Mayor’s Message regarding the 2022 Municipal Election
“After 31 years in locally elected positions, l would like to share that I will not be seeking re-election this fall. It is time to embrace life, explore the world and enjoy new activities. Most importantly, it is a promise I made a few years ago to my family and loved ones to spend more time together. With the support they have given to me over the years, they now deserve to have more time devoted to them.
With the challenges of the pandemic, this term has been very stressful for everyone and including missing many of the community activities [which] bring us joy as residents of Scugog. Although events and activities were cancelled, in the interest of public safety, I am very proud of our Council and our staff for their resilience. We adapted and pivoted to provide superb service delivery to our community. I am also very proud and grateful, the vast majority of the people in our community met the challenges of the pandemic with co-operation, grace and respect for others, including our staff.
Our staff responded to the ever-changing regulations, providing accurate, timely information and quick action to comply. I am proud of the people of Scugog with one of the lowest per capita Covid and variant cases in Durham, and I credit our staff for getting the message out and to the public for being responsible for keeping everyone safe.
The business of the Township continued, and we adapted to provide service and complete capital works throughout the term. Staff and Council were flexible and adjusted. Ninety-five percent of our projects and initiatives, identified in the corporate strategic plan, have been completed or are well underway.
Foundational strategic and master plans have been developed, to help guide our community into an exciting future. Strategies such as the Waterfront Action Plan, the Active Transportation and Transportation Master Plan, Community Improvement Plans, and the IT Strategic Plan are complete and are moving into the implementation phases. I look forward to seeing all this work come to fruition over the next few years, and I know these plans will not sit on the shelf and collect dust. I trust staff and future Councils will be as committed as those of this day to see the progress towards an even better Scugog.
Our infrastructure has been aging, and recently Scugog has received public endorsement for special levies to advance maintenance and improvements to roads, bridges, parks, fleet and our municipal buildings each year. Year after year, we have seen and will continue to see improved infrastructure, due to the funding and planning work being done to address our municipal infrastructure. The residents of Scugog will see their tax dollars at work when we watch a new playground constructed every year and sidewalks, roads and bridges repaired.
Piece by piece, section by section, the Waterfront will be transformed over the years to be an active and restful area for residents and visitors alike. The Waterfront Action Plan was developed with tremendous community consultation, and this year we start with the picnic shelter rebuild and a playground retrofit in Palmer Park. This year, designs are planned for Birdseye Pool-accessible change rooms and public washrooms in Palmer Park, both to be built in 2023.
The big project scheduled to start this year is the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project. We have been working on getting permits and permissions from Ministries and Agencies for quite some time. The lake is so important to our community. This environmental project includes dredging the Port Perry Bay to improve the health of Lake Scugog; a healthy lake means a healthy community. Benefits of the project include improved depths [and] modern filtration, to manage stormwater [which] will, in turn, support fish and other aquatic life and create better aesthetics to support sport and tourism.
I had many goals when I started this term, and in addition to those I have spoken of, I would like to take a moment to highlight what I am particularly proud of.
I attribute my successes to the many partnerships and relationships we have cultivated in recent years. The Township and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) have developed a close, respectful relationship and are working together to benefit both of our communities. We reached a 20-year agreement [which] provides municipal services for Roads Maintenance and Fire and Emergency Services. Our friends, the MSIFN, are making a $1.5 million contribution to the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project. We value and appreciate the relationship we have with the MSIFN, built on trust, respect and friendship, and thank the Indigenous Peoples who have looked after these lands for thousands of years.
Over the years, I have worked with many talented and committed staff, which holds true today. The staff in Scugog are leaders in their industry, professionals who are always willing to help each other out and work together as a team. Scugog is very fortunate indeed, to have such an excellent and incredibly hard-working staff complement.
I have also had the privilege of working with many great Council members. The wonderful thing about our small community is, the leaders of the community get involved for the right reasons; because they are committed to enhancing life for everyone in the Township of Scugog.
I was elected in 2018 for a four-year term, and I will pledge to work on my remaining goals to my very last day as Mayor; with the same energy, enthusiasm and commitment as I have throughout my 31 years in public service. I look forward to a sustainable and progressive future for Scugog, maintaining our warm, welcoming nature.”
Mayor Bobbie Drew