While Council meets as a five-person body to make decisions about the Townâ€™s direction, much of the discussion on the issues takes place at the Committee level, where each Councillor chairs a different area of the Townâ€™s operation.
I am halfway through my four-year term as Councillor, and I want to share some of the accomplishments the Town has made over the past two years while I was Chair of Corporate and Financial Services.Â Iâ€™ve inserted links where available if you would like more information.
- Council adopted a Social Media Strategy that lays out how the Town will begin to engage in sites like Facebook & Twitter. It has been recognized as a best practice by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario on the Ontario Municipal Knowledge Network .
- The Townâ€™s website has been refreshed & re-launched to better reflect how the public accesses information and resources.
- Our page in the Era has been revamped (twice!) in order to give residents more information about Council activities and community happenings.
- An e-newsletter was launched that delivers Town Page information directly to residentsâ€™ in-boxes. (You can sign up by clicking HERE).
- Streamlined budget process: we delivered 3 back-to-back budgets aligned at or below inflation.Â Being among the first in York Region to adopt our annual budgets also meant early tenders, resulting in hundreds of thousands dollars saved for our taxpayers.
- Council adopted a Town Sign Strategy and Design Concepts that allowed for new electronic signage at key town facilities, as well as laid out plans for gateway, community and other signage to be installed in the next few years.
- Enhanced Council accountability â€“ Council adopted a new Fundraising Policy involving members of Council.
- Staff researched and reported on a cost-effective way to record & archive Council & Committee meetings, quoting $5000 in equipment & $3000 in on-line archiving compared to the high six-figures quoted in other municipalities. You can read the report HERE.
- Operating Efficiencies such as new photocopiers with fax-in ability which eliminated several unnecessary phone lines; no fee Corporate Visa cards, with bonus cash back based on purchasing totals across the entire organization; and a new Investment Policy that will see our investment income grow.
- Recruited new Deputy Treasurer and HR Manager. We traded expensive outside consultantsâ€™ bills for salaries that mean expertise remains with the Town, and builds our bench strength.
I recently assumed the role of Chair, Community Programs and Infrastructure, our largest Town Department.Â I am looking forward to continuing to serve our community in this capacity, and I anticipate sharing more success stories with you.