• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Effective use of tax dollar top priority

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In Bill French - The Mayor
Jan 7th, 2015
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The Mayor’s View  – December 20 2014

It is now 30 days since becoming mayor of Springwater Township. I have spent a lot of time in orientation sessions at the Township and County and have become well versed in the running of these two levels of government that directly impact you. The learning was a little easier as I have attended most of our council meetings for the last 6 years and am well versed on the hot topic items. Of your tax assessment dollar about 40% comes to Springwater and 30% goes to the County of Simcoe. It is my objective to do two things in my term as mayor and county councillor. The first will be to ensure that our tax increases are controlled and secondly that the dollars we do collect, are used more efficiently and effectively.

The first thing we did as a council was to establish a Finance and Audit Committee to monitor the fiscal well-being of the township. This will accomplish a few things. The first will be a constant monitoring of finances in general and the establishment of tighter controls on purchasing, approvals, expenditures and other matters that affect the use of our revenues. We need to spend the almost $25M wisely. The committee will also provide support to our excellent financial staff when implementing best practice.

As promised we will be changing the structure and timing of Council Meetings starting in February. We will meet the first and third Monday at 6:30, an hour later and one additional meeting each month compared to the current schedule to allow more people to come home, grab a bite and attend meetings if they want to be informed. If we could have a regular turnout as we did on December 15th that would be great as the gallery was almost full. Providing feedback positive or negative is appreciated such as was noted in the letter to the editor in the last edition of Springwater News.

Just by the interactions of our deputy mayor and councillor at our many sessions lately, you have a council that will not only speak to the issues but also speak up for the needs of the community, not in a reactive way, but in a constructive manner coming up with solutions. It makes all of our jobs a lot easier when we have honest sincere engagement on issues regardless of how controversial they may be.

Most of our councillors have participated in our seasonal events such as the Elmvale Santa Claus Parade, the Elmvale and Minesing Christmas Tree lighting and the fantastic and unique community Santa Claus Parade in Anten Mills. I am disappointed I missed the Phelpston Sleigh/Wagon ride event.

Snow Valley also opened its new 6,000 sf day lodge to better service the new and changing ski family. I had the pleasure of participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Snow Valley is our largest employer right behind the County Administration Centre and the Board of Education Centre. Fred Archer’s Track Vehicles of Elmvale has supplied two of the new groomers at the resort.

I encourage everyone to participate in both the Budget process and Recreational needs review. Go online or phone the office for details.

Being the end of a most interesting year, I wish all your families great prosperity in 2015 and by working together we will continue to make Springwater the choice of where to work, live and play in Simcoe County.

Contact me at 705-728-4784 ext. 2040 or my cell at 705-718-7031 or email at bill.french@springwater.ca and follow me on twitter @MayorFrench

Bill French is the Mayor of Springwater Township

 

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