Spring has Sprung

The weather is getting warmer and more people are getting back outside to enjoy the parks and trails that Richmond Hill has to offer. I have never seen so much interest in our green spaces, trails, and parks. For those looking for a new park to explore or a new trail to walk, a great listing of these parks can be found at https://www.richmondhill.ca/en/things-to-do/Parks-Trails-and-Natural-Areas.aspx.
 
Richmond Hill paid tribute to an honoured past councillor this month. The flags at municipal facilities were lowered to half-mast this past week to honour the life, and mark the passing of longtime Richmond Hill Councillor Lois Hancey.
 
I had the honour to meet Lois for the first time in 2014 at the screening of the film Lois Hancey, A Stubborn Politician (to view the film please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKo3bB3PYQ. For me, however her reputation preceded her. I had heard many times before our meeting of the dedication she showed for her community and her persistence in achieving what she knew to be the best thing for Richmond Hill. This reputation began long before she was first elected to Council in 1964 and served until 1978. During her time on Council she continued to fight hard to make Richmond Hill a great place to live. Like today, her time on Council saw significant growth pressures in our community. During that period Lois and her Council colleagues navigated all the challenges that go along with growth.
 
After having the honour of meeting her I did receive periodic calls from Lois in her role as a citizen. It was always a pleasure to hear her perspective and her advice given her long and accomplished track record as a great community advocate. I have been reflecting on her passing and am pleased with the tribute from both Richmond Hill and the Liberal Newspaper in her honour. To view the Liberal article about Lois visit https://www.yorkregion.com/opinion-story/10389423-community-remembers-richmond-hill-s-longest-serving-female-councillor-lois-hancey/
 
Later this month I will be hosting another important meeting for area residents regarding a development proposal at Arnold Crescent and Major Mackenzie Drive West. This meeting will take place on May 26th by Zoom. Details of the meeting and registration are outlined in the e newsletter below. I would encourage all area residents to attend this meeting to make their views known about this application.
 
Finally, Council had an interesting and informative discussion last week regarding a report back from the results of the online voting that Richmond Hill Clerks Staff ran on behalf of the the York Public School Board last year. This was the first time that an election in Richmond Hill was conducted online.
 
Council heard from an expert on this subject, Dr. Nicole Goodman, who was commissioned by the city to study the online vote last year, and to draw conclusions related to a number of aspects of the process. During the Council meeting I asked Dr. Goodman how her findings from Richmond Hill compared to findings in other municipalities that have employed online voting. Dr. Goodman generally found an overwhelming satisfaction with the online voting process that was used in our past School Board election in Richmond Hill, and similar satisfaction levels in other jurisdictions that have used online voting. She also identified a few items of interest that we can improve upon in the use of online voting in future elections in Richmond Hill.