What Priorities Should City Council Focus on Over the Next Four Years?

At the end of March, I will be sitting down with the rest of City Council to determine our priorities for the next four years. This is a significant event for council as these priorities guide a lot of the work that we will focus on as a municipality. Important projects like the Third Crossing, the airport expansion, the revitalization of Breakwater Park, the visioning for Kingston Penitentiary and the completion of the K&P Trail all came about because of the priorities we established as a council last term.

So what should we focus on now? I think most people would agree that housing is a top priority, but there are lots of other ideas that have been raised. What about fixing roads, more investment in our waterfront, environmental leadership or building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship?

This priority setting session is an opportunity for everyone on Council to bring forward campaign pledges along with suggestions and concerns that we all heard from residents on the campaign trail. There is a real diversity of political views and priorities within the new council, so I’m sure we will consider a variety of proposals. My goal is to ensure that we come up with a broad plan that will strengthen our economy, enhance our local environment, add to our cultural vitality and create an inclusive community where everyone can thrive.

That’s why I’m inviting all Kingstonians to a special open house next Tuesday, February 19th, to chat with myself and City Councillors about the ideas we should include in our priorities this term. The great thing about an open house is that it’s an informal, social setting. Even if you’ve never been to an event at City Hall before, I’m sure you’ll find this to be a comfortable environment to share your ideas. We’ll be available in Memorial Hall in City Hall from 6-7:30pm, so feel free to drop by – even for a few minutes – and share your thoughts with me one on one.

If you can’t make it next Tuesday, you can complete the online survey before February 25th at http://bit.ly/ygkpriorities. Strategic planning is one of the most important things we do as Council, and so I hope you’ll take some time to provide your input so that we are equipped with as much information as possible to make the best decisions for #ygk.