Milton Strawberry Festival This Weekend

This weekend marks the first official weekend of the summer.  For Miltonians for many years this means Strawberry Festival!

For 33 years running the Milton Hospital Auxiliary has been putting on this amazing event that never ceases to amaze.  Lots of fresh strawberries, ice cream, smoothies … you name it, its there.

The festival is held at the Milton Fairgrounds and goes from 8AM to 4PM.  Get there early for some strawberry shortcake and other goodies.

We Want Your Input Budget 2014

Its that time of year again.  No, not just getting the lawnmowers out and warming up the BBQ’s.  Its time to begin the process of providing input on the 2014 Town of Milton budget.

As readers of this blog know, this is an important part of the process and I urge all residents to contact me and the town with their opinions on the direction of the towns finances.

Its the beginning stages of this process and there will be more to come as the year moves on.  As always, I will be having my public budget input sessions in the later part of the summer / early fall so please keep that in mind.

You can forward your comments as always to me directly mike@mikecluett.ca or through comments on this blog, or on social media as well. My Twitter handle is @Mike_Cluett so feel free to tweet this post, share it with your friends and colleagues and lets get the discussion going on what you would like to see or not see in the 2014 budget.

You can also go to this link to complete the Town’s official survey.  It only takes a few minutes to answer so I would appreciate if you would take the opportunity to complete it and send me your thoughts as well.  Too long?  Too short?  Better questions to ask?  All feedback is good.

From the Town of Milton

Town of Milton seeks community input on 2014 budget

The Town of Milton is inviting members of the community to provide input into the programs, service levels and priorities for the 2014 Operating and Capital budgets.

The annual budget assigns financial resources to various municipal services, programs and infrastructure projects within the community and establishes the associated tax levy that is required to meet these needs. The budget is developed by staff within the guidelines approved by Council in July and takes into account input received from the public in person, by written submission and through an online survey. Council will deliberate and approve the 2014 budgets in December 2013.

A brief public input survey will be available on the Town’s website at www.milton.ca from Tuesday, May 28 to Friday, June 28, 2013. Residents and business owners are encouraged to complete the online survey to express their opinions of Milton’s municipal services. The results of the survey will provide information to staff for consideration in preparing the 2014 budgets, including satisfaction with levels of service, recommendations for new services or elimination of existing services, and level of support for property tax increases.

A presentation will be made at the beginning of the Council meeting on Monday, May 27 at 7 p.m. to introduce the 2014 budget process. The meeting takes place in Council Chambers, Milton Town Hall (West) at 150 Mary Street, Milton. Those wishing to provide input in person are required to register as a delegation by filling out a Delegate Request Form, available at the Town Clerk’s office (Town Hall West, 150 Mary Street, Milton, L9T 6Z5) or on the Town’s website, www.milton.ca. Completed forms must be submitted to the Town Clerk’s office or faxed to 905-876-5022 by 10 a.m. on May 27.

For more information, visit www.milton.ca or call 905-878-7252, ext. 2470.

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For further information, please contact:

Linda Leeds – Director, Corporate Services and Treasurer

905-878-7252, ext. 2142

Liliana Busnello – Communications Specialist
905-878-7252, ext. 2154

2012 Milton Town Council Expenses

UPDATE March 25th

In a report released today for this coming Monday’s council meeting, the 2012 salaries and expenditures have been released.  Click here for the detailed report.

Here is a brief outline of the salaries / benefits / expenditures of each member of Milton Town Council.

In case you are wondering why my salary is lower than other local councillors, since being elected I have chosen not to accept pay increases as I feel that any raise approved by council, should be effective the date the next council is elected.  I’m opposed to any level of government approving a pay increase for themselves and Ive stood by that from day one.

The column of Professional Development includes conferences that councillors attend on behalf of the town of Milton including AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) and FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities)  In 2012 I attended both FCM and AMO which explains the PD amount of $3,604.00 for me.  For your information, I will not be attending any conferences this current year of 2013.

Our regional councillors Colin Best, Tony Lambert and Mayor Gord Krantz also receive remuneration from the Region of Halton.  Their expenses were recently released at an Administration & Finance committee meeting earlier this week.

UPDATE:  Here is a listing of the detailed breakdown of Milton council remuneration when it comes to “Professional Development”  These are the conferences we attend through the year that members of council can gain further insight into issues that we face, network with other members of local council and meet directly with provincial/federal ministers to lobby for issues we find important.  Last year for instance a number of local councillors attended the AMO Conference in Ottawa to meet with provincial government ministers to discuss Milton based issues such as the horse racing industry changes and schools.

Here is the breakdown.

Here you will find the breakdown of each of the conferences for each councillor and how much we claimed while attending.  For example Clr Huffman attended 3 conferences in 2012.  I attended both the AMO and FCM Conferences in 2012  Our regional councillors who attended claimed some expenses through the region (you’ll find those numbers in the regional council section of this post.  Clr’s Malboeuf and Nelson did not attend any of the conferences this year.

If you have any questions of this or any other report, please feel free to leave a comment, share this post or email/call me anytime.

I’ll see you at the doors.

Stuff A Bus Returns March 23rd

This JUST in.  No, really it just came in my town email.  I just finished up editing a previous post and I thought I’d share this bit of news.  Seeing how Metro is in ward 6 I thought you should know.  If youre outside ward 6….well come on out as well 🙂

March 20, 2013

All are welcome to participate in Milton Transit Easter Stuff-a-Bus

Milton Transit will be holding its annual Easter Stuff-a-Bus event on Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will be held at the Metro Supermarket at 1050 Kennedy Circle, Milton. Residents of Milton are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the Salvation Army food bank.

“On behalf of Milton Council, I would like to thank everyone who has come out at past events to help less fortunate members of our community during festive seasons, and our corporate partner Metro for hosting this event again,” said Milton Mayor Krantz. “We were told by the Salvation Army that last year’s contributions from the Milton community stocked their bare shelves in time for the Easter season and beyond, so we know we are making a difference!”

At the 2012 Easter Stuff-a-Bus event, more than 1,800 lbs of food donations were collected in addition to cash donations.

For more information on this event or on Milton Transit, call 905-864-4141 or visit the Town’s website, www.milton.ca/en/live/transit.asp.

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For further information, please contact:

Paul Cripps – Director, Engineering Services

905-878-7252, ext. 2501

Liliana Busnello, Communications Specialist

905-878-7252, ext. 2154

Here is a link to the Milton Canadian Champion Editorial urging Milton residents to “Stuff the Bus”

Stuff that bus, Milton

Easter is around the corner and the holiday weekend will be filled with customs and traditions, including the celebratory feast many families will sit down to enjoy.

But not all local residents have the means to put such a meal on the table, not at Easter or at any time of the year.

While the Salvation Army, which operates the local food bank, doesn’t hold an official Easter food drive, there’s still plenty of opportunity to assist those less fortunate.

No doubt Salvation Army officials and volunteers would be the first to admit how much they wish they could announce the closing of the local food bank due to a lack of need. But that, sadly, isn’t the case — poverty does exist in Milton. Many recipients are the working poor or those who have been caught in a financial squeeze.

So how can you help?

Milton Transit will hold its annual Easter Stuff-a-Bus event this Saturday at Metro. A 40-foot bus will be parked at the Kennedy Circle supermarket from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with volunteers accepting donated bags of food for the Milton Salvation Army Food Bank. Residents, who can either bring their own filled bags or purchase a pre-made bag at Metro for $5.99, are encouraged to board the bus and find a spot for their donation.

If you can’t make the event, food can be donated throughout the year at The Salvation Army Khi Community, 3-100 Nipissing Rd., or at the fire stations on Steeles Avenue and Derry Road, as well as at donation pantries located at Metro, Real Canadian Superstore,  Longos and Walmart.

As well as non-perishable food, donations of household cleaning products, toiletries and baby items (especially size 5 and 6 diapers) are appreciated.

Come on Miltonians, stuff that bus.

Metrolinx Statistics Milton GO Station

Found this report online today and it had some very interesting statistics they’ve collected on who uses the GO Station in Milton, how many drive, bike, walk etc.  As you might have heard Metrolinx has started up what they call the BIG MOVE.  Its a plan for the next 25 years to look at options and create a transit system that can be integrated together to help promote increased use.  There are $56 BILLION projects planned and of course it takes money.  Part of this BIG MOVE is to find out the HOW we pay for it.

One of the issues I have with this whole process is that the provincial government (who runs Metrolinx) is essentially only discussing options for “dedicated revenue sources” which in government speak means TAXES.  Everything is on the table from dedicated gas tax increases, sales tax increases, congestion taxes, parking levies for businesses and the list goes on.

This blog post wont get into my disdain for the “tax first” mentality but to go over some statistics they’ve collected from Milton GO transit riders and review them to see what we can do first locally before jumping into the “dedicated revenue sources” discussion.

Here are some of the statistics that I found interesting:

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1,910 people end their trip at Milton GO Station (ie from out of town – mostly Cambridge/Guelph western riders)

2,720 people start their trip at Milton GO Station.

Of the 2,720 people starting their trip here, 86% use car, 7% walk, 4% bike/other and 3% use transit.

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GO Station access

76% of people drive and park
12% of people who drive get dropped off
7% of trips are made by local transit (not including GO Bus)
5% of trips to GO Station are made by walking

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Majority of GO customers 74% live within 5KM of the GO station.

With all the discussion going on about the Big Move www.bigmove.ca and coming up with ideas to fund this massive investment in transit, what kind of funding sources can be used here?  Parking fees?

My beef with the Big Move is that the provincial government agency Metrolinx have set up these meetings to discuss what needs to be done.  Forget for a second that they’ve moved plans for Milton expansion from their 15 year plan to 16-25 year plan, one could say that a case is being made for charging for GO parking.  Now given our current service level, I don’t think charging for parking is appropriate seeing how we have limited number of trains for this location but if there was increased service/flexibility would it be an idea you’d consider?

This goes out to those who take the GO in the morning and drive/park to the station.  What is stopping you from using Milton Transit?