Mayor's message: Vision

 

 

 

Welcome the new look of Hampstead’s newsletter. We want a more elegant and modern design as befits our town. Credit for the restyling goes to our new Communications Officer, Laurie Kezas. She has replaced Cynthia Lane who retired a few months ago. Laurie plans to gradually improve all aspects of our communications.

Just as our communications need to evolve, so does my vision for where Hampstead should go. As a very successful entrepreneur once told me, “Businesses grow, level off and then start going downhill. The secret to not going downhill is to keep growing. You can’t become complacent or you will surely start to decline.”  It is the same with a town.

Currently we are doing very well. Our infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, water mains and sewers) is possibly the best on the island. Local tax increases have been below inflation for over a dozen years. Our net debt has dropped a remarkable 57% over the past eight years and is among the lowest of similar size towns on the island. We were awarded the top prize for Beautification (one of 11 in the province and the only one in Montreal). Our Public Security is second to none. The list goes on. It is no wonder that our single-family homes values were up 26.4% over the last three years. People want to live here and so prices are bid up.

However, it can all change very easily if we don’t keep improving. We need more young families moving here but most can’t afford a home in Hampstead. We need to have developers build larger apartment buildings on CSL Road and they need to be quality buildings. Unfortunately, our current zoning on CSL Road does not allow anything economically viable for developers. We have consultants working on a solution and there will be studies of traffic and shadowing, as well as, economic viability studies. At the end of the day, residents will have to make the final decision.

If we go in this direction, we will get significant new tax revenue and will be able to replace our patched together community centre with a beautiful new recreation centre. That in turn will attract new residents. Equally, we will have the funds for many more programs, concerts and low tax increases. It will be a virtuous circle as opposed to a vicious cycle. The alternative is continued decay on CSL Road, fewer residents and less tax revenue. That means less frequent road and sidewalk repairs, fewer concerts, programs and events for kids and a lower quality of service. The deterioration will not be overnight but it will happen and our house values will not increase as they have during my 15 years as Mayor. If you share my vision you will have an opportunity to come out and express your views.

If you have any comments or questions on this topic or anything related to Hampstead, please e-mail me at wsteinberg@hampstead.qc.ca or call me 7 days a week until midnight at my home office (514) 483-6954.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bill Steinberg

Mayor, Town of Hampstead