For those that know me, I tend to work more collaboratively or as a Team, vs. I did this. So some of the accomplishments below are collective in my role as District Councillor vs. working completely independent from Council.
Port Carling Locks
Was successful in expanding the services at the locks, adding transparency and reducing expenditures on the overall operations without having to impact those boaters that travel between lakes Rosseau and Muskoka.
Solid Waste (Garbage Issues)
Was instrumental in ensuring any "reduction in services" (weekly bag limits) would not impact the seasonal residents who only use the service 6 months a year. In addition, contributed towards District Committee discussions whereby a 2010 proposed 1.6 million dollar increase (directly to the Township of Muskoka Lakes) for Garbage Collection Costs was revised spring of 2014, resulting in virtually no change to the garbage collection costs within the Township of Muskoka lakes. A 1.6 million dollar win for the Township.
Township Staff regarding Economic Development
Instrumental in creation of an "economic development" department at the Township to actively solicit and support potential business endeavors and economic opportunities for the Township. The most recent of which is the return of Wakestock to the Township for the summer of 2014
MNR Water Levels
Led the charge at the Township and at the District in serving notice to the MNR and the Minister in charge that the Township and Property Owners across Muskoka were not satisfied with the management of the water levels. 2014 saw record snow falls in Muskoka (0ver 15') and without the cooperation of the MNR the potential for flooding (considering 2013 issues) would have been considerably worse. The issues are not resolved, but the work started in 2013 and 2014 must be continued to address problems relating to the Muskoka River Water Management Plan (MRWMP) and the changing environment in Ontario.
Fire Department - Accountability on Spending
Our fire department is an essential service needed across the Township. However, often times money spent on bigger, better and faster is not always money well spent. Twin powered Boats, multiple Utility Vehicles and additional pumper trucks are just a few of the "requested items" that have been challenged and subsequently revised. I have been very vocal in responsible spending within the department and though we have made some strides, I believe there remains a long way to go.
General Conflict Resolution
Over the past 8 years, I have been instrumental in resolving conflict between parties within the Municipality as well as some conflict that has arisen between council and/or the public. A few "resolved" issues, would include:
Stills Bay Property Owners vs. Stills Bay Landing Corp.
Private Residence on Rosseau (Royal Muskoka Island) vs. neighbour.
Former owner of Milford Bay Golf Course & the Township
Rental Tenants of the Port Carling Community Center and the Township during construction.
Property owner on Blackforest Island and the OMB/ Heritage Committee
Instrumental in Council workshops on Team building activities.
First ever "Town Hall Meeting in the GTA"
Prior to council taking office, was insistent on the Township meeting the constituents where they live and therefore, held a Town Hall meeting in the suburbs of Toronto during November of 2010. Due to the Municipal Act and allowable location of Council Meetings, this unfortunately was unable to be repeated with the sitting council, but the concept of recognition of the seasonal residents remains a platform for increased communication I continue to embrace.
Below are a few of the "Prior Accomplishments" before I was elected in Muskoka.
Expanded a small ski school concept "summer ski" operating out of Clevelands House and created SWS (Summer Water Sports) operating in Muskoka, Orillia and the CNE the first year. 5 years later in 2001, SWS had grown to become Canada's largest Water Sports Company taking over 25,000 people water skiing each summer.
Board Member of the MLA (Muskoka Lakes Association) since 2008
Supported Tourism with Snowmobile Tours and Rentals at Various Resorts including weekly Television Safety Tips promoting the region.
Championed "Keep the locks Open" campaign spring 2010 - allowing for 24 hour access to the locks in Port Carling.
Created business building and loyalty program for MLA members and local business - MLA Advantage card.
Consulted various business ventures (established and start up) within Muskoka region for tourism and business viability.
Donated significant volunteer time in support of Camp Oochigeas.
Increased Bala tourism by taking Tuesday Ski Shows to the "next level"