Today marks 100 days in office for your new City Council. Over the past three months, we have worked together to our first important steps towards creating positive change for this great city.
Tonight, Council approved our four-year Strategic Plan. We started working on the plan immediately after the election and over the past 100 days, we have spent countless hours working together to define our priorities, identify where we are going and what we want to accomplish over the next four years. This plan, which is unique in Canada, embraces the hopes, dreams and aspirations that Londoners shared with all 15 Council members over the course of the election and since we took office.
Two weeks ago, Council approved its first budget —a budget that is responsible and sustainable both in the short and long term. When we began our budget talks we were looking at a 2.9 per cent increase, there were a number of other projects that could have grown the increase to 3.9 per cent. Instead, because of Council’s hard work, we landed at 2.5 per cent. This council is committed to finding savings and efficiencies.
Moving forward, it’s time to introduce Council and London to a better, more efficient way of budgeting. Beginning in April, we will move to a multi-year budget, which will align Council priorities as identified in our four year Strategic Plan.
I’m proud to say that this summer, London will have food trucks on our streets. We have launched a pilot program to allow entrepreneurs to operate food trucks in our community.
In the past 100 days, I have been striving to hear from as many Londoners as I can. I have met with 75 businesses, from the newest start-ups to some of the largest job-creators in our city, community organizations, non-profits and agencies. I have met with every elected MP and MPP in London, as well as, the Premier and the regional ministers of both the Federal and Provincial governments. I have met with the leaders of Western University and Fanshawe College and the heads of our emergency services. I have met with a number of Mayors from Canada’s largest cities as well as Mayors from our region.
We’ve had a great start, but there is so much work still to do. We are staying focused on progress and pragmatic solutions that work for Londoners.
So, what will we work on for the rest of 2015?
First and foremost, The London Plan— it is the opportunity of our generation. It is our draft official plan that will guide the next 20 years of growth in our community. I will work with Council and staff to move the plan forward.
We will also continue our work on the Downtown Master Plan, the Dundas Flex Street and other initiatives to continue to energize the core of our city.
We will be working on our first-ever Community-wide Economic Roadmap. This will be a first for our community, a plan to align our community partners to bolster our economic development. We will continue to work on “Shift”, the first step to introduce rapid transit with an emphasis on community engagement.
We will continue to work with our partners to provide fibre optic connectivity in our downtown core. And finally, we’re working to make our riverfront a place for Londoners to enjoy as the City and London Community Foundation collaborate to launch the “Back to the River” contest.
Please get in touch with me through email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 519-661-4920 or through social media. Share with me your ideas, suggestions and concerns to make our Great City even better. It is a privilege to serve as your Mayor. Thank you for your support throughout the beginning of my term. 2015 is going to be a great year for London.
Mayor Matt Brown