14 Nov

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Time For A Change

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 The MLRA is not one person – it’s a team effort and without the commitment and dedication of various people, we could never have accomplished all that we have done in the past eight years.

By Rick Wigmore

Time for Change - ClockLast month, the winds of change swept through Whitchurch-Stouffville’s political scene. So it seems fitting to make some changes here as well at the executive level of the MLRA.  I am announcing my resignation from the MLRA executive.  I have been an executive with the residents’ association since its inception back in May 2006 but I’ve decided that it’s time to let the younger members of the MLRA executive take over the reins.

Working with the MLRA Executive, Councillor Bannon, members of Council and Town Staff has been a very gratifying experience. I learned very quickly though that government moves at a much slower pace than business and timing is everything. For example, if you need anything in the budget for the community, you had better be working with your Councillor no later than September of the previous year because the municipal budget is usually set in stone no later than December. The other important thing you learn is the old adage “you get more bees with honey than with vinegar”. Yelling, shouting and writing nasty “letters to the editor” accomplishes nothing. Working with elected representatives and Town Staff to compromise and reach consensus does.  Working with various representatives allowed us to accomplish so much over the past eight years and just one of our many successes was working with Geranium Homes to bring attention to local environmental issues such as the health of our Lake. The latest water study of the Lake (provided by Geranium Homes) was conducted by Dr. Hutchison, a leading Ontario limnologist and it indicates that the Lake is in great shape. This study really educated us on the natural cycles of the Lake. You will have algae in the spring before the rooted weeds take hold and you will have algae in the fall as the rooted weeds die off. It’s a natural progression and does not indicate a problem with the Lake itself. As Dr. Hutchison so succinctly stated, “Residents have to remember that the Lake is not a swimming pool”. Plants and animals live in it and it goes through phases. The fact that it doesn’t always look pristine is not a problem. The LSRCA has also been conducting monthly water studies to build data on Dr. Hutchison’s excellent study and it has shown that there is no water quality issue with the Lake – just normal, seasonal changes.

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Rick Wigmore and Phil Bannon at the MLRA Earth Day announcement about Coultice Park

There are two issues outstanding that still require resolution – the planning of Coultice Park, our amazing new community park and the installation of safer streetlights around the Lake. Streetlights using LED technology enable light to be focused on the road, thereby increasing visibility without spilling excess light into the night sky. This should mean fewer residents will oppose this badly needed safety feature. My advice is to listen closely to Andrew McNeely, Stouffville’s excellent CAO. When it comes to planning community facilities, Andrew has forgotten more than we could ever hope to learn.

The MLRA web site has also been a tremendous amount of work but it has served as an important record of all that has been accomplished by working together. The MLRA is not one person – it’s a team effort and without the commitment and dedication of various people, we could never have accomplished all that we have done in the past eight years. So I would like to take a moment to acknowledge a few of those folks.

    • My wife Linda who had the thankless task of managing the books – she deserves kudos for her work.  The books have now been passed on to the executive in good order with $3,585.93 in the PACE bank account and $183.75 in PACE equity shares.
    • My brother Dan – without his dedication as webmaster, we could never have kept the residents so well informed as to what was happening in the community.
    • Jane Grinnell – thanks for all of your positive feedback and sound advice.
    • Ian and Mike Feld – thanks for ensuring our events always ran smoothly.
    • The tremendous help and support from Kyle Jenkin, Janet Davies and the whole crew at Cedar Beach can never be praised enough. Their commitment to the community is and has been outstanding.
    • Many  thanks also go out to Charlene Jones for her writing & interview efforts , Lisa White for all her hard work on behalf of the Cedarvale Community Assoc., and also Dr. Brian Laing & Christine Laing for their work on the Stewardship Plan with the LSRCA.
    • Community Event sponsors Mario Giampietri, President Geranium Corporation and Alec Cloke, owner of United Soils Management are to be commended for their continued support and commitment to being Gold Standard corporate citizens.

I can’t even begin to thank former Councillor Phil Bannon enough for all of his wise council and his tremendous efforts on behalf of the community that he loves. Phil knocked on my door as a stranger 12 years ago and has since become a great friend.

You will continue to have a tremendous executive made up of community representatives whom I am sure will be reaching out to the all of you in the near future.

So to everyone, THANKS for the memories and I wish everyone all the best in the future.

FirstEarthDay

Filed Under: Feature, MLRA News

31 Oct

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Thank You Whitchurch-Stouffville

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by Phil Bannon

 It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as your Ward 2 Councillor for the past 11 years

Councillor Phil Bannon is running for mayor of Whitchurch-Stouffville

Phil Bannon

I would like to extend my unending gratitude to my team, my supporters and our many friends and neighbours for their commitment to our campaign and their continued support over the past 11 years.

I want to thank Mayor Emmerson and all members of Council for their friendship, hard work and dedication. I feel honoured to have served with such dignified individuals who served with the highest degree of integrity. Whitchurch- Stouffville is a better Town because of these people and they deserve all the credit.

I wish Mayor Emmerson well in his quest for the Regional Chairs position. It will serve our community well to have a second voice of reason at the Regional Council.

I have congratulated the new Mayor and all members of Council on their recent election wins. Our future is now in their hands.

To my wife Janice and my beautiful daughters Denise and Ashlea – thank you for your love, strength, purpose and understanding while enduring the criticism and many lows that any elected official suffers throughout their careers and election campaigns.

Thank you Whitchurch-Stouffville. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as your Ward 2 Councillor for the past 11 years.

Phil Bannon

 

 

31 Oct

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Happy Halloween

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The MLRA Wishes You And Your Family A  Safe & Happy Halloween

Please follow these basic Halloween safety tips.

HalloweenSafety

Halloween Safety Image http://thesafetyreport.com/2010/09/halloween-safety-tips/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Filed Under: MLRA News

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24 Oct

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Your Vote Is Your Voice…

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Please ensure that you exercise your right to vote on Monday October 27th. 

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Your Vote Is Your Voice. Please ensure you exercise your right to vote.
Musselman’s Lake Residents Association

Ward Two is to be commended on our voter turnout in the Advance Voting. If you did not avail of the Advance Voting…please make sure that you vote on Municipal Election Day – Monday October 27.

 

2014 Municipal Election Whitchurch-Stouffville Voter Information

Voting Day is Monday, October 27, 2014. Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for the times and locations.

Vote Phil Bannon

VOTER INFORMATION – CLICK ON ICON TO GO TO TOWN OF WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE’S VOTER INFORMATION PAGE ON THEIR WEBSITE

If your name is on the Voters’ List, you should have received a Voter Notification Card in the mail in early October.  This card will tell you when and where to vote during Advance Vote Dates and on Election Day.  If you did not receive a Voter Notification Card, your name may not be on the Voters’ List and you should take the necessary steps to add your name to the List.

Email a customer service representative at customer.service@townofws.ca and provide a contact telephone number where you can be reached in order to be added to the Voters’ List.

 

 

 

 

24 Oct

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High Standards of Civility, Respect and Decorum.

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It is too bad we elect only one councilor because both gentlemen are great advocates for the community.

by Rick Wigmore

MauriceSmithphoto.00

Maurice Smith

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Adam Schickedanz

As noted previously, the residents attending the Ward 2 Councillors’ Debate on October 14th put forth a number of well thought out questions to our candidates, Adam Schickedanz and Maurice Smith.  The residents’ questions and subsequent responses from each candidate are listed below.

Resident:
What can be done about the number of dump trucks operating in the area?

Maurice:
Trucks are limited to Bloomington Road and Ninth Line. Unfortunately, the trucks are needed to fill in the quarry on the Ninth Line. United Soils Management is running this clean fill operation and is one of Whitchurch-Stouffville’s largest tax contributors. This tax revenue is needed to keep down property tax increases and to fund improvements such as our new community park.

Adam:
He would like to see trucks off Aurora Road and have more safety checks implemented.

Resident:
Can we expect full time fire and emergency services introduced to Ballantrae?

Maurice:
He supports 24/7 EMS services in Ballantrae. In fact, he campaigned for it when he ran in the last election. However, one of the obstacles noted is that these services are overseen by the region and not the municipality.

Adam:
He supports 24/7 EMS services in Ballantrae and, if elected, he will lobby for it.

Resident:
How many Council and Planning meetings have you attended?

Maurice:
Over the last nine years he has attended approximately 200 meetings.

Adam:
He has attended approximately 5 in the last year but says he won’t miss a single meeting if elected.

Resident:
Do you support having a Trade Centre in Stouffville to create jobs?

Both candidates indicated that it was a controversial issue. It’s not supported by residents living in close proximity to the proposed site; however, it will probably be needed as it would create jobs.

Resident:

Do you support the vote by Council against on-line voting?

Both candidates support the traditional way of voting.  Currently, online voting would be a tremendous, additional drain on our tax dollars and we do not have the confidence that the voting process could not be manipulated.

Resident:
What problems do you see in Ward 2?

Adam:
There are not enough services. This is why he has helped open businesses in the Ballantrae area. He also supports the park at Musselman’s Lake.

Maurice:
He supports the new Coultice Park. He says we need to find ways to get residents safely to the Park – safer entranceways; perhaps sidewalks and streetlights? There is an issue in the Ward with the lack of transit available thereby limiting ability to get to stores and services.

Resident:
In 2015 there will be a review of the Oak Ridges Moraine Act. What is your view on this?

Maurice:
Leave the Act as it currently stands. Continue to protect environmentally sensitive areas. I support the creation of more walking trails.

Adam:
He supports leaving the Oak Ridges Moraine Act as it is. He indicated that Mr. Frank Stronach has been buying up land in proximity to the York Regional Forest in order to both preserve and expand it.

Resident:
Streetlights are badly needed on Ninth Line going around the Lake. What’s your opinion?

Maurice:
The Streetlights are definitely needed and would tie in with the safety issues surrounding the park.

Adam:
Streetlights are definitely needed.

Resident:
Right hand turn lanes are needed at intersection of Highway 48 and Aurora Road. Will this be something that will be addressed?

Adam:
He supports this initiative.

Maurice:
He supports this initiative but says that nearby property owners will have to agree to sell first. Sidewalks and upgraded traffic signals are also needed.

Resident:
What is your vision of Stouffville in 3-4 years?

Maurice:
He wants historical structures maintained but he also sees the need for progress.

Adam:
He says that despite any problems, this will still be our home. It’s a beautiful place to live.  He wants to see growth limited to the current Act.

Resident:
Will you continue to support the Community Events started by Mr. Bannon?

Adam:
He will continue to support the local community events started by Mr. Bannon.

Maurice:
He will continue to support the local community events started by Mr. Bannon and also suggested that this could also be expanded to events in the town.

Resident:
There is a need for public transit on the 9th line from Stouffville north. Do you support this initiative?

Adam:
He supports extending public transit up to Ballantrae and he also wants to see a seniors’ home built there to service the local community.

Maurice:
He says that the region is undertaking a study and any additional bus routes will have to be financially viable.

Resident:
Do you support the need for a Food Bank in the centre of Stouffville?

Maurice:
He is an advocate for the Food Bank and supports the need for an additional location in Stouffville.

Adam:
He enthusiastically supports the Food Bank and wants to talk with the residents further about financial support.

Resident:
Can you address lack of employment opportunities in the area?

Maurice:
He has met with local developers to encourage employment opportunities.

Adam:
He is already actively working on bringing in several new businesses such as a doctor’s office, pharmacy and possibly a grocery store to the Ballantrae area.

Summary of Closing Remarks:

Maurice:
He indicated that he had an extensive business and municipal background. He has been on both sides of the negotiating table when bringing in new industry and he will bring this extensive experience to the Councillor’s position. He summarized himself as a mature individual who understands accountability.

Adam:
He said it was a privilege to run against Maurice. He indicated that he too has extensive business expertise to bring to the job – just not as many years as Maurice. Adam enthusiastically stated he wanted to be Councillor to give back to the community he loves.

The evening overall……

Let me apologize in advance for any errors or omissions contained in this document. If there are, it is not intentional. Not being a secretary by trade, I now have a greater appreciation for reporters and those who take minutes of meetings.

The two candidates are to be congratulated for the high standards of civility, respect and decorum maintained at this debate. It is too bad we elect only one councilor because both gentlemen are great advocates for the community.

In my opinion, this debate should set the standard to which all political debates should be held. The candidates did not attack each other and were very clear on where they stood on all of the issues. The residents, for their part, remained respectful of the candidates and asked all the tough questions that needed to be asked. All in all – an evening that all participants can be very proud of.

 

17 Oct

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Everyone Was A WINNER At The Ward 2 Candidates’ Debate On Oct. 14th

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On October 27th you will have to decide what is important to you.

by Rick Wigmore

First of all, let me congratulate both candidates running for councillor in Ward 2.  Maurice Smith and Adam Schickedanz conducted a very mannerly, respectful debate and set a very positive tone for the evening.  In turn, the residents were also very respectful of the candidates and their positions. There were very thoughtful and insightful questions posed by the residents to the candidates and the candidates’ responses were listened to intently. Absent were the cat calls and the candidate-baiting that has become all too much the norm in today’s negative politicking.

Also to be congratulated are Jim Mason, editor of the Stouffville Sun Tribune, and his band of trusty helpers who have worked diligently to arrange these all-candidate debates throughout Whitchurch-Stouffville. These events have been set up to encourage more resident participation in the voting process.

We will go into the questions and the answers in more depth next week.  Suffice to say, the candidates were in agreement on most, if not all the issues. Both candidates are very enthusiastic supporters of the community of Ward 2 and both are long term residents.

MauriceSmithphoto.00

MAURICE SMITH www.msmithforcouncillor.ca

 

Maurice is the “elder statesman”. In his run against Phil Bannon in the last election, he lobbied long and hard for 24/7 Fire and EMS coverage for the area. It’s still a hot button for the area residents. When Maurice lost to Phil in a hard fought battle, rather than sit and lick his wounds, he re-doubled his efforts to volunteer his time to our community and get further involved in local politics from the sidelines. When we held our annual Earth Day at Musselman’s Lake, Maurice rolled up his sleeves and worked hard all morning alongside the residents to clean up the Lake.

 

 

 

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ADAM SCHICKEDANZ www.adamschickedanz.ca

 Adam Schickedanz is a young, successful realtor in the area. He is new to the political arena and his description of himself is “young, loud, brash and energetic” which pretty much sums up his reputation. Quite frankly, I went to this debate prepared to dislike him based on reputation alone. However, he pleasantly surprised me in that he has a very proud, positive passion for this community in which he lives. He also surprised me by the very respectful manner in which he carried out the debate and in addition, by his knowledge of our community as a whole.

 

My opinion is this – both gentlemen are excellent representatives of our community. The Musselman’s Lake Residents Association could definitely work with both candidates. The only real difference is Maurice is a retired businessman who has worked long and hard for the community and can definitely be a full time Councillor. Adam, on the other hand, is also committed to the community but he has a successful realty business to run and obviously could not devote all of his energies to the job of Councillor.

On October 27th you will have to decide what is important to you.

The good news for our community is that the choice is a win-win for all of us.

13 Oct

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WARD TWO COUNCILLOR DEBATE – OCT 14th

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Make Sure You Make An Informed Vote

podium-coucillorThe Community Links Panel of the Stouffville Sun-Tribune are hosting a Ward Two Councillor Debate on Tuesday, October 14th – 7 pm at the Ballantrae Community Centre. Please be certain to attend.

Candidates for Ward Two:

ADAM SCHICKEDANZ     www.adamschickedanz.ca

MAURICE SMITH          www.msmithforcouncillor.ca

 

 

Vote Phil Bannon

VOTER INFORMATION – CLICK ON ICON TO GO TO TOWN OF WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE’S VOTER INFORMATION PAGE ON THEIR WEBSITE

Voting Day is Monday, October 27, 2014. Polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 This year’s municipal election is important for all of us! In order to help shape the future of your community. Please vote.