McHappy Day May 2nd

Last year I had the privilege of taking part in McHappy Day at McDonalds here in Milton.  Radio personality Scott Fox and myself attended at the drive thru to help raise money for MDHF and Ronald McDonald Houses in the area.

This year I am pleased to be a part of the team once again.  All day on May 2nd a percentage of sales will go to raise money for MDHF and Ronald McDonald House so at some point on Wednesday please come on by  to say hello to myself, Mayor Gord Krantz and other local celebrities to beat last years total.

Heres some more info at Milton District Hospital Foundation website.  I hope to see you there…and BE MCHAPPY!!!

2012 Budget Voting Coming Up SOON!

Your town councillors in approximately one week will begin the process of reviewing the 2012 capital and operating budgets for the Town of Milton.  There will be many things to discuss over the coming weeks from keeping the 1% hospital expansion levy, possible transit funding increases, salary increases, increased parks development, planning for the Main Street underpass, increased operating costs of the Milton Centre for the Arts/Central Library are amongst the topics.

Im sure as the December 12/13 dates for the budget deliberations approach, town councillors eyes will  be bleary with numbers floating in front of their face (and maybe a few cold sweats in the night) but I think we have tried to get more people involved with the budget process this year.

This past summer, myself along with a number of other councillors held a budget information session at Milton Sports Centre to hear from you…not tell you what we think…on what the priorities should be for the coming year and years.

There is another budget information session being held on November 23rd (WEDNESDAY) this week by Regional Councillor Colin Best to review not only the Town of Milton’s information but the Region of Halton as well.  Its also being held at the Milton Sports Centre from 7 to 9pm.  Email colin.best@milton.cato let him know you’re coming.  I have a bit of a conflict that night with another event but Im sure going to try my best to attend.

With that being said, we still need to hear from you.  One big contentious item from last year was the 1% hospital expansion tax levy that was introduced at the budget meeting and voted on with no public consultation.  This was supposed to get the hospital expansion approved by the province.  Several months later, mere days before the official launch of the provincial election campaign, the government made a visit to Milton District Hospital to announce the expansion which is to begin 2015.

Some will try to argue the levy made the difference, but I think the prospect of losing the election had a lot more to do with the announcement than approximately $300,000 in a reserve account.  More can be discussed on that later.

Im asking the residents of ward 6 and of the town of Milton to send myself and your councillor your views on these types of items.  Once the full budget is released to the public, we’ll have a better frame of reference to go by.

I know the levy will be discussed, and as I did last year, I will vote to have it removed from the property tax bill in town and have our wonderful staff in the accounting side of the Town Hall to find us where we can put aside money for the expansion reserve account.  The levy was ill guided then and it remains the same today.  From the comments I received over the last year, I know many of you feel the same way.

So please, send me your comments at mike.cluett@milton.ca or mike@mikecluett.ca or just post them here for everyone to read.

This budget is an ongoing process and we need as much involvement from the community as we can get.  We need to hear from you.

Milton Haunted House a HUGE Success

This past weekend at the Milton Mall was another edition of the Milton Haunted House.  Hundreds of children, young and old, made their way through a maze of ghouls n ghosts with surprises around every corner.

The Haunted House originated from Ward 7 Councillor Rick Di Lorenzo’s garage in Hawthorne Village.  People used to come from all over town to visit his home during Halloween to take part in his ghoulish creation.  Just last year, Rick along with others held this event at the Pirate Festival and raised over $5,700 for Milton District Hospital Foundation.

This years goal was $10,000 and even though the donations are still being counted, we are confident we either hit or surpassed our goal.  On behalf of the team (which included a LOT of people) I want to thank Miltonians for their generosity.  Our donation boxes were filled to the brim over the course of the two days and we were blown away by the enthusiam of the residents of our town.

To Rick and his even more enthusiastic mother 🙂 , Zeeshan, Jennifer, Kim, Ed, and the MANY volunteers, actors, face painters, greeters, raffle ticket sellers and everyone who took part in the event….THANK YOU!

Another big THANK YOU goes to the sponsors of the event who helped us out.  MinMaxx Realty, Milton Canadian Champion, Mattamy Homes, SST Group, Milton Nail Spa and of course without the help and space from Milton Mall, this couldnt have happened.

Taking Miranda around trick or treating last night I had the chance to hear directly from people who did come to the haunted house and the reviews were fantastic and they cant wait for next year.  There are a bunch of volunteers who are pretty tired and who also have the fun task of taking down the scary structure in the mall but Im sure theyll be ready to go for next year.

I was happy to help out this weekend and it was great to see all the smiling faces and the kids who came back more than once to get the full effects of the haunted house.  Some didnt make it through all the way and had to turn back but Im sure next year they will be back again.

Thanks again to Rick for the concept of the haunted house and thanks to his wife Nicole who is expecting their second child any day now.  Thanks for letting Rick do this.

We will see you next year.  Stay tuned for the final total … all in support of the Milton District Hospital Foundation.  Our community needs this hospital expanded and the community showed just how much this weekend.  Thank you! 

What would you ask them?

Next week will be my first AMO (Associations of Municipalities of Ontario)Conference.  Its going to be held in London this year and goes from Sunday August 21st to Wednesday the 24th.

The conference is designed for municipal leaders from all over the province to meet and discuss issues and share knowledge and resources to help come up with solutions to problems.  There’s going to be roughly 1600 politicians running around London (sounds scary doesn’t it 🙂 ) for those days and I’m personally looking forward to a number of events that will be happening over the course of the conference.

Most importantly to me is some of the meetings that have been scheduled with provincial representatives by Regional Chair Gary Carr and ministers in the Province of Ontario.  I along with other Milton & Halton councillors will be attending these meetings.  This will provide us with an opportunity to speak directly with those ministers, mainly the Minister of Health Deb Matthews and Minister of Infrastructure Bob Chiarelli.  If those names sound familiar, you must have been reading my blog on a regular basis. 

These ministers are two of the key decision makers when it comes to getting a green light for the Milton Hospital expansion.  There have been meetings in the past, of course with no firm date or timeframe given to us, but hopefully we can “twist their arms” slightly in getting something done.  It is no secret in Milton that the expansion of the Milton District Hospital is “THE” issue in town.  

Week after week, organization after organization holds events in support of MDHF and the importance of supporting our local hospital.  Thousands of dollars has been raised for the foundation and even more will come with future events.

Regional Councillor Colin Best wrote a letter to the ministers via the Milton Canadian Champion recently outlining our concerns once again with the lack of detail in their latest “capital project projections”

If there is one issue that everyone in Milton can unite behind its the hospital.  We as elected officials in Milton have to keep up the pressure.  Its been well documented on my site about the efforts of the  Friends of Milton Hospital a few years ago and most recently the Grow Milton Hospital campaign and the numbers of signatures that have been collected and delivered to the Province of Ontario letting our voices be heard that we need that expansion to start now.

Unofficially the Town of Milton is over 90,000 in population with 100,000 in our sights.  The hospital continues to be under intense pressure to be able to deliver the health care services that Milton needs.  Beds are in short number, the nurses and doctors are doing their best but without the facilities needed to serve a growing population, it runs the risk of a disaster happening.

I’m hoping at this meeting, myself along with other Milton and Halton councillors can convince these provincial ministers (it IS a provincial election year mind you) to get off the fence and approve the expansion of Milton’s hospital.   There will also be opportunities to speak with the provincial party leaders as well during this conference (Dalton Mcguinty, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horvath) and rest assure I will be “badgering” them as well over the course of the four days.

If you have any comments or questions you would like me to pass on to the Health Minister and Minister of Infrastructure, please email me mike@mikecluett.ca and I will ask them directly when we meet with them.

Milton Ribfest 2011

It’s ON!

The second annual Milton Ribfest starts today (Thursday) and goes all weekend long.  Music, beer, entertainment, vendors and of course the most important ingredient to any successful ribfest celebration…RIBS!

From the Milton Ribfest Website

Thursday 4PM–10PM:  Come out and enjoy some tasty ribs, beat the crowds and enjoy the opening night with some great local bands taking to the stage. – Midway, Thursday will be Loonie day where all rides are $1.00

Friday Noon – 4PM is set aside for Senior’s Day, but all are welcome, enjoy the soft sounds of Urban Legend with a cold beer and some tasty ribs! But don’t leave just yet, the action gets going in the early evening as we transform the beer garden into a big Country party. The show will be in full swing with all the vendors open, new and improved midway action and lots of food vendors….

The event runs until 11PM.

We are also planning a Car Show on Friday night from 5-9  Classic cars and cars of special interest can join us while space is available.

This years Midway is Bigger and Better. Ride all day bracelet $20.00.

If you are looking for only riding a few rides, individual tickets can be purchased for $2.50 a ride, or $25.00 for 12 rides.

Saturday gates open at 11AM so come out and enjoy the day at the Milton Fairgrounds. The music gets underway at noon and will continue all day long with Rock and Blues music – be sure to enjoy some of the great food and ribs.

Make time to see Forever Diamond, a Neil Diamond tribute Saturday from 4:15 to 5:00 pm on the Main Stage.

Sunday August 14th:  Gates open at 11AM for Family Day. Come and enjoy tons of action and fun for the kids. Music will be on all day, come spend the day and enjoy the FUN!! Midway, all kids under 12 can ride all day for $15.00.

We are adding a second stage this year – more fun, more entertainment.

Come See Teen Club with Miss Hanna and Just Bieber at Noon – 1:00 pm

We also have Blue Radio, a Blue Rodeo tribute Sunday from 3:00 to 4:00 pm on the Main Stage

Full Entertainment Schedule

Event closes at 8 pm on Sunday.

Remember admission is free – donations accepted for the Milton District Hospital Foundation & The Learning Foundation or non-perishable food for the Salvation Army Food Drive.

Parking on Site only $5.00 per entry (no in and out privileges)