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At a Statutory meeting last night the public got to see how changes get made - dozens had wanted to delegate and didn't know how

By Pepper Parr

September 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a certain amount of satisfaction watching a political leader evolve.

They don’t all manage to grow into real leaders able to listen and to hear.

Marianne Meed Ward was just a citizen when this picture was taken – now she is on the other side of the podium. committee.

A number of years ago when Marianne Meed Ward was the council member for ward 2 she came to the realization that people were not aware of what was going on in their communities. A development was being proposed, notices were sent out but to a limited number of people. Meed Ward decided to do something about that and the practice now is to send notices to people within a 120 metre radius of a development.

During a meeting last night when there was a Statutory meeting about the Oval Court development a number of people complained that they had not received the notice of the meeting.

A staff member was asked if notices could be sent to a wider radius – he commented on possible limitations within the Planning Act.
Watching the web cast you could see the Mayor thinking it through – thinking perhaps about how she could arrange to have Statutory meeting notices sent to a larger area.

Watch for something like that in the months ahead.

Later in the same meeting as council members were preparing to wrap it up for the day – it was approaching 10:00 pm, the Mayor took a moment to comment on what things used to be like when development applications were filed..

There would be a Notice of a development application.

There was no such things as a pre-application meeting.

The application would be submitted and then things went quiet – not a word.

Then a Statutory meeting was called. The Planning Act required those meetings.

Council required a report from Staff with a recommendation on the development. They could say yes – it looks good or it is not a good development application and does not represent good planning.

What Meed Ward found amazing at the time was that the Staff Report would be submitted at the same time the Statutory meeting took place.

Whatever comments the public wanted to make during the Statutory meeting was irrelevant – the Staff report had already been written.

That said Meed Ward was the way things were done.

Councillors had been away from the business of getting things done for six weeks – it was a slow start plagued by technical issues. Delegations to the Statutoy meeting were coming in at a surprising clip – getting the equipment to work was a challenge.

Last night there was a Statutory meeting on the Oval Court development. There were some technical problems and it turned out that a lot of people wanted to delegate and found that they were not able to do so.

Again there were technical problems.

The Statutory meeting was very unsatisfactory to both the residents, staff and Council members.

But the meeting had taken place.

Mark Simeoni, Director of Community Planning, told Council that a Statutory meeting was mandated – a meeting must be held and it must be advertised and held in public.

He however added that there was nothing in the Act that said the city was limited to just one Statutory meeting.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: All the ideas, all the things she wanted to do while a member of Council can now be advanced as Mayor.

Expect the lawyers who were watching the web cast to be searching through their copies of the Planning Act to see if that was true.
This is a different council, breaking the practices of the past and finding new more effective ways to get things done.

Mayor Meed Ward is far from perfect – she has a lot of growing to do yet – but it is interesting to watch her as she thinks something through, makes a note and comes back to it later on.

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1 comment to At a Statutory meeting last night the public got to see how changes get made – dozens had wanted to delegate and didn’t know how

  • Diane Knox

    Other posts in The Gazette have highlighted future Condo Developers plans for Burlington South. Many will ignore the issues of the Older well established Communities and the residents who bought and still live here from the Ad’s Highlighted by a ‘Commuter Town’ in the 1960’s –
    Every House a private driveway, carport ‘New’ access to QEW Appleby Walkers-Local Full service grocery, drug store, Hardware- Schools All, within Walking of your home.
    True then of Ward 2.4, 5 south of QEW-Not so today in Downtown. less so in 4/5 and the Condos are coming. It is not about NIMBY it is about our need to live in our homes within walkable venues. Not everyone Eats out in a. trendy restaurant for meals. Condos have Kitchens and Bathrooms…we Buy groceries etc…
    .
    IF, this Mayor and Council really want to tackle Intensification rules, Communication etc. and the Out of Toronto Developers, And provide City “Planning” for existing taxpayers then I suggest that every one of them and staff- park their cars for 5 months October1 until February 28..
    Buy what you need By– walking, biking, Bus, or GO, GET to Your Hospital, DR. Dentist–( No on line shopping-you are old no computer) ,–Go to work, Taxi allowed at your cost.
    Then tell us that this Commuter Town can become “Condo Town” .and serve us all. and You support this developer and this decision to build one these Condos on local Shopping Hubs with no replacements or a new “Real” shopping Hub for daily living..