Background on the appointment of new City Manager

By Pepper Parr

March 20th, 2024



Former CAO of Conservation Halton Hassan Basit becomes City Manager for Burlington on April 22nd, 2024

Hassaan Basit will begin serving as the City Manager on April 22nd, 2024.

How did that come about?

Mayor Meed Ward using the powers given to her by the province. As of July 1, 2023, the Mayor’s powers include:

  • Appoint and dismiss the City Manager as well as the head of any division or the head of any other part of the organizational structure (except statutory municipal officers i.e. City Clerk or Deputy, Treasurer or Deputy, Chief Building Officer and Fire Chief); *
  • Determining the organization structure of the City; *
  • Create committees of Council, assign their functions, and appoint the Chairs and Vice Chairs of committees of Council; *
  • Propose the City’s budget subject to Council amendments, a Mayoral veto, and a Council override process;
  • Submit matters for Council’s consideration, or veto by-laws, if the Mayor believes it will advance a prescribed Provincial Priority; and
  • Direct City staff in writing.

*The Mayor may choose to delegate these specific powers and duties.

The Mayor is required to exercise these powers in writing and make them available to the public.

Mayor Meed Ward, using her Strong Mayor Powers issued the following statement.

Decision Number: 04-2024

Mayoral decision

References: HR-02-24 – City Manager Recruitment

I, Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of The Corporation of the City of Burlington, hereby issue Mayoral Decision 04-2024 as follows:

  1. Hassaan Basit appointed to the position of Chief Administration Officer, to be known as the City Manager/Chief Administration Officer (“City Manager/CAO”)

    Appoint Hassaan Basit to the position of Chief Administration Officer, to be known as the City Manager/Chief Administration Officer (“City Manager/CAO”) for The Corporation of the City of Burlington (the “City of Burlington” or the “City”) pursuant to sections 229 and 284.5 of the Municipal Act, 2001 (the “Act”).

  2. The City Manager/CAO shall be responsible for:
  • exercising general control and management of the affairs of the City of Burlington for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the City in accordance with section 229(a) of the Act; and
  • performing such other duties as have previously been assigned or delegated, and as may be assigned or delegated, to the City Manager by the Mayor and/or Council, and specifically, such duties as are described in By-law No. 132-1991.
  1. The proper officers of the City of Burlington are authorized and directed to do all things necessary to give effect to this Mayoral Decision and the Acting Executive Director of Human Resources, or delegate, is authorized and directed to execute all documents necessary in that respect.

This Mayoral Decision comes into effect on April 22, 2024. Dated at Burlington, this 16th day of February, 2024.

Original Signed by

Marianne Meed Ward



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3 comments to Background on the appointment of new City Manager

  • Anne and Dave Marsden

    Appears to us to be a relationship between this strong mayor action taken on February 16, 2024 and the motion deferred to a Special Council meeting next Tuesday.

  • Penny

    First she lets it be known at a Strong Mayor Meeting that she wants a City Manager who has more initiative. Surprise, surprise this gets back to Tim Commisso who unexpectedly announces that he will not be seeking to renew his contract with the City.

    Mr. Commisso could see the writing on the wall. He resigned before he could be fired.

    Our Mayor then decides on her own that Mr Basit will be appointed as the new City Manager.

    No wonder the morale at City Hall is terrible. Her new Strong Mayor powers allows her to make major changes without consulting all members of council. It also sets up an atmosphere with city staff of better agree with the Mayor or I could be without a job as well.

    Residents of Burlington need to email, phone or text their ward councillors that this cannot continue.

    This is democracy at its worst.

    • Tom Muir

      My Ward 1 Councilor Galbraith has told me a year plus ago that he will no longer communicate with me, so that won’t work for me. On top of that, when I questioned this, the Mayor said her Office did not have the time or resources to ask the Councillor what untold interactions he was basing his action of no communication on, or otherwise inquire into the matter. Basically, she told me that he had the right to do it without giving any reasons.

      Then she further suggested how I could keep myself informed with no Councillor.

      Given this, I find it strange that he is one of the Councilors supporting the motion to remove her of many of her Strong Mayor powers. With these powers intact she could likely tell Galbraith to restore his representation of me.

      Given who these two players are, and how they have colluded to wield arbitrary powers using false procedural bylaws in the Code of Good Conduct and Governance, and fabricated and erroneous data evidence, both in complaints to the Integrity Commissioner, including a complaint of mine, submitted on
      Galbraith’s conflicts of interest supporting him in the media and to the IC.

      It is noteworthy that Mayor Meed Ward inserted herself into this complaint contrary to her stated policy that Council did not get involved in conflict of interest complaints that the IC is supposed to investigate independently.

      This involved her copying correspondence between myself, her and Council, to one of the IC officers. This correspondence included the text of an evidence file I had sent the IC , that included her comments that appeared to indicate that she had already made up her mind about my complaint without IC investigation and report.

      I am suspicious of this very unlikely situation. Galbraith owes the Mayor for her conflicted behaviour in IC complaint interference, and he owes Sharman for his conflict in the same instance – interfering in any way in conflict of interest complaints. This is a violation of trust and good conduct and Governance.

      Not much trust-building visible here to me.

      Looking at this relationship, I an suspicious that Galbraith cannot be trusted in any genuine debate of Council on this matter for genuine motives in co-sponsoring this Motion.

      I have heard that Galbraith would like to run for mayor in the next election. This is a motive. Galbraith has the means to torpedo or hobble the motion.

      I will be attentive and wary about how all this debate and outcome plays out and who does what.