A Food for Feedback event today. Your chance to ask questions and to let the bureaucrats know what is working for you and what isn't

By Pepper Parr

September 16th, 2023



The City of Burlington is hosting it’s third annual Food for Feedback event today between noon and 4 p.m. at Central Park Bandshell (2299 New St.). Residents can come to enjoy a free meal in exchange for sharing their thoughts on City projects.

City staff, Mayor Meed Ward and members of Council will be there to listen to resident feedback.

The free drop-in event features more than 28 booths and four food trucks. There is a special area called the ‘Kidz Zone’ sponsored by Canadian Tire where children can have fun while family members provide feedback on City projects. Feedback collected at the event will help the City continue to improve services and initiatives.

If it rains, the event will move to the Burlington Senior’s Centre.

This year, the City will be seeking feedback and sharing information on topics including:
• Burlington Transit
• Climate resiliency
• Customer experience with the City
• Volunteer programming
• Future use of former Robert Bateman High School
• Civic Square Renewal
• Community Engagement Charter
• Corporate Communications
• 2024 Budget
• Transportation options
• Recreation
• Parks
• Committees of Council
• Official Plan revisions, and more.

Anything missing? Notice that there is nothing on the Arts. The Brant Museum, the Performing Arts Centre and the Art Gallery – collectively these organizations cost the city in excess of $2 million and attract thousands as well as contributing to the quality of life.

Will any of the Executive Directors be at a booth? (These are the most senior members of the Civic administration

Key front line staff that can answer specific questions will be there.

There will not be any external booths except in the sponsors area.

City manager Tim Commisso might attend. The Mayor is going to be on hand.

Councillors Galbraith, Nisan and Kearns will have booths. Councillors Stolte, Bentivegna and Sharman will be in attendance, but no booths.

What is all this going to cost? The last such event came in at about $25K. The Communications people don’t yet have the final cost for this year.

The information flow for this event is going to be from citizens to staff. They want to hear what you have to say – this is your opportunity to let them know what you will put up with in terms if a tax rate and what you want in the way of services.

Some might want to set out what they think on a piece of paper and leave it at some of the booths.

The event will not be burdened with the limitations of a delegation. You get to ask any question you want.

Should this be an annual event? Should there be such an event in each ward?

In the past the events have had a bit of a festive air to them. Given good weather people are able to wander about, talk to neighbours and follow up on specific issues they might have.

When city council was debating on how the Food for Feedback event was to be structured every member of Council wanted such an event in their ward. Several knew exactly where such an event could be held. This was seen by most members of Council is as the Mother of Photo Ops. And in Burlington, the photo op is the tool that the politically inclined find works best.

Works for them – does it work for you?

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1 comment to A Food for Feedback event today. Your chance to ask questions and to let the bureaucrats know what is working for you and what isn’t

  • Caren

    What happened at the “Food for Thought” on Saturday, September 16th? Haven’t seen any photo ops anywhere! Was it a success or a flop?

    Editor comments: We had to chooses between covering the United Way Plane Pull event and Food for Feedback. We chose the United Way.