The City of Waterloo undertakes Street Tree pruning and elevating on an on-going basis we do this because: 

The City has requirements on Clearance standards:
1)       Lowest branch must clear public sidewalk by at least 2.7 meters
2)       The lowest branch reaching over the roadway must have no less than 3.7 meters of clearance measured at the curb line
 
Small trees are often not at a stage to be elevated to the heights noted above, however by pruning at an earlier stage the tree is able to recover quicker and not go into stress compared to pruning larger branches at a later developmental stage of the tree. Also the Cityuses structural pruning techniques to correct any growth defects, co-dominant leaders,  crossing branches, V-attachments to trunk which will eventually become a very weak branch and could result in branch failure. Correction in form at an early stage results in a healthier more structurally sound tree as the tree matures and less corrective pruning when tree is mature.
 
The primary reason for elevating over sidewalk/roadway is to prevent obstructions to people (eg. poking them in eyes) and vehicles striking and breaking branches, but while staff are elevating they also are there to prune the trees so we can attain a structurally sound tree which will aid in future maintenance and reduce branch failures. It should be noted as well that it takes at least 4-5 years before we complete the pruning cycle around the city so staff prune accordingly to this to attain proper clearance and any correctional pruning required at the time of pruning.
 

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

 

 
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