In keeping with George’s vision of “Building a Strong and Proud Rural Lifestyle” in Osgoode Ward, he will continue to work in this regard on behalf of and with the various Ward Associations, individual residents, farms and businesses throughout the Villages.
Many road improvements has been accomplished over the last 3.5 years with still much more to be done. George is determined to continue working on this essential aspect, with the goal of having all the necessary road repair work completed in a reasonable time frame.
Housing development is another major factor within Osgoode Ward which is something he is determined to ensure that this development is done in an orderly way along with the concomitant development of required infrastructure.
Infrastructure also must be advanced in Osgoode Ward. George has been instrumental in bringing natural gas supply to two more areas although more are required. He wants to ensure that water issues are also properly addressed as the communities develop. Better road capacity is necessary as the population grows which he is actively working on. Through hard work and negotiation, he managed to get the upcoming widening of Bank Street to four lanes advanced by several years, and will continue to work on improving traffic patterns while on Council.
Hydro rates are a concern of all of us. Even though this is a Provincial matter, George vows to continue the fight to bring the costs down. His petition, to have those in rural Ottawa serviced by Hydro One pay the same rates as those in urban Ottawa who are serviced by Hydro Ottawa, was overwhelmingly endorsed by residents. It not only grabbed the attention of the Provincial Government, but also other cities in the Province who face the same problem and supported his initiative. This issue is far from over in George’s mind.
George was very much against the City’s draft proposed Site Alteration By-Law, which would put City bureaucrats in control of any alterations property owners make on their own property, including cutting down trees or even one tree. George took input from his local residents, farmers, and businesses, and then worked with his colleagues and City staff to negotiate changes to the draft by-law. His efforts have resulted in the draft by-law being reworded to exclude farmers from the by-law, confining provisions related to rural heritage areas to within 2 km of the City’s urban boundary, and ensuring that general provisions affecting rural landowners are restricted to simple common sense practices when engaged in site alteration rather than prohibition.
Continuing to work towards policy changes in the next Official Plan Amendment and the Transportation Master Plan for the support of rural economic growth while building more village services, and working on identifying a sustaining funding formula to build and maintain rural Ottawa roads in the south end is a priority for him. Special rural development policies that promote rural Village retail/residential development are also needed. George is committed to bringing these ideas and others forward to City Council to help future development.
Another concern is for our aging population. George will be working to obtain support for a City policy that promotes building multi-unit housing for our seniors, including low cost independent and assisted living centers in rural Ottawa. The current City of Ottawa policies do to not permit such development that requires central services.
George is committed to work with staff and Council towards policies that effectively respond to rural Ottawa needs with more complete city services.