Residents Association Formed

If you go way back in the archives of this blog…way back to the 2006 campaign, I made a point that residents should be more engaged in the political process locally.  There are many ways to accomplish this.  One of them is making sure that residents are informed as much as possible about decisions that affect them directly and indirectly.  I stressed during this campaign that I would make sure I continue to knock on doors in between election campaigns, and not just during them.

If there was a public meeting coming up about an issue that would affect residents, I will do my best to get out there and inform people of that meeting, whats being discussed, how it will affect them and how they can participate.  Not everyone can make every town hall or public meeting, but I will make sure they have a voice around the table.

Another great way is by a residents association or Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC).  These groups are usually formed when the local officials aren’t listening to the needs and concerns of residents.  Recently, there was a new association formed in the Hawthorne Village area, which encompasses Ward 6, but it was formed for an entirely different reason.

During the last election campaign, I noticed an increase in awareness of local issues by residents in my ward.  Other councillors and candidates would say the same thing.  The Hawthorne Village Residents Association (HVRA) was formed by several concerned residents to be a part of the process, to stay involved and to work with council when decisions are being made.  I applaud all the members and participants in this process and will do my best to work with them and keep the lines of communication open.

Christina Commisso at the Milton Canadian Champion did an article recently about the formation of the HVRA.  Congratulations to Martin Capper and Andrew Salmons for co-chairing this committee as well as the many people who signed up.  We can only hope this will help enhance the flow of communication from town council to the residents in Milton.

Here is the article from the Champion.

Residents group forms

Christina Commisso, CANADIAN CHAMPION STAFF November 16, 2010

What started as an online discussion following the municipal election has ballooned into a newly-formed residents group that hopes to strengthen the lines of communication between Miltonians and town council.

“We started with a post on the Hawthorne Villager (website), which got 1,600 hits and 60 posts from 20 different people in a matter of days,” said Martin Capper, co-chair of the Hawthorne Village Residents Association (HVRA).

The group isn’t exclusive to Hawthorne Village residents — it’s open to all Miltonains, he said.

CLICK ON THE LINK FOR MORE.

For more information, email HawthorneVillageRA@gmail.com.

Thank you!

WOW! Last night was a very exciting and humbling experience for me, my wife and my family. To see the support from everyone who came out to vote was just amazing.

Im looking forward with anticipation on the next four years of council. I promised to be respect your tax dollars, to work towards making our neighbourhoods safer and most importantly being accountable to you. There are a lot of things for new councillors to learn over the next few weeks and Im sure it will be challenging but I will do my best to meet that challenge head on.

To the people who came out and voted last night…THANK YOU for taking part in the democratic process and getting involved in our community. To see an increase in turnout from the last election is encouraging and Im hoping we can do better next time.

To my friends who helped during the campaign, with door knocking, with delivering flyers, with making phone calls, and with talking to other ward 6 residents…THANK YOU. Paul, Keith and Mike … your advice and help over this journey has been great. You are truly great friends and Im thankful for that.

To Kim & Ed…a very big THANK YOU for your help, your advice and your enthusiam. From helping with signs, to canvassing you two did an outstanding job and I am grateful for everything.

To the other candidates who put their names forward on a ballot and their families…THANK YOU. Its part of the process that seems to be overlooked. Its not easy on the candidates and their families during a campaign and it takes a special person do go through it.

Finally to my wife Pat, son Anthony and my little girl Miranda…Im almost speechless. The support you have shown me over the last several months has been amazing. There were many nights you wanted me there when I went to meetings or canvassing or putting up signs or meeting with voters but you showed me the support with more than words. I really enjoyed canvassing with you because it was more time to spend with you. Anthony is an amazing door knocker and super fast at delivering flyers and I loved seeing his big smile when he was done. I love you guys so much and I know things will continue to be busy (although not at this hectic pace) but you helped me in so many ways…I am so grateful and Im blessed to have you in my life.

As they say, now comes the hard part and its true. As difficult as the campaign was the work really begins in serving people in my ward and in the Town of Milton. Lots of things will be happening very quickly, from the 2011 budget to the intensification and to the Boyne Survey, and decisions will have to be made soon. I look forward to the challenge of this position and I hope I can count on you to stay part of the conversation we started and continue to help shape the future of our town together.

Thank you again to everyone! I’ll continue to see you at the doors.

Today Is Election Day

Its been over 10 months since I began my campaign to become the local councillor for ward 6.  On January 11, 2010 I visited town hall and filed my nomination papers and started what was to become a tiring, yet satisfying campaign.

Over these past 10 months I have met many of you, a couple of times over, and heard what issues you find to be important.  In this time I spoke about 3 main things…responsible financial management, neighbourhood safety and accountability.

The first item of business for the new council will be to review the 2011 budget which has a projected 6.91% increase to the mill rate.  You have told me you want value for your dollar and you want your taxes spent wisely and this rate increase is simply too much.  Council needs to review line by line each item in the budget so we can see whats working, what isn’t working and where we can find savings.  I have made the promise I wont support the 2011 budget if the increase is over the rate of inflation.  I hope my council colleagues will work hard over that budget process to see if we can find the savings and give you value for your tax dollar.

We’ve talked about neighbourhood safety at length as well.  Im glad my opponent has been reading my blog since he started his campaign mid September and now understands this is an important issue.  Over the months and in fact the last few years, I have been talking about the importance of neighbourhood safety on our roads.  The town of Milton wants to become a pedestrian friendly town, but we need to look at options like traffic calming devices and other ways to slow down vehicles in the residential area so that all pedestrians are safer.  We’ve discussed the idea of a signalled crosswalk near Kennedy Circle and Thompson Road as there are people who would like to take advantage of the great splash pad and soccer fields on one side or others to go to Shoppers Drug Mart or Metro or the Dollar Blitz to shop without packing the kids in the car to travel less than 500 metres.  Over the next four years I want to bring these ideas forward and I need your input and help to get it done.

Last but not least, we talked extensively about accountability.  About being there when you call or email and giving you a quick response.  Ive promised, as I have done over the last 4 years, to update you on whats going on in Milton, at Town Hall, and how it affects you using this website/blog and other forms of social media like Facebook & Twitter.  During some important council meetings  you can find me sending updates through Twitter on what was going on, and when the decisions are made.  Its something I will do my best to continue as councillor, even though I’ll be sitting at the table, Ill make sure you can follow along.  Either by Twitter or what we hope to do is stream the meetings online so you can see whos working for you and asking the questions that need to be asked.

So now the brochures have been delivered and the doors have been knocked on and I’ve done my best to meet as many of you as I could over the last 10 months.  I leave it in your hands to make the decision on who you feel is the best candidate to represent all Miltonians at the council table.  If you havent made that crucial decision yet, I ask that you review my website and that of my opponents and see who has the plan for a better Milton.

You can vote today starting now at 10AM to 8 PM tonight.  If you live north of Clark Blvd in Ward 6 you will be voting at Guardian Angels on Bennett Blvd – and if you live south of Clark Blvd you will be voting at Hawthorne Village School also on Bennett Blvd.

If you have any last minute questions, call my cell (647) 888-9032!

Thank you everyone for making this a fun campaign.  Ive enjoyed meeting everyone and discussing the issues and while some of us disagreed we still came to the conclusion that the dialogue needs to continue and we need to work together to make Milton a better place.  I am humbled by the support I’ve received and the pledges of support and the volunteers who have worked endlessly to help me get the message out and for that Im eternally grateful.

I’ll update the blog once the polls close and the results come in.  Afterwards I will be at Ned Devines celebrating with other candidates, supporters, friends and family so feel free to drop by tonight (I’ll be there roughly after 9ish) and say HI!

Until then….I’ll see you at the polls.

Momentum is building

With only a few days left in the campaign, I have a good feeling that the momentum is building.

When either myself or one of my campaign team knocks on a door, many know who I am, what I stand for, what I have done over the last few years and what I will do for them if elected.  If comments received at the door are any indication we should have a good turnout on the 25th.

Every moment counts now up until the polls open on Monday and I am spending as much time as possible knocking on doors speaking with as many ward 6 residents as I can.  Chilly nights (and they have been chilly) don’t stop me because its important to reach as many people as I can to hear what your thoughts are in the direction of Milton, the plan I’ve put forth and what we can do together to improve the quality of life in Milton.

If you haven’t made your decision yet, please take some time to review my “WHY MIKE” section, watch the videos of the Thanksgiving Debate, my Milton Today TV interview and my TV Cogeco statement.  Call or email me if you have any questions at all because I’m interested in what you have to say.

With so many changes happening in Milton over the next few years and beyond, its important that you have a say on the representative sent to council to speak for you.  I have been in this campaign from the beginning and over the spring and summer, I have knocked on doors to find out what you have to say.  My decision to run for this position wasn’t made at the last second…its been constant.  My service to Milton didn’t begin the day my name went on a ballot…its been constant.  And it will continue to be constant after October 25th.  Its important that you vote.

Three more days remain until the polls open at 10am Monday so until then, I hope to see you at the doors.

6 Days Remaining

Sore feet.  Sore legs.  Voice diminishing quickly.  Yep, its getting down to the last few days of a campaign.

I don’t know exactly how many kilometres my feet have walked in the last few weeks but I’m sure its close enough to a double marathon race.  Over these last few days I have met and talked with many of the voters in Ward 6 who have appreciated my attempt at bridging the gap of communication between town hall and the voters.

It hasnt been easy, but I’m working hard so I can work for you.

Lawn sign requests continue to come in on a regular basis and I will do my best to get them out as soon as possible.  A lot of attention has been drawn to the number of signs in our area recently and as I’ve said before … signs are good but votes are what makes the difference.

I’ll be heading to town hall shortly to get the list of the people who voted in the advance poll over the weekend.  Speaking with a few of the workers at those polls, turnout has been great.  That’s a good sign.

Not only a good sign for the chances of electing Mike Cluett to town council, but for overall turnout in general.  Last election in this area only 23.5% of people came out to vote.  I don’t know if it was people thinking “my vote doesn’t count” but the fact I wasn’t successful that time by only 92 votes shows that every vote DOES count.

There is only one more day available for voting and that’s Monday October 25th. 

I know as a parent of two children myself and whose wife also has a full time career, that things can get crazy.  Picking them up from school, getting dinner ready, homework, sports activities and runny noses takes up a lot of time.  I can only ask that if you haven’t voted yet, please take some time on the 25th to cast your ballot in Milton’s election.

Its been a common theme over the last few elections here in Milton that there’s a lot of change coming.  And there is.

From the intensification of Main Street, to the Derry Green Corporate Business Park, to the Milton Education Village and possible campus of Wilfrid Laurier University, to the Boyne Survey; there are a lot of changes coming to Milton.  You need to be kept up to date on those changes, how they affect you and how your council member can help get you involved in that process.  Its our town and we all want the best for our town.  It’s important that you’re involved as much as possible.

That’s why I want to be your councillor.  With the busy lives we lead on a daily basis, its hard to make it to a public meeting or council meeting where these issues are being discussed.  I want to be your elected representative to attend these meetings and speak out on your behalf.  I want you to be able to email me anytime with questions or concerns that I can bring forward to the table if you cant be there.

That’s the reason why we have a council.  To be your voice around the table when these decisions are made.

Over the next 6 days, I will be doing what I can to talk to as many of you until the 25th.  Please take a moment to view the videos I have on the main page that include the Milton Today TV Debate from Thanksgiving Sunday, to my interview with Kelly from Milton Today and my TV Cogeco statement where I outline why you should vote for me.

I’ve been working hard since the last election to make sure I kept the committments I made to you back then, and I think I’ve done that.  Ive attended council meetings, budget meetings, public meetings and reported the results on my website.  Ive been critical of council when it was deserved and applauded them when it was due.

Every vote counts and I hope to earn your support and vote on election day.  Thank you for making this campaign fun, challenging and inspiring as well.  Until then, I’ll see you at the doors.