About jonibaechler

Mayor - City of London, Ontario, Canada

City Hall Sept. 22-26, 2014

Sept. 22, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/4u4KkW
#5 & #6 – Progress Report on Active transportation and cycling

Sept. 22, 7:00 pm. Community & Protective Services Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/PGC4IJ
#7 – By-law for new animal welfare initiatives

Sept. 23, 1:00 pm. Corporate Services Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/BqEh5i
#2 – Proposed process for use of land on W12A

Sept. 23, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/Zq1KcJ
#11 – 4:30 pm. Public participation meeting for proposed Automotive Sales & Service 1300 Fanshawe Park Rd.
#12 – 5:00 pm. Public participation meeting for infill project proposed at SW corner of Waterloo & Central
#14 – 5:30 pm. Public participation meeting for Blackfriars/Petersville OP & zoning Review
#15 – 7:00 pm. Public participation meeting – Urban Growth Boundary for future Industrial Growth
#16 – 7:30 pm. Public participation meeting for proposed apt. building at NE corner of Richmond & Sunningdale

Sept. 25, 4:00 pm. Audit Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/FG3KVb
#3 – Municipal Performance Measurement Program

City Hall Sept. 15-19, 2014

Sept 15, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/56MULK
Only one item on the committee to ensure it can be built this year.
#2 – Installation of a warranted sidewalk

Note the start time for Council meeting is 5:00 pm.
Sept. 16, 5:00 pm. Council. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/54tQAd
Planning & Environment Report:
#15 – Wortley Village Conservation District

Obfuscation Conceals Facts – Fanshawe-Kingsmill Downtown

London Free Press

Joni Baechler, Special to QMI Agency

An artist’s rendering shows the transformation Fanshawe College wants to make to the Kingsmill’s building on Dundas St. in downtown London, including the addition of two storeys to the former department store. Fanshawe’s request for $10 million from the city toward its $66 million plan to expand its downtown campus ­— adding another 1,600 students to the 400 already at the College’s Centre for Digital and Performance Arts in Market Tower — was rebuffed by council. The issue comes before council again Tuesday, just before end-of-term restrictions limit council’s spending power, after the Downtown Business Association offered to contribute $1 million to the project.

Artist rendering of Fanshawe College – Kingsmill project

There has been a high degree of discussion on the Fanshawe College downtown proposal. Obfuscation of the facts and political interference on this project is at a level I haven’t seen in all my years on council.

So here are the facts:

  • Fanshawe College has a student-growth target of 15% over the next five years. They are aggressively expanding to accommodate new students.
  • Council urged the college to expand in the downtown as an urban renewal project, freeing up space on their main campus for new programs. It was clear; the expansion in downtown would require partnership with the city of $20 million. The college would pay their portion for the new space, and the city would assist with the urban renewal costs of re-purposing downtown heritage buildings. This financially successful model and partnership is seen in cities across the country. Fanshawe opened their Phase I downtown building in January.
  • The Phase II business plan presented to council proposed a reconstruction and expansion of the Kingsmill’s building to accommodate an additional 1,600 students. The total number of students downtown — 2,000, double the original agreement. These students would be net new students.
  • To make this a reality, the college asked to amend the original agreement for an additional $10 million, (recently revised to $9 million over 10 years, $1 million a year).
  • The college and their professional facilities experts, along with engineers and architects, explored more than 20 properties in downtown. Kingsmill’s was the only building that met their specific needs. The college undertook an extensive due diligence process on the Market Tower building and determined the cost would be well in excess of the cost to reconstruct the Kingsmill’s building.
  • The total “all in, turnkey” cost estimate for the Kingsmill’s project is $66.2 million. These costs were validated by an independent cost consultant and include land acquisition, demolition, reconstruction and all interior equipment and furnishings. The actual estimated construction cost is $37.9 million or $375 per square foot, not the $660 per square foot some have erroneously asserted. This cost is in keeping with other college construction costs across the province.
  • The project will include funding from a variety of sources, including private funds raised by the college and provincial funding, part of their core funding.
  • City staff reviewed the funding request and cost estimates. They were satisfied with the return on investment and recommended using funds in our economic development reserve fund. There is no tax increase as the funds already in the account are to be used for this type of project.
  • The loss of taxes on the Kingsmill’s property is $60,000. In return, the college will pay the city $150,000 yearly ($75/student) at the close of the development agreement.
  • Fanshawe estimates its students contribute $422.3 million to the local economy every year. The downtown Fanshawe project’s annual economic impact is anticipated to be similar to what other cities have experienced, more than $6,000 per student spending, which equals $12-million every year. It’s anticipated new businesses will open to serve the influx of population and all will pay taxes. The assessment rate in the downtown will grow. Plus, the take-up in vacant residential units, the potential for new apartments above stores and the synergies of having market-ready labour in the technological and hospitality hub of London will boost our economy.
  • Those supporting the project include city treasurer Martin Hayward, city manager Art Zuidema, chief planner John Fleming, London Economic Development Corp., the Downtown Business Association, Downtown London, MainStreet London, and Fanshawe College board of directors. All appreciate the important economic impact this project will have on the city, the jobs it will create, and the urban renewal of downtown.

City Hall Sept. 2 – 5, 2014

Sept. 2, 4:00 pm. Council. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/5W2j5f
Corporate Services Report:
5pm. #25 – Corporate Services Cte. Report. Fanshawe College Downtown proposal
Planning & Environment Cte. Report:
#10 – Urban Forestry Strategy
#11 – State of the Downtown report
Corporate Services Report:
#14 – Approval for engaging an Integrity Commissioner
Investment & Economic Prosperity Report:
# 3 – Performing Arts Centre update
#4 – Music Industry Task Force report
#5 – Orchestra London line of credit guarantee

City Hall Aug. 25 – 29, 2014

Aug. 25, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda:http://goo.gl/hpQdQk
#21 – LTC Annual report

Aug. 25, 7:00 pm. Community & Protective Services Cte. Full agenda:  http://goo.gl/4EHXGW
#5 – Update on decentralization of Ontario Works
#6 – Update on London & Middlesex Immigration Partnership Project.

Aug. 26, 1:00 pm. Corporate services Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/68Rdu0
#25 – Request for delegation from Downtown London re: Fanshawe College expansion in downtown

Aug. 26, 7:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/UXVKG3
#2 – OMB decision regarding PenEquity
#10 – Urban Forestry Strategy and Implementation Plan
#11 – State of Downtown Report
#15 – Environmental Impact Study – evaluation of performance
#25 – 4:30 pm. Public participation meeting – Old Wonderland Road

Aug. 27, 1:00 pm. Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/CFPc45
#3 – Performing Arts Centre update on Novita studies
#4 – London Music Strategy – report from Task Force
#5 – Orchestra London Credit Guarantee  (report provided at Cte.)

Aug. 27, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. http://goo.gl/OUwgJ7
#4 – Annual report to the community
#5 – Public participation meeting for establishment of Housing Development Corporation

 

Opening Remarks to Council – July 29, 2014

A traditional and routine aspect of our procedure is that each new Mayor has an opportunity to give an address at the first full Council meeting. There was of course, nothing routine about my appointment to Mayor and I am not interested in giving an address, but rather I have indicated to the Clerk I would like to make a few comments.

The agenda for this meeting has important matters that will impact the future of this City. All deserve our careful attention. The people of London have bestowed faith in us to make important decisions during this term, and that work will continue tonight.

As I indicated briefly at our last SPPC meeting, since my appointment I have spent many hours meeting with city leaders from the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and numerous business leaders to non-profit sector leaders, community organizations, political leaders from all parties and a multitude of engaged citizens at festivals, malls, meetings and social media.

The message from our public is clear and delivered in a consistent, persistent and very frank manner. I would not be raising these comments this evening if it was a random or infrequent event. Enough people have brought this to my attention that I am compelled to share with you.

The community wants council to carry out the business of the city in a professional, responsible and productive manner. Business, community, organization leaders and everyday Londoners want to feel proud of their council and confident in our decision making. Remember, our actions and comments are live streamed with a very long shelf life.

To achieve our community aspiration there are a couple of things I can do as Mayor. I have asked the city Clerk to bring the report with respect to engaging an Integrity Commissioner to the next committee agenda cycle at the end of August. Secondly, I will chair meetings with the goal to ensure our council procedural by-law and the respective code of conduct is adhered to. Finally, I will certainly commit myself and do all I can to help guide Council in doing its business effectively, and swiftly.

To be clear, I am not suggesting we all “sing from the same song sheet”. We can have good, respectful debates, but I will call you out of order if a debate disrespects a colleague, staff or our community.

We are the leaders of this corporation. We all signed an oath of office, knowing full well the expected conduct articulated in our code of conduct. Our actions must be in the best interest of the corporation with professional, respectful conduct at the core.

My time as Mayor will be brief as I am retiring from council. I have nothing to lose or gain. There are many of you seeking re-election and the manner in which we conduct business from now until the election will send a message either positively or negatively to your constituents, our business leaders and potential investors in this community.

We can certainly move ahead in the spirit of democracy, and work hard to represent our different views and the interests of our respective constituents.  With your commitment we can do it. Let’s do it well.

Thank you.

City Hall July 28 – 31, 2014

July 28, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/pI3XLH
#4 – London Hydro Promissory Note
#5 – Proposal to establish a housing development corporation

July 29, 4:00 pm. Council. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/JQEilo
13th Report of Planning Cte:
#29 – NE Corner of Richmond St. & Sunningdale Rd, concerns with respect to the interpretation of council resolution for property
#14th Report of Community & Protective Services:
#12 – Expanded animal welfare initiatives
19th Report of Corporate Services Cte:
#9 – Fanshawe College Downtown Campus
10th Report of Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte:
#5 – Update Performing Arts Centre

City Hall July 21-25, 2014

July 21, 11:00 am. Special strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/aSzNPN
#2 – Realignment of committee, board & commission appointments for Mayor and new Ward 5 councillor

July 21, 11:30 am. Special Council meeting. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/f7131s
#1 – Council will confirm the appointments made by SPPC

July 21, 1:00 pm. Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/sPzBq5 (Note: the Cte will break at 1:30 pm. to officially open the lobby Service Centre)
#5 – Update Performing Arts Centre

July 21, 4:00 pm. Civic Works Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/Qvk6cg
#16 – Community Energy Action Plan
#18 – Interim Waste Diversion Plan

July 21, 7:00 pm. Community & Protective Services. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/INefcn
#11 – Library & YMCA – potential partners with the city on the southwest multi-purpose recreation complex
#12 – 7:05 pm. Public participation meeting for the expanded animal welfare initiatives

July 22, 1:00 pm. Corporate Services Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/odblQ8
#9 – Fanshawe College Downtown Campus Phase II plan

July 22, 4:00 pm. Planning & Environment Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/lz33H6
#7 – Outcome of the South West Area Plan Ontario Municipal Board hearing
#27 – Public participation meeting at 5:30 pm. for a  large development at 660 Sunningdale Road at Adelaide
#29 – Public participation meeting at 7:30 pm for 2118 Richmond St. at Sunningdale Rd.
#30 – Public participation meeting at 8:00 pm for 51 and 99 Exeter Rd.

City Hall June 23 – 27, 2014

June 23, 4:00 pm. Strategic Priorities & Policy Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/0TWUAp
#4 – Growth Management Implementation Strategy for 2015
#5 – Details of Advanced Manufacturing Park
#6 – 5:30 pm. Public participation meeting to receive initial comments on the draft London Plan – new Official Plan.
#7 – KPMG report on the review of our Economic Development resources and efficiency

June 23, 8:00 pm. Special Council Meeting: http://goo.gl/FNLorP
#1 – Joe Fontana letter of resignation to be received and a process to determine the new interim Mayor at the June 24th council mtg. to be approved

June 24, 4:00 pm. Council. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/zHlWWg
*** Appointment of the new Mayor. The appointment of the Interim Mayor can occur at one of two points at the council meeting. It can be dealt with when Communication #4 is presented which is the Resolution of the Special Council Meeting and occurs near the start of the agenda. Council may chose to defer it until the end of the meeting
#Report of Civic Works Cte:
#2 – Tender for the noise wall along Veterans Memorial Park
Report of the Planning Cte:
#3 – Expansion of London downtown business improvement area
#14, #15 – Intensification projects in Old South
#16 – Refusal of two apartment buildings at 250 – 272 Springbank Dr.
Report of Investment & Economic Prosperity Cte:
#2 – Old Victoria Hospital redevelopment plan
#3 – London Community Foundation proposal for design competition along the Thames River

June 25, 3:30 pm. Audit Cte. Full agenda: http://goo.gl/jXMa1o
#2 – 2013 Financial Report – City of London
#7 – Quarterly Report on Internal Audits