Angelo Bentivegna: 'It is time for him to shine and for his fundamental decency to manifest itself.'


By Pepper Parr

March 21st, 2024



Life for Angelo Bentivegna is going to be very different for the next six days.

He will be under immense pressure from his Council colleagues, especially Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Sharman.

Angelo would appear to be the hold out vote on the attempt on the part of four of the members of Council, Galbraith, Kearns, Nisan and Stolte who tabled a Motion requesting Mayor Meed Ward to relinquish some of the Strong Mayor powers she acquired last July.

If what the public saw two days ago there is little chance Meed Ward will give up as much as an inch. She would probably want to use the phrase the actor Charlton Heston used when he was with the American Rifle  Association and said, when asked when he would give up the right to bear arms: “You can have my gun when you pry it out of my cold dead hands.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward – wants to have everything at city hall under control.

Meed Ward is leaving the distinct impression that is not prepared to give up any of the power she has.

She stunned her Council colleagues when she advised them that she had consulted with the Integrity Commissioner on what she could say and what she couldn’t say during the debate about getting the Motion on the Agenda.  The four. Galbraith, Kearns, Nisan and Stolte won the effort to get the Motion on the agenda.  The Mayor used several procedural opportunities to keep the Motion off the Agenda.

The detail on the back in forth is covered in an article that is being prepared.

For reasons that are complex and difficult to understand – there appear to be issues as to who can say what when.

The Council members want to know now what the mayor thinks about the request to give up some of the powers she has.  And the Mayor is saying she can’t say at this point.

Bentivegna: Troubled by possible delays in resolving how much Strong Mayor powers the Mayor should keep.

Which confuses Angelo Bentivegna.

He is a simple man who wants to serve the community.  He said he wanted to meet with the Mayor and and talk about giving back to Council some of the powers she now holds.

Bentivegna is expecting an open honest discussion.  He is going to get snowed.

As of Tuesday Bentivegna wasn’t sure what his position on the Motion was going to be.

He was certainly disturbed at what was taking place.  A Gazette reader, in a comment made in the Gazette put it very well when he said: “The vote next Tuesday hinges, as all are acutely aware, on the disposition of Angelo Bentivegna. If his performance yesterday is any indication, it will be frustrating to watch and laborious to decipher. However, it is time for him to shine and for his fundamental decency to manifest itself. I expect that it will.”

Bentivegna is going to need all the support possible from the community – The four members will lobby him, the Mayor will get a cute and sweet and do a number on the poor man.

Councillor Sharman, a Council member on whom Bentivegna relies often for direction and help in understanding issues that he doesn’t understand.

Bentivegna: Plans to meet the Mayor and ask if she will relinquish any of the Strong Mayor powers she holds.

Angelo Bentivegna is not a stupid man.  He has his strengths, one of which is to look out for the small business community and the taxpayers as well.  When he gets his teeth into an issue he is like a dog with a bone.  Tenacious would describe him very well.

Councillor Sharman and Meed Ward have a lot riding on this – and they will lean very heavily on Angelo Bentivegna.

He will be doing a lot of thinking during the weekend and reaching out to anyone who will talk to him.

One of the things Angelo might ask himself:  Why is Councillor Sharman going to such lengths to support the Mayor?  Sharman wants the matter taken to a Standing Committee – which means delays which is the approach Meed Ward will use.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.




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7 comments to Angelo Bentivegna: ‘It is time for him to shine and for his fundamental decency to manifest itself.’

  • Blair Smith

    I believe that the comments of Penny, Caren and Lynn are accurate, timely and fair. I will not belabour the point but, given the very limited engagement conducted with citizens before Council unanimously accepted Strong Mayor powers for Burlington, it is ironic that there are those who believe that more time and public interaction is needed before they are returned to Council. Equally puzzling is the need for clarification on what the Strong Mayor powers are and what it would mean to return them to Council. If Councillors clearly understood what was being surrendered to the sole aegis (potentially) of the Mayor when they unanimously ceded those powers, then why the need for further consultation now? Did they not understand what they were voting on initially. In this light, the somewhat petulant pronouncement of Paul Sharman that he was not “prepared for this conversation” is tantamount to “I just don’t wanna”.

    If anyone watched the procedural wranglings of last Tuesday, they must shake their head at the amount of time truly wasted on empty protocol deliberations and tedious queries to the Clerk. Councillors – you have been sitting around the ‘horse shoe table’ for over five years and you still don’t know how things should proceed? Just do your job ladies and gentlemen and, in this case, it is to respectfully ask the Queen to return her realm from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy.

    Click on the link provided by Lynn and see for yourself how Her Worship has used her conscripted powers and how often. Her past assurances that she would not use them are misleading at the very least.

  • Caren

    P..S. The Strong Mayor Powers was brought under Doug Ford “to build homes faster”. There are only 2 cities in Ontario that were mandated by Premier Doug Ford to have these powers. They are Toronto and Ottawa. No other cities were forced to do this!
    Our Mayor chose these powers, and can give them up at any time;!

  • Joe Gaetan

    If you really don’t like what’s going in our community you may want to try supporting the Taxpayer Federation Petition for Recall Elections.
    If you’re interested please follow the link:

  • Penny

    Past history is a good indication of future behaviour. This Mayor will not go willingly. The question to ask is what will make her realize that the residents of Burlington want the strong mayor designation gone?

    Councillor Bentevigna needs to look at the big picture. How has this additional power affected the morale of staff? What are the ramifications of decisions made by the Mayor that appointed a new City Manager without any input from council? What else can this mayor do without council input?

    I certainly hope that the strong mayor designation does not mean that she can prevent this motion from ever coming to a vote. If she can, and does, what does it say about a mayor who is willing to do this?

    The Special Council meeting will take place at City Hall on Tuesday March 26th from 9:30-10:30 am. Please plan on attending in person. Residents need to stand behind the councillors who brought forward this motion.

  • Caren

    I totally support this Motion. The sooner this Motion passes the better life will be for Burlington Residents and Council members.

    In doing so, residents will get a voice thru their duly elected Councillor in each Ward, bringing back democracy to our Council at City Hall. As it stands now our Mayor has all of the vetoing Powers on everything!! This is wrong in so many ways, including the Powers our Mayor uses with Burlington staff, which should obviously be handled by the HR Department and not our Mayor. This is both a huge Conflict of Interest and heavy handed.

    I truly hope that Angelo votes in support of this Motion. We can’not go thru another 3 years of this turmoil!!

  • Lynn Crosby

    Here’s a link to the Metroland article to which the councillors who wrote the Motion refer. Have a look at it, and then the descriptions of what each municipal mayor did/didn’t do with their powers. Click on the further link to go right to each municipality’s website link where they are required to list when the powers have been used.

    Have a look at what our mayor has done (and imagine what she still can and likely will do) and I think you’ll see why the majority of our council members now want to reign those powers in. And remember that others have done just that, and several mayors didn’t need to be pushed by their councillors to do it. They showed their integrity and respect for democracy and did what was right by themselves. What a concept!