Lo­cal changes com­ing to fruition

Alan Shef­man Thorn­hill Ward 5 Coun­cil­lor

Thornhill Post - - News -

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.

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