April 23, 2012 Meeting
Council Expense Policy Adopted
Council approved an expense policy that will guide its expenditures in undertaking its duties. The policy, which will take effect on June 1, 2012, recognizes Members of Council as the stewards of Town resources and assists them in being accountable to the public and its constituents when using public funds. It outlines eligible expenses, the process for administering their budget allocations as well as the commitment to publicly post Council expenses quarterly on the Town's website. In addition to this policy, Council also has a Code of Conduct (currently available on the Town’s website) that provides guidance on issues related to the acceptance of gifts and benefits, confidential information, Council staff relations and the use of municipal property. The Council Expense Policy will be available on the Town’s website as of April 27, 2012. For more information contact Donna McLarty, Town Clerk, at 905-771-2529.
Council To Investigate Appointment of Ombudsman
Council gave staff direction to report back before Council's summer recess on the appointment of an Ombudsman whose function is to independently investigate any decision, recommendation or act made in the administration of the Municipality. The position would report to Council and decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis. For more information contact Donna McLarty, Town Clerk, at 905-771-2529.
Richmond Hill Recognized for its Efforts to Reduce Gridlock and Improve Air Quality
Council was presented with a silver Smart Commute Workplace Designation from Metrolinx in recognition of Richmond Hill’s commitment to providing enhanced commuter options for employees. Through Smart Commute, Richmond Hill encourages employees and commuters to explore alternative commute options such as carpooling, cycling or public transit. The goal is to ease gridlock, improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while making travel to work less expensive and more enjoyable for commuters. On behalf of Council, Mayor Barrow encouraged everyone to participate in Bike to Work Day on Monday, May 28. Smart Commute is a sustainability initiative and partnership between the municipalities of Richmond Hill, Markham, York Region and Metrolinx. For more information, visit www.smartcommutemrh.ca
or call George Flint, Manager of Air Quality, Climate Change & Waste Policy, at 905-771-2455.
Construction to Begin on Oak Ridges Corridor Trails
Council approved funding to facilitate the design and construction of the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve secondary trails by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve (formerly known as the Oak Ridges Corridor Park) is the large natural area of provincially-owned land located north of Jefferson Sideroad and Stouffville Road. The secondary trails will link the residential communities around the conservation reserve, provide better access to the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve and the existing spine trail, and provide an alternative north-south pedestrian and cycling connection between Oak Ridges and the remainder of the Town to the south. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and be completed in 2013. For more information contact Tracey Steele, Manager of Parks Planning and Natural Heritage, at 905-771-2476.
Smart Waste Management for SM4RT LIVING
Council received a presentation regarding the York Region Integrated Waste Management Master Plan, branded as the SM4RT LIVING Plan. Dave Gordon, Manager of Waste Management Policy & Planning at the Region of York, advised Council that this plan is a partnership that includes participation from all lower tier municipalities and is intended to guide waste management in the Region for the next 40 years. The plan focuses on overall waste prevention to maximize reuse, recycling and composting with consideration for local waste programs and perspectives such as the Joint Waste Diversion Strategy which, adopted by Richmond Hill Council in 2009, set a goal of diverting 70 per cent of our waste from landfill by 2016. The SM4RT LIVING Plan is one of the most extensive and innovative waste consultation plans in North America. The completed plan is expected to be endorsed by Regional and local Councils in 2013. For more information, visit www.SM4RTLIVING.ca
or contact Rosanne Fritzsche, Waste Management Coordinator, at 905-771-5527.
Town To Apply For Bathurst Street Streetscape Funding
Council approved a staff report recommending that the Town apply to the Region of York's Municipal Streetscape Partnership Program (MSPP) to obtain funding to enhance the streetscape on portions of Bathurst Street from Highway 7 to Teston Road/Elgin Mills Road. The MSPP encourages local municipalities to apply for funding for streetscape improvement works on regional streets. The widening and reconstruction of that portion of Bathurst Street is in the Region’s 10 year Roads Construction Program with construction planned for 2014. The project is expected to result in a six lane road with the inclusion of streetscape components such as planted centre landscaped medians, on-street bike lanes, sidewalks on both sides, and additional street trees. For more information contact Joanne Leung, Manager of Planning and Urban Design, at 905-771-5498.
Aquatics Section Awarded for Lifesaving Skills
Council commended the Town’s Aquatic staff for winning the David W. Pretty Cup for their ongoing support and implementation of life saving programs for Richmond Hill after being presented with the award by the Lifesaving Society – Ontario. This is the seventh consecutive year Richmond Hill’s Aquatics Section has won this award (for the largest lifesaving program in a community with a population between 100,000 and 250,000), recognizing and substantiating the Town’s commitment to water safety. The Town’s aquatics programs include First Aid, bronze levels, instructor awards and lifeguard training. The David W. Pretty Cup is awarded each year by the Lifesaving Society – Ontario, a charitable organization that works to prevent drowning and water-related injury through training programs, Water Smart public education and aquatic safety management services. For more information, contact Darlene Joslin, Director of Recreation & Culture, at 905-771-2423.
The next Committee of the Whole meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 30, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. and the next Council meeting is Monday, May 7, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. Both meetings will be held in Council Chambers.