An Exciting New Mandate

2010-03-01

During the recent election campaign, I asked for your support, your trust, and your vote of confidence. An overwhelming majority of you gave me just that. In addition, you also elected three of the four candidates whom I had endorsed. I most humbly thank you for re-electing me and for giving me councilors with whom I can work to make Hampstead better than ever. I expect that this new team will tackle their assignments with energy, hard work and enthusiasm.

Councillor Edery has taken on the important Finance portfolio and is already looking for ways to reduce expenses and raise more revenue. These are goals that we all share.

Councillor Elfassy keeps the Urban Planning & Strategic Development portfolio and has taken over the Public Security portfolio. He has many new ideas and you can expect important developments in both areas.

Councillor Feigenbaum retains her portfolios: Community Services and Recreation as well as Communications and Marketing. In addition, she is the co-chair of the Environment portfolio. She is also my replacement on the Association of Suburban Mayors and on the Agglomeration Council when I cannot make a meeting. She has already improved the newsletter by adding the Councillors’ Corner.

Councillor Goldwax has retained responsibly for Public Works and has taken on the new Information Technology portfolio as well as co-chairing the new Environment portfolio. He is interested in moving towards a paperless council to both save money and trees.

Councillor Gonshor has been given the new portfolio of Sponsorships. So, if you would like to help sponsor an event or donate a bench, picnic table, tree, etc to celebrate a special occasion or honor a loved one, please contact Councillor Gonshor.

Councillor Shaffer, a well respected attorney, has taken over the Legal portfolio as well as the Traffic portfolio. He will be reviewing all legal files and looking into new solutions to some of our traffic issues.

I have also taken on a new responsibility. My fellow suburban Mayors nominated me to sit on the Agglomeration Public Security Commission. This very active commission is responsible for the police and fire services (including first responder service). These services are very important to us and that is why I wanted to be on this commission.

Hampstead is in excellent financial shape

You recently got your tax bill from Hampstead. Our local tax increase is 1.6%, which is less than the rate of inflation. Unfortunately, the shocking 12% increase in the Agglomeration tax boosted our overall tax increase to 6.4%. This is still, however, one of the lowest on the island. Last year, too, we had the second lowest increase of the demerged suburbs and even had a 1% decrease for 96% of residents.

I and my fellow suburban Mayors are fighting this outrageous and abusive increase, which is the result of total mismanagement of the Agglomeration by Montreal. Among other actions, we will be appealing to the Quebec government to take steps to make the Agglomeration fairer and more responsive to our needs.

Long Term Debt – This year we expect to spend up to $2 million on long life assets, such as water mains, sewers, roads, sidewalks, street lights and other items. Almost all the funding is from grants or money put aside over the last few years. Very little, if any, new borrowing will be required. Since we are repaying about $1 million of our debt this year, we expect our net long term debt to drop by at least $ 500,000.

Surplus – We are predicting an accumulated surplus of about $1.3 million in 2010.

As we have done for the past four years, we will continue to manage the town in a fiscally responsible manner.


Sincerely,


Dr. Bill Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead