Hello Ward 5!

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

I am thrilled to continue as Councillor for Ward 5 in this ever so beautiful King Township!  I appreciate so much the trust that voters have expressed by voting for me.  I will work hard and creatively to serve the community for this next term of Council.

As I campaigned I not only had the opportunity to tell people about myself and what I wanted to accomplish, I also heard from residents about the issues and how they see them.  Top issue expressed is traffic (speed and volume) and parking.  A close second one is development, both subdivision development and development within the traditional/older subdivisions.  In King City, inadequate amenities were often flagged; this particularly frustrates some since new subdivisions have been built.   I heard from our rural businesses and homeowners that they need a significant improvement in broadband capability.  I also heard about substandard roads and sidewalks.

I heard clear confirmation that people expect and want our natural heritage to be protected.  I also heard relief that I stand for not changing the boundaries of King City and not increasing the population cap of 12,500 for King City.

Hearing all this only increased my desire to serve on Council for this term.  The Council of 2010-14 initiated and approved many strategies which address these issues.  We have some big challenges; but we have identified where we want to get to and how we are going to do so.

Debbie Schaefer

Amended 2018 Budget

An amended budget and business plan is on the Feb. 5 Council agenda.  As directed by Council in the previous Council meeting (Jan 29) Staff is presenting a budget offering a 0% increase in the Township property tax rate as opposed to an increase of 1.99%. To achieve either level of increase is remarkable given the need to absorb the costs of Bill 148, Fair Workplaces , Better Jobs Act which we estimate to be $300,000 (about 1 property tax point).  In addition both original and amended budget were done on basis of no reduction in service levels.

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Bushland Heights

Here is Staff report on the Bushland Heights application for which there is  the statutory public meeting on February 5.  As I reviewed earlier, this development proposal is very significant as it for a small subdivision of 88 single detached houses on land characterized as rolling landscape with two tributaries of the East Humber traversing it.  In addition to the environmental concerns there is the question of access to this subdivision.  One possibility would include using an easement to Manitou Drive which triggers issues about impact on that neighbourhood and impact on that road currently designed to serve a couple dozen homes.

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Inclusionary Zoning

At February 5 Council meeting there is a Staff report reviewing feedback to Ministry of Municipal Affairs ‘s proposed regulations for inclusionary zoning. (The latter being policies requiring residential development proposals over a certain size to include a percentage of affordable housing.)  I am posting this as I believe that many people, including myself, are concerned about the cost of housing and how so much of it is beyond the fiscal abilities of so many.  This is not an issue which I have focused on.  I found this report to insightful as to what such policies might be. The recommendations proposed by Staff sound appropriate.

66 Main Street Designation

I have previously written about 66 Main St. Schomberg and the Heritage Advisory Committee’s initiative to have it designated.  On Feb. 5 Council meeting there is recommendation to defend our designation to the Conservation Review Board as the designation has been appealed by the developer who now owns it.  The house is protected from demolition as the appeal is worked through.  I understand that the developer has offered to work with us in advance of the hearing which would be preferred.

400-404 link Resolution

On Feb. 5 Council there is a draft resolution requesting that the design and construction of the Highway 400-404 link be expedited.  When we received a copy of a similar resolution from another municipality earlier I indicated that I would not be supporting it.  My reason:  over last couple years I have lobbied against the GTA West Corridor (Hwy 413).  I cannot now call for this link which will be 16 kilometers of pavement.  At a very macro level I understand the need; but, I do not understand the issues, the consequences of building it.

2018 Budget

An additional Council meeting has been scheduled for Monday Jan. 29 with the primary purpose of presentation and discussion of the draft 2018 Budget.  You can read Staff report and the draft budget here.  I will not comment on it as I have not reviewed it yet.   I will say that despite the aggressive schedule for approval. as indicated in the opening paragraph, I consider the target approval date (February 5 Council meeting) as not being cast in stone.

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