Cote Saint-Luc adopts 2017 budget: City spending stays flat, average residential property tax increase of 1.9 percent

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The City of Côte Saint-Luc adopted an operating budget for 2017 that kept spending flat and the property tax at at 1.9% percent for an average single-family home in the city. This is in line with the Conference Board of Canada inflation rate forecast for the greater Montreal region.

“We do our very best to keep property taxes as low as possible,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “It was a challenging exercise this year given the higher than expected bill we received from Agglomeration of Montreal, the island-wide government.”

The Côte Saint-Luc City Council adopted the $68 million operating budget on December 12, 2016. About 42 percent of all taxes collected by Côte Saint-Luc are transferred to the Agglomeration of Montreal, which funds services such as police, fire, and public transit.

The property tax bills will be sent to homes by the last week of January. The deadline to pay property taxes has been set at February 27 for the first installment and May 29 for the second installment.

“The Council and senior staff worked very hard to balance our budget and to minimize any property tax increases for our residents,” said Councillor Steven Erdelyi, the council member responsible for finances.

Budget and tax highlights include the following:
  • Average increase in taxes for single-family home valued at $584,600: 1.9 percent (or $121)

  • 52 percent of single-family homes and condos will see a reduction in taxes

  • Increase in revenues from taxation: 3 percent

  • Revenues from property taxes: 87.7 percent

  • Revenues from compensation in lieu of taxes: 1.9 percent

  • Other revenues (eg, program fees, memberships, etc.): 10.3 percent

The three-year capital expenditures plan was also adopted on December 12. Approximately $14 million in capital expenses is anticipated in 2017. It will be used for projects such as water and sewer rehabilitation and repairs, renovations to the outdoor municipal pool, underpasses, improvements of facilities and parks and updating the aging vehicles in the municipal fleet.

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End of year message

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Message from the Acting Mayor of Cote Saint-Luc

CSL Courier – December 31, 2015

Just as the seasons change so does life in the City of Cote Saint-Luc and at our City Hall. After ten incredible years at the helm, our esteemed mayor has accomplished a lifelong dream and has taken on the title of Member of Parliament. We are so fortunate as he will continue to serve us with integrity and passion and determination, now as our Man in Ottawa!

Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

Anthony Housefather, MP, in the Hall of Honour, in the Parliament of Canada

I was honoured to join several Members of Council, our outgoing M.P. Professor Irwin Cotler, and several Cote Saint-Lucers at the official Swearing In Ceremony on Parliament Hill a few weeks ago. It was an extraordinary day, steeped in Canadian tradition and history that will long be remembered. Please join me in congratulating the Honourable Anthony Housefather, M.P. for Mount Royal and wishing him every success in his service to our constituency and our country.

My first public council meeting as Acting mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, November 9, 2015

My first public council meeting as Acting mayor of Cote Saint-Luc, November 9, 2015

In the interim I have stepped up to lead the city as Acting Mayor. I have been working hand in hand with the Members of Council and the Administration to ensure a smooth transition as we prepare for winter, build our 2016 budget and get ready to elect a new mayor in an upcoming byelection.

I am also excited to be celebrating 25 years since I was first elected to this venerable council, together with my friends and colleagues Councillors Mitchell Brownstein, Ruth Kovac and Dida Berku. It is truly an honour as I consider being elected to serve the public as a great privilege. I congratulate my colleagues on this important milestone in our political lives.

Celebrating demerger victory (June 2004) with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Mitchell Brownstein

Celebrating demerger victory (June 2004) with Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather and Mitchell Brownstein

I also note the long and distinguished service of  Councillor Allan J. Levine who has served, remarkably since 1986.

 

As for Councillors Steven Erdelyi, Mike Cohen and Sam Goldbloom, our youngsters on council, they have deeply devoted themselves for the last 10 years.

 

All together, we have worked collaboratively and respectfully, for which I am very grateful. We have a dedicated and talented group of councillors here in Cote Saint-Luc, along with a dynamic and creative administration and staff led by Tanya Abramovitch, Nadia Di Furia and Jonathan Shecter, all of whom are focused on delivering quality services and programs to our residents. In addition we have hundreds of incredible volunteers who give of themselves, tirelessly, all for the benefit of our city and its residents.

 

In the meantime, as the seasons roll over, I invite you to enjoy all our city has to offer throughout the winter months. Our Aquatic and Community Centre is bursting with activity seven days a week. Whether its for a dip in the pool or shooting hoops or taking an art class drop by and get active. The CSL Public Library is open every day of the year and offers so much for every age. Whether you prefer to skate indoors at the arena or at one of the outdoor rinks or go for a brisk walk along one of our park paths we take this opportunity to wish you a safe, healthy and maybe even a warm winter. Safe travels to our snowbirds.

CSL alert mass notification

And please stay in touch with your city all year long. Subscribe to the Cote Saint-Luc newsletter at www.cotesaintluc.org/subscribe. Also CSL Alert allows you to receive notifications about events that may affect your home or neighbourhood via phone call, text message and e-mail. Visit www.cotesaintluc.org/alert to sign up.

2015-11-30 Council portrait photo

On behalf of the council, I take this opportunity to wish you a festive and bright Chanukah, a joyous and spirited Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Glenn J. Nashen

Acting Mayor

 

Read the full edition of the CSL Courier (Dec. 2015)

CSL’s Westminster underpass getting redo

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“One phase is the railing that is on both sides of the walkway that is used by many residents and students,” Councillor Steven Erdelyi explained at the November council meeting. “The railing is in desperate need of being replaced.”

The councillor also said there were issues with the retaining wall, “both on the east and west sides.

“On the east side, the concrete retaining wall is in need of a full facelift that will involve removing the top layer of concrete and adding a new layer onto it, at the same time keeping the width of the sidewalk standard so that people can still travel,” he explained. “It will also involve complete replacement of the guardrails.

“On the west side, where you have some concrete blocks that are keeping the grass up, they will be removed and that whole side will be re-leveled so that it won’t need any concrete blocks.”

Erdelyi said he had been pushing for the project for several years, and that over time, the condition of the underpass worsened.

“It’s a situation that can’t wait any further,” he added. “The goal is to have the project take place just after St. Jean Baptiste Day, when it’s least used by drivers and pedestrians, and be done by the end of August, so as not to interfere with students, who we know use this as a valuable way to walk back and forth. Throughout the project, we’ll be looking at the safety of all residents and students to make sure the underpass is completely safe.”

Council regular Irving Itman has been calling for improvements to the underpass for years.

CSL votes 4-2 to sell land for new B’nai Brith residence

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The Suburban | Nov. 19, 2014 | Click to enlarge

The Suburban | Nov. 19, 2014 | Click to enlarge

Cote Saint-Luc Mayor supports his eight councillors for re-election and they endorse him as well

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Cote Saint-Luc Mayor supports his eight councillors for re-election and they endorse him as well

Cote Saint-Luc City Council

                                               Cote Saint-Luc City Council 

Mayor Anthony Housefather and all eight incumbent city councillors have announced their intention to seek re-election in the next Cote Saint-Luc municipal election. which will take place on November 3, 2013.

“Our council works hard as a team with integrity and transparency. We began this mandate with significant goals and we have achieved them,” said Mayor Anthony Housefather.”

“We built an Aquatic and Community Centre that is the pride of the city. We created a dramatic society that has enhanced our cultural offerings. We have created an urban agriculture program to improve health and we have continued to improve our infrastructure by revamping parks and playgrounds, rehabilitating streets, pipes and facilities,” the Mayor said. “We have overseen the successful Cavendish Mall redevelopment, a number of townhouse projects and the continued rejuvenation of our community. We were instrumental in convincing the English Montreal School Board to reintroduce a mainstream English high school in Cote Saint-Luc and have worked hard to support our excellent public and private schools and institutions.”

“We have continued to run the city as we would a business, with tight budgetary control keeping our shareholders – our residents – always in mind,” Mayor Housefather said. “I am very pleased that we have achieved these goals together, and I have full confidence that our council can do even more together in the future.”

Councillors Sam Goldbloom (District 1), Mike Cohen (District 2), DidaBerku (District 3), Steven Erdelyi (District 4), Allan J. Levine (District 5), Glenn J. Nashen (District 6), Mitchell Brownstein (District 7) and Ruth Kovac (District 8) have all thrown their support behind the mayor.

“It is great to have a Mayor who can get both lead and listen to his council, stated Councillors Mike Cohen and Dida Berku. “We compare Côte Saint-Luc to other municipalities and see how much our councillors are empowered to act and how constructively decisions are made and that results from Mayor Housefather’s leadership.”

“Anthony worked with us to lead the demerger movement,” said Councillors Ruth Kovac, Glenn J. Nashen and Mitchell Brownstein. “His leadership in allowing us to break away from Montreal has clearly proven to be the correct decision and he has shown that a city can be run in an ethical, honest and positive way. We are delighted to endorse him.”

“There is no mayor we know who works harder than Anthony Housefather,” stated Councillors Steven Erdelyi, Sam Goldbloom and Allan J. Levine. “He is available 24∕ 7 by email and phone and gets things done smoothly and constructively. He has both intelligence and vision.”

While each member of council will run their re-election campaigns independently, the mayor has announced support for each of his incumbent colleagues.

“Sam Goldbloom (District 1) has been with us for two mandates now and has worked diligently on matters related to seniors, traffic and the library in particular,” said the mayor. “Sam has been an active member of both our Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society and Cats Committee. Before joining our council, Sam was integrally involved in many community organizations and that experience has served us well.”

The mayor noted that Mike Cohen (District 2) joined council eight years ago having worn many hats as a journalist and communications professional. “Mike has lived in Côte Saint-Luc most of his life and came to us having always been involved in our programs and activities,” he said. “We have benefitted from his expertise by ensuring the delivery of a well oiled communications plan for our citizens, from an enhanced website to various publications. His creation of District Information Meetings have been well received and caught on with other councillors. In addition, his decision to establish the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee has helped our city play a leading role in the area of animal welfare.”

“Dida Berku (District 3), emphasizes the mayor, has done a masterful job overseeing the city’s finance portfolio while also working diligently on matters related to the environment and the Cavendish Mall development and Meadowbrook. She also played a critical role in the introduction of a code of ethics in the city. “Dida’s legal and financial acumen and her incredible work ethic are invaluable for the city,” said the mayor.

Steven Erdelyi (District 4), the mayor notes, has devoted an enormous amount of time and energy to the public works dossier and environmental matters in particular. “As a former high school science teacher and now a school principal, Steven is very detailed in everything he does,” said the mayor. “I know that when I give Steven an assignment, he will come back with even more meat on the bone than I expected.”

Allan J. Levine (District 5), a retired school teacher , has devoted much of his time and energy over the years to serving on the Planning Advisory and Audit Committees while being involved in all aspects of city life. “In this last mandate of ours, Allan has been able to marry his love for tennis with his duties as a councillor. “Allan has taken great pride in chairing our tennis committee,” the mayor said. “From the Côte Saint-Luc Tennis Club, to the reconstruction of the Wagar courts and the plans to refurbish those at Rembrandt Park, Allan’s love for tennis and ability to convince the council to move forward has made Côte Saint-Luc a tennis capital.”

Glenn J. Nashen (District 6) continues to be a great advocate for public safety, always looking for new ways to make Côte Saint-Luc an even safer place in which to live. “Glenn has been a volunteer with our Emergency Medical Services organization for many years,” the mayor said. “He continues to oversee that dossier, in addition to our Public Security, Emergency Preparedness and the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol – an extraordinary service which was his idea. Glenn is constantly in touch with our local Police and Fire Departments, ensuring that matters of public safety are in good hands.” Nashen also heads up the Traffic Committee and CSL Cycles program, and he is always looking at new ideas to calm traffic, increase pedestrian safety and expand our cycling network.

Mitchell Brownstein (District 7) has been instrumental in the growth of Aquatic and Community Centre programs. “Mitchell has a long history in regard to swimming in our community dating back to his role as manager of the old Blossom Pool,” said the mayor. “The evolution of our ACC was a dream of his as well as mine, so I spend a lot of time with him and our aquatic staff overseeing the growth of aquatics in Côte Saint-Luc. His ideas such as the Fun Card and the Dramatic Society have been highlights of our last two mandates. The Recreation dossier which he oversees is multifaceted and time consuming.”

Ruth Kovac (District 8) has the very important dossier of urban planning and co-chaired the construction duties of the ACC. “Not on ly did Ruth play a critical role in regard to the ACC,” said the mayor, “She also worked incredibly hard on the Cavendish Mall redevelopment. In addition, she chairs our Planning Advisory Committee, which oversees every new building permit request the city must deal with. We are also grateful to Ruth for the long hours she spends overseeing financial expenditures in the city, working on the Audit as well as the Emergency Preparedness Committees.”

In conclusion the mayor stated: “This has been an excellent council and a superb mandate during these last four years. Our group of nine has in fact been together since we demerged from Montreal. We have been an effective and business-oriented team overseeing the city. I have always believed in empowering each member of council and I am very pleased with the success that has come with my decision to assign portfolios to each councillor. We have accomplished everything that was promised and more. I would be proud to continue to serve with each one of these dedicated civic leaders.”

West End Times | Sept. 12, 2009 | Click to enlarge

West End Times | Sept. 12, 2009 | Click to enlarge

Bill could kill bilingual status: Erdelyi ponders Bill 14

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Free Press. Feb. 26, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press. Feb. 26, 2013. Click to enlarge.

 

Cote Saint-Luc Councillor Steven Erdelyi gives an excellent summary of why we must oppose Bill 14 and actively campaign to defeat the proposed legislation.

 

 

 

 

Council votes to pay MMC

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Free Press. Feb. 13, 2013. Click to enlarge.

Free Press. Feb. 13, 2013. Click to enlarge.

 

I have always voted against payments to the Metropolitan Community.  Cote Saint-Luc derives very little value for its nearly half-million dollar annual expense.  Of course, we are also bound by law to pay this amount and therefore have no choice.

I feel it is better for this expense not to be adopted unanimously and for the public to be aware of how we are overburdened with multiple layers of regional government costing us in dollars, in bureaucracy and in confusing, complex and contradictory regulations and services.

Quebec is the most heavily taxed territory in North America.  This has an impact upon our economy, job creation and personal and corporate wealth.  Do we really need to be spending $500,000 on the MMC?

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