I hope this message finds you well and not too stressed by all you must do for the upcoming holiday season. It is a different fall/winter this year with no snow, a brown Christmas maybe? Well, it certainly helps the city’s snow budget!

Here are a few points from the last year:

Your City Council has its last meeting of the year on December 20, 2023. It has been a tough year in many respects. I for one was very disappointed with the budget and what was approved for the mill rates for 2024 (6.04%) and 2025 (5.64%). The budget passed with a 7-4 vote. I voted against the budget and voted against most things that were not related to core services. Why? Because I have made it clear that my focus and what I have heard from Ward 9 residents, is you want council to focus more on core services: sidewalk and road repairs, police, fire, water, waste management, parks, and transit so that you can have a good quality of life that all can enjoy and experience.

I may sound repetitive, but I am very much in favor of cancelling, reducing, or pausing large capital projects.

A huge concern I am working on is the green carts. In my opinion and the opinions of many Ward 9 residents, they do not need to be emptied every two weeks in the winter. It is a waste of money. I think I could go all winter to fill mine up. I have asked the administration to investigate this for next winter or even this winter if that is possible.

The Garbage Utility: I voted against this. The commentary is it will lower your property taxes (mill rate) but failed to mention that you will pay for the utility separately. At the end, we are paying for it, no matter which line it falls under. So, we have the mill rate of 6.04% for 2024 and a garbage utility of $9.92 per month for the first half of 2024 until cart swaps are completed. This is where you chose one of the 3 black cart sizes and pay accordingly.

I will continue to stand up for Ward 9 residents. I continue to have many opportunities to connect with you. Coffee with Your Councillor. Thank you to Market Mall and Pitchfork Market + Kitchen for allowing me to hold these at their locations. They are a great contributor to many activities in Ward 9. I will hold another town hall in 2024 and am always available via email, text, phone etc. Please never hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. Please follow my social media (Facebook & Twitter (now known as X) and my website bevdubois.com. I always appreciate hearing from you.

With 2024 around the corner, I hope you and your family enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday season. However you celebrate, my hope is you are able to find time to reflect on all the blessings in your life and to appreciate the many reasons we have to give thanks, including living in the best city.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from my Family to Yours!