Tag Archives: watson

John Brummell receives Mayor’s City Builder Award

 

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(Updated from an earlier post / media advisory via the City of Ottawa.)

Mayor Jim Watson, Stittsville Ward Councillor Shad Qadri and Rideau-Goulbourn Ward Councillor Scott Moffatt presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to John Brummell at today’s City Council meeting. Continue reading


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Ottawa’s go-kart community comes to Karters’ Korner next weekend

(PHOTO: Stittsville’s Stephanie Berg will be competing at the Capital Karting 2016 Grand Prix at Karter’s Korner on August 6-7. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Engines rumble to life and gasoline floats in the air. At the intersection of Huntley and Fallowfield Rd, visitors at Karters’ Korner zig zag at high speeds along one of the main attractions: the go-kart track.

On the weekend of August 6-7, Karters’ Korner will host the second annual Ottawa Mayor’s Cup of Wishes and Capital Karting Grand Prix. Continue reading


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COMMENT: Ice those plans for changes to minimum snowplow standards

(Snow removal in Fairwinds. Photo by Hien Hoang.)

Forgive me for being cynical, but when you schedule a presentation about snowplow service during the first week of July, and only tell the public about it two days before the long weekend, my first thought is that you’re trying to bury some bad news.

That’s exactly what it looks like the City has done with a KPMG report scheduled to be tabled at a Transportation Committee meeting on Wednesday.   Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Trespassing, parking tickets and bike lanes

NO TRESPASSING SIGN HAS BIG IMPACT

No trespassing oil barrel along the Trans Canada Trail.
No trespassing oil barrel along the Trans Canada Trail.

Finally had a chance to talk to Gerry Stephens from Stephens Auto Wreckers about the massive “NO TRESPASSING” sign he’s placed at the edge of his property near the Trans Canada Trail. He says he’s tried smaller signs, but they keep disappearing.

Continue reading


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City begins planning for light rail extension to Kanata

A large group of politicians showed up at the Terry Fox transit station today for what was billed as “an important announcement regarding Ottawa’s future transit options”.  The announcement turned out to be about launching a study to look at extending light rail from Bayshore to Kanata sooner than planned.

The City and federal government will split a tab of at least $2-million for the Environmental Assessment (EA) study, which will take a couple years to complete. Continue reading


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PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL: Catching up on homework

(PHOTO: Jennifer Smith (left) and Jenny Guth stand on one of the possible sites for the new school, at the south west corner of Robert Grant and Cope. The two parents have been active organizers in the push for a public high school.)

I’ve been catching up on a few loose ends from last Tuesday’s meeting about building a public high school in Stittsville. Now I’m finally ready to turn in my homework.

Here are some updates on support from politicians, possible locations for the school, and how the Ministry of Education decides what to fund.

Continue reading


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Business leaders ask mayor to accelerate light rail to west end

(PHOTO: “Take the O” by Payton Chung. Used under a Creative Commons license.)

West end business leaders say that Kanata’s poor transit service is hindering their ability to attract talented employees, and they’re asking the mayor to extend light rail to Kanata before 2031.

Earlier this month the Kanata North BIA sent a letter to Mayor Jim Watson, co-signed by other business associations, west end politicians, and a bevy of business executives including Sir Terence Matthews.   (There are nearly four pages of signatures attached to the end of the letter, which you can read below.) Continue reading


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Rideau-Goulbourn community leaders prep for breakfast meeting with the mayor

From the Richmond Village Association web site:

Mayor Jim Watson has invited our RVA President, Tino Bevacqua, as well as other community leaders in the Rideau-Goulbourn Ward to join him and Councillor Scott Moffatt for breakfast on Nov. 30th.  The purpose of the meeting is to open communication between the Mayor and community leaders.  Our President plans to raise two broad topics with the Mayor, the coming 2018 celebrations and Richmond’s need for Community space.  Are there other topics that should be considered in the context of this breakfast meeting?”

You can share your topic ideas here.


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COMMENT: Questions to ask about the 2016 municipal budget

(Photo: The 2015 draft budget includes $150,000 for two new arena dehumidifiers at the Goulbourn Rec Centre. Photo by Barry Gray.)

Mayor Jim Watson wants us to judge the City budget on how much (or how little) more tax we’ll pay.  Limiting the tax increase in 2016 to 2% is a good thing, but putting so much emphasis on this one metric makes me wonder what we’re not being told.

For example, your water and sewer charge will be going up by six percent, adding nearly as much to your yearly household bill as the tax increase will.  Watson left that part out of his budget speech.  (A 6% water bill increase adds about $49 to the average yearly bill.  A 2% tax increase translates to about $72 more in municipal taxes for an urban home assessed at $375,300.)

Here are a few questions I have for Mayor Watson and his finance team:

  • The draft budget includes $40,000 per ward for traffic calming, but how many speed bumps or flex-signs does that actually pay for? Is it enough to address the many neighbourhood problems that we have in Stittsville?
  • What exactly is being cut? And how will the cuts impact services? Here’s a concern raised by Kitchisippi councillor Jeff Leiper, who says that the draft budget lacks transparency in explaining how “efficiencies” are being found“We’re going to need a lot of answers between now and when the budgets are debated at committee to understand whether this budget is as advertised: a balance between a low tax increase and no impact to services. I don’t feel comfortable that we have enough information to determine whether we’re putting our future ability to do public works at risk given how much of our reserves we’re spending.”
  • Is the budget good for the long-term financial health for our city?   Veteran councillor Rick Chiarelli brought this up in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen recently: “We are currently only investing a fraction of what our dedicated public service and outside accountants advise is the optimum level of investment in repair, maintenance and lifecycle replacement to achieve the mid and long range lowest cost to taxpayers. Failure to invest enough in these elements of the budget are false savings… Every dollar we evade spending on these things can create a bill of 10-50 times that amount in avoidable future costs when, instead, we have to reconstruct the asset.”
  • Are we getting our fair share in the suburbs? Citizen columnist David Reevely offers a cogent analysis on “assessment growth”, and how tax revenue from new condos and communities gets incorporated into the city budget: “Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, who represents Kanata North, has complained for years that new neighbourhoods in her ward have been denied transit service they deserve. Mainly, OC Transpo has stretched its existing service to cover more territory rather than putting more buses on new routes. If you live in Kanata Lakes or Morgan’s Grant (or any of Ottawa’s newer suburbs outside the Greenbelt), and you wonder why the bus isn’t better, the cannibalizing of assessment-growth money is one reason. “

Councillor Shad Qadri told StittsvilleCentral.ca in an email last week that he was generally pleased with the draft budget.

“There are a number of important items for Stittsville and I will continue to work on other items that I also feel require funding in our community,” he said. (Although he wouldn’t elaborate on what those other items may be.)

You can find more information on the budget and how it impacts Stittsville on Qadri’s web site.  You can send comments to budget2016@ottawa.ca.  And if you can fit your comments into 140 characters, tweet them using the hashtag #ottbudget.

 

 


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Stittsville’s Paul Meek inducted into Order of Ottawa

(Photo: Paul Meek holds up a bottle of Harvey & Vern’s root beer at Quitters Coffee, November 2014. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The first thing to go through Paul Meek’s head when he got a call telling him he was receiving the Order of Ottawa: “There’s no way, I’m not worthy.”

Meekis the president and co-owner of Kichesippi Beer Co., and Harvey & Vern’s, and lives in Granite Ridge.  He’s one of 14 people to be inducted into the Order of Ottawa by Mayor Jim Watson, at a ceremony this evening at City Hall.

“It’s incredibly humbling. I don’t mind telling you there’s time I think”, ‘how did i make that list’,” he told StittsvilleCentral.ca

“We’re very passionate with our business in helping out our city however we can.  It is easly the most humlbling thing I’ve ever gotten a call on… The biggest compliment-  is that people have said it’s well deserved. I’m apprecaitive for that,” he said.

“Stittville’s been a very good community for us and Ottawa’s has been a great city since we moved here 13 years ago.”

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Kichesippi is one of Ottawa’s fastest growing craft breweries, established in 2009. He focused the company on a commitment to Ottawa’s history and heritage,  using locally sourced ingredients, brewing completely in Ottawa, and sponsoring many local recreational sports teams, tournaments, festivals and community events. The company donates 50 cents for every growler of beer sold to Juvenile Diabetes research, in support of Mr. Meek’s son Alex.

He has partnered with the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce to promote business education for new start-up companies and entrepreneurs. As a member of the Beer Canada Lobby group, he endeavours to ensure a strong voice for small-scale brewmasters. He continues to demonstrate extraordinary community commitment in every aspect of his professional and personal life.

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This year’s recipients  include an eclectic list of residents including Ben Babelowsky, Ron Burke, Guy Cousineau, Bill Malhotra, Vera Mitchell, Wendy Muckle, Bryan Murray, Alicia S. Natividad, Marion Rattray, The Honourable Allan Rock, Ernest G. Tannis, Simone Thibault, Ewart Walters and Gary Zed.

“I am honoured to award the 2015 Order of Ottawa to these remarkable individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to our city,” said Mayor Watson. “They have not only made Ottawa a better place to live, work and raise a family, they have shown us how one person’s actions can make a difference in the lives of others within our community.”

The civic award recognizes exceptional citizen contributions in the many areas of city life, including arts and culture, business, community service, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, medicine, sports and entertainment, or other fields of endeavour that benefit the residents of Ottawa.

Recipients of the Order of Ottawa were chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of the Mayor, City Clerk and Solicitor, Chief of Police, Chief of Protocol, City Archivist and the Chief Executive Officer, Library Services.

For more information regarding the Order of Ottawa and the full biographies of the recipients, visit ottawa.ca.


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More public pressure is needed to get a high school, says Scott

(Above: Public board trustee Lynn Scott.)

Over 50 people were at Johnny Leroux Arena Thursday night to hear the latest about the push for a public high school in Stittsville.

A dozen buses a day transport Stittsville teenagers to South Carleton High School in Richmond.  For nearly 10 years, the public school board has identified a Stittsville high school as a priority, but so far they have not received funding from the province.  The project currently #2 on the board’s priority list. Continue reading


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