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Mayor’s Levee presented in McGregor

Updated: Jan 9

January 9, 2024 -

The community had an opportunity to ring in the New Year and chat with members of town council at the same time.

A “Mayor’s Levee” was held Monday evening at the Columbian Club in McGregor with approximately 20 members of the public coming to chat with town council members and administration. Mayor Michael Prue reintroduced the idea to Amherstburg and welcomed people to the event, stating he hopes it becomes an annual tradition.

Prue was happy with how the levee turned out.

“I know it is the first year,” said Prue. “I didn’t expect a lot of people.”

The mayor hopes it will grow in future years, adding he would like to see it in other parts of the town.

“It’s a chance for people to talk to members of council and get to know members of council members as people.”

A Mayor’s Levee was conducted in Prue’s previous stops in East York and he wanted to bring that to Amherstburg. He said he heard about “a range of issues” including what is impacting people in their neighbourhoods, roadways and the future of the Belle Vue property. 

One issue Prue said he thought he would hear more about is the 2024 operating and capital budgets. Administration rolled out a draft budget with a proposed 7.13 per cent tax increase in December with town council tabling it until deliberations next week. 

“I thought there would be a lot of talk about the budget,” said Prue. “So far, no one has told me ‘keep my taxes down."

In his first five budgets as a member of Amherstburg town council, Prue said administration came in with a high number and town council managed to whittle it down. He envisions the same process this year, but admitted it will be tougher. He noted that surrounding municipalities have been coming in with higher than normal budget increases.

“This year will be much harder,” the mayor stated. 

According to Prue, factors include inflation, rising building costs, provincial cutbacks among others.

“They all add up,” he said. “They add up to three to four per cent right there.”

As of Monday night, Prue said he hasn’t spoken to town council members about the budget but believed there will be a lot of discussion during deliberations.

“I’m sure there will be some changes,” he said of the 2024 budget.

The fractured hip Prue suffered in a Nov. 25 fall is healing with Prue walking around the hall with the use of a cane. He said he was using a walker until about three days previous, and said he is on the mend.

“The first couple of weeks were very painful,” he said. “In the last two or three weeks, things have loosened up.”

Prue said he has to sit every so often as too much time on his feet causes one of his legs to swell, but he said he’s feeling better. He has been able to keep on top of local issues, read agendas and participate in meetings where possible. He chaired the December town council meeting via Zoom though Councillor Diane Pouget filled in for him at county council.

“I feel fine. Nothing hurts,” he said. “My leg just swells.”

PHOTO: Among those joining Mayor Michael Prue (third from left) at the Mayor’s Levee were Jon Parks, Sandra Edwards and Kathy Parks.

By Ron Giofu

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