Happy New Year!
2016 will be an interesting and most likely an eventful year for the Township of Springwater.
Springwater Council, Senior Staff and some key stakeholders participated in a number of sessions in the last half of 2015 to develop a strategic plan for the township. It will be launched during the current term and will set a clear direction for the future. Unlike previous exercises, we developed this plan from the ground up. It builds on the past but looks clearly into the future. I think you will be pleased when it is released by the end of the first quarter. A clear Vision and Mission has been identified and I am excited to see the plan implemented to the benefit of all in Springwater. Stay tuned. These are positive times for Springwater.
The 2016 budget will be tabled for approval on January 20th and I expect it to be approved by Council. Our senior management took Council and Stakeholder input from the working sessions, made some adjustments and have returned with a quite impressive and well detailed plan to retain service levels, make improvements where necessary and control expenditures. I can assure you everyone is cognizant of the use of your tax dollars. The budget also includes a long term plan to set aside and build an Infrastructure Replacement Fund. This is in addition to our normal reserve funds. I think you will be pleased with the final results of the budget.
By the end of February, we will be releasing an Annual Report on the activities of the Council for 2015. When we started reflecting on what was done in such a short time, and considering it was mainly a new and inexperienced Council, the accomplishments were noticeable. Special appreciation goes to our experienced Councillors, Hanna, Ritchie and McConkey for giving us newbies some needed guidance. Even though we don’t agree on many things, we work well together and so far so good. You, the ratepayer, seem to be the paramount focus of all of Council as both individuals and as a group. That is the way it should work.
We have had many positive comments on our webcasting of our Council and Special meetings. It is a simple thing to do with today’s technology but allows our constituents to keep abreast of the fast moving changes in Springwater. I found it interesting that one viewer commented what a pleasure it was to watch the budget discussions last week. I really do want to know what she was sipping from that glass! But we do appreciate the comments and feedback. I encourage you to send me an email in advance of our meetings with your own questions for the Council Meeting Question Period. Those in attendance will of course be given first priority to ask questions but if we have no questions from the floor, I would be quite pleased to table your email questions during question period. Our Town Hall Meetings went well last year and we will continue that effort this year. We want your feedback in whatever fashion is best for you!
Special Recognition – Mike Guilbault
I would be remiss if I did not mention the special recognition that Elmvale’s Mike Guilbault received from the Master Photographers International Organization. He was named a Master Photographer of Fine Art. Congratulations Mike! We are quite proud of your accomplishment.