Third crossing now?
Jason here. Finally, we have a sitting member Former Mayor Mark Gerretsen of the same party as the government. Will this mean we finally will get funding for the third crossing? Perhaps although it is not yet ‘shovel ready’. The access ramps have yet to be constructed and the design of the bridge and the decision whether four lanes or two to be determined. Last but certainly not least the access to the downtown – the Wellington Street extension passed, or not. All this requires councillors of great foresight. I hope we have same.
The meeting last night was a meaty one. Taken up mostly by a debate on the parking garage proposed by Homestead on the north block and by a presentation by the CAO on how to accomplish one of the City’s priorities in the strategic plan clicking on ‘foster open government’. Who knows what he was talking about? Councillor Schell made the comment that she needed a librarian to find the information that was now on the city site. I know what she means! Anyway we are in for an upgrade to the site. If you want to know how, please check out the link. I think the CAO is perhaps ahead of most Councillors and the public as I could understand the questions but not the delegation by the Chief Information Officer , Mr. Johnson. Somewhere on the city web site is an examination of parking in the downtown area. Apparently development will kill up to 400 spaces and they will have to be replaced as Councillor Allen (Countryside) remarked as his constituents drive into the City. The proposed parking garage would replace 278. Debate centred around the cost of the structures and whether or not, approving the parking arrangement gave Homestead a leg up in the planning approval process although the motion said it did not.
Councillor Stroud moved that perception was the problem. Council had to not be perceived as giving Homestead a bye in the planning process. However his motion was defeated. For the life of me I cannot see the opinion of staff that changing the motion would change the buy/sell agreement- the city will buy the parking garage from Homestead for $18 million – It is a lot of money and this is just the beginning! Council had to give Homestead pre- approval whether they liked it or not.
Sandwiched between these contentious items were plans by utilities Kingston for the future and what they are working on now. Hard to understand, but apparently we are going to have smart meters that talk to one another and we are going to be able to see what electricity and water we consume on a moment to moment basis.
This in conjunction with smart appliances will all be easily hacked by my grandkids in Australia. Welcome to the new world.
As well, we are going to embrace the service economy. We are going to be polite. We are going to respect the owners – the electorate. So we do already- what’s new?