After 12 years on council and 3 mayors, I have decided to run for the Mayor of Springwater Twp. As I reflect back on this last term of council it has been productive in getting things done despite the fact Covid- 19 shut almost everything down for the better part of 2 years.
I would like to start by going back to the All candidates meeting in 2018 even thou I was acclaimed to my third term; I spoke about the need for senior housing much needed in our municipality. After the meeting was over I was approached by then Sam and Wendy Langman.
Sam agreed with me about the need for Seniors Housing. Sam soon gathered a team of locals with the same intertest in mind. They held town hall meetings and the interest grew and before long everyone was talking about it.
In the new year of 2019 Sam and his team put a presentation on before council. I remember the council chamber was so full with people in support of this, staff had to open the glass doors to the council chamber, there was people all the way out to the Foyer where you come in. Sam was at his best and gave an excellent presentation asking council to support a MZO order which stands for “Ministers Zoning Order”. I supported this along with the rest of council. By having council’s support of a M Z O order it allows the project to By -pass all the regulation and hurdles you would normally encounter with a project like this which could take years in the making. God Bless Sam Langman for the reins on this.
This September 7/2022 at 10:00 am marks the “Grand Opening” of the Elmvale Active Seniors Residence. And I know Sam will be there watching over us. Shortly after being sworn in 2018 for a third term, I was approached by someone from the Elmvale Food Bank inviting council to a tour of the Food Bank.
There was the Mayor myself and Councillor George Cabral and Ron Belcourt then Director of Parks, Rec and Facilities. We were given a tour of the Food Bank and the troubles they were having. We discussed different options and decided the best thing to do was to build a new building.
In the new year of 2019 members of the Elmvale Food Bank came before council and put a presentation on asking for our support, they were putting money up front and they were asking council to put money up front as well as act as a back stop if for more funding if needed, Myself along with the rest of council supported the new build and on October 16/2022 we had the Grand Opening the address is # 62 Yonge Street North Elmvale and its named the Mike Stone building , I believe it was Mike Stone and Don Hockin who first started the Food Bank many years ago, One last thing the Food Bank delivered a cheque for the full outstanding amount on the day of the Grand opening.
Other projects I have supported council on is the Municipal Swaley Drain, this project started back in my second term of council and after 4 years of negotiating with everyone involved our drainage engineer Ken Smart finally got the approval to clean the Swaley Drain.
Four years of wrangling with government and 2 weeks to clean it out. This project has a big impact on the Farmers in the Minesing Area. The Train drain is another Municipal I supported in getting cleaned out and also the Mc Elwain / Robertson drain has been given the green light to get cleaned out.
Being a farmer myself I know how important these municipal drains are and elected I would like to continue with the ditch digging program.
Other projects are the hard topping of Flos Road 6 west from County Road 29 back to Atkinson sideroad, Also hard topped Flos Road 10 west form Hwy 27 to County Road 29. Other projects I supported is the Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure plan to bring highspeed Internet
access to more communities in Ontario with Springwater Twp being identified as one of these communities.
During this term of council the Province came out with legislation allowing Additional Residential Units to be added to your existing Residential Dwelling there is a list of regulations you have to comply with but ask our building or planning department for information on this topic of Adding Residential Unit. I supported council on this new legislation. We have seen an increase of new applications coming before council for approval. A lot of the applicants are Mom and Dads wanting to be close to there kids, The high cost of living and the Housing shortage the Province is facing is the reason for this much needed Legislation. I would like to go back and speak about the Covid -19. Just before every thing got shut down.
Arrangements were well underway to exercise the Partnership Agreement we had with the Simcoe County School Board Pertaining to the Elmvale District High School. I was hoping to see programs put on so the residents and taxpayers of Springwater Twp, could participate in during the Winter months. The New addition was approx 11million dollars to build and provided us with a Double wide Gym with stage. New Cafeteria and Kitchen and state of the art class rooms, Plus a fitness room with equiptment provided the Elmvale Lions club.
I’m hoping this fall when the School Board will lift the ban put in place because of the Pandemic and allows Springwater Twp to exercise the Partnership Agreement.
In my second term of council (2014 to 2018) I supported the Partnership Agreement and I helped Fundraise money to help purchase everything from time clocks to equipment, Our goal was to raise $200,000 and we well exceeded past the $200,000 . I can honestly say I was glad to give and help out as much as I could to this worth project,
Keeping our school in Elmvale was the number reason why I ran for my second term .
Covid -19 has effected a lot of us, It took our most personal approach to people and turned it into a weapon. A hug, A kiss, even a hand shake turned it into a weapon. Even as a municipality we struggled to provide the services people come to expect but we managed and I know thing will get better. I want to mention this because as councillors we took this into account at budget time and if you look at our taxes over the last 4 years you will see we listened, not all councillors were on the same page. But the majority of us councillors were able to hold the line on taxes. The Residential tax is a blended rate 2019 – 1.76%m , 2020 – 0.57%, 2021 – 0.00%, 2022 – 1.98%, I encourage people to compare and you will find were not a bad place to live, and we get things done.
As a councillor of Ward #2 I have supported projects in other parts of the Twp, I want to mention this because I’m honoured to have the following councillors sign my nomination forms and support me in my bid to be the next mayor . Councillor Anita Moore Ward #4, Councillor George Cabral Ward #1 (now running for deputy mayor) and out going Councillor Jack Hanna Ward # 5. After 3 terms (12 years) Jacj is hanging it up, I,m going to miss Jack and the people of Ward #5 are going to miss Jack whoever steps in to fill Jack Hanna’s has big shoes to fill.
I wish Jack Hanna all the best in his next chapter in life.
And last but not least former councillor Sandy Mc Conkey , Sandy was councillor for Ward #4 from 2010 to 2018 year. These councillors have all signed my Nominations papers to run for Mayor of Springwater Twp. Moving the order of business is very important for all of council to do and I look forward to doing if elected as Mayor. Before I wrap things up I would like to speak about out Health care in Springwater Twp. When I was first elected back in 2010 Blood services had just left Elmvale and where ever I went I was told you had to get it back.
Many thanks to our former Mayor Linda Collins and Former Deputy Mayor Dan McLean after countless meetings we finally got approved in 2012 Lifelabs blood services would come and provide blood services to day 10 years later it is doing very well and Life Labs has mentioned they would like to extend there hours of operation a lot of people come from all over to use the facility. Now that things are opening up South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre is providing a Nurse Practioner, Social worker and Dietcian/Diebetes councillor at the Spring Water Health Services centre in Elmvale ( Besides Life Labs) every Wednesday 9 am to 4 pm.Providing health care to our residents is still a top priority to me in both ends of the Twp.
If elected to the position of Mayor I hope to use my years of experience as a councillor to lead the way. Springwater Twp is experiencing a lot of growth especially in the south end of the Twp and we need to manage that growth and I feel I can do that , Thank you Perry Ritchie I can be reached by email.
Donations are welcomed , Any help is appreciated thanks again Councillor Perry Ritchie