Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday December 18, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Just in time, a little bit of snow to help set the stage for Christmas.

Council will meet at on Monday December 19th in closed session to discuss a legal matter.  Then at , the regular Council meeting starts at Town Hall. It should be a short meeting including:
-          a deputation from the Salvation Army
-          approval of our economic development strategy
-          agreement for tree clearing on the property south of Wal-Mart
Please note the 2012 budget will not be voted on at this meeting.

There has been a lot of discussion surrounding this year’s budget. You are welcome to read my views at

The Town offices will be closed during the week between Christmas and New Years. I am also taking a week off, so NFTT will not be published next week.

Please accept my best wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Gord McKay

Budget 2012

After three months and six plus intensive meetings the 2012 budget will be presented to Council for a final vote in January. Council has been working with staff to bring in a budget with a year-over-year cost increase of 2% or less. While the final cost increase amount is still being calculated, the municipal portion of your taxes should increase by 1.2% in 2012. In addition to many behind the scenes adjustments by staff, key highlights from the budget are:

-          Council required both non-union staff and Council to accept a salary increase cap of 2% for 2012 (down from an expected increase of 2.5%). Union staff was asked if they would voluntarily accept a similar cap.
-          Council decided to make no changes to its existing benefit program, pending a management study in 2012
-          A decision was made not to hire any additional full-time staff; plus one part time position was removed.
-          The Fire department was asked to adjust its call out system to reduce the amount of overtime it incurs
-          Two contracted planning studies were deferred
-          Affordable recreation was maintained; the hospital campaign was committed to for three years; the physicians recruitment program was supported
-          Library cost increase was held to 2%
-          The Works Depot was deferred for one year and the purchase of a new aerial ladder truck was deferred for three years.

While setting the 2012 budget Council heard public calls to slash staff and municipal services to quickly reduce our tax rate.  Council also learned from staff that many of the Town’s fiscal indicators are in good shape - our full-time staff complement has been essentially stable for the last three years; we have a manageable debt load; we have not depleted our Town reserves. These realities have strengthened Council’s resolve that the best course of action is to maintain the fiscal discipline evidenced in 2012 for the next two years and turn our focus to bringing jobs back to Midland.  That is the better way to control the Town budget and reduce the tax burden on our residents.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday December 11, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

Last evening was Midland’s first Victorian Christmas House Tour. A magical evening of festive lights and warm welcomes, displayed in six local heritage homes. Thanks to our Heritage Committee, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

Monday Dec 12th features a special Council meeting at
-          a proposal for a “public space” recycling project
-          recommendation to disband the energy committee

Tuesday December the 13th will feature the sixth (and hopefully the last) special budget meeting. There will be an in-camera meeting at

On Thursday December 15th, members of Midland’s police force will be visiting Bayview and Sacred Heart schools to recognize the graduates of the VIP program. The Values, Influences and Peers program teaches children how to stand up to the many challenges of growing up in our society. I would like to recognize Officer Dave Young, Midland Police who is the heart of this program.

And Friday, if you are down on
Aberdeen Boulevard


As part our Official Plan review, the Town will be updating its vision of the Town and everything that we do as a community. If you wish to make your voice heard on Midland’s future, please get involved before December 23rd. More information is available at the “Vision 2031” website (  or send your ideas to Mr. Wes Crown at

Gord McKay

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday December 3, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen

You know that something is out of whack when you hear the sounds of lawnmowers while on your way to the Civitan Santa Claus parade. Fabulous parade by the way.

On Monday a special event takes place in Midland.  The YMCA is hosting its annual “Gifts to Give” event. Unused “re-giftable” items are made available to persons who may not be able to buy their own Christmas gift.  Last year over 300 individuals were helped by this community exchange. If you have a quality item that you would like to donate please take it to the NSSRC on Monday December 5th between and . If you are in need and would like to choose a gift, please go the NSSRC between and that same day.

On Tuesday December 6th at at the Midland Library, La Maison Rosewood Shelter will remember the tragic events of 1989 when 14 young women lost their lives. Please come and participate in this national day of remembrance and action on violence against women.

Wednesday December 7th at at the Town Hall is the Planning and Development Committee meeting. The meeting will not consider the site plan application for the recycling plant at 1001 Franke
Kindred Road
. What it will address is;
-          an OMB appeal for the property at
281 Cranston Rd
-          a proposal to cut trees for a new development in the south end of Midland
-          an update on economic development in Midland, including a “healthcare summit”

On Friday December 9th you may wish to drop by the Midland Area Reading Councils offices at
67 Fourth Street
for some Christmas cheer. All are welcome.

And on Saturday December the 10th I hope that you have your tickets for the first annual Victorian Christmas Home Tour. This event, sponsored by the Midland Heritage Committee, opens six beautiful Victorian homes in our area all decked out in Christmas garb. The tour runs from to Tickets are just $10 – contact Town Hall at 526-4275.

Gord McKay