All posts by robinthemayor

Beautiful Morning for a Walk in the’Port

The Village is a busy place this morning.  In addition to the birds and critters, Desi and I met up with lots of people on our walk.  It is the quintessential winter morning – fresh snow, sunshine & blue sky and just below 0 degrees.  I want to send a big shout out to Craig, Jamie and the rest of the crew – roads and sidewalks are in great shape.  Thank you from all of us who head out every morning for fresh air and exercise.

 

Staff Changes tomorrow at Town Hall

I would like to officially welcome Mr Paul Snider, who begins his new role as our CAO/Clerk tomorrow, January 23, 2017.  Paul has many years experience working in municipal offices, the most recent as the Clerk in Loyalist Township.  And of course, Paul has deep roots in the Village.

I also want to congratulate Ms Anne Marie Koiner, who has been employed as our Deputy Treasurer/Deputy Clerk and will be appointed Treasurer/Deputy Clerk tomorrow at the Council meeting.  She brought her previous municipal experience to the village in 2015 and has worked diligently to ensure the treasury and its reports are up to date and accurate.

Please drop by Town Hall when you have a moment and extend a Westport “Home Town Pride” welcome to Paul and congratulations to Anne Marie.

Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!!!!

It was great to see so many people out to the Levee at Town Hall on New Year’s Day.  Lots of visiting with old friends and neighbours and welcoming new residents and our new CAO.  Special thanks to Councillor Brady for her help in making the day a success.

Some of the people who attended:

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more-guestsRick and Rev Barb ….

rick-rev-barband let’s not forget ….

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and then it was time to raise the Westport Sesquicentennial Flag…

Getting Ready….

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We sang O Canada once the flag was in place.  MPP Steve Clarke commented later on how robust we sang our national anthem.  That’s hometown pride, Steve!

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Speeches from Special Guests – MP Gord Brown, MPP Steve Clarke, His Worship Mayor Ron Holman

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The Home Team!  Councillors Brady, Huth, Schwinghamer and Parliament.

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And finally, what would a birthday party be without cake?  Cut by our Senior of the Year, Mrs Shirley Howard.shirley-cutting-the-150th-cakeHAPPY SESQUICENTENNIAL CANADA!   MORE CELEBRATION TO COME THIS YEAR.

Closing out 2016 and looking forward to 2017

There were many challenges/opportunities and lots of changes at Town Hall in 2016.  Here are just a few of them.

The disappointment in February when we learned that we had been refused the Ontario Community Infrastructure 2 Grant (OCIF) to finish the work on the new waste water plant was deeply felt by us all.  After taking a few deep breaths and writing letters expressing our concerns to the Premier and other Ministers, we took stock of our application and used this as an opportunity to prepare a stronger one for 2017.  We submitted the OCIF 3 grant application in November and hope to hear a positive response in late January/early February.

Our first Engineer, Mr Leslie Whiteman, decided to leave our team for a new opportunity.   We miss seeing him, his wife and beautiful children in the Village.  This created the opportunity for the Village to begin its relationship with Mr Max Christie, who has been our Manager of Infrastructure since May.  Max brings with him a wealth of water/waste water experience and a common sense approach to infrastructure related issues.

In November, we faced a challenge regarding incidents that occurred before this Council was elected.   On November 30th, I attended court when the matters in relation to charges laid against the Village in 2014 by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change were dealt with – a plea of guilty on one charge, all other charges withdrawn and a $10,000 fine.  Council used this as an opportunity to contract our water/waste water operations with Ontario Clean Water Agency.  With the court case just behind us and with a full understanding of the amount of regulatory compliance required for both the water and waste water systems, Council made this decision. The short term contract duration of six months will permit Council to undertake a thorough review of service delivery options before embarking on a long term operations commitment.  We wish Mr. David Wallond, who worked for the Village as the water/waste water operator since January 2014, the best in the future.

And finally, our Clerk, Mr Scott Bryce, has retired!  His last day was December 23, although you will see him in Town Hall over the next several weeks helping us out on a couple of matters.   Thank you Scott.  The best in retirement to you and Linda.

One of those matters that Scott will be helping us with will be to provide orientation and transition to our new CAO/Clerk.  Council is pleased to welcome Mr Paul Snider.  He brings with him years of municipal experience, currently working in Loyalist Township as their Clerk.  We are extremely proud that Paul has decided to join the Westport Team. Welcome home.  Paul and his wife, Heather, will be attending the Levee on New Year’s day.  Drop by and say hello.

So, that is a wrap for 2016. We know that there will be new challenges in 2017, however be assured that Council will continue to make decisions in the best interests of you and the Village.

On behalf of myself, Councillors Brady, Huth, Parliament and Schwinghamer and the staff from the Village, we wish you and your families a Happy New Year and a safe and prosperous 2017!

Mark your calendars – MP Gord Brown and MPP Steve Clarke in the Village on January 1st for the Levee

levee-2015Levee 2016

Please plan on joining the New Year’s Levee at Town Hall from noon to 2:00 on Sunday, January 1st.  It is a great opportunity to meet with members of Council and learn about some of the issues that are on the horizon for 2017 here in the Village.  Some extra excitement for this year includes  the “official” raising of the new Village of Westport Sesquicentennial Flag at 1:00 by the Royal Canadian Legion’s Colour Party.  And – fingers crossed – I hope that there are two surprise guests.  The designer of the Westport Flag is hoping to join us and see her design flying outside Town Hall.  And if all of the details come together prior to January 1st, the new CAO/Clerk for the Village will be here.  Stay tuned…..