Oct 15, 2014
Henry Hogg – Long-serving reeve seeks another term
In the 16-year history of Addington Highlands Township there has only been one term, 2004-2006, when Henry Hogg has not been the reeve. He took a break from Council to focus on his school bus business during those years.
Other than that, even going back 15 years before amalgamation, Hogg has been a fixture in local politics, and in on three occasions, 2003, 2010 and 2011, he was the warden of Lennox & Addington County.
During most of these years he was also running a marina, a bus company, or both. Now that he has sold off his businesses, Hogg is enjoying his retirement from the business world by devoting more time to family and the township.
“I enjoy being reeve, and there are projects that I would like to see brought to completion, but of course that is always going to be the case,” he said. “I would like to get the fire hall in Northbrook finished, and I would like to see how we can work collectively to deal with the entire policing issue. I think there are some pieces missing from the way it has been rolled out. For example, what about calls on Crown Land? Are they separated out from the billing? I don't think the province has taken into account our seasonal nature and the fact that we have no commercial base to draw upon to pay these extra costs, but we need to work with others in the same position to seek any remedy from the increased billing,” he said.
While the township is predominantly residential, Hogg would like to see the township go further in promoting itself for commercial development.
“I would like to look at all the permit and planning fees we charge for re-zoning and Official Plan amendments when an investor wants to bring in a commercial development. Maybe there is a way to make it easier, and cheaper, to start up a business in the township,” he said.
He thinks that the township is efficiently managed by the township office staff and said that succession planning has been a priority over the last year or so, which will ensure a smooth transition when pending staffing changes take place.
Among the priorities in the coming term will be to deal with succession planning in the public works department.
“I think we are under control and I think our expenses are fair. We do a pretty good job on the roads, and try to keep taxes down as much as we can. Over the years we have fully amalgamated the two former townships that came together to create the new township. Waste management and roads department practices are uniform throughout the township. That is not to say there aren't issues of concern in each ward, but we do a good job of working together,” he said.
Among issues that will come up early in the next term will be what to do with the current Northbrook fire hall when it is no longer needed, and how to keep the budget in line, given increased costs and very slow growth.
“We don't have much control over some of the larger issues that always seem to be thrown our way from the province, such as policing, or from some other source. The best we can do is to prepare and be ready to deal with circumstances that are out of our control; to run our operations, work hard at the county and keep things moving forward,” he said.