From the Desk of Mayor David West
January E-Newsletter 2024
Happy 2024! I always feel a great sense of optimism and renewed hope as we turn the calendar to a new year. I hope that the coming year brings peace in the world, and fulfillment in your life.
While you are updating your new calendars, be sure to mark some important dates:
- February 3 & 4 is the Richmond Hill Winter Carnival
- February 29 (yes, it is a leap year!) is the 360°Experience.
- April 6 I look forward to hosting my annual Maple Syrup Festival, a great event to celebrate springtime and maple syrup. Stay tuned for updates.
As many of our Richmond Hill residents make preparations for the Spring Festival and the Lunar New Year, please join me in celebrating the wealth of cultures as we appreciate our inclusive, diverse city.
Mayor David West
City of Richmond Hill
Support the 360°Experience
I was honoured to be asked to lead the “York Region Mayors Team”.
As Captain, I look forward to making a tangible impact raising awareness and funds for homeless youth, together with my Mayoral colleagues across the Region.
I invite you to support my “York Region Mayor’s Team” for the upcoming 360°Experience on Thursday, February 29th, 2024 as I join with my municipal colleagues at the Corporate experience to better understand the challenges faced by our homeless population.
Thank you for any support you can lend to our team
360°kids offers support in housing, employment, education, and health for youth, guiding them to safety and stability. Their holistic approach inspires youth to rebuild their lives, overcome challenges, and become healthy, contributing adults. Having successfully helped thousands, 360°kids makes a lasting impact on communities and was named one of Canada Top 100 Charities in 2023.
What's On in Richmond Hill
The 2024 Waste Management Calendar is available: RichmondHill.ca/waste
This important link provides so much more than the schedule of your waste removal with listings of the numerous initiatives York Region has to reduce the waste headed for the landfill, such as textile recycling, curb side give away, and household battery recycling.
December was quiet on the ‘winter weather’ front but the City of Richmond Hill wants you to know they are ready for when the white stuff arrives. A quick visit to the City website will yield information about snow clearing, when it starts, how long it takes, how residents can help, and who to call. Below is an example of the information available.
On December 13, the 2024 Budget was adopted, which included both the operating budget to support the City’s day-to-day services and the capital budget to maintain and build new infrastructure. This is a fiscally-responsible budget given the pressures the City is facing, created after extensive work on the part of our City staff and with the input of all Members of Council. It reflects our commitment to building a complete community with the amenities and services, provided by our professional staff, that residents have come to value and expect from their City.
Everywhere you turn in the world right now, financial pressures are evident, and Richmond Hill is not exempt. Hard choices are being made in all our households as we allocate our personal budgets to cover rising costs and Council also faced similar challenges as we created the 2024 Budget. Between inflation and the overall financial landscape, we are in a challenging time and this budget reflects some of the hard choices that we as a Council have had to make, resulting in the 4.7% tax rate increase to Richmond Hill residents and businesses which is lower than initially forecasted.
The 2024 budget maintains the City services and programs that residents rely on while also looking to the future. The budget news release Richmond Hill Budgets Set for 2024 provides the high level details.
This is an excellent video that explains the budget process that the City of Richmond Hill has just completed and I encourage you to take a moment and watch it. It shines a light of some of the lesser known facts in our municipal tax reality.
For example, did you know…..
- Richmond Hill collects taxes on behalf of York Region and the Province of Ontario for education. In 2024, approximately 52% of taxes collected 52% go to York Region and 22% to education.
- Richmond Hill receives about $0.26 for every dollar of municipal taxes collected from a residential homeowner. We receive about $0.13 for every dollar of commercial taxes collected.
- Richmond Hill offers a Seniors’ Tax Assistance Grant for eligible residents. The grant is $432 in 2024. Learn more and apply for the Senior Tax Assistance Grant.
I appreciated the opportunity to sit down with Marj Andre from Connecting the Communityand have a conversation about the budget – have a listen to our discussion about the 2024 budget process and more.
Learn more about the 2024 Budget on the City of Richmond Hill dedicated pages at RichmondHill.ca/Budget.
Committee of the Whole meetings and Council Public Meetings resume in January 2024.
As always, we welcome and encourage the residents of Richmond Hill to participate in these meetings in any way that is convenient for you. The link to the City’s YouTube page is below, where you can watch the meetings live or watch a recording. All the particulars about the meetings are on the City website if you prefer to attend in person.
Thank you for your civic engagement.
News from Our Neighbours
On until January 20
Thank you to our whole community for the generous donations to the Richmond Hill Community Food Bank. The current “text-to-donate” campaign continues for a few more weeks so please share with your networks to spread the word.
100% of funds raised will go towards buying food for those who need it in our community.
Visit their website for all the details and please support how you can.
A Year in Review with
Richmond Hill Public Library
Explore the highlights of 2023 with Richmond Hill Public Library.
Discover the top reads, views, and plays that captivated the Richmond Hill community.
Click here for a journey through the most sought-after books, DVDs, games, and more in 2023!
Take Charge of Battery Safety!
Battery powered devices are commonplace for us all, and are important parts of our lives today. However, fires caused and fueled by batteries in thermal runaway are on the rise and pose a significant threat, like the one earlier this month on the TTC. With the speed of these fires, the best way to be safe is to prevent a fire from starting.
RHFES recommends these tips when buying, charging, storing, and using lithium-ion batteries to help prevent fires:
· Only purchase and use devices, batteries, and charging equipment that are listed by a nationally recognized testing lab and labeled accordingly.
· Use charging equipment that is compatible with your device. To be safe, use only the charging equipment that is supplied with your device and only charge small devices on a hard surface.
· Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged.
· Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash. Recycling is always the best option. Take the batteries to a battery recycling location or contact your local waste department for disposal instructions.
· Stop using your device if the battery shows signs of damage, such as an unusual odor, excessive heat, popping sounds, swelling, or change in color.
· Have device repairs performed by a qualified professional.
Community Events and News
I am proud to serve on the Board of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). There are so many different activities and events planned for 2024, including e-learning activities, workshops, guided hikes, festivals and other seasonal.
Visit their website for a full list of opportunities to enjoy nature close to home.
In the Know is a free guide produced by the Library’s communications department that outlines program dates, times, and details.
Find the program that’s right for you and register today. Drop-in and special events are also listed.
The Curtain Club
The Richmond Hill Curtain Club is celebrating their 70th Anniversary of community theatre. This 100% volunteer organization is committed to great live theatre productions.
Be sure to check their website for the full schedule and to purchase tickets. The first show is Deathtrap, running January 19 – February 3
The 55th Annual Winter Carnival is Feb. 3 and 4, 2024 at Mill Pond Park.
There is a fun mix of traditional and new events and activities, perfect for families to enjoy, including Sunday morning pancake breakfast, the trackless train ride, children’s games, woodcarver, Circus Jonathan, and Indigenous activities lead by Odeiwin: Connect. Details on the Winter Carnival website.
Ookpik, the selfie-magnet mascot, invites everyone to enjoy carnival weekend.
Admission is free; but everyone is encouraged to purchase the collectible carnival button.
Richmond Hill December Events
Here are a few of the events I was privileged to participate in lately, on behalf of the City of Richmond Hill
Important Numbers and Information
ACCESS Richmond Hill
City services, updates on damaged City property, snow clearing, streetlight maintenance
Animal control and shelter services contracted through City of Vaughan
Hydro outage information, downed power lines
Inclement Weather Hotline
City facility closures and recreation program cancellations
Cars parked illegally on the street
York Region Roads
1-877-464-9675 ext 75200
Snow removal on regional roads
York Region Transit/Viva
Snow removal at bus stops