I am committed to tackling traffic
concerns throughout the township.
I am committed to Improve and Protect Public Open Spaces
Public Open Spaces
A connected and accessible community
improves the lives of everyone.
GRT Route 21 needs improvement
to encourage more ridership.
Faster, convenient and sustainable.
Keeping up with
Keep our focus on repairing, maintaining and
funding our community infrastructure.
You can count on Patrick Merlihan
Traffic is one of the more common complaints I hear about. Our communities are growing and changing traffic patterns has been a natural consequence. I supported the move to a separate budget line item to finance traffic-calming measures. I advocated for and was successful in purchasing 8 portable radar speed signs to monitor and gather data. I advocated for and was successful in requesting increased police monitoring in concern areas in Elmira. I supported the "Drive Like Your Children Live Here" lawn sign initiative.
We have fantastic parks in Woolwich! We have a lot of natural open spaces to be enjoyed by the public. I want to keep it that way. I have supported many park improvements including a splash pad and re-vitalization efforts at Bolender Park, dog parks in St. Jacobs and eventually Elmira, Ann St. Park playground equipment and supporting the on-going efforts at Breslau Memorial Park. I believe these parks need protection from any future redevelopment efforts. I am proud of my effort to author, advocate and successfully pass a bylaw that creates long-term protections for our public spaces within the Township. It's very encouraging to see the increased demand in use of both Gibson and Bolender Parks. Get out and enjoy what we have!
Encouraging more walking within our communities is never a bad thing. I am committed to the on-going sidewalk in-filling program. People of all abilities should be able to make safe passage throughout our community. I support requirements for new subdivisions to include sidewalks on both sides of the road. In older neighbourhoods, I support having at least one sidewalk created after listening to residents and being mindful of the particular pedestrian uses. I advocated for and was supported by Council to create new sidewalks for Bluejay Rd to Killdeer Rd to provide safe passage for students attending St. Teresa Catholic School. I supported residents on Green Warbler Crescent in installing a sidewalk on one-side of the street over the recommendations of staff.
Taxes pay for all of the services, amenities, and infrastructure that we enjoy in Woolwich Township! Through three rounds of budget discussions, I advocated and changed how our budgets are delivered. The budget is not blindly passed without scrutiny. I asked for more evidence-based information, previous five-year comparators including general explanations of costs and a deep-dive into identifying efficiencies in every department every year. I am passionate about making sure that budgeted items are fully scrutinized. I understand there is a balance between budgeting and on-going management of the services we provide. I am proud of my efforts this past term to question unnecessary spending and identify multiple areas of efficiencies. I will respect our taxes and continue my efforts to ensure value to taxpayers in every decision.
I promised to start the conversation on how to improve GRT Route 21. Ridership numbers were minimal, times weren't convenient for most people and the user-pay ratio decreased from 40% to 20%. I advocated for and supported a Township task force to identify route improvements. The Elmira Bus is one of the efforts that was supported by Council and starts in September. This pilot project will run a circular route around Elmira to transport residents to GRT 21 stops. "Use it or lose it" - if residents use the service, we will support it. I hope that this service will make the route more accessible.
I am a strong proponent of planning for the maintenance of our infrastructure. As a smaller municipality, paying for repairs and reconstruction is challenging without the help from provincial and federal coffers. Municipalities own most of the roads and infrastructure in the province, yet receive little funding to support it. In fact, only 9¢ from every provincial dollar goes to municipalities to fund infrastructure. I continue to support Woolwich Township's annual 1.5% accumulative special infrastructure levy to support our aging infrastructure. I support AMO's efforts to advocate for a 1% increase to the provincial sales tax that would support municipalities efforts to maintain infrastructure. I also support Woolwich Township efforts in creating detailed asset management plans that assist in knowing what we own, when it will require replacing, and how to budget for the future. There are quite a few challenges ahead for municipalities across the province in regards to infrastructure issues, but Woolwich has been at the forefront of identifying, funding and tackling these important projects to benefit all of us.