A planning tool that forgets people are part of the planning process. Section 37 – a missed opportunity.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINTON, ON May 28, 2011 – Burlington is one of a few cities that makes use of Section 37 of the Planning Act. Ottawa, Toronto and Markham use the provision which can be a very useful planning tool. In Burlington we are fortunate to have a planner who wrote the definitive text on the Ontario Municipal Board and a man who has served as a member of that Board. The significance of this is that most matters that go to the OMB are related to planning matters and to have a planner who knows the ins and outs of the OMB as well as the intent of the Board gives Burlington an intellectual advantage.

The way Section 37 of the Planning Act is implemented just might get a re-working in Burlington if Council members follow up on their comments.

The way Section 37 of the Planning Act is implemented just might get a re-working in Burlington if Council members follow up on their comments.

Section 37 of the Planning Act relates to situations where an Official Plan calls for a certain type of development. It could be single detached housing, row housing organized as a condominium or a high rise, inevitably the issue become one of density. How many units can you put in a piece of property ? The municipality’s Official Plan (OP) will set out what the density can be and the zoning on the piece of property will set out what kind of building can be built on the site.

There are occasions where a developer will approach a municipality with a proposal that exceeds what is set out in the OP, but after discussions with the Planning Department, agreement is reached that the proposal is “good planning” and meets both the immediate and long term needs of the city.

We had two instances of just that happening in Burlington very recently and both created significant opposition within their communities. One was a condominium development south of the Queensway and the other was the apartment/condominium development at Brock and Elgin. In both instances the city approved an amendment to the Official Plan to permit the development

Burlington is faced with a provincial requirement that we grow our population. The province tells us that is what we have to do and that is what we do. The provincial Places to Grow legislation requires Burlington to grow its population by 20,000 people over the next 20 years – that’s 1,000 new housing units every year.

Because the city no longer has very much “green space” to build large projects on they have to resort to intensification.

Developers see opportunities to take land that is being under utilized and they begin to assemble properties until they have an area large enough for the plans they have in mind.

In the Queensway area this resulted in a developer purchasing six properties that consisted of half an acre each. These lots were created at the end of WW II and known as Veterans Land Act properties. Once the land was assembled the developer asked for permission to build a 74 unit complex on the property and the local community was up in arms. That development eventually got cut back to 58 units but is still a significant bit of intensification – going from six homes to 58 on the same pieces of land.

In the Brock Elgin area the developer did an assembly and came to the city with a proposal to increase the density permitted in the Official Plan from 7 to 14 storeys. The community was aghast and argued against the development at two public meetings and a third meeting at a Council Committee and finally at a Council meeting. They were beaten back at every meeting.

In this instance the developer made a Section 37 proposal in which the city determines how much the value of the land the development is being built on is going to increase due to the development.

Note that the unit of measure here is the increase in ‘value of the land’ not the revenue and potential profit the developer expects to see. The city gets an appraisal of what the land was worth before the development and what the land will be worth after the development and then asks the developer to contribute half of the increase in value back to the city as community benefits.

In the Brock Elgin development the increase in the value of the land was deemed to be $1 million and the developer agreed to pay for community improvements worth $500,000.

This is seen as a way for a city to share in the gain that a developer earns when asking for and getting an amendment to an Official Plan. Sounds fair and is seen as a sound planning practice.

Where people in Burlington get really wound up is how the community benefits are determined. The Planning department does all that thinking – with not a peep from the community. Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward thinks this is wrong and fought vigorously to have the community involved in determining what the benefits should be.

She came close to getting her Council colleagues to look at what was being proposed then, to the surprise of just about everyone, they learned that if Council wanted to make any changes to the community benefits the matter had to be sent back to Committee.

Several Councillors believed that the amendment to the Official Plan and the applicable by law could be approved and the specific make up of the community benefits looked at later – wasn’t possible. The two had to be approved at the same time.

Section 37 of the Planning Act is a very sound and accepted planning tool. What Burlington hasn’t done is bring the community in on the process and get their input before deciding what to do.

Councillors Sharman and Taylor have said they want to see the community benefits issue handled much differently. We will be watching.

 

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Twins back in town after road trip that could have been better; one win and one shellacking.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 27, 2011 – One could argue that it is still early in the season and that there have been a lot of games postponed – but so far this season, with 4 games played, the Burlington Twins have managed to win one game – we beat Hamilton nicely but got totally shellacked by the Barrie BayCats 13-1 in that disaster and lost to the Ottawa Fat Cats 7-4 and then again to the Brantford Red Sox 12-4

The Twins are back in Burlington this Saturday and providing the weather holds the Big B spirit should infuse the boys on the field.

The Twins are up against the Hamilton Thunderbirds – we’ve beat them once before – could be a good day for the boys with the bats.

Game starts at 2:00 pm Nelson Park. Play ball.

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Burlington gets Targeted – dog with bulls eye may be seen on the streets. Bargains for all

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 27, 2011 – The dog with the red target over his eye will soon be seen at the Burlington Mall located at Guelph Line and Fairview.

Target, the second largest chain of retail stores in the United States is coming to Canada, much to the satisfaction of thousands of Canadian shoppers who have loved the bargain available south of the border.

Target has created a “cheap chic” brand that has been giving Wal-Mart a run for their money. The first Target store will be at the Burlington Mall where it will replace the existing Zellers.

The company has taken over the Zellers stores leases and intends to invest heavily in upgrading and modernizing the retail outlets.

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Brother reminisces about John Boich, the man chosen as Burlington’s Citizen of the Year.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON ON May 26, 2010 They were born 15 months apart and as boys they were inseparable. They grew into young men who were taught to serve their communities and this evening Eli Boich will sit with his brother’s widow as she prepares to receive the Burlington Citizen of the Year Award on behalf of her husband, John Boich who passed away in March.

John Boich<br>Burlington Citizen of the Year 2012

John BoichBurlington Citizen of the Year 2012

“We were taught that serving was not just a responsibility for the privileged but a responsibility for all of us”, said Elijah Boich. “John would be so honoured to know that he was being given this award by his community.”

John, said Eli, believed that if a problem was man made then there was a solution for men to bring to the problem and he used that principle to guide his life. He was a teacher who expected you to arrive at your own conclusions and then to use those conclusions as you went about your work.

We did everything together. We played ball together, we had a small dance band and many people may not know it but John directed a student musical while he was at Trafalgar in Oakville. For those who knew John Boich, the thought of his directing a production of Oklahoma will gladden their hearts. We can just imagine him directing those students. Eli will quickly tell you tat there is a 78 rpm vinyl disc of that production.

John Boich wanted people to be publicly useful and privately happy and he lived his life that way. The school in Burlington named in his honour while it is under construction will have close to 1000 students enrolled; there are already 200 registered for kindergarten explains Elijah. Imagine a couple of hundred students being educated as little Boichs

The Civic recognition event will celebrate and remember a man who had an impression on everyone he met. You may not have liked John Boich but you certainly remembered him and he would be very quick to tell you that he didn’t want or need to be liked but you were going to respect him. You will be with us forever John.

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Strategic Plan preparation includes cable casting live to the community – turnout low.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 26, 2011 – The Mayor is using every trick in the book to pull the public into the development of the Strategic Plan he, his Council and city Hall Staff are putting together to set out the Mission, Vision and strategic direction the city needs. It is proving to be a tough climb.

City Hall staff on standby to handle emails and telephone calls during the live Cable cast on the development of the city’s Strategic Plan

City Hall staff on standby to handle emails and telephone calls during the live Cable cast on the development of the city’s Strategic Plan

While working with a consultant the Strategic Plan team is asking questions and putting together the base that will get taken to the public. One of the channels being used to reach that public is cable television where Mark Carr, former city councillor interviewed the Mayor on the Cogeco Cable For the Record program.

Mayor’s office staff do promotional photographs prior to going live on a Cogeco Cable TV broadcast.

Mayor’s office staff do promotional photographs prior to going live on a Cogeco Cable TV broadcast.

The live session broadcast from Council Chambers used all the technology available including Tweets the to Mayors list, email messages to an address created for the show and links through the city’s Facebook page. While the response wasn’t overwhelming the effort was commendable.

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City decides not to take up Pier construction proposal from contractor’s insurance company.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON – May 25, 2011 The city has decided not to accept a proposal made by the insurance company that provided the performance bond put up by the builder who walked off the Brant Street Pier construction site last December.

The city has sued Zurich Insurance for the value of the performance bond and the insurance company, in an attempt to mitigate their damages put together a consortium that is believed to include Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd., the original contractor.

The proposal was delivered to the city early in April and it had to be given the serious consideration and it took time to go through the documentation. . The city received the proposal through Zurich Insurance Inc. in April 2011, but needed time to review the document. City staff provided advice regarding the proposal to members of City Council in a closed session update at the city’s May 11 Community Services Committee meeting.

“City Council gave careful consideration to what we saw within the proposal before making our decision,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Council does not believe that this is the right solution to completing the Brant Street Pier. As such, the city will continue on its path to finding a new contractor.” City council chose not to make the reasons for turning down the proposal public from the insurance company and is proceeding with the plan issue a tender document for general contractors to complete the pier, with that tender expected to be released in July 2011. The tender will only be sent to pre-qualified general contractors.

In March, the city hired Morrison Hershfield as the lead engineer on the pier project and announced it is no longer working with former engineer Aecom Canada Ltd.

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Cover the environmental waterfront and fly a kite while you’re at it. Kite Fest June 5th – make it a family event.

Getting that kite up into the air is the first challenge – then the fun starts keeping it in the air.

Getting that kite up into the air is the first challenge – then the fun starts keeping it in the air.

BURLINGTON, Ont.— May 24, 2011 – This is a sure fire, family fun event. Pass along the link to every family you know with children.

The city (your tax dollars at work) is sponsoring Environment and Kite Festival on World Environment Day, Sunday, June 5 at Brant Hills Public School between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at 2330 Duncaster Dr. in Burlington.

You’re going to get the whole nine yards from the environmentalists – energy retrofit projects, green building design and construction, water bottle refilling stations and the ‘Know where to throw’ staff waste diversion campaign are just some of the ways the city is cutting back on waste, increasing energy savings and continuing our progress as a sustainable organization.

Along with the opportunities to build and fly a kite, there will be a displays from the City’s Office of Sustainability; Burlington Transit; Halton Region Waste Management Services; Halton Region Museum; Conservation Halton; Burlington Hydro; Union Gas; Burlington Public Library; Burlington Sustainable Development Committee; BurlingtonGreen; Halton Environment Network; Iroquois Bruce Trail Club; and Environmental Defense. Representatives will be available to answer questions and discuss local projects and issues.

The event will also feature entertainment including Mountsberg Raptors birds of prey, Reptile Rob, a live performance by the Funky Mamas and the popular, “What do you know about water?” puppet show.

“As part of the city’s Thirsty campaign to promote regional water and reduce the use of single use disposable water bottles, there will be an onsite water refilling station available for visitors to fill their own reusable water bottles,” said Lynn Robichaud, Senior Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Burlington.

A blue sky and string upon string of kites.  Great family fun.  Don’t miss it.

A blue sky and string upon string of kites. Great family fun. Don’t miss it.

Children of all ages can come out and build a kite with the free supplies provided on a first come first served basis. There will be separate areas available for children flying their kites and for professional kite flying demonstrations. New additions include a variety of vendors offering various items for sale such as light snacks and large colourful kites.

The Environment and Kite Festival will take place rain or shine.

If you want to know more about building kites and maybe make your own try going to https://www.my-best-kite.com/how-to-make-a-kite.html

The only thing in doubt is the weather but surely we’ve been given all the rain we need for awhile. Ya think!

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Commitment is there – but is the core the centre of a donut or is it the tasty outer ring you can sink your teeth into.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 24, 2011 – It started with Direction from the Mayor to city staff to provide an update on the status of the Core Commitment Initiative that would include a plan for delivering the vision. There hadn’t been much activity on this file but there had been lots going on in the background for some time and the Mayor wanted to bring things forward. Burlington’s Downtown Core Commitment was getting attention.

The Mayor had perhaps been influenced by comments made by Christopher Hume, Architectural columnist for the Toronto Star who was the Mayors guest at the first of his Inspire Series held at McMaster DeGroote School of Business on the South Service Road in April.

Mayor Goldring commented after the speech that much of what Hume said was “painful, but all too true”. Unfortunately there was only about 50 people in the room and what Hume had to say should have been heard by hundreds – if not thousands. “What you have done in the past and are continuing to do” said Hume “is not sustainable and this city as you know it cannot continue.” Some in the room did not want to hear what Hume was saying but because this is Burlington everyone was polite.

Council committee agreed to let the building go up.  Councillor for the ward and local residents oppose the deal the city made with the developer.

Council committee agreed to let the building go up. Councillor for the ward and local residents oppose the deal the city made with the developer.

The first person to put a question to Hume said: “We like Burlington just the way it is” – and that of courses is the problem; a serious one for Burlington’s long term existence. Mayor Goldring says frequently that Burlington and its suburban sprawl was created when gas and land were cheap. With gas having touched $1.40 a litre and land getting more expensive every week, the sprawl we have cannot be maintained. Will people want the homes with large back yards and swimming pools forty years from now ? Will they be able to afford to heat them and be able to pay for the gas to get home at the end of the work day. Provincial policy and a need to make better use of the land we have has started the city on a process of intensifying development. The recent decision to permit significant intensification on half acre lots in the Queensway area and the vote to be taken at Council tonight on a 14 storey apartment building just to the west of the downtown core are signs that the process had already begun.

City staff are working from a document written in 2005 – called the Downtown Core Commitment, which sets out goals and objectives and ties those tasks to the budget.. Each year, Jody Wellings, Special Business Area Coordinator and a certified planner, reports, to Council on where they are with the work plan.

Mayor Goldring asked for an update of the Core Commitment Plan which is now being worked up and that is where things are today. The report that Wellings will present to Council will talk about a significantly different downtown Burlington. Many of the retail establishments that were part of the Village Square fled to Brant Street when rents and management practices at the Village Square were felt to be onerous. Management at the Square is now in the hands of the owner’s daughters and new tenants are slowly returning. But they aren’t pulling any traffic from Brant Street – so it would appear that there is enough retail trade for both locations to thrive.

A large part of the difference is that there are now a number of condominiums that were not in place when the last draft of the Downtown Core Commitment was released. And a building that will contain both housing units and offices for the medical community in the northern part of the downtown core should see ground turned, probably sometime this year.

Council committee agreed to let the building go up.  Councillor for the ward and local residents oppose the deal the city made with the developer.

Council committee agreed to let the building go up. Councillor for the ward and local residents oppose the deal the city made with the developer.

The Pearl Street Café closed a few months ago and the two buildings sold as part of a land assembly that will run south to Lakeshore Road. The developers of that project have a part interest in Pane Fresco on Locust Street. Downtown Burlington is evolving and the task for Wellings is to keep ahead of the change and at the same time loop back and ensure that it is all moving along the way it should.

A downside to all this development is that property values have been driven up which results in property tax increases for the retailers and that has resulted in a few stores with sheets of paper in the windows.

Getting the right feel for the streetscape was one of the several points Hume made in his presentation and he put forward the notion that there is no public realm in Burlington. “Streets” he said, “are the destination” in vibrant cities but the streets of Burlington are not vibrant. “Burlington” said Hume “is indifferent to the public realm”, which he defined as that space that gives life to streets and creates spaces for people to gather.

Hume was close to scathing in his comments about the moral failure on the part of McMaster University when they located on the South Service Road, outside the downtown core. His belief is that the university had a moral responsibility to the people of Burlington to settle in a downtown location – but that one got away on us.

And so what does Jody Welling do with all this? How much can the planners do? Create reports; keep them up to date; make presentations at city council meetings. Wellings explains the document is a ‘guide’ – it sets out the vision but it isn’t a manual and “because streets are dynamic and change easily” all it sometimes takes is one “hot spot” to change a whole city block

Burlington explains Ms Welling “has always been good at public engagement” – a point on which the writers of the Shape Burlington report didn’t appear to agree with – and there have been, adds Wellings “some really hot public meetings”.

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Weather moves nomination date for Civic Rose Award back a week. Mayor may be moving away from the Cup.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 22, 2011 – The weather isn’t all bad. The closing dates for the Civic Rose Award nominations has been moved back a week. Lawry Ellis said earlier this week that the wet Spring is going to mean a lot of gardens just won’t be at their best so we have moved the date on which nominations have to be in back a week.

The nomination forms must be in by June 30th. CLICK HERE for a copy of the nomination form. You can if you wish nominate yourself.

The Civic Rose Award is the top and much sought after prize for the gardening crowd with the 2010 Mayor’s Cup going to an address on Idlewood Court. For a look at all the 2010 winners – CLICK HERE.

Judge’s Choice in 2010 was a home on Burlington Avenue.
Judge’s Choice in 2010 was a home on Burlington Avenue.

Mayor Rick Goldring mentioned at a recent Council meeting that perhaps the Mayor’s Cup could be renamed the Burlington Cup, which isn’t going down all that well with the gardeners who point to a 32 year tradition which they don’t think should be tampered with.

While the Mayor may not be a gardener he is an environmentalist and does have a sense of history. One would hope that the Mayor doesn’t flush 32 years of history into the lake.

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Joseph Brant got a better deal for the Indians than Burlington residents are getting from a local developer.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 18, 2011 Despite significant resistance to the to the Molinaro application to erect a 14 story apartment building on the site at Brock and Ontario Streets, a City Council committee voted to approved the project.

Ward 1 Councillor Meed Ward, like many, wondered why the city was allowing a building of 14 storeys to be build on a site that was zoned for 7 storeys.

Not only did the developer get to put up a 14 storey building where residents thought 7 storeys was the limit but the community gets a less than attractive structure.  The Molinaro family are said to be planning to move their administrative offices to the two floors of commercial space that will be at the base of the building.

Not only did the developer get to put up a 14 storey building where residents thought 7 storeys was the limit but the community gets a less than attractive structure. The Molinaro family are said to be planning to move their administrative offices to the two floors of commercial space that will be at the base of the building.

The need to intensify under the provincial Places to Grow legislation and the fact that the building would not put additional strain on the infrastructure in the area was enough reason for this Council to approve the project at committee.

The proposed building isn’t the largest in the area and it isn’t going to be the prettiest but it was approved and what’s done is done.

Not so fast says Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward. The developer proposed to give the city certain benefits in return for the additional height they were given and put forward a number of what area resident Mark Henderson called “trinkets” worth less then the value of one of the apartment units, which by the way have been registered as condominium units so they can be sold off one at a time by the developer should they choose to do so and market conditions make it possible.

The benefits the developer offered were valued at $500,000.and consisted of:

1. $250,000.00 towards the burial of hydro wires on the west side of Brock Avenue from Elgin Street to Ontario Street;
2. $75,000.00 towards a new play structure in a neighboring park;
3. $20,000.00 towards the construction of the pathway through the hydro corridor;
4. $55,000.00 towards the public art reserve fund;
5. $50,000.00 towards a landscape feature at the corner of Brock Street and Elgin Street; and,
6. $50,000.00 towards the parking reserve fund.

At first glance there is nothing particularly innovative or imaginative to the list and a contribution of $500,000 for an additional height of 7 storeys is close to an insult. Joseph Brant cut a better deal for the Indians than this.

The project will have a total of 315 units – which amounted to an additional 155 units, which at the bargain basement price of say $200,000 each if they were sold as condominiums, amounts to more than $30 million in additional revenue. Meed Ward and the community she represents want to squeeze the developer and get much more than the paltry $500,000.that was offered.

When delegating at the Council meeting that approved the project Mark Henderson asked who decided that $500,000 was adequate and, he wanted to know “who decided what the money was to be spent on?” Meed Ward has for some time been trying to create a situation where the residents of a community that was going to bear the impact of a development have direct input on these decisions and thus her motion to be brought to a Council meeting on May 24th.

At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, May 24, 7pm Councillor Meed Ward plans to bring the following motions forward (they will require 4 votes to pass):

1. Motion to refer Report PB 29/11 (on the Molinaro/Brock apartments) back to staff with an instruction to the Director of Planning and Building to refer the allocation of the $500,000 of community benefits for the Brock Avenue (Molinaro) project to a community consultation process involving the ward councillor and community representatives, and to provide a report with recommendations to council based on the community’s vision for how the $500,000 should be apportioned.

Meed Ward needs four votes to get this through Council – hers plus three others. She needs to do more direct lobbying than she appears to have done in the past and also needs to get her fan club on the telephone and the tom tom drums if necessary to drum up support with other Councillors.

A three dimensional rendering of the proposed site relative to others in the immediate areas does show that the proposed building is not as high as others already in place.

A three dimensional rendering of the proposed site relative to others in the immediate areas does show that the proposed building is not as high as others already in place.

Meed Ward is braking new ground here. She wants the community to have a much bigger say in how where they live and raise their familirs is changed. This is a significantly different Coucnil and we will find out just how pro-development they are. All of them were elected on platforms that called for greater public particiaption. This is one of those situations where the rubber meets the road. This will be a recoded vote.

If she can’t get the votes she needs for the first motion – she has another one (At a previous Committee meeting, Meed Ward had four ammendments that required Council to go 40 minutes beyond their usual shut down time of 10:30 pm – her colleagues were not happy campers.) The fall back motion is:

2. Review and report back on the use of Section 37 benefits as a whole (background, should it continue, pros and cons, etc) and provide feedback on how community involvement in selecting community benefits can be enhanced, as part of the Official Plan review process.

Meed Ward expects the second motion to pass. The first, a staff member advised, may not pass because it has the potential to delay approval of the entire project. Tough, the developer should have taken the initiative and put more on the table and asked the people who live in the immediate area for their thoughts.

Meed Ward has talked to people in the Planning Department and has been advised by others to solicit some community input on the community benefits. Her strategy seems to be to get her fellow Council members to bring the developer back to the table and contribute more on this project – and if they don’t buy that (and they should) then ask Staff to come back with a fully researched report on just what can and cannot be accomplished under Section 37 – a part of the Municipal Act that refers to what a municipality can ask of a developer who is seeking additional height and density for a project.

The site as it exists today.  Fourteen storeys is going to add significantly to the traffic and the demand on the infrastructure.  On the positive side it is a very short walk – less than a block, to Spencer Smith Park.

The site as it exists today. Fourteen storeys is going to add significantly to the traffic and the demand on the infrastructure. On the positive side it is a very short walk – less than a block, to Spencer Smith Park.

This is something new for Burlington, with the potential to change the way the city ensures that the citizens have a real, at the table, say in how projects are developed. It willdrive the developers bananas – but is an idea whose time has come.

Residents can register as a delegation to speak to City Council about these benefits. You must register with the committee clerk, Danielle Pitoscia (905-335-7600, ext. 7375) by noon on Friday, for the Tuesday meeting (Monday is the holiday).

 

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The parks and open spaces are used – but not by seniors. Could Tai Chi early in the morning change that ?.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 18, 2011 – Burlington has parks galore. How well are they used? Do they matter? The question asked was if parks and open spaces were “very important” or “extremely important”. Parks certainly mattered – but what stuck out in the answers to this question was how more they mattered to the people in Ward 2 when measured against the importance to people in the other wards.

Burlington has great parks – but are the right people using them?

Burlington has great parks – but are the right people using them?

Those residing in ward 2 were significantly more likely than those in wards 2,3,5 and 6 to consider parks, open spaces and sports fields important.

Not surprisingly, resident aged 18 – 34 were more likely to make use of parks, open spaces and sports fields on a regular basis when compared to those 55+ – 73% compared to 49%

A clear recreational development and health improvement opportunity and need is to get seniors out into the parks and open spaces.

Ward 2 is the smallest ward in the city and covers all of the downtown core.

The importance of parks, open spaces and sports fields relative to other services is show in the list of ten items that are summarized below.

The Quality of Service Survey was done for Burlington in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2011. The data is based on a random and representative telephone survey of 752 residents over the age of 18 and is considered to be accurate to within plus or minus 3.6%, 19 times out of twenty. For the full survey CLICK HERE.

On balance people in Burlington are happy with the services provided them by the city.

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We see getting snow off the sidewalks quite a bit differently than we do getting snow off the roads.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 18, 2011 – Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven will tell you that the one thing that will always get your phone ringing is snow on streets that have not been cleared. The only thing that does one better than that is sidewalks that have not been cleared of snow.

The importance of snow clearing was part of a list of ten items that are summarized below.

While the citizens of Burlington are basically happy with the service provided, clearing snow from the streets and roads is always at the top of their “importance” list.. Ward 1 and Ward 2 residents were more likely to show increased satisfaction with snow clearing when compared to those living in ward 6. Of course, the snow removal people have to deal with Councillors Meed Ward and Craven in wards 2 and 1 – and they fight for their constituents. In ward 6 mild mannered Blair Lancaster may not manage to get the response Craven and Meed Ward get.

How important is it to the residents of Burlington to have the snow cleared from the sidewalks? In 2011 28% saw it as extremely important, up from 24% in 2003

Very important rose from 48% in 2003 to 53% in 2011 It would seem evident that the rising seniors population places more emphasis on the importance of snow being cleared from the sidewalks.

When it comes to clearing snow from the roads the numbers shift a bit. Not only are the numbers different but there are significant differences in the views of men and women and then differences in how important getting snow off the roads is in each ward. Women, for the most part saw clearing the snow from the roads more important than men did.

The Quality of Service Survey was done for Burlington in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2011. The data is based on a random and representative telephone survey of 752 residents over the age of 18 and is considered to be accurate to within plus or minus 3.6%, 19 times out of twenty. For the full survey CLICK HERE.

On balance people in Burlington are happy with the services provided them by the city.

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Huh! I didn’t know. Wonder why they didn’t want him, seemed like a nice enough guy.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 17, 2011 – Boy, when we screw it up, we really screw it up. I took a day off to get caught up on my television watching and well the bottom just fell out of the political world I was watching. Bad enough that the Liberals got creamed federally but to learn that others chose to fall on their sword before they even got nominated – that is something to behold.

In a piece on Karmel Sakran’s acclamation as the Liberal candidate for Burlington in the upcoming provincial election I mentioned that there were two men seeking the Progressive Conservative nomination in Burlington. WOW, was I ever wrong.

Rene Papin falls on sword.

Rene Papin falls on sword.

After running at least one half page full colour advertisement in a newspaper that will go un-named, Rene Papin posted the following to his web site:

 


Bert Radford
President
Burlington Progressive Conservative Association
Box 8007
Appleby Postal Outlet,
Burlington, ON,
L7L 6B1

Dear Bert Radford,

On the advice of a number of close advisors whom I believe to be well connected within the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, I am withdrawing my application for nomination as the Conservation candidate for the Burlington riding. I have been advised that my candidacy, at this time, does not fit the strategic direction of the Party, and that it would be in the best interests of the Party if I were to withdraw.

It has truly been an honour to have been considered as the candidate for the nomination, but I have always believed that the interests of the Party must come before those of the individual.

I therefore, respectfully withdraw my application for the nomination.

Sincerely,


I missed that one. My apologies of the piece I wrote misled anyone.

 

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If you’re happy and you know it – clap your hands. And in Burlington – we appear to be clapping our hands.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 17, 2011 – Do we like where we live? We do. Are we happy with the services provided by the civic administration? Apparently so. The folks in Ward 4 would appear to be the happiest campers while those in Wards 1 and 2 are not as certain that Burlington is a second heaven.

This information is contained in a Quality of Service survey the city had done by a research firm in the Big Smoke to the east of us. This research work was first done in 1998 and repeated again in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2008. The 2011 survey gives people who reads these reports a look at where the city is today and where it was in each of the years the survey was done.

The city wants to know if they are delivering on the promise when you put the cheque in the mail to pay your taxes. The research firm interviewed 752 people. It took on average 17 minutes to get answers to all the questions. The person answering the question had to be more than 18 years of age. The survey was done between April 4-11. Some over sampling was done to ensure that at least 125 people in each ward were interviewed.

Interesting data. In the next few days we will provide data and commentary. If you are a real data geek the full report is available at: Click here.

A difference of 10% in impression level is significant. Those who thought it was very good has been in a consistent decline while those whose impression was excellent has increased. The difference based on ward is quite telling.

How happy are we with the services provided by the city. Basically half of us are somewhat satisfied while the other half is very satisfied. No one is reported to be totally ticked off with the service.

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Burlington firefighters place well in auto extraction competition.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON, May 16, 2011 – On Saturday, May 14, the backyard of Burlington Fire Department’s headquarters was transformed into the scene of multiple car accidents as seven teams of firefighters from Ontario, the Maritimes and New York State competed in a high-intensity Vehicle Rescue Challenge.

Burlington Fire Department’s auto extrication team works to save a mock patient trapped inside a vehicle during one of the simulated scenarios in the annual Vehicle Rescue Challenge.  2011 BFD Team members are as follows: Mark Eales (Team Captain), Derek Baranowski, Chris Porter, (Medic), Jenny Blain, Ryan Head and Mike Carroll
Burlington Fire Department’s auto extrication team works to save a mock patient trapped inside a vehicle during one of the simulated scenarios in the annual Vehicle Rescue Challenge. 2011 BFD Team members are as follows: Mark Eales (Team Captain), Derek Baranowski, Chris Porter, (Medic), Jenny Blain, Ryan Head and Mike Carroll

Spectators gathered to watch as each team raced against the clock to complete a series of rescue scenarios and safely remove mock patients from inside the wrecked vehicles.

Fire departments enrolled in this year’s challenge included: Halifax and Enfield, Nova Scotia; Brampton; Mississauga; Chile and Brighton, New York; and Burlington.

“This event spotlights the skills of our city’s firefighters and their commitment to continuous learning,” said Fire Chief Shayne Mintz. “Putting our skills to the test through international competition will allow us to hone our expertise in motor-vehicle rescue so that we can better serve our community.”

This is the 27th year Burlington has participated in the challenge, and Burlington Fire has earned an international reputation as being one of the most respected departments in vehicle rescue. This year was no exception, the Burlington Fire Department came in second just behind Mississauga.

Top Medic Award went to Burlington Fire Department’s Chris Porter and Best Incident Commander was awarded to Trevor Shea of the Mississauga Fire Department.

“The Vehicle Rescue Challenge provides our community with an up-close look at how fire department personnel function as a team to perform vehicle rescues under intense pressure,” said Burlington’s auto extrication team captain Mark Eales. “Sometimes people forget that our jobs go far beyond firefighting. It’s competitions like this that demonstrate the expertise and teamwork that is vital in real vehicle rescues and saves lives on our streets and highways each year.”

The goal of the challenge is to help rescuers stay current with auto extrication practices and share ideas to improve life-saving techniques. The concept of the Vehicle Rescue Challenge originated at the Ontario Fire College in Gravenhurst, Ont., in 1984, with teams from across Ontario and the United States. Since then, this International event has grown to the point where regional and national competitions are held annually coast-to-coast in Canada and the United States and countries from Europe, as well as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.

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Burlington Liberals acclaim their man – local lawyer Karmel Sakran wants the job as MPP.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON May 17, 2010 – More than 275 people packed the Seniors Centre in Burlington to see Karmel Sakran be acclaimed as the Liberal candidate in the October 6th provincial election.

With the federal election over the political junkies in the city can now focus on the provincial event. After that they are in for a long dry spell until 2014 when another municipal race takes place and, if feelings about the current council prevail – that event will be a snore.

A prominent Burlington lawyer and Chair of the city’s 2010-11 successful United Way campaign, Karmel Sakran is now the official Provincial Liberal candidate .

The small variety store the Sakran family operated on Ontario Street still serves the community.

The small variety store the Sakran family operated on Ontario Street still serves the community.

“Growing up in downtown Burlington on Ontario Street behind my late father’s little grocery store taught me the importance of community,” said 46-year-old Sakran, who arrived in Burlington at age 13. “From behind that counter, I saw how he treated people with friendship and respect and how they returned it in kind. It was a powerful message that will stay with me forever.”

Reflecting that early influence, Sakran has become well known in Burlington for his community involvement. A long-time Rotarian, former Regional Chair of the Halton Community Consultation Committees, he is a founding board member of The Carpenter Hospice.

Sakran is currently a member the Board of Governors at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital since 2006 and member of its executive, chairing its Human Resource Policy and Compensation Committee. He is the board representative on the hospital’s Foundation Campaign Steering Committee whose target is to raise $60 million for much-needed capital re-development.

When it took a small amount to get the United Way over the top Sakran took out his cheque book while Timothy Brown and Len Lifchus, both of the United Way, looked on approvingly.

When it took a small amount to get the United Way over the top Sakran took out his cheque book while Timothy Brown and Len Lifchus, both of the United Way, looked on approvingly.

For Sakran, chairing Burlington’s United Way campaign, which raised a record $2.2 million this year, was an eye-opener. “People don’t typically think of Burlington as having citizens in need, but we do,” he says. “Many youth, families, and seniors benefit from the 44 social programs and services funded by the United Way.”

Seeking the Liberal nomination in Burlington is Sakran’s way of continuing to work for his community. Originally from Nazareth, Israel, of Christian Arab parents, he arrived in Canada at the age of 3 and moved to Burlington when he was 13. Sakran attended Central High School and later Assumption Secondary School, because “I didn’t make the football team at Central and at Assumption, I made the team”.

Sakran later attended the University of Windsor and, after graduating in law, articled for the Criminal Appeals Division of the Attorney General of Ontario in Toronto. He quickly returned to Burlington after being called to the bar.

“I always wanted to live and work in Burlington – that is where my heart is,” he said. “Burlington has been my home and my community for the past 34 years, and my goal is to win the nomination and then represent Burlington in the Ontario Legislature.”

For Sakran, “It’s time Burlington had a Liberal at Queen’s Park.” Conservatives have represented this riding for decades, he notes, adding that they have been less than effective in upholding Burlington’s unique heritage and its integral role as the hub between the GTA, Hamilton and Niagara Corridor.

“Burlington has a leadership role to play in what is happening around and inside its border and we can’t allow another four-year term to pass with us taking a spectator role. The Conservatives want to pave paradise with the mid-peninsula highway and, despite having a Conservative MPP for all this time, no provincial money has been secured for capital re-development of our hospital in the past 40 years.”

His social conscience also stretches beyond Canada’s borders. In 2009, he and two friends travelled to civil war-torn Sierra Leone to help two orphanages and a polio village. Since then, his small group continues to draw on local churches, service clubs and private donors for help, resulting in:

Shipping two large containers to Sierra Leone filled with tools, equipment, food and other essentials – not to mention hope.

Four Rotary clubs formed a steering committee to help develop 11 acres of land outside Freetown for a school, residences and playground for the orphan children, plus partnering with other agencies to establish a sustenance project to raise chickens and produce clean water.

Get ready to see a lot of this “official” photograph of Karmel Sakran

Get ready to see a lot of this “official” photograph of Karmel Sakran

Sakran also holds two annual Burlington fundraisers – one of which is the Wills and Powers of Attorney Event which has raised more than $55,000 for local charities since 2003. The other – a five-K run/one-K walk every Canada Day – raises health and wellness awareness, honours Canada’s Service men and women and raises funds for local charities.

A matrimonial lawyer in Burlington, Sakran recently founded Roseland Law Chambers, a group of seven sole-practitioner lawyers with wide experience across all aspects of the law. He is married and has 2 daughters; his youngest is 5 ½ years old.

The Progressive Conservatives have yet to nominate their candidate but Brian Heagle is said to be in the race and out there in the coffee shops making his case. Rene Papin chose to fall on his sword and withdraw from the race.

 

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They apparently made a payment and it wasn’t Canadian Tire money either. Elite Cycling promoter makes another deadline

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 16, 2011 A usually reliable source advises that the Midweek Cycling Club event promoter made a payment by certified cheque to the Halton Regional Police Service before the noon deadline of May 16th, to the surprise of many.

The event promoter has missed so many deadlines that everyone expected him to miss this one – and had it been missed, the city would have withdrawn its support for the event. Burlington had originally agreed to put up $30,000. to help fund the event with another $20,000 coming from the Burlington Hotel Association.

When the five scheduled races were cut back to two races the Hotel Association cut back their amount to $10,000. and the city cut back its contribution to a total of $10,000. with $5000. attached to each race.

This event has perplexed council, maddened staff and driven the police to near distraction with the number of hours that have been put in and extensive community consultation.

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward commented at the last Council Committee meeting that the two events really weren’t in Burlington but others on Council felt that the promoter should be given a chance – and he seems to have made it under the wire.

There is a contract in place and Council at its next meeting will have to decide if it wants to follow through. It may have to honour the contract even though the promoter has twisted it so badly the original intent is hard to see.

The marquee event was to be a fast flashy races through the streets of downtown Burlington on Canada Day– but that event is off the table. It is being held at the CNE grounds instead.

My friend Margaret Lindsay Holton gives a take that many in Burlington seems to share. She says: ah, ‘Sport tourism’ , the big ‘sexy’ ever-elusive money-maker … Seems like the reality of our aging demographic is forgotten by those who want to pump up the region. I’m not opposed to sport of any kind, but I have doubts when it’s focused around ‘downtown’ ambitions that conflict with many of the reasons that people choose to live here in the first place, like a safe, tranquil, and somewhat sedate ‘quality of life’ … Wouldn’t it make more sense to pump up those ‘values’ then spend hard-earned tax-dollars on soliciting ‘out of town’ ‘invitational’ youth-orientated tournies?”

Stay tuned – this isn’t over yet.

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First steps taken towards the creation of a strategic plan for Burlington that will have significant public input.

By Pepper Parr

Burlington, ON May 12, 2011 – There was more than a million dollars worth of talent in the room. They were there to learn how to crate a Strategic Plan for the City of Burlington. Council members and the key people from senior city administration sitting side by side, unlike the way they are positioned in Council Chambers, on opposite sides of the horseshow table. And they weren’t being web cast.

The city was embarking on its eighth Strategic Plan and wanted to do much better than the 2006-2010 Council had done. That Strategic Plan was basically abandoned about halfway through the term and consisted of a collection of Motherhood statements and a lot of pictures.

This Council wanted a Strategic Plan that would be used to move forward with budgets that kept taxes at a level the rate payers were comfortable with and have a plan that reflected the new emphasis on citizen engagement.

The process started with a Work Book that was made available to citizens and then the pretty standard meetings with stakeholders, which consisted of various groups giving the administration and the Council members their take on where the city should be going. They got what they expected from the Burlington Downtown Business Association and the Museum Board – special interests for the most part.

What this Council was looking for was some imagination – blue sky thinking and so far there hasn’t been much that wasn’t expected, but this is a new experience for Burlington which is why the consultants were brought in. KPMG, an international consulting firm has been doing this kind of thing for years and has very deep experience with the public sector.

Georgina Black leads Council and city staff through a training session on skills needed to develop an effective strategic plan

Georgina Black leads Council and city staff through a training session on skills needed to develop an effective strategic plan

Georgina Black from KPMG will be leading the five sessions they will have with Staff and Council. They started by interviewing each of the Council members and many senior staff and now have a sense of what each knows about Strategic Planning and what their early thoughts are.

There were a number of objectives the group would work towards. The focus was both on teaching the elected and the hired hands what they had to do to create a strategic plan and also, and equally as important, what they had to do to teach the public what was expected of them. Ms Black started by explaining that she wanted to arrive at a “common understanding of the framework they were going to work within as they moved through the various steps. She wanted to ensure everyone had an increased understanding of “the environment you are working in”. All to often Burlington Council and senior staff have been at odds with each other – not always pulling together as a team. There have been a number of occasions when a Council member would flare up in anger at the response being given by a staff member. This Council was some ticked when they learned that through a “gapping” approach to staffing the city had a surplus on the salary side of more than $3 million and investment revenue that came in at more than $2 million – and they wanted to know why they were learning about this near the end of the year.

Ms Black wanted Council and Staff to work out an agreement “on how you can do your best work.” By having the group break into sub working groups that had a mix of senior staff and Council members around the same table working through an assignment, the two groups began to understand a little more just how each worked and thought. “doing this kind of work”, explained Ms Black would “produce superior returns over the long term”.

The first session was a kind of level setting – figuring out just where they were and then opening the box to see what was inside and what they could, as a team, develop as a process and the outline of a plan they would then flesh out with the citizens.

Ms Black put some fundamentals in front of the group.

They were to adhere to the agenda that was in place and agreed upon
They would engage in “discussion”
They would focus on the objective
They would work towards consensus
They would be “be present” (no snoozing)

As they worked through the session she passed on some truths that may not have been evident to both Staff and Council members. “If it is important as an objective, then put some money into it and with any plan – just follow the money, that will tell you where you are going”.

The time line for the strategic plan was 20 to 25 years with a tight focus on the next four years and an assignment of money to each of the core objectives – which gives you the link between the Strategic Plan and the city budget. If there is no money in the budget for a strategic plan objective then you had to question why it was in the plan to begin with. The result is you come away with a plan that is focused, robust and funded.

The first breakout was to look at what the guiding principles for the city were. Roy Male, Executive Director Human Resources, made a very good point when he said: “We have to be able to see ourselves in the principles that we set out.” For Male having a compelling Strategic Plan on his desk is an excellent recruiting tool as well. One member suggested that honoring the past was important – and yes someone then mentioned the Freeman Station.

The process Ms Black took them through was focused and rigid with the objective of coming up with a plan that was compelling and something citizens would identify with and want to say: “That’s my Burlington.”

Consultants understand how the executive mind works and Ms Black made solid use of regular breaks. She wanted people to get up and move around and to chat with others rather than have them sitting at a table for hours at a time. This is something both Council and Staff have to learn.

Ms Black got people into small breakout groupings with a task they had to work on together. She gave them homework and asked questions about the material they were supposed to have read. The purpose of the breakouts was to get the groups to agree on what the process for creating a strategic plan was going to be and then drill down and determine what the objectives were to be. Appreciate that this group was not going to create the strategic plan but they had to ensure that there was a process they all agreed upon so that when they went to the community there would be a consistency.

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Gymnastics club attracts 1200 athletes from 32 locations across Ontario for a most successful event.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 16, 2011 – More than 1200 young girls took part on the 23rd Annual gymnastic event hosted by the Burlington Gymnastics Club at the Central Recreation Centre and according to Betty Tate, Executive Director of the club the event was a “fabulous success. “No one was hurt and I am thrilled with the results.” The event, known as the Spring Cup, is Canada’s largest invitational gymnastics event three years running.

Members of the Burlington host club handed out the awards to their peers.

Members of the Burlington host club handed out the awards to their peers.

There were 125 Burlington families and their sibling participating in the event that had clubs from 32 communities across Canada. Not only was the event an athletic success but it was also a financial success and raised several thousand dollars for the club that needs a new roof on their Maple Avenue location.

“We are now at capacity in terms of the number of people we can accommodate at this location.

One of the really nice touches at this event was the having Burlington Club members hand out the medals. In the past, politicians or public personalities would do this task and they always serve as a draw but watching the Burlington kids drape the medals around the necks of their peers was something to watch. Good move on the part of the club.

While the event is an athletic one, it really isn’t about developing Olympic level athletes. Some of the girls do go on to advanced levels but the Burlington Gymnastics Club focuses on developing character and confidence. Meaghan Rice who won a Gold Medal for her floor performance and a Bronze for her work on the bars was more thrilled with the Bronze medal because it was the best bars work she had ever done.

Kathy Kline, a parent who was once a gymnast keeps a close eye on a gymnast doing vault work.

Kathy Kline, a parent who was once a gymnast keeps a close eye on a gymnast doing vault work.

Kathy Kline, a parent working with the Burlington girls doing vault work and on hand to catch a child that might falter, had a young girl say she was sorry for not doing as well as she wanted to. Kathy was quick to point out that “she had done her very best and next time she will do better. “We focus on developing their confidence” said Kline – “the skills follow.”   Kline, in an earlier life was a gymnast and knows what this kind of activity does to build character and confidence.  She, like many of the Mother’s on site helping out, did gymnastics and enjoy being part of the sport but, as Kline points out, she “doesn’t fly over a vault any more” Kline is both a parent with a child in the program and a competitive coach with BCG

Every move made on either the floor work, bars or vaults was photographed and available to the participants.  Two gymnasts look at a performance deciding if they want the picture.

Every move made on either the floor work, bars or vaults was photographed and available to the participants. Two gymnasts look at a performance deciding if they want the picture.

The event is very much a family thing. Teams are created for the set up and take down of the equipment; there is an awards team and a concessions team. Tate explains that the woman working the concession table will watch for sales and when they see a really good deal they will tell their colleagues who will then go out and buy up as much as and be well stocked with low cost food and drinks. This is about as community as you can get.

Tate, who works as a teacher at the Canadian National Ballet School and serves part time as the Burlington Gymnastic Club Executive Director, manages a collection of parent volunteers “without who none of what we do would ever get done”.

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Salt with Pepper – An embarrassing situation that could be turned into a golden opportunity.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON May 16, 2011 It has been embarrassing. Many people worked very hard to make the elite cycling event that was to include five different races including a dramatic, exciting race through the downtown streets of Burlington – but it didn’t happen.

City staff put in hundreds of hours and the Halton Regional Police Service put in almost as many. The project may well have been doomed from the start when the promoter, Craig Fagan failed to show up at a Council meeting to talk to the plan in 2010, but the people involved didn’t know at the beginning what they know now – they were working with a most incompetent and unreliable event promoter. His behaviour is a mark against all the semi professional cyclists in Canada and one would hope that the Canadian Cycling Association would take steps to enforce some discipline on Craig Fagan and the Midweek Cycling Club. They put the city and the Regional Police though hoop after hoop.

Every time Fagan failed to appear for a critical meeting there would be an excuse and each time the people working with the promoter would shake their heads and try again. Fagan was taking advantage of everyone’s good will. We were had.

Is there a lesson for us here and an opportunity as well? I think there is. One of the things we have that no one else has is geography and if the cycling groups want to work with a city that puts real effort into making something happen – well maybe they will get in touch with us.

Fagan is now complaining about the cost of policing the event – and indeed the costs did seem very high, but he was aware of those costs right from the beginning. Fagan’s hope was that there would be significant sponsorship to offset the costs – but that sponsorship failed to appear.

We can cavil forever about how incompetent Fagan and his Midweek cycling colleagues were – what we need to do is look for the lessons and learn from them and then figure out how we can take the geography we have and get it in front of the people who want to use it for an elite level cycling event.

And here the city is going to have to lead, for it is Burlington that stands to reap most of the benefit. We will also have to partner with the police and work with them to find ways to get the policing and traffic management costs much lower. While the police may not see economic development as part of their mandate; working with the communities they serve and protect is most definitely a part of their mandate.

So – how would we best do this? The first step would be to learn more. When Fagan and his MidWeek people first approached Burlington we knew next to nothing about the intricacies of elite cycling events and we were constantly waiting for Fagan to give us information. We were far too dependent on a guy who didn’t show up for meetings and didn’t know how to balance a cheque book.

The city can, and should consider putting together a small team, three to five people, and have them research this business of elite sport cycling. Find out who the ‘players’ are. How does it work as a business ? Who makes the rules, who governs the sport and what are the financial basics ? Learn what the sport wants and then put together a report and have the city determine if there is an economic benefit for the city and if there is what will it cost the city to develop that benefit ?

We have an economic development corporation in place that does this kind of thing every day and while I have difficulty seeing Kyle Benham, Executive Director of the Burlington Economic development Corporation (BEDC) peddling a $7500. bicycle through the streets of Burlington, I can see him applying his keen mind to the financial inputs and outputs and advising the city on what might work. Sports tourism is big business and there is no reason why Burlington cannot be a sports tourism destination. We flood Spencer Smith Park with people during the Sound of Music Festival and the Rib Fest. There is an opportunity here – but the city is going to have to show leadership.

The team of three to five people I am proposing would spend less time on the research side than city staff spent in meeting after meeting being jerked around by an incompetent event organizer who was consistently dishonest with the people he was working with.

There is significant potential for the city with the geography we have. Can the city pull all the pieces together and make it work for the city? The first thing Scott Stewart needs to do is pull his people together and do a debriefing and figure out what went wrong and why it went wrong. His staff did a superb job of trying to get the thing off the ground. Not as sure that the policed did as well as the city staff but that can be brought to the surface in a debriefing.

The police could over time develop significant expertise in traffic management and working with communities to handle the different but very legitimate uses of our rural roads. The farmers need to be able to haul hay along those roads and the strawberry growers want those roads passable so that people can get to their fields. Surely there is a way to work with the calendar and figure out a way for everyone to use those same roads.

The police could become experts at this type of road management and traffic control and market their expertise to other municipalities and organizations..

Last weekend Toronto all but shut down parts of the city while thousands ran a marathon. The same thing happened in Mississauga. Properly organized Burlington could have an annual sports cycling event that would bring thousands of people to the city that would get national exposure.

At one of the Budget Orientation meetings earlier this year the BEDC talked of sending a delegation to Appledoorn, our sister city in Holland, on a search for a Dutch company that might be interested in locating in Burlington. Council didn’t warm up to that idea but they just might take to the idea of using some of the BEDC budget to look into Burlington becoming a sports cycling centre.

 

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