On the road in Hampstead

2018-02-19

Another Hampstead election has come and gone. I want to thank everyone who was planning to vote for me but didn’t get the chance because I was acclaimed. It is an honour and privilege to be able to serve you for another four years.

Even though I was acclaimed, I ran my usual campaign, going door to door over several months visiting almost every home in town. I didn’t do this just to increase my chances of being re-elected. The main reason was to discover what is on your minds and to have a chance to explain why we do what we do.

While I am always easy to reach by phone or e-mail, it seems that a majority of you don’t interact with me unless I am on your doorstep. So these discussions give me an excellent sense of common themes across the town or on a particular block.

Beautification - Aside from keeping local tax increases below inflation, the item that got the most positive feedback was the beautification that we have been doing for the past several years. The Queen Mary median was the most appreciated but also many of the parks that have been upgraded. Some questioned the cost but when I explained that every penny comes from the Park Fund, which is totally paid for by residents who demolish homes, and that this money may not be used for basic infrastructure, the objections melt like the winter snow.

Traffic issues – on some blocks there were concerns about speeding or people going through Stop signs. For the former we have or will measure speeding and speed humps will be installed wherever our criteria are met. For the latter, the police have been asked to pay special attention to the problem areas.

Young demographic – On one block of Holtham, I was amazed at the number of new families with young kids. We discussed the need for more programming for this age group and I asked them to help by organizing and making sure there is enough enrolment for the programs that we will offer.

Crime – A few of you were concerned about home robberies. I reassured you that there were much fewer than what the rumour mill was saying and I resolved to put a list of all robberies on the Hampstead web site so everyone can see the true story. That will happen soon if it hasn’t by the time you get this newsletter. Aside from reducing anxiety, seeing how the robberies happen will encourage people to follow the tips on our web site and reduce the chances of being victimized.

Smart City Initiatives – Many of you were excited about this and the initial enrolment and use of My Hampstead has been great. I urge all of you to register for My Hampstead, try it out and let us know what new features you would like added.

Overall strong support – The vast majority of you were very supportive of how the town has been run. Often I had to prod you to find issues. While I am gratified with the support and I agree that the town has been run well for the past 12 years, I am not satisfied. Our responsiveness to resident issues is good but not in every case. We are a Smart City but not nearly as smart as I hope we will be in four years. Our street light network has serious deficiencies. The list goes on but I promise you that we will make major improvements in the coming years. And you can help by passing on your suggestions, big or small.

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