Bridging the gaps between those who won and those who lost during the election is job #1 for Mayor Elect Meed Ward.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 19th, 2018



With Thanksgiving and Halloween behind us the next holiday Season has to be Christmas.

How do you know it is here? Check out the mall parking lots. Or look for the community Christmas trees that are going up.

Aldershot tree 2

It looks as if Aldershot was the first community to erect a ward level Christmas tree.

Aldershot appears to be the first ward in the city to put up a tree. Mayor Elect is doing the right thing early in the game – getting out with people in Aldershot, wrapping her arms around the shoulders of the ward election winner and the second place candidate – the job now is to pull the community together and show them how people can work collaboratively and cooperate.

MMW with Kelvin and Judy W

Mayor Elect Marianne Meed Ward with Kelvin Galbraith, elected to represent ward 1 and Judy Worsley who placed second. Hopefully Worsley will stay in with the Aldershot BIA.

Some questions that come to mind?
The new council will be sworn in on Monday December 3rd at 6:30 pm at the Performing Arts Centre. When the event took place in 2014 there was a motivational speaker – Ron Foxcroft did the honours then.

Does the Mayor Elect have any say in who that speaker should be? And if she does who should Marianne Meed Ward choose to address the audience? Who is there out that that has the kind of public profile needed to attract attention and who has a message that will represent what Meed Ward wants her council to stand for and someone who will resonant with the audience.

Ken Greenberg was in Burlington a couple of years ago with a strong message on how municipal governments can build community. He is one the better recognized planners in the country – speaks around the world.

If Jane Jacobs were alive she would have been a natural.

The decisions Meed Ward makes in this first hundred days are vital to both bridge the gaps that exist between those who won and those who lost and at the same time send a message – this is who we are and this is what we want to do.

Deliver that message with strength, humility and a tablespoon of kindness.

Outgoing Mayor Rick Goldring made it clear that if called upon for advice he would be available; Meed Ward would be wise to lunch with him several times during at least her first year in office.

Sometime in the near future she will announce who will staff her office.  The person she chooses as Chief of Staff, assuming she retains that position, will be interesting.

Meed Ward set out a part of her agenda when she used a point of privilege at the final meeting of the current municipal government to make it clear that personal attacks were no longer going to be tolerated.

She said:

Meed ward election night 1

It started at the Polish Hall on election night: where it goes – only time will tell. There were a lot of high hopes in that hall.

Meed Ward said “it was very unfortunate that a member made comments that were a personal attack. .

“We have seen enough of that.

“We saw it during the election

“We see it around this table

“It is a new day

“This stops here

“It stops tonight

“The new council will have respect for each other.

“Respect for the people and respect for staff”

Meed Ward has let the city know some of what she stands for; she has been applauded for not letting this slide by.

Related news story:

A strong statement was made: This stops now.

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3 comments to Bridging the gaps between those who won and those who lost during the election is job #1 for Mayor Elect Meed Ward.

  • Lucy

    I remain hopeful and very excited about the positive changes that we may see at City Hall in the next four years. I humbly suggest:

    1. During the last election I tried to find information on my Councillor Paul Sharman: attendance at meetings and his voting record during the past 4 years. I was told that this was not available and I would have to search all meetings to find this information myself. I would suggest that this information be recorded for all Councillors and Mayor in the future. This would be an added duty for city staff, but if a running record was kept after each meeting, it would be very valuable information for voters in the next election. A single web page could be set up that shows which of the elected officials attended the meetings and how votes were cast in some sort of chart format.

    2. A second idea would be that all Councillors set up a page for their constituents like the one presented by Marianne Meed Ward: A Better Burlington. I hope as Mayor that Marianne will continue providing this valuable information to Burlington residents. I particularly find, the “MY TAKE” on issues to be a vital part of this information. Our elected officials need to be transparent and accountable to the taxpayers of Burlington. Such websites would be the responsibility of each Councillor for any costs. However, they owe it to the residents of their wards to keep us informed.

    • joe gaetan

      Excellent points Lucy, all part of an open and transparent government. P.S.The iink appears to have been taken out of service.

      • Lucy

        I just checked the link and “A Better Burlington” site is still up and running. Marianne’s other site Marianne Meed Ward for Mayor is also still available. A great way to check on the election issues clearly noted by Marianne and a way to check on the city progress regarding those issues during the next 4 years.

        I hope both sites will remain available as the information provided is invaluable! “A Better Burlington” has given me a far greater understanding of major issues in all parts of the city (in contrast to the cumbersome city site). As of today there are 60 pages of information, with the earliest entry dating back to July 3rd 2009. What an amazing resource and so easy to navigate!