Burlington staffer teaches our Dutch twin a little about Service Based Budgeting

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 18, 2015


Rob Peachey was one of six  people who travelled to Holland for the 70th Anniversary of the ending of the Second World War last month. Canadian troops liberated much of Holland including Apeldoorn, a city Burlington was twinned with n 2005.

Rob Peachey

Rob Peachey, part of the Burlington delegation that went to Holland.

Peachey handles parks and open spaces development for the city which includes the park the city created on Elgin Street. Apeldoorn did the same thing in Holland where visitors can see the Burlington Park.

What does a Canadians parks and open spaces bureaucrat say to a bureaucrat in another country where land use is significantly different than ours and administrative practices are also considerably different?

The thing that struck Peachey, almost literally, was the number of bicycles on the streets – “the things were everywhere”, he said. “We just don’t see that kind of cycle traffic in Burlington” Peachy added.

Peachy found that civil servants in Apeldoorn have yet to create the kind of administrative tools we have in Burlington.. Peachey spent some of his time explaining our Results Based Accountability and Service Based Budgeting to his peer in Holland and expects to trade information with them as he continues to maintain the relationship he now has.

They are quite a bit ahead of us with their community gardens said Peachey.

Apeldoorn community garden

Community gardens in Apeldoorn

Peachey added that the sports fields are not in the inner parts of the city but more on the outskirts and that there are fewer parks and none of them have the “jungle gyms” for children to play on that North Americans have.

Peachey did get to ride a bicycle – the hotel rents them” he explained. Bikes are a serious mode of travel in Apeldoorn – there are people in suits peddling to work in the morning.

He noted that there were no picnic tables in the parks that he saw and nothing in the way of public art and added there wasn’t much grass around properties in the city.

BTTB in Apeldoorn - celebration of the dead

Members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band lined the streets of Apeldoorn during the celebration of the dead event which was part of the 70th Anniversary of the end of World War Two.

The “celebration of the dead” event in which the Burlington Teen Tour Band played a significant role was, said Peachey, one of the most moving public events he has ever witnessed. “There was dead silence for the minute that the city went mute”. I found myself tearing up he added.

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