RECAP: Mayor Guthrie Delivers Annual State of the City at Chamber Breakfast

An annual event put on by the Chamber of Commerce, this morning it was Mayor Cam Guthrie’s chance to tell us about the State of the City, and to be succinct, the State of the City is strong.

After weeks of reports about behind the scenes dysfunction among city council, Guthrie wanted to send out a strong message that not only is the city functioning, and not only does council agree far more than it disagrees, but the City is also making tremendous progress on a number of fronts. Phrased like a job performance review, Guthrie’s addressed focused on citizen expectations of government, successes the city’s enjoying and plans for the immediate future.

You can watch the speech here:

Or you can follow the live tweets from this morning via Spotify.

Cam Guthrie’s 2nd State of the City

Play-by-play from the annual Guelph Chamber event at the Guelph Delta

  1. Up early? Follow along as I live tweet from the #askmayorcam State of the City address.
  2. The conceit of the speech is a performance review: how is Mayor Guthrie (the employee) doing in his job for the employer (#Guelph citizens)
  3. On page 2, Guthrie quotes @JustinTrudeau: “govt at all levels have a tendency to focus on activities instead of outcomes.”
  4. Gov’s need to “stop talking so much about what we’re *doing* and start talking more about what we’re *accomplishing*.”
  5. “Citizens don’t want to talk about what colour to paint the cracks in the sidewalks – they just want the sidewalks fixed.” pg 4
  6. For the record, the speech hasn’t started yet. I’m quoting the copy I was given.
  7. Guthrie to tout low unemployment, and that he will “continue to roll out the red carpet for business.”
  8. Also that 2015 was the 2nd busiest ever for building permits.
  9. “We’re moving the needle significantly […] thorough something called @OpenGuelph.” Mayor to tout accountability programs.
  10. A section of the speech will deal with closed meetings.
  11. Guthrie says in speech he had a meeting with Loblaws in his office yesterday, but still can’t announce east end grocery store
  12. “When I see cranes in the sky, I see jobs.” From page 7.
  13. A portion from this morning’s breakfast going to @SpecialOlympics in #Guelph later this month.
  14. A rep from Bell is introducing the mayor, but it seems like more of an ad for the awesomeness of Bell.
  15. Please stand if I call your name, Guthrie asks of council present.
  16. Pfft. Following me is it’s own unique experience. Keep your eyes on the phone. 😉 
  17. Expectations according to Guthrie: respect for taxpayers, transparency, supporting growth, relations with other govs, infrastructure.
  18. Council has moved he needle “in the right direction” on all those issues.
  19. “Secret spice” line about #guelph‘s employment success gets a couple of laughs.
  20. Yes, the mayor is here with the golden shovel. He’s ready to use it for your groundbreaking.
  21. New tax dollars made from development will lead to more capital projects like Skate park and South End Rec Centre, says Guthrie.
  22. First interaction in the new app is with by-law department.
  23. Quarterly reporting from GMHI is one of the changes to transparency Guthrie is proud to have made.
  24. Some claps for east end commercial development. Still a sticking point after all this time.
  25. Shout outs for Ackers, Petrie building, and Wilson St Parkade. First time since ’83 we’re getting more parking downtown, Guthrie says.
  26. @CamGuthrie “Discussions with Loblaws continued as recent as yesterday at City Hall. Pushing forward plans for #eastend commercial.” #Guelph
  27. Ppl not moving downtown b/c of places to grow, says Guthrie. It’s a destination in #Guelph.
  28. Guthrie pleased mending relationships with other regional govts like Wellington County.
  29. Working with all parties to keep #Guelph op of mind. Money for reconstruction of York Rd an example.
  30. Relations on council. We may have seen headlines, says the mayor.
  31. “There are different thoughts about the way to accomplish goals for the city,” he says, but most times they are not divided.
  32. Council adopted every planning proposal except student housing development.
  33. City doesn’t have time for gotcha moments of political gains, says mayor. Committed to working with council to get things done..
  34. ..But he won’t shy away from stating opinions or acting on the mandate he was given by voters.
  35. Guthrie says he’s wanted to create a culture of learning from mistakes, meaning Urbacon.
  36. Renovation of Police HQ an example of learning from previous mistakes, supported by new project management office.
  37. Over 170 projects to be completed over the next 10 years.
  38. The $2.6M negative variance another example of learning from mistakes. 16 recommendations made to be acted on.
  39. Stormwater infrastructure underfunded for years. Needs to be sustainable and new structure will help.
  40. As an a former insurance broker, flooding is an issue we can’t afford to ignore, says Guthrie.
  41. Baker St redevelopment is vital to open it up to private sector input. Needs to be more than a parking lot, says Guthrie.
  42. Integrated Operation Review, good progress in right direction, but developers say its not moving fast enough, says Guthrie.
  43. Guthrie says deputy CAO Scott Stewart recognizes developers are partners, and has to work with city to “find a way to get to yes.”
  44. Need to focus less on “mission: accomplished” and recognize that creating a better city is never finished.
  45. Highway 401 corridor has the ability to be “Canada’s Silicon Valley” What are we missing: rail service, says Guthrie.
  46. Trying to connect both ends with a stage coach said Mayor Tory through Mayor Guthrie.
  47. Advocating for 2-way all day @GOtransit train service. Land and prep is being done now.
  48. Guthrie focusing on #Guelph‘s strength in agri-science and tech.
  49. But looking to making advancements in civic tech too. Tools to make government better.
  50. Merak and Midnight Illusions are companies dedicated to those ideals.
  51. .@OpenGuelph will launch the Civic Accelerator this summer, an idea similar to one launched in San Fran and Montreal.
  52. Accelerator is about about creating more communication across all stakeholders in the city. Breaking down barriers.
  53. Mayor Guthrie praising progress made by Circles Guelph Wellington. Praises businesses that pithed in with them.
  54. Guthrie will be hosting symposium this summer on poverty.
  55. Guthrie welcomes Lexi and Amy, local students and “Mayors for the day.”
  56. Performance review a chance to step back and appreciate all that’s been accomplished.
  57. Guthrie promises to be a “mayor for everyone” and to keep his door always open.
  58. Mayor notes that there’s a lot of good work that he sees in the community and feels compelled to promote that in social media.
  59. Outcomes is a form of accountability, Guthrie says.
  60. It’s not an ideological issue, Guthrie says, all of council wants to see positive outcomes.
  61. Guthrie: Gov doesn’t have to do it all. Private sector and non-profits can help and staff lets them know when there’s a capacity issue
  62. @adamadonaldson @kamorant A robust and well-connected Ontario rail system would be incredibly beneficial. Look at Europe’s primary mode.
  63. Q: What does Guthrie want to accomplish in the next year? Service rationalization.
  64. “It might not be no the front page with a ribbon cutting.” he said. But it has to be done.
  65. Only 3 #AskMayorCam questions. And that’s a full wrap from the Guelph Delta.


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