I would like to take this opportunity to thank-you for your continued support.  I look forward to continuing to serve the interests of the citizens of Waterloo for the next four years and continuing to work closely with the Eastbridge neighbourhood.

Over the next month, the new City Council will participate in a series of meetings including:

1. Orientation Meetings:  These will include an overview of the service areas of the City and a tour of the facilities that the City of Waterloo owns, operates and maintains. These facilities include our recreation facilities, City Hall and our public works building.

2. Committees/Board Assignment: Each member of Council is requested to undertake a review of the Committees and Boards that they are willing to participate on over the next two years.  This process is repeated in 2016 to allow members of Council to shift committees if they are interested in a change. 

Each member of Council is assigned as a liaison to one of the City departments.  In the past years, I have served as the liaison to Integrated Planning and Public Works and Community, Culture, Recreation and Leisure Services.

In addition, members of Council are expected to serve on a variety of City and External Agency Committees.  There are sixteen (16) City Advisory Committees and fifteen (15) External Agencies seeking representation.  Council also participates in Region of Waterloo Steering Committees associated with Projects and Studies occurring in the City boundaries.  In the past I have served on the Clair Lake community task force, dog designation appeal committee, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Board of Directors, Grand-River Hospital Board of Directors and the Regional steering committee for the Northfield Drive Widening (Davenport to University Ave).

3. Media Training: I seize every opportunity I have to receive advice and training related to responding to media inquiries.  Communicating with media and the broader citizenry is a critical part of my job as a member of Council.  I am always looking for new strategies to improve my communications skills

4. Inaugural Meeting:  The first meeting of the new Council is December 1, 2014.  This and all Council Meetings are on Monday evenings starting at 6:30 pm.  At this meeting Mayor-Elect Jaworsky will outline his vision for the City of Waterloo over the next four years.  As well, each member of Council will swear an oath to serve the citizens to the best of their ability.  All Council meetings are open and the public is invited to attend.

My Vision for this Term of Council

My goal for the next term of Council relates to three major undertakings for the Ward.  The first being the long awaited widening of Northfield Dr.  This work will be done by the Region of Waterloo and is scheduled to start construction in the spring of 2015. 

My second goal is to see library services delivered in the ward.  The 2013-2017 Waterloo Public Library Strategic plan can be reviewed at this link: http://www.wpl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/Strategic-Plan.pdf.  The plan speaks to the library functioning as a place making space.  Direction Number 2 in the plan is entitled Moving Beyond Our Walls.  The following is an excerpt from the plan: Transforming Understanding requires the library to go where we’re needed, and will use new partnerships to extend our reach. An innovative approach to bringing WPL to the community will improve the delivery of services and programming. 

Outreach to non-traditional users.

Action: Tech Connect On the Go

  • Take WPL’s ‘Tech Connect’ program on the road, promoting and teaching technology skills

Develop community outreach approach

Action: McCormick community conversations

  • Engage the neighbourhoods surrounding the McCormick Branch in transformational community building
  • Expand digital content delivery

Action: East-side digital library outreach

  • Expand virtual library service to East-side customers
  • Expand point-of-need service through automation

Action: Hand-held wireless check-out pilot

  • Implement hand-held wireless check-out for use in the library and off-site        

My last goal, and likely the most important, is to be your voice at City Hall.  The ION construction in the Ward will occur over the next four years along Northfield Drive from near the expressway to Conestoga Mall.  I have been promised that the work will include finishing the road way with a dedicated space for cyclists.  The works on Northfield will be challenging and frustrating.  We speak a lot about the need for infrastructure re-investment, but when it requires us to manage traffic congestion as a part of the work, it can be tremendously frustrating.  Please be prepared, 2015 will be another spring, summer and fall of road construction. 

Upcoming Events:

Mark your Calendars for some special dates and events happening in and around the City of Waterloo:

Event

Date

Location (s)

 

Wonders of Winter - Waterloo Park - www.wondersofwinter.ca

Opening and Fireworks - November 29, 2014 at 6pm

Runs Nov 29-Dec 31, 2014

Waterloo Park

Rink in the Square

December - Snow melt 2015

Waterloo Public Square

Mayor and Council New Year Levee - waterloo.ca

January 11, 2014

To be finalized - historically Forbes Room - RIM Park

I welcome your comments on my columns so please do not hesitate to contact me at:

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . twitter: @dianelfreeman 

 

During July and August, the City Council schedule is reduced from weekly meetings to one monthly meeting.  Although it might sound nice, these days are usually very busy, with a lot of reading and they typically end very late. The July meeting was a particularly full agenda and included a lengthy discussion and debate regarding traffic in the Uptown West neighbourhood.  With the ION construction in Uptown Waterloo combined with the high density development also occurring in the Uptown, the single family residents that border these projects are increasingly concerned about the potential for "cut through" traffic and increasing traffic speeds.  Many residents attended the Council meeting in July and registered to provide a delegation to Council.  In the end, Council agreed that more work is needed to address the concerns of the neighbourhood.

 

The participation of the community members in the July Council meeting provided tremendous value to the decision making by Council.  If you have ever wondered how one goes about participating at a Council meeting, the following is provided for your use:

 

1. Email: Many citizens choose to email me regarding Council decisions.  I can assure you that I read every email that I receive and seek to respond immediately.  Admittedly I do travel with my Blackberry (much to the chagrin of my family) and even while on vacation, you can be assured I will respond to email.  Many citizens choose to email all members of Council. This is an especially useful tool if you are interested to comment on issues that are located outside of Ward 4 and deal with a larger City issue such as the proposed King Street redevelopment in Uptown Waterloo that is considering the installation of separated bike lanes.

 

2. Delegation to Council: You can request to come and speak directly to Council by requesting to be a delegation to Council.  We hear delegations at the beginning of every Council meeting or in conjunction with specific Council items.  Details on providing a delegation to Council are found at the following link: http://www.waterloo.ca/en/government/delegationregistration.asp

 

3. Telephone: City Hall has wonderful staff in the Elected Officials office and Linda Vandenakker works as the constituency coordinator for all members of Council.  Linda can be reached at 519-747-8788.  All members of Council are issued a Blackberry and I can be reached directly at 519-569-9955.

 

4. Petition:  Although some might think it "old-fashioned" to provide a petition to Council I can assure you that many do.  This remains an effective tool to help Council understand the depth of community interest in a particular decision.  Most recently, petitions were provided to Council both in favour of and opposed to the completion of Lexington Road with sidewalks and on road bike lanes.

 

5. Letter:  I often receive letters from citizens on one topic or another.  On some occasions I have written back and on others I have phoned folks back.  Like other forms of communication, I strive to respond immediately. 

 

6. Public Meetings:  The City runs a lot of public meetings with the goal of seeking input from interested and affected citizens.  Where planning applications are concerned there is a requirement in the Planning Act for written notification to those living within a close proximity to a development.  For other projects, there is no formal requirement, but the City does it anyway.  These meetings are typically advertised in the Waterloo Chronicle, on the City website and through social media.

 

7. Social Media:  Recently many folks have chosen to engage me and the City through social media including facebook and twitter: @citywaterloo and @dianelfreeman. Like email I track notifications on my facebook and twitter accounts and work hard to respond immediately.

 

8. Committees and Task forces:  Following the election of Council a notice will be posted on the City website and in the Waterloo Chronicle requesting interested individuals to consider volunteering to serve on a committee or Task force of Council.  The committees and task forces report directly to Council and have staff support.  Committees are engaged in long-term work and a task force typically is project specific and has a specific end date.  These groups provide important advice to Council on agenda items and on many occasions bring forth motions for Council to consider and advance.  Members of Council sit on committees and task forces and the work of the volunteers in this capacity is highly valued.  If you have an interest to serve on a committee or task force, please email me and I can forward your contact information to the City clerk's office so you will be notified when the notice to volunteer is posted.

 

9. Face-to-Face Meetings:  I really enjoy meeting with people.  Most recently I met with citizens at their home related to construction happening on their street.  I routinely meet with people at City Hall.  I make time for breakfast and lunch meetings too.  If you want to meet with me just email me to set up a time and location to meet.

Public input in decision making is really valued.  Often people feel that if they are in agreement with a proposed project then they do not need to come out to a meeting and say so.  This makes it tough for Council because we often face the loud minority in the Council Chambers and we are uncertain about the silent majority and where they stand on issues.

August will be a busier month because in addition to the Council meeting, I will also be attending the Annual Conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).  AMO works to make municipal governments stronger and more effective and is the advocacy organization for 444 municipalities in Ontario. I have successfully run for the AMO board of directors on three occasions and I have served continuously since 2007.  AMO actively advocates to the Government of Ontario around issues such as arbitration settlements; Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Savings (OMERS); Infrastructure funding; Social Services investments and much more.  I am proud to be working with AMO on behalf of Ontario citizens. 

 

Upcoming Events:

Mark your Calendars or cut out the following chart for some special dates and events happening in and around the City of Waterloo.

Event

Date

Location (s)

 

Thursday Nights UpTown
Live performances from local musicians

Thursdays, June-September,  5-8 pm

Bauer Marketplace

Long & McQuade

McPhail's

Seven Shores Café

Open Streets

www.openstreetsutw.ca

September 14

King Street Waterloo

Advanced Municipal Election Polls 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

October 8

University of Waterloo

Wilfrid Laurier University

Advanced Municipal Election Polls 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

October 9

The Shops at Waterloo Town Square

Mayor and Council Free Oktoberfest Luncheon

Thursday October 9 11:30 am -1:00 pm

Waterloo Public Square

Free Community Oktoberfest Breakfast and Great Oktoberfest Barrel Races

October 11 7:00 am - 12 noon

Waterloo Public Square

King Street Waterloo

Oktoberfest

Keg Tapping

October 10 - 17,

October 10  noon

Various - Waterloo Region

Kitchener City Hall

Advanced Municipal Election Polls 12 p.m.-8 p.m.

October 15 and 16

RIM Park, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex and Waterloo Public Library John Harper Branch

Advanced Municipal Election Polls 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

October 17

RIM Park, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex and Waterloo Public Library John Harper Branch

Advanced Municipal Election Polls 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

October 18

RIM Park, Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex and Waterloo Public Library John Harper Branch

Municipal Election Day

October 27

I welcome your comments on my columns so please do not hesitate to contact me at:

email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  twitter: @dianelfreeman

 

 

Words cannot describe how thankful I am to see the reminders of the cold weather finally dwindling. It was a long winter. Except for the strong winds that seemed to be present in April, it is good to be back cycle commuting too.

 

Construction Season Dead-Ahead

 

Lexington Road

 

Lexington Road will be resurfaced this year from Anndale Road to University Avenue. This work will prevent a full reconstruction of the road in 5-6 years and provide for another 25 years of life. I equate the work to putting new shingles on your roof before the house becomes mould ridden. The work will see sidewalks completed on the south side of the road, on-road cycling infrastructure, some new dedicated left turning lanes and some pedestrian refuge islands which will also function as traffic calming measures. The section between Bridge street and University avenue will be the first phase of the works. The second phase will begin at Anndale Road and advance to Bridge. All of the work is scheduled for completion between the end of May and the end of July (weather permitting). The complete design can be observed on the City website at www.waterloo.ca/en/living/lexingtonroad.asp.

 

New Sanitary Sewer Pumping Station and Force Main

 

This work will include the construction of a new sanitary sewer pumping station in Colonial Acres between Lorindale and Denholm streets. The force main pipe will be installed along Denholm to Hillside, Hillside to Bridge, Bridge to Lexington and Lexington towards Lee Ave. The pipe will be connected to an existing force main located roughly halfway between Bridge and Lee Ave. The work will commence the first week of May and is planned to be completed by mid-July.

 

University Avenue

You have, no doubt, been already caught in traffic along University Avenue. The work on the highway overpass is being undertaken by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and will take many weeks to complete. Further along University Avenue, the Region of Waterloo is undertaking road resurfacing. The good news on this front is that some pedestrian refuge islands will be installed as a part of this work at trail connections such as the one at Hillside Park.

 

Local Food Charter

On Monday April 28, 2014 City of Waterloo Council unanimously endorsed the Waterloo Region Food Charter. We all eat, and food is central to our lives. Food bears an important role in shaping the health and livelihood of our communities, our environment, and our economies. The significance of food and its far-reaching significance to how we can build toward sustainability have been recognized multiple times.

The Food Charter has been created by the Waterloo Region Food System Roundtable in 2012 after an extensive and transparent public consulting process, which involved a representative cross-section of our local food system such as academics as well as stakeholders from agriculture and business. In April 2013, the Council of the Region of Waterloo unanimously endorsed the Food Charter. Regional Council finds itself in good company with many local businesses, organisations and individuals that also endorsed the Food Charter since its creation. The City of Waterloo was the first of the three cities and of the four townships of the Region of Waterloo to endorse the Food Charter.

The following is the vision of the Food Charter:

A healthy, just and sustainable food system is one in which all residents have access to, and can afford to buy, safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable food that has been produced in an environmentally sustainable way, and that supports our rural communities. Such a food system promotes social justice, population health and profitable farms, reflects and sustains local culture, and supports ecological viability.

More information on the Food Charter can be found at: www.wrfoodsystem.ca

 

 

Upcoming Events:

 

Mark your Calendars or cut out the following chart for some special dates and events happening in and around the City of Waterloo.

Event

Date

Location (s)

 

Cruzin' on the Square

This event will feature classic and specialty cars, vendors, activities and live entertainment

May 23, 2014

7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Waterloo Public Square

Manulife LPGA

June 4-8

Grey Silo Golf Course

Thursday Nights UpTown
Live performances from local musicians

June-September 5-8 pm

Bauer Marketplace

Long & McQuade

McPhail's

Seven Shores Café

Summer Solstice Sampling

Sample the foods of Uptown Waterloo Restaurants

June 21 5-10 pm

Waterloo Public Square

Sun Life Financial Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival

July 18-20, 2014

City Hall Parking Lot

Waterloo Public Square

Music & Movies in the Park

Escape from Planet Earth

Jack the Giant Slayer

The Croods

E.T.

7:30 pm Start Time

July 25

August 1

August 8

August 22

Bandshell area of Waterloo Park located in the WEST end of the park off Westmount Road

Kulturn (LatinFest goes Global) - Summer world music festival

July 11 4:00 pm to July 12 11:00 pm

Waterloo Public Square

Uptown Waterloo

Sun Life Financial Uptown Waterloo Buskers Festival

August 21-24

King Street Waterloo

Waterloo Public Square

Open Streets

www.openstreetsutw.ca

June 15

July 19

August 17

September 14

King Street Waterloo

Mayor and Council Free Oktoberfest Luncheon

Thursday October 9 11:30 am -1:00 pm

Waterloo Public Square

Free Community Oktoberfest Breakfast and Great Oktoberfest Barrel Races

October 11 7:00 am - 12 noon

Waterloo Public Square

King Street Waterloo

Oktoberfest Festival

Keg Tapping

October 10 - 17,

October 10 noon

Various - Waterloo Region

Kitchener City Hall

Municipal Election Day

October 27

 

I welcome your comments on my columns so please do not hesitate to contact me at:

email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . twitter: @dianelfreeman

 
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