Aldershot resident takes a strip off the Mayor - accuses him of evading questions.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 6th, 2015


Tom Muir is not happy.

He asked what he thought was a pretty simple question about a development in ward 2 – the downtown part of the city. It seemed logical to Muir to ask Marianne Meed Ward the questions she had; the project was in her ward and she had a reputation for getting back to her constituents.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir just wanted to know why the city failed to vote on a development application and found itself defending the failure to do so at an OMB hearing.

While Muir didn’t live in the ward the Council member had a reputation for helping everyone – no matter where they lived.

For reasons that aren’t clear, Meed Ward didn’t get back to Muir – she apologized later for the oversight.

When Muir didn’t get a reply he sent a second email and this time copied the city manager and the Mayor.

Meed Ward then responded and proceeded to give Muir reams of information – none of which Muir later said actually answered his questions.

There was a lot of back and forth of long answers from Meed Ward and even longer follow up questions from Muir – these two clearly deserved each other.

Things got to the point where other people jumped into the discussion and Meed Ward decided a conversation was the best thing to do. She invited Muir to call and ask for a meeting.

Muir wanted to know who else would be at the meeting: the Mayor and city manager perhaps?


Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward gets tripped up by a resident who writes longer messages than she does.

Meed Ward didn’t see it that way – she was prepared to meet with Muir and address his questions. Muir came back with: “Addressing questions is not answering them. So what exactly do you mean?”

While all the back and forth was going on the Mayor finally got back to Muir and apologized for the delay asking him to be patient and that he would in the fullness of time give Muir a “meaningful response” – words I am sure the Mayor now regrets.

ADI rendering second view from SW

Tom Muir wanted to know why the city failed to hold a vote on the application to build a very high building on a very small lot.

Muir thought about a meeting with Meed Ward – decided it couldn’t hurt – but what he really wanted was an explanation from someone as to why the city failed to vote on the ADI Development application for what is now believed to be a 26 storey (not 28 anymore) structure at the intersection of Martha Street and Lakeshore Road.

Then out of the blue Muir gets a response from the Mayor – sort of. What he got was a copy of an email from the Mayor to Meed Ward thanking her for answering all Muir’s questions.

Muir then gets back to the Mayor with “Your message – “Thanks Marianne for addressing all of Tom’s questions” – is ambiguous.

Muir adds: “And the meeting invitation that you replied to with this message has not yet taken place. So nothing at all, including questions, could have been “addressed” yet, never mind answered, or provide anything to be thanked for.”

Muir continues: “Marianne has not answered any of my questions, and there is no evidence of answers for you to thank her for. So your use of ambiguity obscures and evades, and is to me a case of political double-talk.”

Muir points out that on October 8 the Mayor wrote me the following;

HI Tom, – You will receive a meaningful answer.
I was away recently for 10 days and am obviously behind in responding to some emails as well.
Please be patient. – Thanks – Rick

Goldring at Inspire April 2015

Mayor doesn’t appear to be evading questions here.

Muir then be begins to lace into the Mayor:

“You have been a recipient of all the correspondence on this matter, so you are familiar with all the questions I have asked.

“You promised to provide a “meaningful answer”.

“You have not lived up to your word.

“You have provided nothing yet, except what appears to me to be a double meaning spin.

“You appear to be evading the questions.

“You asked me to be patient, and I think that waiting a month and more is patient.

“Please provide me your meaningful answer.

“Thank you.” – Tom Muir

You can see where this is going.

Tom Muir delegates at council meetings frequently. He is a dog when he gets a bone in his mouth – something the Mayor should have known.

Informed citizens are not to be trifled with – tread carefully and provide considerate answers – never blow them off.

Political pundits often describe politicians who don’t quite get it when they are ‘doing politics’ – as people who have a “tin ear”.

They might well be describing the Mayor of Burlington.

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3 comments to Aldershot resident takes a strip off the Mayor – accuses him of evading questions.

  • Peter Rusin

    The mayor has a communications department. Maybe they are working on the answer. Sometimes the best answer is no answer. However, if the mayor has elected to provide no answer, why have a communications department.

    Hopefully in the new year, the new ombudsman instills a sense of duty for the mayor to provide answers in the new year. This situation demands answers from a lot of people on the city payroll.

    Hey, it could be that the mayor simply does not know the answer.

  • C Jester

    There will never be a full explanation given from the Mayor or Council as to why they let the deadline slip without officially voting to turn the ADI application down. But that won’t stop Tom from trying to get one.

    He is obviously relentless. Burlington citizens thank you Tom. And thank you to the Gazette for keeping this story going. You’ll never see a whiff of this in the Post. They don’t do controversy.

  • Lois Best

    Mayor Goldring – please step down immediately!!