I have a warm spot for Newmarket’s Ward 1 Councillor, Tom Vegh, who has expressed reservations about the giant development planned for Slessor Square.

By contrast, Ward 6 Councillor, Maddie Di Muccio, has swallowed the Slessor project hook, line and sinker.

No tower would be too high for Maddie.

Now it transpires that Councillor Di Muccio’s husband, John Blommesteyn, bought a series of on-line domains containing Tom Vegh’s name, including tomvegh.ca

Newmarket’s local paper, the Era Banner, tells me that a search for the Tom Vegh domain would redirect to Maddie Di Muccio’s website!

Tom Vegh tweets:

Maddie Di Muccio is the only elected official in Canada to take another official’s domain name and re-direct it to her website.

And, he asks, why does she want seven Tom Vegh domain names?

Good question.

This stuff matters. When we were building this website we wanted to provide easy links to councillors’ websites.

Tom Vegh had a linkedin page but, curiously, we couldn’t find a personal website.

Now we know why.

Blommesteyn says he kept his wife in the dark about his jolly wheeze.

“I purchased the domain name, tomvegh.ca, unbeknownst to my wife… She had no idea I had done that because she would never have approved.”

But what was in Blommesteyn’s mind when he was buying up Tom Vegh domain names?

Is he collecting domain names of other Newmarket elected officials?

What on earth is he doing? And why? 

Has Maddie asked him?

And is she going to tell the rest of us?

On Monday (19 March) consultants working on the Secondary Plan gave a presentation to councillors, painting a picture of what high growth and low growth would mean for Newmarket.

In this context “growth” means the increase in population and jobs in those areas earmarked for more intensive land use.

The thing that strikes me immediately is the huge difference between the high and low growth projections.

That said, even with the accompanying Committee paper it is not terribly easy to get a feel for what the alternative scenarios will mean in practice.

If I had been a fly on the wall, tuning into the conversation between councillors and staff during and following the presentation it may have helped my understanding. 

Seems to me these presentations could go out on YouTube.

Why not?

It is a cheap and cost effective way of keeping people informed.

You can find the presentation in the Newmarket Documents section of this website.

That’s the thorny question that Professor Robert MacDermid from York University will try to answer on Saturday 31 March from 1pm-3pm at the Newmarket Public Library on Park Avenue.

All local councillors have been invited. As I tap this out, I know that Regional Councillor John Taylor will be coming along.

Councillors Joe Sponga and Tom Hempen will also be there.

You can see Professor MacDermid talking about his research on campaign finance in the 905 area.

The event is organized by Occupy Newmarket.

In the Huffington Post I stumble across a curious piece from a think tank based in Calgary.

One of their policy gurus, Steve Lafleur, wants to see the repeal of the Places to Grow Act - which will allow a rash of developments all over the place.

He is against “prescriptive land use planning”.  He would unleash a free for all where, presumably, even the Green Belt would not be sacrosanct.

Lafleur pokes us in the ribs by saying Newmarket is full of NIMBY types.

In the UK there are two much lampooned groups. The NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) and the NOTE (not-over-there-either).

The Shrink Slessor Square group (aka the Shrinkers) do not fall into either category.

It is perfectly possible to accommodate the projected growth in Newmarket without building giant towers that loom over surrounding neighbourhoods.

We are not against development. 

So long as it doesn't turn Newmarket into a pastiche of, hmm, Calgary. 

Here is a date for your diary.

We are looking forward to the meeting on 27 March from 7-9pm at the Maple Leaf Public School when Ward 4 councillor Tom Hempen will be giving an update on the "Davis Drive expansion ie traffic, construction, public transit etc".

He will be joined on the platform by Slessor Square's Brad Rogers, who is billed, more neutrally, as a "municipal planner".

Roger's will be talking on the theme: "What's the impact of the Davis Drive expansion on my property values?"

Prepare to be amazed by what you hear!

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