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

2015 Policy Review of 4 Provincial Plans

The Province is reviewing 4 important plans:  Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Niagara Escarpment and the Growth Plan For Golden Horseshoe.  When created intent was to manage growth, support economic development and protect the natural environment.  The intent of the review is to determine how the plans could be improved.  It is evident that the Province is wanting to hear from the public.  If you are concerned about the natural environment I believe it is essential that you participate as the arguments for expanding urban boundaries for big box stores, giving priority to (more…)

One King: 2015 Official Plan Review

Review of our Official Plan continues.  Its evident that people are interested:  >80 attended the March 10 meeting.  The Phase One Background and Information Paper is on the 3/23 Council.  If you would like to make public comments you can certainly do so; but, as there is alot of material included in the Paper I am happy to tell you that comments can be submitted until April 30, 2015.  Here is the information paper. 

I am not going to make any comments on the paper at this point except to encourage you to look at it and make your comments.  (Page 2 features an index…you can look over it and select the topics of particularly interest to you as opposed to reading all 180 pages.)

Making cost effective, reliable broadband a reality

I believe that everyone will be interested to read the Staff Report on 3/23 Council agenda as it provides an update on our broadband strategy. The challenge to provide dependable, affordable high speed service to all King residents and businesses is huge; but, after reading the report I can see that it does not need to be just a fantasy. Many tactics are being pursued in parallel. Clearly, close collaboration with the Region is critical. Sometimes, the “answer” is one of being ready to take advantage of an opportunity when it appears.  (e.g. construction of Vianet along Jane);  and sometimes it is a case of being very proactive (e.g. identify alternatives to fiber when population is too low to make it financially acceptable.)

By-Law Enforcement: current state & changes

There are 2 reports on 3/23 Council agenda concerning By-law enforcement in King.  One reviews current polices and statistics on enforcement.  The second one presents some choices for increasing enforcement capability and costs for such.  I welcome comments and perspectives on whether capability should be changed.  I have been concerned about the level of current capability and am anxious to see the impact of very recent changes to increase visibility of our enforcement officers and to increase productivity.

Recent Changes    By-law investigations will now be conducted in marked cars  by uniformed officers. (Purchases for cars and uniforms approved in 2015 Budget).  And, mobile technology will be implemented which will enable research to be conducted and reports filed in the field; not only will this enhance effectiveness of investigation but less time will be spent in the office.  You can read more about these changes and the full report here.

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OP Public Meeting

Reminder:  Official Plan (OP) public open house is Tuesday, March10 at Trisan Centre in Schomgerg.  Formal presentation is at 7 with facilitated discussion.  You can review information boards, talk to Staff and consultants starting at 6PM. Here is more information about the evening. 

As I have written previously this initiative is extremely important  in terms of how the Township is going to evolve.  The new OP will incorporate boundaries for our villages, population targets, where development will occur and what kind of development will occur.  All of these factors are in in the current OP; what is being reviewed is whether there should be changes.

Trails Strategy

I have just published a post about the draft trails strategy and have heard from a couple people that the link to the strategy does not work.  I have checked it and it does work; it is a large PDF so perhaps the size is causing some difficulties.  At my computer it takes nearly a minute to download.   As alternative you can try to access if via the Council agenda but there will likely be same issue; click here.

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