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Mayor Milne elected President of OSUM

September 4, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Mayor Rick Milne was recently elected as the President of Ontario Small Urban Municipalities (OSUM) late last month.

OSUM is the voice for urban townships with low populations in the province and an important part of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

Mayor Milne’s new position as OSUM President will provide the Town with a seat at AMO, which could help lobbying efforts for New Tecumseth.

“I feel quite honoured, I’ve been on that committee now for almost 20 years and it’s a great committee, it’s great to hear from Ontario’s Small Urban Municipalities and listen to their concerns,” he said.

“A lot of times when we’re at the conferences, we get together and we pretty well all have the same challenges.”

One of the priorities for Mayor Milne as President of OSUM is to address some of the concerns and challenges around the growth of marijuana in smaller municipalities.

He noted that they often lack the necessary bylaws to regulate the growth of cannabis in their community.

Mayor Milne said another issue is that the growing operations are classified as farmland when they should instead be classified as industrial.

Farms are currently taxed at 0.23 per cent while occupied industrial operations are taxed at 2.22 per cent, nearly 10 times higher.

Another area of focus for Mayor Milne as the OSUM President is finding ways to recruit more police officers for small municipalities.

“We’re growing and have a lot more traffic and a lot more drug dealers are out there now, too, and so we just need a couple hundred more police officers in Ontario,” he said.

Mayor Milne said it will be a challenge to find secondary school graduates who want to pursue a career in law enforcement with the current climate surrounding police.

He said the public’s perception will need to shift significantly if they hope to address declining numbers.

Going forward Mayor Milne said he looks forward to serving OSUM and addressing universal challenges faced by smaller municipalities.

By Sam Odrowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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