Hello Ward 5!

Councillor Debbie Schaefer
Hello Ward 5 residents & businesses and the rest of King Township,

I am running for a second term as Councillor for Ward 5 as my enthusiasm for King Township only grows. I believe that I have been and can continue to be a positive influence on King’s evolution. Also, I have invested a lot during the first term learning “the ropes;” I would like to have four years more to use that insight for the benefit of King’s residents.

It has been a true honour to serve Ward 5. I am very pleased to have had this opportunity to serve as I consider it a privilege to live here. King is such a unique place with its landscape and wonderful geography. It’s a growing community with easy access to Canada’s largest business and cultural centre and it has its own deep historical roots that must be respected. King is where the urban and the rural meet. This interface, in addition to our growth, creates a tremendous tension and energy.

When I ran in 2010 I was acutely aware that King was entering a period of significant change. I thought of that change mostly in terms of new subdivisions being built and the influx of more people. The last 4 years has shown me what this growth means: (more…)

Debbie Schaefer Wants To Be Re-elected!

October 27th, municipal election day, is less than 6 weeks away and I will be out & about knocking on doors in next couple days.  It is an excellent opportunity to meet residents and business owners in Ward 5; I hope that I will be fortunate enough to meet many of you when I am doing this. To ensure that we do meet, I would welcome you contacting me to set up a specific time which fits your schedule.

Debbie at sign

There are a couple ways you could help me campaign to be elected to represent Ward 5 for a second term. I would be delighted if you would erect a sign on your property indicating your support. I would welcome any opportunities to meet and talk with several residents or business owners together. Finally, financial contributions to my campaign are appreciated. Details on how to contact me are provided here or see the contact page at top of website.

My goals for the second term are really very simple: to continue the progress the Council has made and to continue ensuring that Ward 5 issues and concerns are effectively addressed. With my 1st term experience I look forward to being more effective.

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Approving Community Improvement Plan

The Staff report for Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for our 3 villages is on the agenda for Council 9/22; it recommends approval of the plan.  I am thrilled to see this report and to see us reach this stage as I believe that this program is a key enabler for the revitalization of our villages.  As the report makes very clear:  the revitalization is not going going to happen overnight; but a CIP  can provoke the beginning of a change.  A number of our business owners and residents participated in this exercise; I wish to thank them for caring enough about their village to participate.

The CIP sets the stage for change.

It will be up to Council every year to determine how big the budget will be for the program that year; and as the plan indicates, Council can even decide each year which kinds of activities or specific incentives they want to support that year.

And it is up the business owners in our villages to have the ideas and to make the application for financial support.

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Finding Our Local Agricultural Businesses

It has come to Council’s attention that our efforts to curb the proliferation of signs across the Township with our new by-law and enforcement of that by-law has had some unintended consequences. Specifically our agricultural businesses in the rural areas of the Township are having a very hard time letting would-be customers know where they are.  A staff report on how to address this issue is on the agenda for Monday’s Council meeting.  Having read the report I think we are on track to have an effective Wayfinding Signage program and we now know the cost implications.  We will need to include this in our 2015 budget deliberations.  These businesses are important; supporting them in this manner is consistent with our economic development and our vision as to what King is.

Have Fun and Help Restore Kettleby Historic Church

Beer Brats and Brass

Community Improvement Plan–public meeting

Throughout the last few months there have been a series of meeting in our 3 villages to develop a Community Improvement Plan (CIP); there is now a proposed plan.  The public meeting for the plan is Monday, September 8th at 6 PM in the Council Chamber.  For those interested in the revitalization of the core in each of our villages this is a good opportunity to show your support by either endorsing the draft or providing feedback on how it could be better. If Council approves the CIP, budgeting funds for the grants will be an important item in our 2015 budget deliberations in the fall.

As a reminder: CIP’s are the tool we are using to encourage the private investment required to make the commercial cores of our villages a draw for people to visit them and to shop in them. Its a tool to help residents, business owners and investors plans for the evolution of their communities by encouraging private investment through use of grants and (more…)

Seneca College–zoning amendment for more height

At 8/25 Council there was a public meeting to receive a report for a zoning amendment application submitted by Seneca College.  The need has been triggered by Seneca’s plans to execute a significant expansion at the King Campus. They are now ready to start construction of  2 new buildings; one will be an athletic facility and the other for academic purposes.  The specific amendment requested is one of height, namely to increase the maximum to 30 meters versus the current 11 m. which applies across the Township.  You can read the full report here.  Council did agree to accept the report; it has gone back to Staff now for more assessment.  Once completed it will be brought back to Council for consideration for approval.

Seneca is asking for this higher height as they may want to execute a design with 6 floors.  If they have this flexibility they will be able proceed with their Request for Proposal (RFP)  in near term which in turn will enable them to meet the target completion date in 2017.

My first response to the amendment request was one of apprehension.  But with reflection I can see the wisdom of such.

  • There is the fact that Seneca’s success is very much a success for King Township; a vibrant post secondary institution in King is valuable for us.  Our economic development strategy includes a strong, growing Seneca.
  • If Seneca is going to grow I believe it is better that their new buildings going vertical rather than sprawling across the landscape. Whether they build vertical or horizontal the number of students remains the same; but building horizontal results in a greater foot print.  The latter is  less desirable from an environmental perspective and for Seneca it is more costly to operate.
  • Given the planned specific location of the new buildings I believe that they will be barely visible for someone on Dufferin or on the 15th SDRD; and because of distance the buildings’ height will be less evident.

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