Hello Ward 5!

Councillor Debbie Schaefer
Hello Ward 5 and other residents of King Township.

As a King Township Councillor my top priority continues to be increasing awareness about decisions being made in the municipality.

For me this is critical as it enables citizens to get engaged in these decisions and it enables citizens to know what their elected officials are doing!

Since the launch of this website and blog I have received alot of feedback that people do see the value of this effort. And, I have been particularly gratified that people are using the blog to make comments and that these comments are adding more perspective and information about the issues. (more…)

Community Tourism Plan–draft plan

On the Council agenda this week (4/14/14) there is an excellent report presenting a draft 3 year community tourism plan. You can read it here. I call it excellent as it is evident that a very thoughtful process has been undertaken including a very smart decision to leverage the financial capability and expertise of Central Counties Tourism and significant inclusion of people who know King best i.e. residents and business owners.  The report presents an action plan and targets/goals.  And it makes very clear that we will need to make a commitment in our 2015 budget if we are to achieve the goals.  Overall, in my opinion the strategy does seek to leverage what is unique and special about King.  I do question the absence of any clear reference to our cultural heritage; I will be asking about this at Council.

The potential benefit to our businesses, to our economic well being is well defined.  Day trippers spend $43/day in (more…)

York University Satellite Campus Proposal

As it is often mentioned in the media about the Province’s intent to fund satellite campuses  I thought a report going to Council 4/14 would be of interest to readers.  I think King’s intention to support the proposed application to the Province  by York University and Seneca College by supporting inclusion of the Seneca King campus is a very appropriate.  Furthermore, I agree with the recommendation that King will be supportive of an effort by any York Region municipality, particularly  the northern municipalities  to secure a satellite campus. Such a development would enhance the local economies and be of benefit to the community.  You can read the report here.

Events w/o April 14

Just a reminder of two events w/o April 14.

Wednesday, April 16th TRCA is presenting “Greening Your Grounds Workshop: Getting Started” on Wednesday April 16 7-8:30 PM at King City Library.   It is free but pre-registration is requested at www.york.ca/seminars.

And Saturday April 19th is Clean Up King.  If you have are not familiar with details see my earlier post on this.  The event is very flexible in terms of time.  Yes, 4/19 is the day that hubs will be open for picking up supplies but if you can’t do your share to clean up King that day, do it another day and you can still participate.

Clean Up King!

As I rejoice at seeing the snow and ice melt away I grimace and groan with disgust at the newly exposed litter on the litterstreets and in the ditches.  I know that I am not alone!

Saturday April 19th (Earth Day) is our official day for clean-up. To bring some fun to the effort families, neighbours or community groups are encouraged to register here as Sustainable King Stewards for Change.

On April 19th there will be 3 depots where you can pick up supplies for cleaning-up including safety vests, gloves, bags. When you register you are also requested to identify where you will leave your collected garbage so that it can be picked up later. Note: this garbage does not need to be sorted into the different streams such as recycle; experience has shown that often bottles are often so dirty, for example,that it is not productive to sort. Also, it is very cumbersome for the people do the picking up to carry different bags.

The King Environmental Stewardship Team would like you to take action photos of your clean up efforts and submit them to environmentalstewardship@king.ca

For full review of the program to clean up King see here. If you are keen to help but April 19th specifically is not a good day, you can still get involved. I recommend that you connect with either of the two co-ordinators to arrange for pick up of your supplies and to make plans for the garbage pick up. The co-ordinators and their contact information can be found here.

Making a Plan to Re-vitalize Our Villages

For our 3 villages we are going to embark on creating Community Improvement Plans (CIP). The goal of a CIP is to nurture village revitalization and improve village vitality. In the medium-long term this translates to villages which are more desirable to live in; professionals identify the latter as being more socially cohesive, environmentally friendly and economically sound. CIP’s are a planning and economic development tool.  They have been used in other communities but they are new to King. And it is very new to me so I have much to learn. Monday April 14 there is a Committee of the Whole Working Session at 5PM to give Council an orientation to the subject and to present the work plan for creating the CIP’s. The public is very welcome to attend to learn too ; unlike the normal COW, public may only listen as opposed to giving deputations.

March 17 Council received a Staff report with a recommendation on a consultant to guide us through this process. You can read it here.

Headwater Horse Country Partnership: Year 1

We think of horses and beautiful horse farms as being a key feature of King; and as a municipality we are proud of this.  And we know there is alot of business, money and employment, in the equine sector.   But, until very recently we haven’t done very much to leverage it to build our economy.  In 2013 we entered into a partnership with Headwaters Horse Country to begin to do just that.  At 3/31 Council we received a year one report and agreed to continue the partnership.  You can read it here

I am very supportive of this program.  First, to do this in such a partnership is the only way.  Yes, horses are big in King but it is far more powerful to developing the sector with the benefit of Caledon, Dufferin and Erin; together, we can become the premier equine region in Ontario.  Second, there is so much for us to gain.  i) Economic  development for both benefit of the sector in King and for King. ii)  Gain a solid deep understanding of what the sector means to King.  When confronted with the crisis created by the Province’s decision to terminate the Slots At Race Track program we didn’t know, except with our gut, that it was an important issue.  My interest in this sector was really piqued by a forum I attended in 2012; here is the post about my learnings.

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