Local changes coming to fruition
Alan Shefman Thornhill Ward 5 Councillor
Change is a constant in the city of Vaughan. Keeping up with change is a challenge.
When I moved to Vaughan in 1982, the city was small –– only around 90,000 people –– and mostly rural. Today it is the 16th largest municipality in Canada with over 330,000 residents and is very urban. We even have two subway stations!
Shortly, we will have our own hospital, a new downtown and even more rapid transit in our municipality. Our population will continue to grow, primarily in high-density buildings, and our economy will continue to expand and evolve.
Our challenges are significant. Every aspect of our municipal government must become more sophisticated. For example, rather than budget one year at a time, for at least the last five years we have budgeted three years in advance. Although we are fortunate to have relatively new infrastructure — roads, pipes, street lights, etc., — we need to hold enough money in reserve to pay for renewal of these assets as they age. Rather than only being driven by growth — we have had years where we opened over a dozen new parks — we need to look at aging, tired parks and plan renewal and revitalization.
We are not standing still in the face of these challenges, but are working hard to meet them. In May, our parks renewal plan came to council. At the same time, the update of our recreation action plan was tabled. We are moving quickly to put in place our asset management plan, and we are modernizing our financial management systems.