Fran Sainsbury — New Tecumseth Ward 4

Why should I be elected?

Serving on council as your representative requires many attributes. Experience is the “best teacher.”

I have served in five jurisdictions, 12 as mayor, 11 as councillor. I believe I am the only person to date, who served on York Region and Simcoe County council. I do my homework, work well with staff, understand my role and the rules that govern council. This allows me to make informed decisions, save time, cut costs and work with the council setting priorities, funding them, while keeping tax increases at a reasonable rate.

Formerly being a chief executive officer helps me envision the “big picture,” be fair and support projects we can afford throughout the whole town. We must provide realistic levels of service. This role is about “you,” not about self-interest or caving to groups who bring pressure to bear.  

I have time to dedicate to achieving your goals.  My concerns are the same as all in Ward 4, control spending due to fixed incomes. 

Encouraging economic development helps our residential tax base. Managing a large corporation requires education, experience, patience and dedication. Provincial and county regulations are far different than running private businesses. We have many “checks and balances.” Simcoe County is just beginning its journey managing growth. The saving of the “Oak Ridges Moraine” in York Region brought many developers into our area.    

Downloading of services from higher levels of government increases our debt and tax burden. I want to concentrate on our “needs,” not our “wants.” As a small town, we have a mandated debt ceiling which we are fairly close to now. New Tecumseth has much to offer residents, but proposed changes must be good for the town or council should not approve applications.

This takes courage. I have proven these past eight years as your representative, that I indeed have courage. The future of your local council is in your hands. Let’s face the future together. Vote.

Fran Sainsbury Campaign 2018

17 Green Briar Rd., Alliston, Ont., L9R 1R6

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Digital kiosk brings free Wi-Fi to Orillia’s waterfront

Hidden beneath a billowing blue sheet tied with a celebratory ribbon stood the first visual indication of Orillia’s entry into the wireless age.  

“It’s a different society today,” Coun. Ralph Cipolla said moments after the unveiling of the digital kiosk that drew a crowd to the lakeside event.

Situated outside the Orillia Waterfront Centre, the touch-screen kiosk features twin 54-inch vertical LCD screens, one on either side of the unit.

One screen broadcasts events, community happenings and paid advertisements and the other provides a touch-screen that allows users to browse information about local events, activities and amenities such as hotels, restaurants and shopping, along with directions.

“It is basically a way for cities to connect with their citizens and for citizens to connect with the city,” Gary Semplonius, Bell senior vice-president, business, sales and marketing, told Simcoe.com.

The kiosk’s digital sign can also be employed to broadcast community messages and public safety alerts, he added.

“And because it’s interactive, it’s a great way to attract tourism as well,” Semplonius said.  

The kiosk also serves as an access point for free Wi-Fi in the area and includes a USB charger for phones and tablets.

“The Orillia SMART Kiosk is the first of its kind in Ontario and only the second in Canada, and showcases that Orillia is stepping things up when it comes to innovation and technology,” Mayor Steve Clarke added.

The initiative is one component of a research partnership between the municipality and Bell that leverage’s Bell’s Smart City platform to help the city make better-informed decisions on municipal operations and infrastructure through data collection.

Other phases are expected to take shape over the next month, including a second kiosk outside the Orillia Opera House.

The free Wi-Fi network will be expanded to cover the downtown area along with the waterfront, from the port to the Rotary Aqua Theatre.

The kiosks and Wi-Fi applications will provide the city with anonymous data related to where visitors originate from and what it is they value while in Orillia.

According to Semplonius, the launch of the first SMART kiosk in Ontario represents a “significant milestone on Orillia’s path to becoming one of Canada’s leading smart cities.”

Cipolla, a member of the Smart Cities Working Group, said the project would usher Orillia “into the 21st century.”

Two other applications unrelated to the kiosks are in development in partnership with Bell and will be introduced later this year.

One will allow residents to monitor snowplow progress and the other will detect ground water infiltration into the city’s sewer system.

The partnership with Bell is a one-year pilot, with any future commitments subject to future council approval.

Bell has also agreed to provide fibre optic connectivity to the city’s residences and businesses, placing Orillia at the forefront of Canadian communities in the area of smart-city initiatives, said Dan Landry, manager of business retention and expansion and industrial development.

“This will factor greatly into how we market investment and business opportunities in Orillia moving forward,” Landry added.

Celebrate island life and support Orillia’s Aqua Theatre

Orillia’s time-worn will benefit from an upcoming celebration of island life.

Proceeds from a Caribbean-flavoured Island Princess boat cruise on Aug. 19 will support the Rotary Club of Orillia and a revitalization of the lakeside stage.

Organizer Janice Thompson is mounting the event as a thank-you to the club and city in recognition of the positive impact the waterfront has had on her life as she contends with medical issues.

“I wanted to contribute back,” said Thompson.

A two-hour, ticketed cruise is billed as the main event during an otherwise free Jamaica Day reggae festival at Couchiching Beach Park from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The day includes Caribbean food, clothing booths, music and dancing.

“It will be mostly Bob Marley music,” Thompson added.  

The Aqua Theatre was erected at Couchiching Beach Park in 1958 by the local service club with assistance from the community.

The club and the city are working to refurbish and improve the theatre while renewing interest in it as a performance space/community hub.

In a nod to that vision, four cedar trees were recently planted along the fence next to the grassed seating area to improve viewing conditions when the sun sets during outdoor movie nights.

“That row of trees is going to be dedicated on Sept. 1 to some people that were key in getting the Aqua Theatre built,” said club president Andrew Shuttleworth.

Council approved $225,000 in the 2018 capital budget for the first phase of work, including a new slab floor, repairs to the exterior, sand blasting and painting, and a new steel roof.

Staff will seek an additional $225,000 for a second phase, including a revamped viewing area, during 2019 budget talks.

Recommendations stemming from a recent design exercise exploring proposed enhancements include a sloping roof structure and replacement of existing seats with moulded, stadium-style seating.

The recommendations have been provided to the club for consideration in their fundraising efforts.  

Tickets to the Aug. 19 cruise are $65 and include live music and dinner.

The cruise runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Island Princess office starting Aug. 15.