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
Last 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.
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.