December 15, 2011: City Hall Report.
City Hall Report
By Katherine Hobbs, Councillor, Kitchissippi Ward.
“My two-month challenge to bike, bus or walk has extended now to five.” Councillor Katherine Hobbs
It’s been just over one year since I have had the honour of being elected to serve you, the Kitchissippi community, on City Council. I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
It’s been a productive year as council got down to business quickly in the first few months. One of our first actions was to establish budget guidelines to ensure taxes would not increase by more than 2.5 percent. Our first two budgets have achieved that target.
I am proud to be part of a council who voted to freeze recreation fees, and provide $14 million in new funds to combat homelessness and help the most vulnerable in our society.
Also there was a record amount of investment approved for cycling initiatives! Not only do we have the Laurier segregated bike lanes, but Kitchissippi has the first road diet in the city on Scott with the addition of cycling lanes. There is plenty more to come.
My two-month challenge to bike, bus or walk has extended now to five. I’ve experienced firsthand how lucky Kitchissippi residents are with access to public transit. Kitchissippi will continue to be a focus for transit; council voted to proceed with Phase 1 of the LRT initiative which extends trains to Tunney’s Pasture. Three companies have been shortlisted to bid on the project with work to begin in 2013. We voted to double O-train service 10 years earlier than initially planned, and purchased double-decker buses to enhance service and route efficiency. There is always more to be done; I look forward to hearing from you on transit needs.
I consider parks a priority. I’ve asked every community association to provide park needs in their neighbourhoods. Evergreen Park in McKellar Heights is the first project; construction will begin on a new $240,000 park this spring. Plans have started for a new parkette, named “Veteran Square” beside the Westboro Legion at Richmond and Winston. Again, many more park projects are underway throughout Kitchissippi.
I have also enjoyed meeting with many residents as well as those who are in various organizations and businesses at the many events and community meetings I have attended in the past year. While nowhere near the mayor’s tally, not including what goes on during the day, I was out and about evenings and weekends about 20 times a month. I was privileged to be involved with a number of fundraising events as well, and am always eager to lend support to a cause.
Finally I want to extend an invitation to all of you to come visit me here at city hall! There is plenty to do while here; from touring the new Sports Hall of Fame to skating on the Rink of Dreams which will soon be open outside our doors.
It is an honour to serve and I thank you for your continued support. Best wishes during the holiday season and into the New Year.