This Article is By: Sally Barnes/ Kathy Wood, Communications Co-Chairs, Rosen Campaign Team On Sep. - 16, 2006
Kingston can be proud of its momentum in strengthening the community’s future, says Mayor Rosen
One of the greatest challenges facing municipal politicians is balancing the costs of efficient, effective service delivery today with the need to invest now for services that will deliver benefits in the years ahead.
In a speech to the Kingston Technology Council on Friday, September 15, Mayor Harvey Rosen said municipal politicians, staff and the community should be proud of how the city is meeting that challenge.
Rosen described the municipality as having “an absolutely central role” in providing infrastructure needed for social and economic health. The seven priorities set by Council early in its term to address the longstanding infrastructure backlog will go a long way in improving the economic and social life of Kingston and giving this community a real competitive advantage in the years ahead, said Mayor Rosen.
The need for capital investment in public infrastructure was one of two major municipal issues Rosen identified as critical to Kingston’s economic and social future.
Mayor Rosen said that during the past three years, an important start has been made in creating a stronger, more equitable tax base and responding to long-standing infrastructure needs. Both will help ensure Kingston is well positioned to take advantage of opportunities now and in the future.
If re-elected, Rosen said he will continue to press for action on Council priorities that maintain and enhance the economic and social health of this community.
Through increased economic activity, Kingston is beginning to reverse its longstanding over-reliance on residential taxpayers to pay for local programs and services.
“In a community like Kingston, where so much of our property is publicly-held and does not generate property taxes, the residential tax base carries an especially heavy load. This must change. And the only way we can do that is by increasing the level of economic activity by private firms whose commercial and industrial taxes relieve some of the burden from residential taxpayers. That won’t happen overnight but we are making progress,” he said.
As examples, Mayor Rosen cited the following:
· Building permit activity in 2006 is running well ahead of last year.
· Two-thirds of the value of building permits for the first six months was for non-City projects and it is expected that more than half of the permits issued in the second half will be for private sector and institutional activity.
· Housing starts increased by 41 per cent in the first six months of this year compared to last year and represent a good mix of single family homes, semi detached and multiple unit building. (Province-wide, housing starts declined by 4.9 per cent in the same period.)
“This activity provides jobs for our people, places to live and work and, of course, cultural and recreational services for our leisure hours.” In addition, said the mayor, this building activity safeguards and enhances Kingston’s quality of life which in turn determines the community’s ability to make Kingston a more attractive place to live, work, invest and raise a family.
“Quality of life is a major determinant of choices that people and organizations make in deciding where to establish enterprises and grow their ideas. It is particularly important to the types of topnotch talent we want to be able to attract to Kingston, whether those people are working in a start-up technology company or one that is well-established, at one of our three post secondary institutions or any of our hospitals.”
“But building a strong, healthy community is about more than attracting business from beyond our borders. It is also about growing our own; it’s about keeping our brightest and most talented people here.”
For further information/ full text of Mayor Rosen’s speech contact:
Communications Co-Chairs, Rosen Campaign Team:
Sally Barnes 613 548-3638 Kathy Wood 613 376-6006