2015 – Year of citizen engagement
2015 will certainly be remembered as the year of citizen engagement. It had been a long time since the City of Clarence-Rockland had consulted its population for its opinion on a number of topics.
The new council started their mandate by getting the building community’s feedback regarding the new Development Charges By-Law, which was adopted on January 26th, 2015. The 2015 budget process started in February with four Committees of the Whole where the public was welcome to attend. Residents were also invited to submit their suggestions via a special e-mail address. The budget was adopted in March with a 0% tax increase.
The strategic planning process then started in the spring. Elected officials, business community, citizens and even students had the opportunity to express their views and provide input on their vision of the City. All comments were carefully gathered and analyzed. Residents will once again have the opportunity to have their say when the report is presented. I invite you all to attend these meetings.
This fall, the Community Services department began developing its Parks and Recreation Master Plan. This document will guide the City of Clarence‑Rockland in its decisions regarding investments in parks, facilities, and recreational programs. The recreational priorities of residents have changed over the years. This is why on September 15th, 2015, the Community Services department held a workshop. I thank all citizens who expressed their views.
Residents are also being invited to provide their input on the Zoning By-law Review. As you know, the Zoning By-law regulates the use of land and buildings on the territory. With the recent adoption of the Official Plan of the Urban Area of the City of Clarence‑Rockland, the Bourget Official Plan, the Official Plan of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, an update of the Zoning By-law is necessary. These changes directly affect citizens; therefore, it is vital that we develop a plan that will meet the communities’ needs.
Our website is proving to be a useful tool to inform people. Over 1000 people subscribed to receive City Hall news. I encourage all residents to subscribe to our website at www.clarence‑rockland.com. We will also continue to ask for the population’s views in the next year.