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December 2007

October 2007

Naming Rights and Sponsorship

After unveiling what I consider to be an innovative blueprint to facilitate opportunities for donations, naming rights and sponsorships as ways of funding the growth and creation of new programs and facilities in the Côte Saint-Luc, we had to put up with some unkind words from the likes of Gazette Newspaper columnist Henry Aubin and Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie,

A committee I chair worked for almost two years on developing a comprehensive set of guidelines that will encourage new donation opportunities.

This is a new step for the City of Côte Saint-Luc. We are a community composed of individuals, families and corporations that care deeply about the city we live in. Now we have clear guidelines to accept their donations, whether it be a park bench, swing set, works of art or monies to help build a new indoor swimming pool.

As the councillor responsible for issues related to toponymy, corporate identity and communications in the city, I worked with senior staff members, the other members of council and a number of residents with expertise and experience in this area.

Whether we are talking about the children’s section of our critically acclaimed library or a field at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, there are some wonderful sponsorship opportunities available. The option of sponsoring a city event, such as a concert or winter carnival, also exists. We hope that a large number of people with connections to Cote Saint-Luc will wish to exercise this new option.

I have already been approached by a resident who wishes to fund the purchase of some new equipment in a city park. The Côte Saint-Luc Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) program is functioning thanks to the generosity of two car dealerships – Claireview Leasing and Toyota Montreal Nord (owned by resident Jean Alloul) – which have thus far underwritten the costs of the two vehicles used to patrol the streets.

All proposed projects will require the approval of council. There are many people whose families have a long association with our community. We want these people to know that the door is open for them to leave a legacy for a friend or a relative.

I have always enjoyed and respected the writings of Aubin. When he called to talk to me about the issue he was very positive. He said he thought it was great idea. Now I am a journalist myself, so I generally know how to judge the person interviewing me.I fully expected a supportive editorial from Aubin. Instead, he sandbagged us. And to make matters worse, he decides to quote one person---not me whom he spent probably an hour's worth of time with - but a negative mayor in Bill McMurchie who usually has nothing positive to say about anything. What does McMurchie know about our plan? Did he read it? If someone offered him six figures for naming rights to a city facility, would he turn it down? Was he not one of the suburban mayors complaining that we are overtaxed? Why could he not throw some support behind a municipality that demerged like Pointe Claire that is looking into some creative financing? I would be very happy to send him a copy of our guidelines. McMurchie's unfounded criticism of this initiative is shameful

Synchronization of Traffic Lights on Cavendish

The synchronization of traffic lights on Cavendish Boulevard has resulted in a significant benefit to residents of District 2 who have been complaining for years about the intersection of Cavendish and Kildare. It is interesting that pedestrians have long felt that the traffic signal is presently not long enough while motorists feel the opposite way, insisting that the signal is too long when they are trying to turn off Kildare to Cavendish during peak traffic hours.

There are many senior citizens living on Rembrandt and Sir Walter Scott who have been complaining for years that there simply is not a sufficient amount of time for them to cross at Kildare and Cavendish. Our engineering department reports that before the synchronization the time permitted to cross the street was 18 seconds. That has now been expanded to 35 seconds on the south side and 33 seconds on the south. So we have effectively doubled the time allocated for our pedestrians to cross the street.

As for the double left turn that cars make from Kildare to Cavendish, problems associated with this have been raised at the traffic committee meeting. Plans call for some modifications to be made to the fence on Cavendish to increase the visibility for motorists in regard to pedestrians. We will continue monitoring this corner.

Overall the synchronization will see to it that motorists spend less time idling at red lights and pedestrians will be able to cross the road more safely. The new synchronized lights were installed on Cavendish, from Mackle Rd. to Merton Ave. The synchronization project started in May and involved replacing the traffic light controllers, cabinets and heads—which are the traffic lights themselves. The new configuration of the traffic light head feature shapes for better visibility and now include left and right turn signals. The Cavendish Blvd. synchronization project cost $175,000. The new traffic light controllers allow more control over traffic flows. For instance, southbound traffic leaving Côte Saint-Luc has the priority during the morning rush hour. In the afternoon, northbound traffic entering Côte Saint-Luc has the priority. The programming of the traffic lights follows a traffic study, which identified ways to improve traffic flow.
Apart from better road safety and pedestrian safety, synchronized traffic lights can help reduce driving time and vehicle emissions and increase fuel economy, according to the United States Department of Energy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is of the 15 sustainable development goals Côte Saint-Luc committed itself to this year.

Repaving of Rembrandt Ave,

I am pleased to report that the repaving of the streets and sidewalks on Rembrandt Avenue is complete. Rembrandt is the home of five highriose condominiums, six townhouses and a busy park. Our studies showed that the street needed a facelift. Merrimac and Sir Walter Scott also need fixing and I hope they will be on the list of capital works projects before the end of this council's mandate.