Year-End Summary of 2023 Activities

It has been a very busy year for the Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association, and we would like to share with you some of the activities that we have undertaken on behalf of you, our members.

The first portion deals with the Broad activities for 2023, and the second part outlines some of the specific articles and letters we have issues that you might find interesting to read.

Our 2023 Activities

  • Attended all Township meetings: Committee of Adjustment, General / Finance, Planning and Council (at total of 63 if you can believe it)
  • Attended Special Committee and Council meetings when they were called
  • Attended many District meetings of Council and related Committees
  • Reported back to our members of relevant or interesting items discussed in these meetings (through the monthly Township Watch) as well as special newsletters and website articles
  • We also met in person with key Township and District individuals including Township Mayor – Peter Kelley, District Chair – Jeff Lehman, Chief By-Law Enforcement Officer – Rob Kennedy, Enforcement Officer – Rachel Miners, Director of Development Services and Environmental Sustainability – David Pink, and Township Fire Chief – Ryan Murrell.
  • The MRA also attends the monthly meetings of the Torrance Barrens committee
  • This year has seen growing interest in “Short Term Rentals” and we have reported back on Council’s evolving thinking on that, and encouraged your participation in various public forums
  • The Ratepayers have made numerous presentations to Council regarding the 2023 budget, and now the 2024 budget (that has just been approved – Click Here)
  • One of our stated goals is to support local youth, and the Ratepayers have made donations this year to the Trillium Lakelands District School Board toward their snack programs at Glen Orchard and Monk Public Schools, the Muskoka Lakes Public Library’s LEGO program, West Muskoka Food Bank, Port Carling Skating Club and Muskoka Rock Hockey
  • We have alerted you to the impending departure of the only family doctor in the Township, and encourage you to make your views on this and other matters known
  • We also hosted a very successful “Fraud Awareness Strategies” session led by Tom Cheel of the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
  • As always, we held our Annual General Meeting in July with two terrific guest speakers:
    • Gary Getson – Board Chair – Muskoka Steamships and Discovery Centre, and
    • Ryan Murrell – Fire Chief
  • We welcomed a new Director – Sean Stokes, and bade a sad farewell to one of our most prolific Directors – Don Furniss
  • We published our annual Yearbook that featured many interesting articles and reports of the Ratepayers
  • The Ratepayers’ Board of Directors under the superb guidance of our President, Liz Denyar, met monthly in Muskoka (primarily in person now that COVID is on the wane) to plan our activities and enjoy a great lunch
  • Our Executive Assistant, Dee Denyar, attends all Township and most District meetings either in person or by Zoom, and reports to the Boards and our members on relevant goings-on
  • In February, we held a day-long planning session for the Board
  • Our annual membership drive is another activity that consumes considerable time, and it is through its success that we can work for you – thank you
  • We continue to enhance our new website to provide timely information that is easy to find, to simplify our membership renewal process, to make it easier to make changes to your personal information (e.g. address, email, etc.) online, and to provide links to information about the website itself, the Board of Directors, our mission and to other resources that are of specific interest