When I was out of the country earlier this year, I learned that the Whig Standard had published the results of a quasi-public opinion poll and that Mayor Harvey Rosen had received an approval rating in the 30-per-cent range. As they say in the vernacular: "Hello! You've got to be kidding. Get real buddy!"
Since Rosen became mayor, he has overseen the following projects:
A final resolution to the question of what to do about Block D after 40 years. The new condos and apartments will contribute millions in taxes to the city every year.
A partial resolution to the Marine Museum and dry dock situation and a new wharf to service large tour ships.
Federal contributions to Fort Henry that, to date, equal $11 million.
A new police station with a value of $35 million.
A renovated Ravensview sewage plant and auxiliary storm sewage storage sites; value, $130 million.
A multiplex complex; value, $35 million.
The K&P walking and biking trail, including a $1million underpass under all six lanes of Highway 401 at Highway 38; value, $2 million. the Springer Market Square renovation and ice pad; value, $7 million the K-Rock Centre; value, $42 million; the Grand Theatre renovation; value, $17 million.
Total: About $280 million. That's right: $280 million in capital spending and only a four-per-cent tax increase for this year.
Of course, the mayor had assistance. His first council was very supportive of the major projects it adopted. The current council has more of a stewardship approach. Glen Laubenstein, our city's chief administrative officer, and his staff should also be commended for managing these significant projects.
We were fortunate that Rosen's relationship with our provincial member of Parliament, John Gerretsen, and our federal member, Peter Milliken, helped to bring hundreds of millions into our various civic projects.
Every team needs a leader, and I will go on record that Rosen's performance as mayor is unparalleled for the last 50 years. My approval rating is 80 per cent.
Michael Davies, Kingston