Looking out for one another

2015-11-23

Hampstead is more than just a quiet and safe town with beautiful homes, lovely parks and green spaces, top quality services and programs. We are also a small town where neighbours and the town staff look out for one another. Here are a few examples.

On Halloween, I received a call from a resident to report the appearance of two propane tanks behind a home that was vacant, and had previously been firebombed. I contacted Public Security and they went over instantly to remove the tanks. Was it a Halloween prank or worse? We may never know, but a possible disaster was averted because a neighbour took the time to report the incident.

In a different area, a resident sitting on her front porch noticed some people circling the area and acting strangely. She took out her smart phone and videoed what was going on. As it turned out, her suspicions were correct and an attempted break-in did occur. The video was turned over to the police and it may help them catch the suspects.

The block of Dufferin that has grass and trees between the sidewalk and the road has been problematic for residents for many reasons, including mud following rain and no room to place recycling and garbage bins. One resident took it upon himself to show by example how to improve the area. He put down patio stones crossing the grass strip to his front walk and beside the driveway for his bins. He also planted flowers around a tree. Another resident on the block took the time to suggest to me that Hampstead should do something similar for the whole block and we did.

Yet, another resident organized his neighbours and met with me to propose a safer crosswalk in front of Aumont Park. Their presentation included detailed designs. Thanks to that group, we now have a much safer crossing for all the young kids who use the park.

Our town employees also go out of their way to take care of our residents. For example, Hampstead has no official policy on Shivas but when we hear of a large one, Public Works will pick up extra garbage and Public Security will not ticket people parking in the area overnight, even if they had not been called by the homeowner. Other examples of the way our employees go above and beyond their duties is the time that two Public Security officers rescued a beloved pet cat trapped in a tree or  the numerous town hall employees who volunteer their time to help at major town events.

Centennial Lane

We are all very lucky to live in Hampstead. Let’s continue to help one another and add that extra special ingredient that makes our town so wonderful. And if you want to show your love for Hampstead in a tangible way, consider getting a brick engraved in Centennial Lane (along Hampstead Road between Finchley and Lyncroft). Take a walk and look at the bricks that have already been purchased. There is a flyer in this newsletter with more details.

Financial Report

While you go through this newsletter, be sure to read my financial report. We are in excellent shape, with steadily dropping debt and a strong accumulated surplus. The budget and tax rates for 2016 will be announced at our budget meeting in mid December but I can tell you now that the average single family home will see a local tax increase less than the expected 2016 inflation rate. This should be no surprise because it will be the ninth year in a row that this commitment has been kept.  

If you have any comments or questions on this topic or anything else 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