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Haldimand County welcomes 2022-2026 Council at Inaugural Meeting of new term

On November 15, 2022, Haldimand hosted its Inaugural Meeting for the new term of Council. The meeting began with a brief ceremony that included the Declarations of Office for the Mayor and each individual Councillor.

As part of the ceremony, Mayor Shelley Ann Bentley delivered an inaugural speech thanking the community for its support, congratulating newly-elected members of Council and reiterating her commitment to collaboration, inclusivity, transparency and accountability.

“As Mayor I am eager to be a strong advocate for our municipality by working with Council, our community, provincial and federal counterparts and our indigenous communities. By listening, communicating and welcoming your ideas, we can all make Haldimand County an even better place to live, work and play,” Bentley noted.

“The people of Haldimand have spoken that they seek change. As your Mayor, I promise to work for a better future – one that makes sense for the community as a whole,” added Bentley.

Bentley emphasized the need to take a closer look at municipal infrastructure needs, look for new ways to communicate and find ways to plan and provide space for future business development, health care institutions, schools, farmland and parkland.

Mayor Bentley’s speech is available in full on the county website.

Following the inaugural meeting and leading into the new year, members of Council will participate in a comprehensive orientation process followed by priority-setting sessions to define Council’s key goals and objectives for the term.

The first Council in Committee meeting of the new term will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, followed by Council on Monday, December 12, 2022, which will be the last meeting of the calendar year.

2022-2026 Term of Council

Mayor
Shelley Ann Bentley

Ward 1
Stewart Patterson

Ward 2
John Metcalfe

Ward 3
Dan Lawrence

Ward 4
Natalie Stam

Ward 5
Rob Shirton

Ward 6
Patrick O’Neill

Haldimand County declares official 2022 Municipal Election results

Haldimand County Clerk, Evelyn Eichenbaum, has released the official results for the 2022 Municipal and School Board election.

The official count declares that during the municipal election held on Monday, October 24, 2022, for the offices listed, the certified candidates received the votes recorded.

The final count and official results can be found at www.haldimandcounty.ca/election.

The new term of Council begins with an inaugural meeting on November 15, followed by Council in Committee on December 6 and Council on December 12. As the term gets underway, both new and returning members participate in a comprehensive orientation followed by a Council Priority Setting Session to establish key goals for the term.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County seeking new members for boards and committees of Council

Haldimand County is currently accepting applications for citizen representation on numerous boards and committees of Council. Recruitment for boards and committees is held every 4 years with the commencement of a new term of Council.

The role of board and committee members is to provide Council and staff with input on a wide variety of issues. Becoming a member offers residents a unique chance to volunteer their skills and share ideas for the betterment of the community.

Applications from all residents with diverse backgrounds and skill sets are welcome. In total, new members are being sought for 11 boards and committees. These include:

  • Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Agricultural Advisory Committee
  • Business Development & Planning Advisory Committee
  • Committee of Adjustment
  • Haldimand County Public Library Board
  • Haldimand Museums Advisory Board
  • Heritage Haldimand
  • Police Services Board
  • Seniors Advisory Committee
  • Trails Advisory Committee
  • Youth Advisory Committee

The number of positions available on each board and committee varies.

Further information about Haldimand’s boards and committees – including terms of reference, member roles, responsibilities and the online application form – are available on the Haldimand County website. Residents are encouraged to review the descriptions for each committee prior to submitting their application.

Following the application closing date of November 30, applications will be reviewed and recommendations will be formally presented to Haldimand Council for its consideration and decision in January 2023.

Residents who wish to learn more or apply for a board/committee position are encouraged to visit the Boards and Committees page on the county website.

Haldimand County votes 2022: advance polling and election day information

On October 24, eligible voters in Haldimand County will select who they want to represent them on Haldimand County Council in the 2022 municipal election.

Voting will take place between October 7 and 24 and residents are strongly encouraged to visit haldimandcounty.ca/election to confirm their voting eligibility and determine the voting option most convenient to them.

Voter List registration information

  • Residents – especially those who have recently moved to or within Haldimand County – are strongly encouraged to check that they are on the voters’ list as the data for the list is provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation. A Voter List lookup tool is available on the County website.
  • Voter Notification Letters have been sent in the mail to all eligible electors. If for some reason you do not receive a voter notification letter, you may add yourself to the Voter List online at haldimandcounty.ca/election by Friday, October 21 at 12 p.m.
  • Residents who need assistance getting added to the Voter List may call the county at 905-318-5932 or e-mail election@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Advance internet voting – October 7 at 12:01 a.m. to October 23 at 11:59 p.m.

  • For the first time ever, internet voting will be offered for advance voting only beginning October 7 and ending on October 23 at 11:59 p.m.
  • To vote online, residents will need to have their Voter Identification Number and PIN provided in their Voter Notification Letter. A link to the online voting portal will be available at haldimandcounty.ca/election beginning October 7.
  • Eligible voters are strongly encouraged to vote online well in advance of the October 23 deadline. Eligible voters who require assistance voting online may call 905-318-5932 or e-mail election@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Advance in-person voting – October 12 to October 15

  • Advance polling stations will be open from October 12 – 15 and are a great way to avoid possible Election Day lineups.
  • A list of advance polling locations and operating hours are available at haldimandcounty.ca/election
  • Residents can vote at any advance polling station, regardless of their ward.

Election Day – October 24

  • A list of Election Day voting locations is available at haldimandcounty.ca/election
  • All polling stations are open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
  • Residents can vote at any Election Day voting location, regardless of their ward.

Other key details

  • Residents who are unable to make it in person to vote or vote by internet may assign a proxy to vote on their behalf. Instructions and proxy assignment forms are available on the county website.
  • In order to cast a ballot, residents must provide 1 piece of identification listing their name and qualifying address (e.g. driver’s licence, utility bill, mortgage statement, etc.). A list of acceptable ID is available on the county’s election website.
  • A list of certified candidates and candidates’ contact information is available on the county’s election page.

 

For additional information about Haldimand County’s 2022 Municipal Election, visit haldimandcounty.ca/election or contact the Clerk’s office.

Key details and reminders will be shared through the County’s social channels regularly leading up to the election.

Nomination period for 2022 municipal election begins May 2

Voting day in Haldimand County is October 24, 2022. Individuals who wish to run in the 2022 municipal election will be able to file their nominations with the Municipal Clerk starting May 2.

Nomination forms may be filed in-person at the Haldimand County Administration Building (53 Thorburn St. S., Cayuga) during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from May 2, 2022 to August 18, 2022, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on August 19, 2022.

All candidates are encouraged to make an appointment to file nomination forms by emailing election@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

The forms required to file a nomination are available online at www.haldimandcounty.ca/election/.

Nominations will be accepted for the offices of:

  • Mayor
  • Councillors
  • Trustee, Grand Erie School Board
  • Trustee, Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board
  • Trustee, Conseil Scolaire Viamonde
  • Trustee, Mon Avenir Conseil Scolaire Catholique

Individuals who plan to seek office must file their nomination with the Municipal Clerk before spending or raising any money for campaign activities.

For more information on the 2022 municipal election, visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/election/.

Haldimand County hosting virtual candidate information session on April 13 for 2022 municipal election

Haldimand County and staff from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be hosting a virtual Candidate Information Session for anyone interested in running as a candidate in the 2022 municipal or school board election.

The virtual session will take place on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. All are welcome and pre-registration is not required. Connection details will be shared at www.haldimandcounty.ca/election/ closer to the session.

As there have been many changes enacted to the Municipal Elections Act in recent years, this session will benefit newcomers to the municipal election process, third party advertisers as well as those who have participated in past elections. Topics covered at the session will include:

  • Role of council
  • Role of municipal staff
  • Role of school board trustees
  • Third party advertising
  • Nominations
  • Eligibility to run
  • Candidate and third party advertiser duties
  • General campaign rules and election finances
  • Compliance audits and penalties

Election Day in Haldimand County is October 24, 2022. For more information on the 2022 municipal election, visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/election/ or e-mail election@haldimandcounty.on.ca.

Haldimand County Council approves 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget

On March 31, 2022, Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget. The budget results in a total levy requirement of $76,221,100, which equates to a residential tax impact of 2.29%.

Generally, the annual Tax-Supported Operating Budget pays for day to day operations of the County, including salaries, wages, utilities, insurance and services such as running arenas/programming, maintaining locals parks and cemeteries, providing emergency services (fire, police and ambulance), the collection of garbage and related activities.

“Despite significant financial challenges related to economic factors beyond the county’s control, staff have worked hard to develop a budget that is aligned with Council’s priorities and mindful of the challenges our ratepayers are facing,” said Mark Merritt, General Manager of Financial & Data Services.

Major factors that influenced the 2022 Tax-Supporting Budget include external financial pressures (higher costs of materials, supply chain issues, increased inflation), as well as increases to costs associated with insurance, policing and contracted services (e.g. winter maintenance).

CAO Craig Manley noted that while the Operating Budget initially represented a 7% increase for ratepayers, staff conducted a rigorous review of controllable costs and only brought forward new initiatives that would negatively impact standards of service or health and safety if they were not included.

Manley also emphasized the positive impact of increased assessment from growth in 2021 – nearly $2.0 million or 2.73% – that has helped alleviate the tax burden and achieve the final recommended tax increase for 2022.

“The 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget represents a financially sustainable plan that responsibly manages taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars while addressing current and emergent needs of our growing community,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“Thanks to the continued hard work of staff, we have once again been able to meet the Council-approved tax increase target of 2% annually, a goal that was established in 2018 at the beginning of this Term,” Hewitt added.

Highlights of the 2022 Tax-Supported Operating Budget include:

  • introducing new, permanent staffing resources to address organizational needs, respond to growth and meet service levels expected by residents (including up-staffing paramedic services to address response time standards);
  • proceeding with the Council-approved reorganization of the IT division to prioritize the enhancement of public-facing services (i.e. on-line and self-serve tax information), increase efficiencies and strengthen cybersecurity;
  • funding the continuation of successful economic development, tourism & culture-focused activities, including the successful Paddle Art Tour Haldimand (PATH) and Haldimand County Geocache Tour;
  • maintaining the enhanced levels of portable washroom cleaning and facilities put in place at public parks when the pandemic started in support of tourism and increased community use, and;
  • increasing funding for the proper asset management of existing social housing stock in the County and to financially support a new affordable housing build in Dunnville – a priority set by Council for this term.

On average, a residential property owner can expect their annual property taxes to be allocated as follows:

A chart indicating annual property tax allocations by service.

Haldimand County Invites Residents to In-Person Sessions About Community & Recreation Facilities Strategy on April 4 & 5

Four in-person public consultations are scheduled for April 4 and 5 as Haldimand County continues developing its long-term Community & Recreation Facilities Strategy. The drop-in sessions are scheduled as follows:

Monday, April 4; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Cayuga Memorial Arena, McSorley Room
Monday, April 4; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Caledonia LIONS Community Centre
Tuesday, April 5; 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Jarvis Lions Community Centre
Tuesday, April 5; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Dunnville Community Lifespan Centre

All sessions will be hosted in keeping with pandemic-associated public health guidelines at that time.

“Haldimand County received 2,000 responses to the community survey about this initiative,” says Mayor Ken Hewitt, “which is likely the greatest response received to any public consultation we’ve done in recent years. This just confirms to Council the importance of this issue to residents and users of our community and recreation facilities and services.”

The Strategy — which focuses on facilities that support activities such as aquatics, sports, health, wellness, arts and culture — is being developed in consultation with Monteith Brown Planning Consultants of London, ON.

“Now that we’re able to host public engagement sessions again, we’re hoping residents who may not have had an opportunity to take the survey will come out to see what might be possible and share their thoughts,” adds Hewitt.

While the Strategy will be strongly informed by public input about recreation preferences, it will also include recommendations about financial feasibility of potential locations and types of facilities. This might include repurposing existing sites or facilities or entering into partnerships to address service and programming preferences and trends.

Find out more about the project on the County’s website or contact us at RecStrategy@HaldimandCounty.on.ca if you have questions or want to provide input into the process.

Haldimand County Council approves 2022 Tax-Supported Capital Budget

Haldimand County Council reviewed and approved the 2022 Tax Supported Capital Budget on March 3, 2022. The Tax-Supported Capital Budget outlines $35 million of infrastructure investment in 2022, with a total tax-supported infrastructure investment of $310.4 million over the next 10 years. In total, 313 new tax-supported capital projects have been scheduled for the 2022 calendar year.

The 2022 Capital Budget is heavily focused on infrastructure renewal with notable expenditures in areas such as roadway improvements, bridge and culvert rehabilitation and enhancements to corporate, community and recreation facilities.

2022 Capital Budget Highlights:

  • $19 million towards roadway and active transportation improvements such as paving, road reconstruction, tar and chip resurfacing, gravel road conversion, sidewalk/curb replacements, street lighting as well as bridge/culvert rehabilitations, replacements and other structure-related projects (e.g. retaining walls)
  • $2.8 million towards accelerating the gravel road conversion program. All gravel roads will be converted to tar and chip by 2023 and the program will be completed in 2025 when the second coat of tar and chip is applied to the final road
  • $4 million towards fleet and equipment maintenance/replacements, including the purchase of multiple new emergency services and winter control vehicles
  • $3.8 million towards community partnership projects and enhancements to parks, trails, arenas, pools, museums and libraries
  • $855,000 towards tree conservation and reforestation initiatives

In recent years the County has deliberately increased its investment in capital to ensure that existing facilities are updated, new facilities desired by the community are added and that a funding plan is in place to minimize tax impacts. Money is set aside every year to ensure that when assets need repairs or replacing, funding is available.

“The 2022 Capital Budget balances current priorities with future needs and further positions Haldimand for growth. Through diligent asset management practices and financial planning principles, staff have developed a budget that ensures our strong financial position is maintained, and our residents and business owners continue to receive high quality programs and services,” said Haldimand County Mayor
Ken Hewitt.

“We, like many other municipalities, have faced significant financial pressures as a result of COVID-19, and I am proud of the capital program we have developed under challenging circumstances.”

Similar to past years, the capital levy, funded by property taxes, will increase by about $725,500 or about 1% of the overall municipal levy. The total municipal levy for 2022 will be determined once the 2022 Tax Supported Operating Budget is approved by Council.

The 2022 Tax Supported Operating Budget will be presented to Council on the following dates:

• March 31 & April 1*, 2022 – 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Haldimand County Administration Building Council Chamber (*if required)

More information on Haldimand County budgets can be found at HaldimandCounty.ca/Financials/Budgets/.

 

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

Haldimand County raises Ukrainian flag at administration building

Haldimand County has raised the Ukrainian flag at its administration building to show support for the nation currently besieged by attacks from Russia.

The flag-raising request was initiated by Council in response to the events unfolding across Ukraine, and in support of community members who are personally impacted by these tragic circumstances.

“Haldimand County stands with Ukraine and wishes for a peaceful, hasty resolution. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and their loved ones,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt.

The Ukrainian flag flies alongside the Canadian and provincial flags in front of the Haldimand County Administration Building in Cayuga.