One of the most gratifying accomplishments for George has been his regular Tuesday “Open Door” policy. This is a wonderful opportunity where residents can drop into the Ward office without an appointment to meet with George and discuss Ward issues affecting them. It is not only a great way to identify any problems that residents may have, but more importantly it is a pleasant, informal way to meet with them.
George has accomplished many things for the residents of Osgoode Ward during his first term in office. Here are just a few of the most significant accomplishments.
The most visible aspect of George’s accomplishments as Councillor for Ward 20 over the last four years is the vast amount of road renewals that have taken place. In fact, more road renewals have been done in Osgoode Ward in the last four years than in all the years since amalgamation in 2001.
|8TH LINE RD||9TH LINE RD|
|ALBION RD||BLAIS RD|
|BRIDGE ST||CASTOR RD|
|CHARTERS ST||DALMENY RD|
|DOW ST||EARL ARMSTRONG RD|
|GLENWOOD DR||GORDON MURDOCK|
|GREGOIRE RD||HAWTHORNE & RIDEAU|
|MARVELVILLE RD||NIXON DR|
|OLD STAGECOACH RD||RAMSAYVILLE RD|
|RIVER RD||ROBERT DOWD|
|SNAKE ISLAND RD||SOUTH GOWER BOUNDARY RD|
|SPRATT RD||SPRINGHILL RD|
|STAGECOACH RD||SWALE RD|
|9TH LINE RD||CABIN RD|
|CASTOR RD||DOWNEY RD|
|GORDON MURDOCK RD (2ND LINE RD)||LAFORTUNE DR|
|MARVELVILLE RD||MITCH OWENS RD|
|NIXON DR||SOUTH GOWER BOUNDARY RD|
|STAGECOACH RD||VAN RENS ST|
|YORKS CORNERS RD|
Traffic flow patterns have also been improved at George’s instigation. Some of these are:
- a new set of traffic lights at the intersection of Mitch Owens Road and Manotick Station Road;
- several four way stop signs in the Ward;
- several two way stop signs in the Ward;
- and realignment of intersections such as Stagecoach Road and Parkway Road.
Traffic calming measures have been set up throughout the Ward, including roadway painted speed signs, flexible speed warning signs and solar powered speed boards to name a few. Of the $40,000 allocated to each Ward for traffic calming, Osgoode Ward under George’s direction spent the most at $27,220 and the investment has had a significant effect on traffic safety in the Ward.
Paramedic (ambulance) service had been in steady decline over the last number of years. George and his staff studied the issue and discovered that ambulances assigned to the rural areas were regularly diverted to urban parts of the city, and the rural requirements was partially filled by ambulances from outside Ottawa. He raised the issue with City staff and Council, and as a result a number of new ambulances were acquired by the City and the paramedic staff were increased, thus improving the paramedic (ambulance) service in Osgoode Ward.
George addressed the issue of a much higher electricity rate for rural residents under Hydro One compared to the urban residents under Hydro Ottawa. It became apparent to him that this inequity would not be corrected by the two hydro companies on their own. As a result he raised a petition throughout the Ward with 8500 signatures, which he then took to the Legislature in Toronto in person to ask that they pass legislation that would ensure all residents in a jurisdiction such as the City of Ottawa would have the same electricity rates. This is an ongoing challenge that George continues to work on.
When the provincial government announced that they would make available a $100 million fund to bring natural gas service to more rural areas, George identified five areas in Osgoode Ward which would be prime candidates for the service expansion. He then marshalled local organizations to write letters to the government requesting natural gas service for these areas. The result was that two of the requested areas are now receiving the expanded natural gas service.
George firmly believes that Osgoode Ward needs more businesses, which would provide more jobs locally. To this end, he was instrumental in the creation of the Osgoode Ward Business Association (OWBA), which has assisted many local companies with their expansion plans. He has also been very active in supporting the huge expansion of the Rideau Carleton Raceway and the Hard Rock Café. Together they will eventually generate around 3,000 jobs and a considerable spin off work opportunities for local companies. In the last few months, they have already hired several hundred more people to fill the jobs.
In addition to the accomplishments mentioned above the following achievements were also made by George since 2014:
- Defibrillators in all the Legions and the Greely Community Center;
- Initiated a one-time only “911 Blade Sign” replacement program for specified roads in the Ward that were badly rusted out from salt & weather;
- Revived/added water testing pick up and drop off points at the Metcalfe Client Service Centre;
- Greely Foodland and the Osgoode Township Museum in Vernon;
- Storm Water Fees: lowered the costs to residents;
- Two new sidewalk pads at Mitch Owens/Dozois/Limebank to help students cross the road safely;
- New turn lane from Mitch Owens onto Albion road intersection;
- Speed boards introduced in each Village;
- Flex speed signs installed in Metcalfe; Greely; Osgoode;
- Speed limit road painting all Villages;
- Flashing light in front of Castor Valley Public School;
- Expansion of George Nelms Park by 80 parking spots;
- Culvert replacement, road resurfacing/micro resurfaced;
- New rink boards for the Greely, Metcalfe and Kenmore Outdoor Rinks;
- Greely Loop officially started construction to connect a pathway through Andy Shields Park to Quinnfield Way & the Greely Community Centre;
- Vernon and Kenmore received new village signage;
- Kenmore received new street lighting at the Village entrance;
- Green Light campaign & signage for volunteer Fire Fighters;
- Stop sign flashing light ($50,000) at Gordon Murdock in Osgoode Village;
- New gazebo, pathway and parking lot in Rowan Park in Metcalfe;
- Joella Park upgraded in Osgoode;
- Ronald Warren Ball Park officially named and plaque installed;
- Josie Anselmo Park upgraded in Greely (2018);
- Greely West Park upgraded in Greely (2018);
- Greely Park completed and officially opened with skateboard ramps, sitting areas, play structures & tennis courts;
- Shadow Ridge 2 park officially opened;
- Osgoode Township Museum in Vernon re-roofed (2018); also a new portable ramp purchased;
- New PXO in Osgoode and Metcalfe;
- Extended hours to the Greely Library Branch. Now open on Fridays;