Welcome to the Mayor's Message column, which aims to keep you up-to-date with what is happening in the City of Marion.
Since I began my second term as Mayor in 2018, the Councillors and I have continued working hard to improve the quality-of-life in our area.
We have systematically set about upgrading our sports facilities, some of which dated back to the 1970s, including:
We have massively increased the number of street trees in the Council area; in 2021 we are planting 3,500 street trees (more than x4 the number annually planted 7 years ago). We are seeking to more than double our street tree canopy – the area covered by branches and leaves – from 15 per cent to 34 per cent by 2040.
We have already achieved a lot to minimise carbon dioxide emissions eg in electricity, gas and fuel consumption. We now use LED energy-efficient globes in our street lights, and solar panels on many Council buildings.
We are systematically upgrading our playgrounds. Go to any one of our recently upgraded playgrounds - you'll see they're elaborate and interesting for kids of all ages.
I appreciate the cost-of-living difficulties faced by many residents. Council should be able to provide quality facilities and services without burdensome rate hikes, by smart planning and prudent spending. We have therefore greatly reduced the average rate rise since I became Mayor in 2014, all the way down to a zero rate increase in 2020! While we were obliged raise rates in 2021, we have established a practice of increasing rates for the average house by less than the inflation rate.
The Councillors and I have worked with management to improve service levels and how we treat our residents and businesses. Although we can never give everyone everything they want, we can deal with them respectfully in the process.
Finally, you may not realise that the twelve councillors and I work largely on a voluntary basis, and we rely on our nearly 400 staff to carry out the decisions of council and fulfil the aspirations of the community.
I even rely on staff to regularly update this Mayor's message page on the website!
Kris Hanna - Mayor of the City of Marion
Last updated: August 3, 2021.