenge. Each one of us is the keeper of everyone’s water needs.  Flyers and notices will soon be ready in locations where the public will notice & remember. Expert presenters booked & confirmed. Save the date to attend: Saturday, June 23/18, 9:00 AM to Noon, Hastings Highlands Centre.
Fireworks Draft By-Law: Hastings Highlands Council has discussed a draft by-law to control & limit the use of fireworks and firecrackers. A number of changes have been requested by members of Council and time given for public input. The draft is available for public input at the Office or by contacting the Municipality at 613 338 2811.
Miscellaneous Grants Program Requests: 7 local groups requested a total of $10,216. This program is funded by a limited budget. After a vigorous discussion, the available $4,000 was distributed as follows: $1365 to Fit for Living Co-operative Group, $1365 to North Hastings Fish Hatchery, $220 to Hastings Highlands Municipal Election All Candidates Meeting Committee, $100 to North Hastings Music Festival, $200 to The Lake St. Peter Community Centre Group and $750 to The Bancroft Area Stewardship Council.
                                             
 In The Community
Cabin Fever:
The arrival of spring was celebrated by a well attended evening of fun at the Arlington. The food contests were back. Curry dishes, salads and pies were judged by a group of local celebrity judges. The many entries competed for prizes, glory and fame. The food then was consumed by those in attendance. Of the $5 cover charge $2.00 went to the Maynooth & Area Food Bank.
Seedy Saturday: On Mar. 10, I attended the annual Seedy Saturday in Maynooth at the old Community Center. Seeds were available to trade with others. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn, to see what others are doing, to meet seed enthusiasts, vendors, and to have a good meal. This along with the Farmers’ Market in the Gym are great examples of local initiatives.
Bridge (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy and more recently our new CEO Rod for their support and hospitality.   
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. Just saying again…. This final entry is a standard paragraph that I paste to the end of each month’s content. BUT please take it for what it is …. a sincere invitation for dialogue. 

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Feb. 28, 2018
The following comments are highlights; full minutes of Feb. 7 & 21/2018 Council Meetings are available on-line: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents
                                           
Around the Council Table
Good News/ Bad News: On the good side....Due to the hard work and persistence of our staff, a large amount of  property tax arrears have recently been collected. This brings HH into line with the arrears norm for Ontario small municipalities. On the bad side…..the Province has once again refused our application for funding to make much-needed repairs to Hwy 62.
Library: At the Feb. 21 meeting an invitation was extended by Council (via: Matheson/Hagar motion, 109-2018) to Peggy Malcolm, Consultant with Southern Ontario Library Service, to present a proposal. Council has agreed to the Mayor’s suggestion that the procedural rules be suspended in order to allow questions from the gallery after the presentation. Please contact me if interested in the following titled documents:

1) Proposal for North Hastings District (Union) Library.

2) A Draft  Agreement to Establish a Union Public Library, dated 15th day of December 2017

The public may also submit their question(s) to any Council member to ask or do their own asking after the presentation.
At the Feb. 7 meeting Council approved community members: Valerie Loney and Garfield McAdam to the Hastings Highlands Public Library Board. During the same meeting, my motion to suspend the rules and approve a Motion of Confidence in the Library Board was defeated by a recorded vote of 4:3. 
Septics and Invasive Species Educational Seminar is set for June 23/18. Community members Ann Judson, Janice & Harold Harris, Mayor Bloom, Cathy Bujas (Building & Planning Clerk) and myself are in the midst of organizing this informational session on the topics of safe & sound septic systems and awareness of invasive species. A line-up of renown presenters have been confirmed. Save the date Saturday, June 23 at HH Centre! Watch for more information through signs, flyers and media notices.  
Treasurer’s report: The best way to approach this topic is for interested individuals to take time to see for them selves the The 2017 Year End Review as presented by Treasurer, David Stewart, to Council on Feb. 21/18. I will be happy to receive any questions and comments as I’m sure so will David.  Go to: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/FileStorage/573D0E2ABB4B4CDD9303BAE7844DBACC-PRESENTATION%202017%20Year%20End%20Review.pdf

Budget Ad-Hoc Committee meeting: I’m looking forward to reviewing Staff’s recommendations as it will be brought forward to the committee on Mar. 7/2018. This will be followed by a presentation to the public and subsequently for Council’s approval. Dates for the later two stages will be announced well in advance.   
By-Law enforcement officer: Hastings Highlands has engage the services of Dawn Bowers as the Bylaw Enforcement Officer. Dawn may be reached at 613 338 2811
Community and Human Services of Hastings County’s presentation was given by Erin Rivers, Director of Hastings County Community Services, Darren Burke, Manager of Housing Services and by Dino Marchiori, Assistant Manager of Financial & Human Services.  I became more aware of  Hastings County’s emergency and on-going assistance programs. This terrific team helped me to be better informed and to be of better assistance to the people of HH. Thank You!
North Hastings Economic Development Committee
(NHEDC) chair Cathy Trimble, spoke to Council about the accomplishments/outcomes of 2017 and the activities/actions planned for 2018. A great organization, run by a very involved group of volunteers.
                                      In the Community
Maynooth Ice Fest on Saturday February 24: This was a day not only for ice climbers. There was something for all. The North Hastings Children's Services provided activities at Hastings Highlands Centre, Brush With The North had ice carving demo, the Arlington hosted a backyard fire pit party, dinner organized by volunteers at the Old Community Hall, special breakfasts at the SunRun and lunch at Memories. The "Welcome Mat" was out for the estimated 120-150 climbers who came to our area!
Skate Maynooth: We had a great run of fun filled excellent skate dates. The complimentary chilly, shanks & hot chocholate were popular.  I actually looked forward to my Friday evenings as the Hot Chocolate Man. Kudos to Roy Mitchell, Ken Fraser, Nurse Shawn  and a very special commendation to Patrick Kilpatrick the Zamboni guy. 
Bridge (cards not infrastructure): Still going strong, every Tuesday 1:00 PM! Open to all skill levels from 0 – 10. Many thanks to the Library staff Jessica, Tiffany, Nancy and more recently our new CEO Rod for their support and hospitality.   
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. Just saying…. This final entry is a standard paragraph that I paste to the end of each month’s content. BUT please take it for what it is …. a sincere invitation for dialogue.  

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Jan. 31, 2018
                            Around the Council Table
The following comments are highlights; full minutes of Jan. 17/2018 Council Meetings is available on-line at: https://hastingshighlands.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/59050?preview=59053

Library: Council, by a 4:3 recorded vote, decided to reinstate the number of appointees to the Library Board to its original 7. Applications are invited. Notices to that effect have been placed in the local papers and on the HH & HHLB websites. Just so that there will be no doubt as to where I stand, mine was one of the 4 for 7.  
Motion of CONFIDENCE: I am eager to do all that I can to support our Library. It is an important institution and valuable service to the population and visitors of Hastings Highlands. To that effect, at the next Council meeting, I will be introducing a Motion of Confidence in the HH Library Board.  
Capital Purchases: 1) A shiny new fire truck has arrived to be assigned to Lake St. Peter Fire Hall. 2) Council authorized the purchase of a new plough & sand truck, for a cost of over $240K, to be rotated into our fleet. Good Financial and Operational planning!

Welcome to New Building Inspector Martin Cox: A hearty welcome to our new Chief Building Officer (aka Building Inspector but much, much more). And sincere good wishes the retiring Frank Mills. 

Direction to Auditors for 2017 Audit Report: “Show me the money!” Together, CAO Pat Pilgrim, Treasurer/Deputy CAO David Stewart and I worked out the wording to instruct our auditors to provide a clear statement regarding the HH reserves (currently approaching $5M). Anyone will be able to read the details of the reserves including: How much is in cash, how much is in “yet to be converted to cash” and where the money is held.
HH User Fees Council approved fees for "user pay, non-tax revenues" for services in 2018. These fees apply to the building dep’t  (permits, etc), facilities rentals, waste site tipping, ancillary individual administrative and financial services and to the fees related to the 2018 municipal election that will be charged to all candidates.
HH Official Plan: A communication item from Hastings County announced that the long in-process County Official Plan has been submitted to the Province for approval. Following up on that communiqué, I asked the Mayor (our representative at County Council) if the HH Official Plan including our Birds Creek Official Plan was part of what County sent to the Province. I was very happy to hear her reply that the 3 last minute objections to our OP by Bancroft was rejected by County Council and HH’s OP as approved by HH Council, went to the Province.   

AMO Conference Seminar on Bill 68: MODERNIZING ONTARIO’S MUNICIPAL LEGISLATION ACT.
On Sat. 20/18, I attended a very informative seminar about new Provincial legislation that impacts and mandates the way Municipalities and Councils will conduct themselves. Codes of Conduct, Integrity Commissioners, Conflict of Interests are but a few musts that Municipal Councils will have to address. I encourage everyone to become familiar with these important changes in how local Municipalities will be run. A detailed summary of this legislation, much of which is already enacted, can be found at:  https://www.amo.on.ca/AMO-Content/Policy-Updates/2017/Bill68ModernizingOntariosMunicipalLegislationAct20  

                                  In The Community
Skate Maynooth is a long time (in its 10th year) very popular event. The fun continues! This years participation has increased week by week. It is my pleasure to work with a group of volunteers, including Councillors Matheson & Hagar, to serve refreshments to skaters at the Maynooth Rink each Friday Evening 6:00-8:00 PM (weather and ice conditions permitting). Special themes and ice conditions updates are regularly announced on Skate Maynooth facebook page.
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.
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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ALEX WALDER, COUNCILLOR HASTINGS HIGHLANDS

This website is being used for Council Work and is totally funded at my expense.