The Mayor's Message information directly from the Mayor.

Letters from the Mayor

Mayors Message - July 2016

The following are updates on other actions we planned on addressing as per my last report.

  1. Review and update the Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA)
    • This has been drafted by Township Staff and is with the County Planner for review. The Official Plan Amendment (OPA) Open House and Public Meeting was held in July and we received great input from the Public. This is being reviewed and another draft will be presented for final input.
  2. Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief has completed his Operational Review for the North Frontenac Fire Department (Wards 2 & 3).
    • This was presented to Council and approved on April 29th and the process is complete as far as identifying plan and actions. The plans and actions are now the responsibility of the Fire Chief for implementation.
  3. Finalize a plan to address municipal office building issues.
    • The Concept drawings are in their final stages and a final plan and costing estimates was presented to Council at a Special Meeting on April 29th. The draft was approved to move forward on obtaining firm pricing and hope to have this by late summer.
  4. Implement a strategy to work collaboratively with our provincial government and other organizations.
    • This is progressing well through the Rural Mayors Forum of Eastern Ontario (RMFEO). We met with the OPP and MPAC to identify opportunities to improve the funding model to allow for full recovery by municipalities for the full cost of OPP costs. The Rural Ontario Municipalities Association will take the lead to have the provincial government revise the Police Act to allow this. OPP are going to review their method of billing as well.
    • There is a new Minister of Energy and to date he has not yet acknowledged two requests to meet and discuss wind turbine and solar farms.
  5. Implement Mayor Town Halls.
    • Held the first Town Hall on March 12th which was very well received. I said I would do one in June but have been busy with lake association meetings providing what I would present at a Town Hall. Will reschedule in late August.
  6. Industrial wind and solar farms are still front and center for me personally.
    • To date we have 83 municipalities supporting our resolution to have municipal support for Proponents be a mandatory requirement in the next round of request for proposals starting in Sept or Oct.
    • I submitted my motion to be an intervenor in the court case launched by Prince Edward County stating the Green Energy Act is unconstitutional. The motion was accepted by the Judge last week and I will be presenting my affidavit in court in October.

Key issues we continue to work on are:

  • OPP billing and service delivery.
  • Renewable Energy procurement that was announced in early April.

At the County level we are putting together a Planning Advisory Committee made up of County Councillors and members of the public. If interested contact our Planner or the County for more details.

We are still progressing well and hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Ron Higgins
Mayor, North Frontenac

Mayors Message - April 2016

The following are updates on other actions we planned on addressing as per my last report.

  1. Review and update the Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA).
    • This has been drafted by Township Staff and is with the County Planner for review. There will be another Official Plan Amendment (OPA) Open House and Public Meeting this summer. Then once the OPA is in place, an Open House and Public Meeting will be scheduled for the ZBA.

  2. Director of Emergency Services/Fire Chief has completed his Operational Review for the North Frontenac Fire Department (Wards 2 & 3).

  3. Finalize a plan to address municipal office building issues.

  4. Implement a strategy to work collaboratively with our provincial government and other organizations.
    • This is progressing well through the Rural Mayors Forum of Eastern Ontario. To date we have presented to the Eastern Ontario Warden's Caucus (EOWC), Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and the Rural Ontario Municipalities of Ontario (ROMA). Although nothing is formalized we are suggesting that we assist all three organizations on issues of like interest by providing analysis and reports for these three organizations to submit to the provincial government.

  5. Implement Mayor Town Halls.
    • Held the first Town Hall on March 12th which was very well received. The next Town Hall will be in June in Cloyne and be sure to watch our website for the date.

  6. We were successful at acquiring a $288K grant from Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to replace our Buckshot Creek Culvert on Road 509 this summer.

  7. Council of the Corporation of the Township of North Frontenac adopted a Community Improvement Plan (CIP) on March 18, 2016. The CIP may provide financial assistance to renovate or expand existing eligible businesses throughout North Frontenac. Grants maybe available to assist with projects falling within four areas:
    • Facade Improvement Program.
    • Accessibility Enhancements.
    • Commercial Space Funding.
    • Municipal Fees Program.

    Check Details http://www.northfrontenac.com/CIP.html

Key issues we continue to work on are:

  • OPP billing and service delivery.
  • Renewable Energy procurement that was announced in early April.

At the County level we were successful at getting a joint group together (County and Kingston) to look at the feasibility of having a Food Hub in the Kingston Frontenac area. If successful it could provide local food growing and distribution opportunities. In addition the County's Official Plan was approved which makes them the approval authority for the Township's Official Plan which has been stagnant at the provincial level for a couple of years.

In closing I would like to say that we are progressing well and look forward to the return of our seasonal residents.

Ron Higgins
Mayor, North Frontenac

Mayors Message - January 2016

With one year of my term complete I have to say that I enjoyed my term so far. The following are highlights of some accomplishments over the last year.

  • Council is working together in a cohesive manner.
  • We addressed the threat of wind turbines head on and I am proud of how we handled that situation. Still awaiting a decision by Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in March of this year.
  • We have investors interested in investing here pending a wind turbine decision.
  • We have a strong economic development strategy in place and look forward to implementation.
  • We have reviewed and updated our strategic plan.
  • We have improved services through shared services and continue to work on improvements.
  • As Mayor I have been involved in the establishment of the Rural Mayors Forum of Eastern Ontario (RMFEO) and look forward to working with 14 other Townships across five Counties to address issues of common concern. https://www.facebook.com/rmfoeo
  • Developed a Mayors Facebook page to improve communication. https://www.facebook.com/Mayor-Township-of-North-Frontenac-1073820275974939/

The following are some key items we need to focus on for 2016.

  • OPP funding model - address OPP budgeting and the actual OPP funding model formula. This is being done through the RMFEO group
  • Green Energy - focus on solar versus wind.
  • Cell and broadband coverage.
  • Implementation of the Economic Development strategy.
  • Develop and implement a communications plan.
  • Improve branding signage.

The following are other actions we plan on addressing.

  • Review and update the zoning bylaw and administrative procedures/policies.
  • Conduct a fire services operational review.
  • Develop a Green Energy strategy.
  • Finalize a plan to address municipal office building issues.
  • Implement a strategy to work collaboratively with our provincial government and other organizations.
  • Implement Mayor Town Halls.

In closing I would like to say that there have been decisions made that have not been to everyone's liking. Having said that I realize that I will never make everyone happy with my stance on issues but I am committed to do what is best for North Frontenac as a whole. I look forward to continued success during my term.

Ron Higgins
Mayor, North Frontenac

Mayors Message - July 2015

Residents and Businesses of North Frontenac

I am attaching an Industrial Wind Turbine (IWT) position paper that I wrote on behalf of North Frontenac Township and had approved by Council for distribution. I am sending this you to share our position and communicate our actions going forward.

In summary our position is that we are not against green energy but are definitely opposed to IWT's. We feel we have not been consulted by the province in regards to green energy options, municipal planning or land use planning for crown lands as required by the mandates of the Premier and crown land use planning requirements.

Our focus is to protect and maintain our unique and pristine area to ensure we secure this very valuable resource for recreation and economic development opportunities that is keeping with our strategy going forward

As our position may differ from our neighboring municipalities I have formally asked all neighboring municipalities to have any installation of wind turbines setback a minimum of 10 km from North Frontenac borders.

My personal focus is to meet with the Province to ensure the IWT's are not approved for North Frontenac and hope to work out an agreement and strategy for land use planning and municipal affairs that meets the requirements of our Township and to ensure we work in closer harmony with the applicable Ministries to ensure we have direct input into any program that affects our Township going forward.

Proposed Wind Turbines Position Paper

Ron Higgins
Mayor, North Frontenac

Mayors Message - April 2015

The following are our accomplishments since my last message.

We have finalized the members of our Committees and Task Forces and the information is available on our website at http://www.northfrontenac.com/council-committees.html

We managed to complete our budget and with the significant rise in policing costs we kept our budget in line with previous years. We did this by being able to maintain our Capital Asset Management Plan to ensure sustainability for the future and not having to dip into our Reserves. We were able to reduce a portion of our administration costs without impacting our service delivery.

Our focus is on shared services with other Townships and the County. As we go through attrition we are looking to shared services versus rehiring for a position and if it makes good fiscal sense and does not interfere with our service delivery; then we will proceed with reaching agreements with others to provide the service(s) required. Two items we have solidified agreements on are; utilizing Information Technology (IT) services from the County and using the Chief Building Official (CBO) from Central Frontenac. That allows us to hire a Building Inspector versus a CBO who works under the direction of the Central Frontenac CBO.

One key issue that has arisen lately is a proposed project by NextEra to install 50 wind turbines on Crown Land within North Frontenac. As you can imagine there has been public input as to how we should proceed. Right now this project is just at the information gathering stage. Basing decisions on facts was one of my key campaign messages when I was running for a Council position. There will be a Public Meeting (Community Open House) scheduled to be held in late May or early June, to allow the public to review the proposed plan and to provide input to NextEra. Once the date has been set, it will be advertised in the Frontenac News and posted on the Township Website.

If you wish to forward questions, prior to the Public Meeting, please forward them to the CAO @ cao@northfrontenac.ca or 6648 Road 506, Plevna, ON K0H 2M0. I have requested that the CAO forward all questions/comments to NextEra before the Public Meeting to ensure they come prepared to answer these at the Open House. Also, I requested that the CAO ensure Council is provided with a copy of all questions/comments, prior to the Open House for educational purposes and awareness.

As we complete our first quarter I wanted to highlight our key accomplishments:

  1. Strategic Plan completed.
  2. Committees and task forces staffed and have initiated their mandates.
  3. Budget finalized.
  4. Shared services program has been initiated.
  5. Initiated Joint Council meetings with Central Frontenac which will continue.
  6. Put in place a sustainability focus to develop a short and long term strategy.
  7. Met with MPP Randy Hillier to assist with promoting North Frontenac as a place to do business.

Ron Higgins
Mayor, North Frontenac

Mayors Message - January 2015

We have had a very busy January since my last message in December and have been successful at reviewing the strategic directions developed by the last Council and started our budget discussions.

As mentioned last month we wanted to put in place our long term strategic plan by March 2015. I am pleased to say we reviewed our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, our mission and our vision with Council, management and members of the public who were in attendance at our Special Council meeting for strategic planning. Based on that review and analysis we decided that our mission will stay as defined.

Mission - The Township of North Frontenac's mission is the effective, efficient and sustainable delivery of services to its citizens.

Our vision has been revised as follows.

Vision - The Township of North Frontenac will preserve our unique and pristine natural environment to promote a strong and resilient rural community.

From that, we have put in place three long term goals as follows.

Enhance Existing Long Term Capital Plan

This goal has been established to ensure long term sustainability for Township assets and infrastructure.

Enhance Economic Development Initiatives

This goal has been established to identify and establish opportunities to improve our economy to assist with new sources of revenue, employment and business support.

Enhance Public Education and Communication Plan

This goal has been established to ensure we communicate effectively with our residents, partners and stakeholders.

To meet our goals we have developed some short term and long term objectives which will be monitored using a progress report, to ensure we monitor our progress related to our objectives and ultimately - our goals. This has allowed us to align Council direction with the administration of the Township. This also means we have a clear direction on what we want to do over our term in Council and will ensure that members of the public will have access to our plans and our progress to those plans. It also means our budget will align with our service delivery requirements and to these goals.

I am happy to report that as a team we made much further progress than I had anticipated and now have a formal strategic plan in place a month ahead of schedule. You can view the strategic plan by accessing our website.

In addition we have finalized our committees and task forces and are in the process of complimenting these with members from the public.

Our next task in February is to finalize our committees and task forces, the budget and review our Procedural and Code of Conduct Policy and revise as needed. We have also developed objectives to begin the implementation process of our strategic plan. One key objective for myself is to develop a communications plan to ensure we have effective communications when providing our services to the Township and to ensure we collaborate with our neighbouring municipalities and other stakeholders.

Mayor Ron Higgins

Mayors Message - December 2014

As I take office this week I wanted to take this opportunity to fulfill one of my commitments and that is to ensure I communicate with our businesses and residents. I plan to provide monthly messages on the Township’s Website to ensure you are kept abreast of our plans, issues and success. Our long term plan should be put in place by March 2015. To lead up to that we plan on reviewing our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on January 6th. From that information we will review our current strategic objectives and revise/update if required. Once that is complete it will provide us with the basis to provide direction to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to assist the CAO and Managers with their annual Work Plans and to prepare the draft 2015 Budget for Council’s consideration. Then we need to buckle down and tackle the budget which is going to be a huge challenge this year, as you heard throughout the campaigns by the candidates. This process will take some time and once completed we plan to provide you with the results and the rationale for any decisions that are made throughout that process. Then we will put in place a formal Strategic Plan by developing initiatives that will assist us in implementing our strategic objectives, along with performance indicators to measure our success at implementation. Over the next month or so we will also review our Procedural and Code of Conduct Policy and revise as needed. Until my next message may you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mayor Ron Higgins

This page was last updated on July 22, 2016

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