Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Inaugural Address - 2014-18 Council Term

Mayor Dave Augustyn’s Inaugural Address
Old Pelham Town Hall
1 December 2014

Councillor Rybiak, Councillor King, Councillor Durley, Councillor Papp, Councillor Accursi, and Councillor Junkin;
Regional Councillor Baty;
Former Mayors and Members of Pelham Town Council and other Special Guests;
Members of Staff;
Ladies & Gentleman.

I am both humbled and honored to stand here, before you, again, and continue my service as your Mayor & Regional Councillor for our Town of Pelham.

First, I want to publicly congratulate each member of Council on declaring our official oath of office for our 2014-2018 term.

The community has placed considerable trust in each of us to govern our Town faithfully, impartially, and to the best of our knowledge and ability.

I look forward to serving with each of you, and to working together with you on your ideas, your passions, and your dreams for our community so that, together, we might continue to improve our Town.

Second, we gather this evening in the newly, revitalized Old Pelham Town Hall.

Constructed in the summer of 1888, she was officially opened December 15, and called “New Town Hall.” She has served the residents of our Township and our Town for 126 years.

With a breath of new life today, she stands as a living link to our forebears and as a symbol of their optimism for the future of (what was then termed) our “progressive” community. May Old Pelham Town Hall continue to serve as a community facility for public meetings, concerts, parties, and the like for many, many decades to come.

Ladies & gentlemen, our recent democratic election highlighted a huge interest in the future of our Town.

It is clear that you and your friends and neighbours are interested in workable solutions to the issues and challenges that face our community. It is also clear that you have an optimism for the future of our Town; and that you want your Council to work together with you to continue to improve our community.

As a result, your Council and I will concentrate on some key areas and will:

  • Work diligently to develop and build a new multi-faceted community centre, contingent on funding and tax-payer affordability.
    • Work with representatives from recreation user groups, youth, seniors, artists, service clubs, and the community-at-large to design a new community centre in the East Fonthill area;
    • Work to secure Federal and Provincial funding and private donations to help make the capital costs for a potential new community centre affordable for local, municipal tax-payers.
  • Work to ensure that new development fits well with the vision for a walkable community with vibrant downtowns and a small-town feel;
    • We acknowledge that many people are concerned about the potential for new growth in our Town and with the impact that that growth might have on our “Small-Town Feel”;
    • That’s why Council will work to approve design guidelines and transportation engineering standards for the East Fonthill Secondary Plan area;
    • We will also endeavor to approve such standards across all developable and re-developable areas in the Town;
    • Restart the East Fenwick Secondary Plan process to ensure that any new development integrates smoothly into existing community characteristics;
    • Develop an “active transportation” master plan – a framework for further walkable / cycle-able elements – so that bike and walking trails, and sidewalks can further link more parts of the Town.
  • Keep acting in partnership with businesses and residents to revitalize Pelham’s downtowns:
    • Work to improve events and festivals – like Summerfest, Winterfest, (Founder’s Day?) – that showcase Pelham’s downtowns;
    • Continue to promote and fund the “Community Improvement Plan” facade and residential incentives and review / improve as needed;
    • Continue to work with the Province and the Region to allow a renewal of Downtown Ridgeville.
  • Continue to facilitate the construction of new medical facilities and the recruitment and retention of family doctors;
  • Continue to ensure that our infrastructure and facilities are well managed and maintained; (Begins with completing road and other works in progress);
  • Work together with the Chamber of Commerce and the Pelham Business Association and others to better provide an environment for economic prosperity;
  • Work in partnership with the Pelham Library Board to ensure service at a renewed Maple Acre Library and that our libraries are resilient to societal and technological changes;
  • Work with Town Staff to ensure that the Town provides exceptional service to all residents and businesses;
  • Continue to work together with the hundreds of volunteers who make our community a richer, more vibrant place to live, work and grow;
  • Continue to manage your money wisely and keep you involved in how your taxes are being invested in the community.
  • Always listen to you, and work in collaboration with you and your friends and neighbours to improve our Town;
  • And, in general, we will serve you – as best we can – on each of the other issues both known and unknown that will affect you and your neighbours and friends.

Friends and neighbours, we realize this is a long list.

Rest assured, however, that Council and I are ready to act, ready to find workable solutions, and ready to serve in your best interests.

Council and I are ready to keep working together to build a better future for our Town – the Town that we each love and cherish.

We will work together to get closer to our common vision – that Pelham becomes the most vibrant, creative, and caring community in Niagara.

Thank you, Ladies & Gentleman, for your encouragement by being present here this evening and for showing your interest in the future of our Town.

Let’s get going and let’s keep working together!

Thank you.

May I now offer my thanks to:

  • James Carnegie, piper, for piping Council into the hall;
  • Branch 613 Army Cadets for acting as our colour guard;
  • Ann Mantini-Celima, for beautifully singing the National Anthem;
  • Rev. Dr. Diane Walker, for offering a wonderful and fitting Invocation;
  • David Braun, violinist, for sharing his gift of music;
  • Nancy Bozzato, Clerk, for officiating the meeting and ensuring a smooth agenda;
  • Kim Holland, Facilites Staff, for leading the beautiful renovation and revitalization of Old Pelham Town Hall;
  • Martha Toscher, EA to Mayor & CAO, for ensuring the Hall looked amazing and arranging all other aspects of the hospitality and the event!

On behalf of Council, I offer deep appreciation!