Core Service Review Feedback Summary
We asked residents and business owners to email their constructive thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a general summary of the more than 60 email responses we received to date.
I would like to thank everyone who emailed and took the time to offer your thoughts, ideas and suggestions on our Core Service Review.
This review is a huge undertaking and your input is vital to our success.
I want to stress the information below is a summary of the emails we received from the public, not a summary of decisions made.
- Two comments regarding selling Arenas. The City has too many and we should keep the highest used ones and sell the rest off.
- Three comments regarding Library closures. Close some Libraries. Merge libraries that are half an hour apart into one central library OR one library per community.
- Library Amalgamation – for example Downeyville combined with Omemee.
- Introduce a new ‘bookmobile service’. This service could be used to shuttle books and library resources to the residents that believe they are isolated from library service. The ‘bookmobile’ would visit a community twice a month and could deliver books that residents ordered on-line or on the phone.
- No more parks, we have enough.
- Two comments that the trailer parks that the city owns be sold. Use revenue for reserves.
- Sell boat launches OR charge a fee to launch.
- Sell beaches (eight comments that supported the sale of beaches) OR charge a fee and use money to put in a reserve for the Conservation Authority.
- Sell trailer parks, they do not make the City any revenue and are loud and people who go to the trailer park do not spend there money in town they come up to there trailer and stay there all weekend.
- Sell Community Centres (rural ones) and start charging more for popular rented community centres.
- Close Service Centres.
- Lease out parks.
- Sell ball diamonds (there were seven comments regarding the sale of ball diamonds).
- Keep green spaces.
- Do not upgrade libraries; spend that money on Community Centre maintenance.
- Three comments to reduce the City’s fleet. This includes supervisor vehicles and Public Works vehicles.
- Use the Durham Region Incinerator.
- Sell the airport and use revenue for hard topping roads and/or fixing sidewalks.
- Move waste collection to every other week.
- Contract out snow plowing in the urban centres; leave the rural areas for staff who know the routes (comment specifically states that the urban areas are easier to plow).
- Full review of winter control operations using the Lean Six Sigma program.
- Review call out, amount of people on-call and the amount of salt and sand that is over-used.
- Eliminate the winter control room and use the employees to patrol areas.
- Look at the organizational structure of Public Works. There are too many supervisors, managers and foremen.
- Use the land sold to build more seniors homes.
- Sell land to only businesses that have a plan to develop.
- Sell vacant lots. Numerous comments were made about the revenue generation that this would bring to the City.
- Stop leasing 12 Peel Street in Lindsay. The amount that is paid to lease the building is a waste of money and we should be looking to buy a building.
- Raise taxes on derelict buildings and run-down vacant lots. There were numerous comments on the issue of vacant and un-used buildings.
- Buy 8 Cambridge Street and move 12 Peel Street as well as development services to this building. This would be a ‘one-stop-shop’ for residents and developers that would streamline the process as well as eliminate renting 12 Peel Street.
- Reduce Policing Costs.
- There were 15 comments that specifically stated that there should be one police force for the City of Kawartha Lakes.
- 24 Hour shifts for firefighters.
- Part-time firefighters to man stations instead of volunteers.
Mayor & Council
- There were three comments to reduce the size of council (no specific numbers provided).
- No more consultants (there were five comments regarding this).
- Use our trained black-belt staff to find the efficiencies and/or analyze the areas that need to be addressed in order to save money.
- Stop the black belt/green belt training of staff. There are more than enough certified people in this city, no need to train more.
- Reduce the number of wards. There were six comments regarding this.
- Focus on Tourism, one tourism officer is not enough.
- Economic development needs to be restructured and the focus needs to be solely on tourism.
- We are not going to get any more industry here and staff in that department needs to start engaging other areas (GTA) to attract tourism. Having a ‘booth’ at a trade show is NOT enough to pull tourism in.
- Hire an event planner to work with the chambers.
- Why is our economic development website called ‘Advantage Kawartha?” Again makes no sense. There should be a website called ‘Tourism Kawartha’ that is updated daily with upcoming events, have a mailing list to send out festivals, upcoming events, etc. to the seasonal people encouraging them to come up. We should partner with tourism Ontario and get some attractions and festivals here in the Kawartha’s. Craft Sales and bake sales are not tourist attractions.
- Get more music venues to Kawartha’s that encourage the younger generation to come up to the area. No one in their 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s wants to watch a ‘concert in the park’.
- Mix up the festivals. Classics on Kent is great but once you have been once, you have seen all that it has to offer.
- Clean up the downtown. As soon as you cross Highway 7 into Lindsay you are greeted by a “Crime Scene” billboard and a bunch of Lions Club signs. There is nothing that states you are entering a beautiful area full of 250 lakes and rivers. Why are we not enhancing welcoming tourists?
- Provide agricultural tours to tourists. Partner with the farmers and have a group come through to see operations and then perhaps have the farmers be able to sell product to them.
- Get engaged with the schools and provide more agricultural tours. Engaging youth is an excellent way to promote this industry.
- Craft Beer is an up and coming industry. Getting a craft beer festival here is a great idea. We have the space for it and doing it on the waterfront would be a great atmosphere. These kinds of events encourage people to come up, stay the night and then catch breakfast at a local restaurant the next day. This is a money maker for our City and the focus seems to be more on ‘garden sales and garden festivals or butter tart tours’ as opposed to bringing up the younger crowd who has more money to spend and more flexibility to explore our region.
- Food truck festivals are also high in demand right now. We need to start exploring options that are popular right now to attract new tourists to the area. These kinds of festivals open up the door for local vendors as well to display and sell their goods.
- There were several comments saying that it is time to find a new insurance provider as the OMEX is too much of an uncontrollable cost.
Development Services & Municipal Law Enforcement
- Contract out parking services to free up the Officer’s time to enforce the by-laws. There were five comments regarding this.
- Comment made regarding having by-law officers located in quadrants (i.e. work directly out of service centres for faster response times, especially on weekends).
- There were eight comments that said they wanted a tax increase instead of a user fee increase or service decrease.
- There were eight comments that said the user fees should rise. Our user rates are not on par with other municipalities and most feel that we should make sure we are charging more for the use of our facilities.
- Reduce ALL department budgets by 10%.
- Stop print advertising. Use more social media.
- Reduce Services. We do not need waste and yard pick up nor do we need recycling picked up every week. There were five comments stating that there is no need for garbage pick up every week, especially when areas in Durham region with higher populations only have pick up once a week.
- Use a smaller pick-up truck for rural areas for garbage pick up. A smaller truck would do less damage to the roads, especially in spring therefore reducing the cost of fixing up the road.
- Reduce Services and Service levels. No Specific services mentioned.