Ward One & City of Pickering News & Updates
On April 25th, Mayor Dave Ryan announced he would not be seeking re-election in the upcoming Municipal election.
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Mayor Ryan for proudly serving the residents of Pickering for twenty-eight years, nineteen of those as Mayor. His dedication, commitment and love of our city has been unwavering and he’s always done what was in the best interest of the residents.
Through Mayor Ryan’s leadership, integrity, enthusiasm and optimism, Pickering has thrived and grown. His vision for the City of Pickering’s redevelopment has set us on a path that will ensure that Pickering continues to be a world-class city.
I personally have benefitted from Mayor Ryan’s mentorship and we have all learned from his innovative and inspiring leadership. I know he will continue to have an impact on the City of Pickering long after he retires. It has been an honour and a privilege working with Mayor Ryan.
I wish him all the best as he begins a new chapter with Anne and his family.
COUNCILLOR REPORT CARDS
2017 Report Card (A-)
We’ve criticized Coun. Ashe for his expenses in the past, and although he is the biggest spender, his expenses remain around the same as last year. He is usually one to ask questions of staff regarding motions brought forward by other members of council. He puts a lot of thought into his questions and the way in which he votes. He addresses many issues from a financial perspective, such as the time he argued that Shaheen Butt replace the vacant council seat left empty by the sudden death of Rick Johnson. Although the move did receive some criticism from the public, it saved taxpayers thousands of dollars, and he pointed out voter turnout is generally low in winter byelections. He was also vocal about his belief that tolls on Highway 412 should be dropped, mostly because the tolls have been negatively impacting alternate roads in Pickering.
2015 Report Card (B+)
Ward 1 City Councillor Kevin Ashe is interested in issues in his constituency as well as the community as a whole, and prefers real solutions rather than Band-Aids to fix problems. For example, when he supported a resolution to officially oppose Canada Post’s decision to halt home delivery service, he acknowledged it’s a bigger issue and there needs to be more discussion about efficiencies to help solve the problem. He doesn’t speak as much as most of his council colleagues, but when he does, it’s thoughtful, and he asks questions to members of the public. During budget discussions, he commented that with a City surplus running between $1.9 million to $2.25 million, residents were overtaxed in 2014. His expenses are the highest on council, aside from the mayor, so we’d like to see him curb his spending habits, for that his grade drops slightly.
2016 Report Card (A-)
Coun. Ashe's grade improves this year for two reasons: he was appointed by his colleagues as being competent enough to fill outgoing councillor Jennifer O’Connell’s seat at the Region of Durham - and he’s been doing a good job - and because he was able to cut down on his City expenses.
In fact, he’s no longer the biggest spender. He brings forward motions, including one to give $5,000 to the Fort McMurray relief fund. He speaks up on many issues at council and asks questions of staff and delegations.
2014 Report Card (A-)
Councillor Kevin Ashe is a cordial presence on council, debating respectfully and asking thoughtful questions.
He takes a keen interest in how issues impact residents in Ward 1 and is knowledgeable when it comes to his constituency, although he doesn’t speak up as much as his council colleagues.
He makes good use of social media to keep the public updated and gauge feedback on hot topics, such as a proposed casino. Councillor Ashe is accessible to residents and this year worked with police to host a seniors’ seminar on the danger of scams.
His civility and willingness to break with council’s 4-3 voting pattern are helpful.