Heavy rainfall expected tomorrow: City asks residents to take steps to help reduce the risk of flooding

notices100x100By Staff

October 27, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Neither the city or the regional governments wants to get caught over poor flood potential warnings.

This time everyone appears to be in town so we know where our leaders are – and they are telling us that the remnants of the hurricane that slammed into the west side of Mexico has worked its way north and that the city could see up to 50 cm of rainfall in a short period of time

The message to the citizens is that Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Halton Region, including Burlington, for significant rainfall beginning early tomorrow morning and continuing throughout the day.

Flood Fairview plaza

The city wants to be sure rainwater like this doesn’t collect anywhere is the city.

“The city began preparing for this weather event yesterday, checking inlet and outlet structures and catch basins to ensure they are clear,” said Cathy Robertson, director of road and parks maintenance at the City of Burlington.

“We are also encouraging residents to take steps around their homes to help reduce the risk of flooding,” Robertson said. “We are asking residents to check catch basins on their streets to make sure leaves are not blocking the flow of storm water into the sewers.”

If you are scheduled to receive leaf pick next week from the city’s leaf collection program, please wait until after the storm before raking your leaves to the curb for collection as gusty winds tomorrow will result in blowing leaves.

Pia bailing

There are residents throughout the city who do not want this kind of experience again.

Tips to protect your property from flooding during a heavy rainfall:

Ensure your eavestroughs and downspouts are clear of debris, draining properly, away from the foundation walls of your home.
• Use an extension for your downspouts and ensure they are directed away from the foundation walls.
• Look around your property for any obstructions that could prevent water from draining away from your home.
• Ensure window wells are free from debris to ensure proper drainage.
• Clear debris away from catch basins (sewer grates) on the road to help the flow of storm water into the storm sewer.

Conservation Halton advises that the Environment Canada Weather Office is forecasting a low pressure system associated with the remnants of Hurricane Patricia will be moving into the Great Lakes region this evening. The system is expected to bring significant rainfall along with strong and gusty winds over the next couple of days. Rain will be heavy at times. Latest indications suggest 25 to 40 mm of rain in most areas with locally higher amounts of 40 to 50 mm possible, especially near Lakes Erie and Ontario. There is also the possibility of convective cells within the storm which could add an additional 10 to 20 mm in isolated locations.

The forecasted rainfall will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in all our streams and creeks, resulting in dangerous flow conditions. While no flooding is anticipated, watercourses will be flowing higher than normal causing local streams and creeks to become dangerous, especially in the vicinity of culverts and bridges.

All good news – hopefully we have learned some lessons.

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Weapons amnesty ends in two days - police have set up a dedicated phone line

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton Regional Firearms and Weapons Amnesty ends in two days October 29, 2015.

The police have encouraged people to surrender their unregistered or unwanted firearms and weapons to the Halton Regional Police.

This amnesty is an opportunity for members of the community to hand in firearms and/or weapons and ammunition that are unused, inherited or illegal, without the fear of being charged for having them.

Guns weapons amnesty

Weapons previously turned in by the public.

During this amnesty, the police encourage people to turn in illegally held guns and ammunition and any other unwanted firearms, imitation firearms and air guns. In addition, any weapon that may pose a threat to public safety such as switchblades, butterfly knives, pepper spray, nunchuks, shurikens, push daggers, knife-combs, crossbows, spiked wristbands, batons and/or blowguns.

There is a dedicated telephone line available to arrange a firearm or weapon pick up. (905) 465-8733 will be monitored from Monday to Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the ten days.

DO NOT BRING ANY WEAPONS OR FIREARMS TO A POLICE STATION.

DO NOT TRANSPORT FIREARMS OR WEAPONS IN YOUR VEHICLE.

DO NOT GREET OFFICERS AT THE DOOR WITH FIREARMS/WEAPONS.

Officers assigned to pick up the weapons will provide police identification and will require a signature for destruction.

This Amnesty is an opportunity for everyone to take part in removing these firearms and weapons from the community, reducing the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals.

Last year, approximately 180 firearms were turned in, about 40 knives and 200 pounds of ammunition.

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Community garden applications to be available on November 2nd - closing date is November 22nd. Lottery draw will decide who gets a space.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 26, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Shucks – they aren’t advertising the seed catalog offerings yet are they?

The city however is ready to accept applications to secure a garden plot in 2016 at one of the city’s three community gardens starting November 2 through to the 22nd, 2015.

Rob Peachey

Rob Peachey says he is excited.

Rob Peachey, the city’s manager of parks and open spaces, who doesn’t get excited very often said today that the city is entering the “fifth growing season with the community gardens program,” and he is “excited”.

Peachey overseas the Windows on the Lake program for the city. It isn’t a part of his job that brings smiles to his face.

The city is accepting the applications a bit earlier than in past years, to give gardeners more time over the winter months to plan and prepare their gardens for the spring.”

Bennett M in church garden

This lady knows what a difference a community garden can make. Michelle Bennett was one of the people who taught city hall ho yo go after provincial money and get community gardens in place. she started with one – there are now three.

Located at Amherst Park, Central Park and Francis Road Bikeway, the community gardens are open for planting from May 1 to Oct. 23, 2016. There are a total of 80 plots available, plus six raised, accessible plots suitable for persons with disabilities. Applicants may indicate a preferred garden location and plot style on the application.

The cost to rent a plot for the season is $50. Water, soil and compost are supplied and all plots have full sun. Plots will be allocated by lottery at the close of the application period, and all applicants will be notified of their lottery result by early December 2015.

Community garden application forms will be available online beginning November 2 at community centres, the Seniors’ Centre, or City Hall, 426 Brant St., at the Service Burlington counter. Completed applications must be received by the city no later than Nov. 22, 2015.

For more information about Burlington community gardens, visit www.burlington.ca/communitygardens.

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Project approved in 1985 sees a construction crew on site to bury hydro wires.

notices100x100By Staff

October 26, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON
It begins.

Not quite the shovels in the ground with the photo op and the silver spade – this is just getting hydro wires in the ground. The rest will begin in the New Year

Bridgewater from lake on the east

It was a dream back in 1985 when the city approved a legacy building on the edge of the lake. The burying of hydro lines marks the beginning of real construction. Occupancy is scheduled for 2018.

The Bridgewater development that will consist of a 22 storey condominium, an eight story hotel and a second seven story condominium commences.

The first phase of construction will include the burial of hydro lines. This work is expected to take approximately 10 weeks. During the construction, there will be some minor lane disruptions and a one-day closure of the intersection at Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road (The Gazette will keep you posted on details.) All businesses in the immediate area will remain open for business as usual.

As part of the construction, the section of Elizabeth Street, south of Lakeshore Road, will be closed until November 2018. Access to the Waterfront Hotel is available through the north driveway.

For more information, please contact Carol Gulak, Capital Works, City of Burlington at 905-335-7600, ext. 7772 or carol.gulak@burlington.ca.

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Run jump play: city gets behind a three year initiative to get young people outside playing.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 22, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Run, Jump, Play – every day. That’s the drill and Burlington got it off to a decent start with children and some staff skipping and twisting with hula hoops outside city hall as the Healthy community initiative got kick started.

The Healthy Community initiative involves the school boards, community groups including Community Development Halton and staff from the Parks and Recreation department and the YMCA.

Hula hooper - Run jump play

Hip swiveling and chalking are the recreational tools that will be used during the first phase of the three year Healthy Community initiative being funded by the province to the tune of $1.1 million

The funding comes from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long Term Care that wants to get kids to those under 12’s that spend more time in front of some kind of screen and get them outdoors.

The program is a three year effort to get children outside and away from the screens – television and computers.

One of the school board trustees recently advised her colleagues that more than 2400 requests for courtesy space on school buses has been requested by students who would not normally be within the area where school bus transportation is provided.

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump play

City hall staff show how its done with Hula hoops – the expectation is that they can get these things out into the community and have children under 12 swiveling their hips.

There was a time when there was more phys- ed in schools – Stuart Miller, Director of Education explained that liability issues have made it difficult to provide the kind of physical education classes that used to be held. You don’t see ropes for kids to climb in the schools anymore; there are no more wall bars either he added.

Miller did say that students must get 20 minutes of exercise each day and that there are physical education classes – but it doesn’t look as if society is looking to the schools to ensure that children get the exercise they need in an educational setting.

That task has been taken up by the province and shifted to the city who in turn look to Community Development Halton who know where the pockets of the population who are not on good healthy diets and who don’t have the money to buy the equipment to play hockey or football live; those communities where running shoe’s come in at over $150 a pair are not in the household budget in the marginalized communities in the city.

Does this mean that Run Jump Play is for a particular sector of this city’s population?  Difficult to say at this point – the maps outlining where Community Development Halton is going to focus their work have not yet been completed.

The program is a three year initiative with $1.1 million of funding in place.  The intention is to collect a lot of data to determine how much weight can be lost with this kind of program.

Goldring + Tina 4 run jump play

Mayor Goldring showing the four year old daughter of a city hall staffer how well he draws with chalk

This kind of program was used in France where the results were reported to be very positive.  Measuring  Body Mass Index (BMI) changes is seen as a simple way to determine if there has been a change.

It is a positive program and it got off to a good start.  The Mayor didn’t twist and turn with a hula hoop around his waist  instead he drew with a piece of chalk – this after saying at the opening of his wife’s art gallery earlier in the week that he was so bad at art that his teacher gave him a 50 mark and suggested he leave the program.

Related article:

City gets $1.1 million in funding for health initiative.

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Region announces flu shot clinic dates for Burlington

element_healthservicesBy Staff

October 22, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton Region Health Department has started the influenza (flu) immunization clinics for the 2015-2016 flu season with community influenza clinics for all residents aged six months and older beginning this week. Flu immunizations are also available at many pharmacies (for those aged five years and older), as well as in doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics and at some workplaces.

Getting the flu vaccine every year is the most important way to protect against the flu. It also helps to prevent the spread of the virus to those who are vulnerable to complications of the flu. The flu immunization is recommended for all those six months of age and older.

Most healthy people recover from the flu within a few days; however, influenza infection can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization, and can even be fatal, especially in the elderly, those under five years of age and those with certain chronic health conditions.

Caucasian woman washing her hands

Washing your hands frequently when you are not well prevents the communication of viruses.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday precautions against influenza by washing your hands with soap frequently, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (when soap and water is not available) and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading your illness to others and see your doctor if your illness worsens or doesn’t begin to improve after a few days.

Clinic dates for Burlington are:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Burlington Seniors’ Centre 2285 New Street 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monday, October 26, 2015 L.B. Pearson High School 1433 Headon Road 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Robert Bateman High School 5151 New Street 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
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Fire department given 500 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to hand out.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 19, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Union Gas handed over 500 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to the Burlington Fire department at a meeting at the Seniors Centre on the weekend. It is part of Project Zero, a public education campaign that provides combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to residents with the goal of reducing the number of residential fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths to zero.

The alarms were handed out at the seniors event, they were “won”  through answering fire safety trivia questions.

Tony Bavota - fire chief

Fire Chief Tony Bavota.

The few remaining alarms will be given to seniors registered in the fire department  alarm assistance program, which helps those who are isolated and/or have disabilities or mobility challenges, which make it difficult to install and maintain their home smoke and co alarms.

Union Gas utility services manager, Marc Hoewing visited the Burlington Seniors’ Centre yesterday to present Burlington fire chief, Tony Bavota with the alarms.

“At Union Gas, the safety of our employees and our communities is our most important core company value,” said Hoewing. “And we share that commitment by supporting much-needed programs like Project Zero that helps us all stay safer.”

They work - but only if they have fresh batteries.

They work – but only if they have fresh batteries.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless toxic gas that is often referred to as the “silent killer.” Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness, without the elevated temperature associated with the flu. In severe cases, CO poisoning can cause brain damage and death. The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to CO. Over 80 per cent of carbon monoxide-related deaths and injuries in Ontario occur in the home.

Fire Chief Tony Bavota said at the meeting that “Working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms save lives,” said Bavota, “Offering them to some of the seniors in our community will help to keep them safe in their homes.”

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Public school board wants significant public input on the direction it takes with French immersion classes.

News 100 blueBy Walter Byj

October 20, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Let me begin with the following two paragraphs from a June article I wrote:

“For some it is a grand success story while others view it as an experiment that has created a mess. Either way, it has created a logistics nightmare for boards across the province as educators try to run both a successful English program along with a strong French Immersion program. School busing, disruption of community schools, huge uptake in French Immersion and a shortage on competent French teachers in Ontario is forcing many boards to review their current implementation of French Immersion.

Richelle Papin - hand to chin

Burlington school board trustee Richelle Papin was a member of the Program Viability Committee

“In Halton, the board recently created the Program Viability Committee (PVC) whose goal was to do a thorough review of the challenges that French Immersion has placed on the English program and to then propose a number of solutions that could alleviate any current problems. The committee, which consists of 22 members, includes the Director of Education, board superintendents, schools principals and three trustees. The trustees are J. Oliver (Oakville, K. Graves (Milton) and R. Papin (Burlington). “

After a number of committee meetings, committee chair and Director of Education, Stuart Miller gave the board his report with his recommendations on September 16th

RECOMMENDATION 1:
Be it resolved that the Halton District School Board present the following options for the delivery of French Immersion to the public in the Fall of 2015 for the purpose of receiving feedback, considerations and comments. Feedback will be brought to the Board for consideration in the delivery of French Immersion programming:

1. Option 1: Grade 1 (early) French immersion remains a 50% French 50% English delivery model, but entry to French Immersion will be capped. The method of capping would be determined at a later date.

2. Option 2: Grade 1 (early) French Immersion remains at 50% French and 50% English, however all French Immersion programs will be delivered in single track FI schools. French Immersion will be phased out of dual track schools and no new dual track schools will be considered. The location of the single track schools will be determined at a later date.

3. Option 3: French Immersion will commence at a later entry point (mid entry); Grade 4. This will result in the delivery model of French Immersion moving from a 50% model to at least a 80% French Immersion model. In addition the delivery of French Immersion will occur in dual track schools only.

4. Option 4: French Immersion will commence at a later entry point (mid entry); Grade 4. This will result in the delivery model of French Immersion moving from a 50% model to at least a 80% French Immersion model. In addition the delivery of French Immersion will occur in single track French Immersion schools only.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller moves forward with the first initiative that has his fingerprints all over it – the public will get to see what he means by public engagement and how well he listens.

After a thorough discussion, these recommendations were accepted unanimously by the trustees at the October 7th meeting with the understanding that the board would do everything they could to ensure the public thoroughly understand the current situation and be highly involved in any future solution.

Fully understanding the scope of this project, along with the potential ramifications on the public, Director Miller, with the encouragement of the trustees, emphasized that intensive input and ideas from the public would be required before any changes could be made.

He said the options presented are just a starting point and other alternatives would be studied. All information that the staff has would be shared with the public so that they would have a solid understanding of the challenges that the board currently faces.

There will be no pre-determined decisions as input from the public will play a major role in the final decision. Much time was spent discussing the different ways the public could be included in the process. Director Miller mentioned the use of social media and focus groups as some of the methods.

However, the first step will be face to face public meetings on the following dates:

Milla Pickfield is a Nelson High graduate - understanding the proceedings of the school board was not something high school prepared her for.

All meetings will begin at 7 p.m.:
BURLINGTON: Monday, October 26 Nelson High School (4181 New St.)
OAKVILLE: Tuesday, October 27 White Oaks Secondary School (South Campus 1330 Montclair Dr.)
MILTON: Monday, November 2 Milton District High School ( 396 Williams Ave)
HALTON HILLS: Tuesday, November 3 Georgetown District High School (70 Guelph St)

After some prodding from the trustees, Director Miller said he would be open to have a fifth meeting if necessary.

Parents can attend any or all of the above meetings; they are not restricted by the city/town they live in.

The first major test will be the crowd at the Burlington meeting; it could be a barometer as to how well the board is reaching the public.

Walter ByjWalter Byj has been the Gazette reporter on education for more than a year. He is a long-time resident of the city and as a parent has in the past delegated to the school board.

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Election date - make it count.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 19th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

There is just one per person and the price paid to make this available to you was measured in lives – so use it wisely – and be sure to use it.

Today is Election Day across the country. The polls open at 9:30 am and close at 9:00 pm

Voting ballot box

If you don’t know where to vote and need some help you can call any of the political party election offices or the Burlington Returning Office.

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City managers work plan has depth and detail - is it too ambitious?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 16, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Let’s dig a little deeper into the Work Plan city manager James Ridge presented to a Standing Committee earlier this week.

James Ridge Day 1

City Manager James Ridge

Ridge set his intentions out into groups, just the way any Army captain would and then delved into the groupings and what Ridge hoped to get done. We have added a few comments to expand on the tasks. which were:

STRATEGIC PLAN, OFFICIAL PLAN, AND OTHER SUPPORTING PLANS:
City Strategic Plan: While many many months late Council and staff are now meeting to nail this down and move on to the Official Plan Review and the city budget.

Official Plan: On hold until the Strategic Plan has been struck. With a new planner due to start in November there may be a little lag time while she figures out what is where at city hall and gets to know her staff.

Transportation Master Plan: A work in progress

Corporate/ SMT Work Plan: 12-24 month detailed work plan addressing all Strategic and Official Plan work items. Develop master SMT work plan to deliver strategic objectives.
Each Director, General Manager and Service Owner to have a personal work plan, which will be a central element of their ongoing performance evaluation

we

How will citizens take to multi year strategic budgets?

Multi-Year Strategic Plan budget: Ensure that high level budgeting is undertaken to accompany the Strategic Plan and supporting multi-year work plan to guide priority setting and annual budget discussions. Multi-year budget projections for implementation of the Strategic and Official Plans and associated Work Plans.
The city’s finance department is probably the best run shop in the city – they don’t need to be told what to do – they do need other departments to work as efficiently and as effectively as the Joan Ford crew works.

City Manager Work Plan: Set out in detail below.
Work Plan management and reporting systems

STRATEGIC INITIATIVES:

Ridge wasn’t able to say much about initiatives – other than he thought there might be as many as 50 of them.

EXCELLENCE IN STRATEGIC GOVERNANCE
City Performance Indicators: Working with BEDC, Burlington Community Foundation and others, develop a macro set of performance measures that taken together are a reasonable proxy for the general wellbeing of the City. A clear set of key performance measures to measure the health, quality of life, and economic performance of the City tracked longitudinally.

Some very good data was released at a Standing Committee meeting earlier in the week. The Gazette is pulling that information together and will publish later this month – you won’t see this data anywhere else.

Workshop on Excellence in Strategic Governance: To support Strategic Plan implementation, have a facilitated workshop(s) to consider strategic governance principles and the appropriate governance/management relationship needed for successful implementation of the strategic plan.
Strategic governance workshop with Council and appropriate senior staff, to develop general principles of strategic governance and management.

Excellence in Governance Charter: City Council is widely seen as an exemplar of excellence in strategic governance. Develop with Council an “Excellence in Governance Charter.” Adopt as Council policy a series of best practices and decision tools that reflect accepted best practices in strategic governance for public and private sector organizations.

Watch this one carefully – it looks as if it might be what gets put in place of the Code of Conduct that most of this council does not want. The Code of Conduct is something this council needs and the public deserves.

wer

Councillor John Taylor wants better agenda and council meeting planning – dislikes the way Clerk’s office manages the flow of paper – city manager wants to get rid of the paper.

Agenda Planning: Through regular reviews of the City Manager’s work plan, allow for better longer and medium term agenda planning. Several members of Council have complained about poor agenda planning and want material they are to discuss earlier in the process. When the calendar for 2016 was being discussed Councillor Dennison suggested a number of changes which the Clerk’s office wasn’t happy with. Mayor Goldring brought this up giving the Clerk an opportunity to explain what the problems were. Dennison wanted to know why he had not heard of the Clerk’s concerns. Now we know why there are problems with agenda planning – these people don’t talk to each other.

Council Agendas: Structure Council agendas to clearly identify strategic and good-governance agenda items. A proposal for a new model for Committee and Council agendas. Set for 2Q of 2016. Don’t bet the barn on that date.

EXCELLENCE IN MUNICIPAL ADMINISTRATION:
Customer Service
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool
One Stop Business Startup Centre
Service Management
Enterprise Risk Management
Enterprise Performance Measurement

Business Analytics Capability/Research and Data analysis: If possible, fast track the implementation of a business analytics tool to permit robust data analysis. As an interim measure, create a temporary new role to do data analysis, quantitative research, and coordinate surveys.

A suite of applications, tools and process that when implemented and operational support performance measurement, data analytics and corporate reporting.

One position (perhaps .5 FTE) to undertake quantitative analysis and detailed data analysis in support of Council and corporate initiatives.

During a presentation made by former Director of Planning Bruce Krushelnicki we learned that the city has absolutely no demographic capacity and that there is some statistical capacity but the person doing the job could not tell a Director how many homes there are in Alton Village. That staffer is apparently still cashing a pay cheque.

Revenue and Grant Coordinator: Create a role with an explicit focus, and dedicated time, to undertake grant requests, stay abreast of new funding opportunities, and seek other revenue opportunities. Create a new (likely .5 FTE position) in the City Manager’s office to coordinate City grant applications, research new and existing funding opportunities, and consider other municipal revenue opportunities.

This is the second mention of additional staff – Councillor Craven won’t let this happen – but Councillor Sharman might like to see someone who can gather data

Document Management: Multi-year project to reduce or eliminate use of paper, provide better access to information, and more transparent public access. First phase should be paperless meeting materials for those who wish to use. Paperless SMT meetings. Full transition is a major multi-year project.

City Marketing Cooperative: Explore the possibility of a marketing cooperative to share expertise and resources among City departments and City- funded agencies and boards. If agreement is reached among the parties, create a marketing cooperative to share expertise and mitigate duplication in marketing, print, web support activities.
This is one of those initiatives that is better not even attempted – bureaucrats are not marketers – this should be outsourced to a company that is given a strong, clear mandate.

Three VIA employees,all engineers in the diesel pulling the train were killed in the accident.  Train is being righted for removal.

Burlington didn’t lead the way it could have led during the Via derailment a number of years ago – the city now how seasoned Emergency Management in place

Emergency Management: Fully implement an emergency management plan, appropriate training, and develop and maintain business continuity plans.

This task is well underway – the Fire department brought in a season manager who explained what the department will be doing and how it will work – it is a very significant improvement over procedures that were in place previously.

Build Redevelopment Capacity in Planning Building and other relevant Departments: Evolve through hiring, professional development and resource allocation the Planning and Building department’s expertise and capacity from greenfield single family to infill and intensification.

Land Economist: Strengthen our planning and real estate management capability by tendering for a retainer for a municipal land economist to provide expert arms-length advice to City staff and Council on land economic issues, particularly independent assessments of development applications and the embedded assumptions around profitability at various densities and uses.

ORGANIZATION AND CULTURE

Marie Ann Coulson

Members of the team that run the finance department during a budget debate – they were updating data on the fly

People Plan Team: There is a general need for a team of union and non-union staff from across the City to focus on and make recommendations about, workplace quality and cultural concerns.

Culture Survey: In Q1 2016 undertake the Dennison survey of organizational culture as a baseline.

Performance Evaluation System: Develop a new Performance Evaluation system. Fully implemented new PE system that is modular, with elements for individual contributors, service owners, and Directors. Ridge wants this to be 100% use. He sees this as quarterly structured but less formal conversations with staff on performance, not a once a year report

Succession Planning: Create a corporate succession plan and succession planning policies. Initial identification of high potential management staff for detailed career planning. Initial identification of high potential front line staff with leadership potential for detailed career planning.

Succession plans complete for all departments. Corporate policies in place. SMT has created a list of high potential middle managers for immediate development

MAJOR INITIATIVES

Storm Water Management: Implement the Council-approved program on expanded storm water management.
This program is going to have a very significant impact on the 2016 budget and will stun the owners of properties that have large parking areas. The city has done a very poor job of informing both residents and commercial property owners on the ramifications – they are significant.

Asset Management – Infrastructure Renewal

Conversion Reviews: In the context of the Official Plan review, develop (with BEDC) mechanisms to defensibly and consistently make recommendations on conversion requests.

Once the Strategic Plan is in place this will become a major matter for this Council. The development community does not believe the city needs all the Employment Land it has – and they want the opportunity to convert those lands to residential where the profits are much higher.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown - owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown – owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

Major developers in this city have been sitting on land holdings for year – decades in some cases – waiting for the day when they can get a conversion. The province does not make it easy for any conversions to take place – but the developers have skilled planners who can make a donut look like a life saver.

Beachway Park: Negotiate with the Region cost sharing for Beachway Park, both Capital and Operating.

Sustainable Development Awards

Urban Design Review and Awards

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS
Government Relations
Policies and Process: With the Mayor’s Office and Council develop formal policies, procedures for ongoing intergovernmental relations activities. Identify the first inventory of key intergovernmental issues and action plans.

This has always been a particularly weak area for this city administration. Having city managers move in and out of that office every two years didn’t help to develop strong working relationships. The city did hold a Burlington Day at Queen’s Park which amounted to everyone handing out business cards and getting 15 minutes with Ministers and some Deputy Ministers.

Burlington didn’t have a very effective MPP at the time which made it difficult to achieve very much.

The failure of the IKEA move to the North Service Road was due in no small measure to the lack of a deep understanding of how the Ministry of Transportation really works. The lead people on that file had not been properly mentored on how a city deals with a provincial ministry.

Redevelopment processes: Develop with Halton Region, a seamless process with known timelines for redevelopment applications. Done by 1Q 2017

LaSalle Pacillion

Our Building – on Hamilton’s land.

LaSalle Park: Reach agreement and Council approval on the transfer of LaSalle park ownership to Burlington by 1Q 2017
Community Engagement: Continue and build on the work that has been done on community engagement, support the Engagement Charter

New Resident Outreach: The City administration takes steps to proactively reach out to and engage communities, including immigrants, who have a very low incidence of engaging with City

Partnerships. The city wants a tighter working relationship with Hamilton where there is real economic growth; it also wants to strengthen the relationship with the Region.

This is most of what city manager James Ridge put before city council. In a separate article we report on how council reacted

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Highly rated child psychiatrist to speak to educators and parents about raising children in a wired world.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 15th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Better late than never – I suppose.

The Halton District School Board’s Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) announced that they are hosting the 8th Annual Conference for Parents on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville. The theme of the conference, held from 8 a.m. – 2:15 p.m., will be Building Healthy Relationships.

jean-clintonThe keynote speaker is Dr. Jean Clinton, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, division of Child Psychiatry. She will share how parent involvement is critical for student success through the power of relationships, as children and young people learn best in an environment where they feel respected and connected. She will attempt to answer the question, what role do we play as parents in this? Clinton will discuss how parents, in a busy wired-up world, can maintain a focus on relationships.

Parents can also choose to attend an afternoon presentation by Paul Davis, who will address the topic of social networking safety.

The Building Healthy Relationships conference theme will provide a variety of new workshops and will also include some that have been well received by parents in years past. Workshops will address numeracy, literacy, teaching kids about money management, promoting positive mental health for teens, community resources availability, helping students craft an academic and career pathway for success, high school course selections, managing behaviour and discipline, violence prevention and cyberbullying, and gifted learning.

The Halton District School Board Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) recognizes parents play a vital role in the development and education of their children and in the success of schools and therefore provides a regular opportunity for School Council members to network, share ideas, offer input and enjoy informative presentations on a number of education related topics throughout the school year.

For more information, visit www.hdsb.ca and click on the PIC logo on the right side of the homepage.

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Police holding their second firearms amnesty - they took 180 weapons off the streets during the first amnesty.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Have the Regional Police come to the conclusion that if the public hasn’t used their weapons to shoot all the politicians before they elect one of them to the House of Commons – then perhaps another gun amnesty is due – to get the weapons off the streets.

The Halton Regional Police Service will be hosting its second regional Firearms and Weapons Amnesty from October 19 to October 29, 2015.

The public is  being  encouraged to surrender their unregistered or unwanted firearms and weapons to the Halton Regional Police.

Guns weapons amnestyThis amnesty is an opportunity for members of the community to hand in firearms and/or weapons and ammunition that are unused, inherited or illegal, without the fear of being charged for having them.

The Halton Regional Police Service aims to create a safer community by removing these firearms and weapons from locations such as homes, businesses and schools to prevent their use in violent crimes.

Currently, in Ontario there are over 500,000 citizens who hold valid Possession Licenses (POL) and Possession and Acquisition licenses (PAL).

There are over 300,000 restricted and prohibited firearms registered in Ontario, not including non-restricted firearms (long guns).
In some circumstances, POL and PAL licensees no longer wish to keep their firearms due to age, ability and residential location. POL and PAL holders often omit or forget to renew their license and/or are deceased, leaving the firearms unregistered or in the possession of unlicensed family members. This amnesty is an opportunity to have the police come and safely take these weapons away.

During this amnesty, the police encourage people to turn in illegally held guns and ammunition and any other unwanted firearms, imitation firearms and air guns. In addition, any weapon that may pose a threat to public safety such as switchblades, butterfly knives, pepper spray, nunchuks, shurikens, push daggers, knife-combs, crossbows, spiked wristbands, batons and/or blowguns.

Between October 19 and October 26, a dedicated telephone line will be available to arrange a firearm or weapon pick up. (905) 465-8733 will be monitored from Monday to Saturday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm during the ten days.

DO NOT BRING ANY WEAPONS OR FIREARMS TO A POLICE STATION.

DO NOT TRANSPORT FIREARMS OR WEAPONS IN YOUR VEHICLE.

DO NOT GREET OFFICERS AT THE DOOR WITH FIREARMS/WEAPONS.

Officers assigned to pick up the weapons will provide police identification and will require a signature for destruction.

This Amnesty is an opportunity for everyone to take part in removing these firearms and weapons from the community, reducing the risk of them falling into the hands of criminals.

Last year, approximately 180 firearms were turned in, about 40 knives and 200 pounds of ammunition.

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Royal Botanical Gardens shifts its hours of operation - a little quieter these days

notices100x100By Staff

October 13, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The autumn hours of operation at the Royal Botanical Gardens have changed.

RBG gardens - lots of colour

Autumn ours have changed at the RBG

RBG Centre will be open 10am through 5pm daily.

– The Hendrie Park/Rose Garden kiosk is now closed for the season. Weather permitting, access to Hendrie Park is available through the RBG Centre entrance.

– Laking Garden kiosk is now closed for the season.

– Extended hours will begin again November 14th for Holiday Traditions.

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Open House for the three year old set as they gear up for JK and the beginning of a thirteen year journey.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 13, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton District School Board has created a program to ease children into the school system.

Kindergarten classroom trashed when punks break in. When caught, and they will eventually get caught, a Judge might find a tougher school for them

Mohawk Public school will host an OPEN House for those starting school next year. Bit of a drive for those who live in Alton and Aldershot isn’t it?

They will be holding five Kindergarten Open Houses for the three year old set to to learn more about starting school.
In Burlington the big day is December 3rd with Mohawk Gardens Public school (5280 Spruce Ave) serving as hosts. The event will take place between 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Students and parents will:

• Explore a Kindergarten classroom
• Learn about play-based learning
• Pick up information and resource material in a free backpack
• Access information about community agencies and resources in Halton
• Get information about before and after school care
• Ask questions about special education

There are apparently no “loot bags” unless a back pack falls into that category.

Children born in 2012 can start Kindergarten in September 2016. Registration for Kindergarten begins in January 2016 and takes place at the school your child will attend.

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Announcement of a city planner is thought to be coming soon. New head of Human Resources recently appointed; that job wasn't posted.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 13, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Is the city going to hire a new Planner soon?

Burlington parted ways with Bruce Krushelnicki June 1st; the city has been without a planner ever since.
If Burlington really is the best mid-sized city in the country – would there not have been a lineup outside the Human Resources department of planners holding their resumes in their hands?

Apparently not – but there is a planner coming our way – expect an announcement soon soon.

And expect a bit of a surprise as well.

Male Roy

Roy Male – now playing gold full time.

With a Planner about to be announced – some comment should be made on the retirement of Roy Male, Executive Director of Human Resources since Moses parted the waters of the Jordan River.

Male appears to have decided that there was still time for some golf – and he wasn’t wrong on that issue – he did make some mistakes on the hires he made but he was a consistent advocate for attracting smart young people to the municipal sector.

Laura Boyd has been appointed to replace Roy Male. There are those at city hall who frown on appointments – and think every job opportunity should be posted.

We may be reading more about Boyd – she recently filled in for the City Manager at a meeting of Council.

Nice to see an improvement in the gender balance – it isn’t going to stop at Human Resources.

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The installation of free WiFi at Millcroft Park to begin next week.

notices100x100

October 9, 2015

 BURLINGTON, ON

Beginning October  13, construction will begin in Millcroft Park to install free Cogeco Wi-Fi.

The construction and installation of equipment is expected to take four to five weeks.

The free Wi-Fi is a pilot test with Cogeco Cable to provide free internet access within certain areas of the park. Most of the city’s arenas, city hall and recreation and community centres already have free Wi-Fi access.

The park will remain open during construction.

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Region sets up on line immunization reporting service.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 7, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Regional Health office is making it easier for parents to advise the health office that their children have been properly immunized.

The online immunization reporting form makes it more convenient way to report required immunizations. The form is available at halton.ca/immunize.
While the majority of families in Halton Region immunize their children to protect their health, many are unaware of their legal requirement to notify the Halton Region Health Department about any required immunizations their children have, especially those the province requires for school attendance.
Parents can update their child’s immunization records by going online at halton.ca/immunize, dialing 311 or dropping off an up-to-date record at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville.

flu-shot child

Advising the regional health office that your child has been properly immunized is a requirement. That can now be done on line.

“Halton Region’s Health Department is responsible for enforcing the provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), which outlines the immunizations students need to attend classes, in order to keep our schools and students healthy,” said Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani. “Since students without up-to-date immunization records can face school suspension, it’s critical that parents make sure the Halton Region Health Department has their child’s most recent immunization records on file.”

Immunizations are available through family doctors or at one of Halton Region’s immunization clinics. If children are unable to get immunized, they must have a notarized exemption on file with the Health Department in order to meet school attendance requirements.

To learn more about which immunizations are required to attend school and how to report immunizations, please visit halton.ca/immunize.

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City is looking for keen minds and energetic people to sit on advisory committees - holding a show and tell for anyone interested.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 7, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

There are occasions when the city does listen to the people who pay the freight. Not as often as they could and should but they at least do try.

Last year the city held an event that people who liked the idea of serving on an advisory committee could attend and meet city staff who could explain what was involved.

Danielle Pitoscia, Manager of Committee and Election Services, who I think deserves credit for the initiative announced that “After the success of last year’s first-time event, we are holding the event in a larger space to make room for all the participants. It’s great to know there are so many people who want to get involved with their city through the committees,” she said.

CommEng

Except for one person, and she was a consultant hired by the city, these people are all community volunteers. At times they are very effective.

“This event is a great first step for people wanting to become involved and have a real impact and voice within their community through our volunteer boards and committees.”

The event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, at Burlington City Hall between 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Whoops – glitch!

City Hall BEST aerial

City hall is not the only place in the city people can meet in.

Why does everything have to take place at city hall. This makes it very inconvenient for people who live north of the QEW. Lesson in there for city hall – hold three events – one at Tansley Woods, and another at the Haber Recreational Centre.

He loves his Ward, he knows his constituents and their needs.  Is there life beyond city hall for Rick Craven?

Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven is a big booster for his ward – he welcomes everyone to his part of the city.

Ooops – just heard a groan from Councillor Craven in Ward 1 – hold the event in Aldershot as well.

That does mean the people who are behind these committees have to get out of their offices more than once. If you want the public to be involved – give them a decent chance to become involved.

Everyone is welcome to come out and learn about the committees and see why volunteering on a local board or committee can help you meet new people, share your talents, develop skills, address a common interest as well as make a difference in your community. Current volunteers are also invited to attend as a networking opportunity.

Applications for local boards and committees close Oct. 30, 2015.

For more information about the Volunteer Open House, committees or to apply for a volunteer position, contact the Clerks Department at 905-335-7600, ext. 7481 or visit www.burlington.ca/citizens.

 

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Deaths due to accidents on highways during holidays often involve children: Operation Impact is going to work at reducing the number of accidents.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 7, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Some of the most horrific highway accidents take place on holiday weekends – that’s when families are in cars going to see other members of their family. Check the newspapers Monday, listen to the radio – you will see and hear it all.

Auto accident Halton

Can we get through the Thanksgiving weekend without pictures like this? Try

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, October 9th through to the 12th, the Halton Regional Police Service will be taking part in a national road safety partnership known as Operation Impact. The goal of the program is to remind drivers that an essential part of traffic education and enforcement is to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.

Officers assigned to Operation Impact will focus on behaviour that puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk: impaired driving, seat belt use, and all aspects related to aggressive/distracted driving.

Aggressive drivers often engage in a combination of high-risk road use behaviours; non-use of seat belts, drinking and driving and speeding. The results of these behaviours are often catastrophic for all involved road users.

This year there have been several motor vehicle fatalities investigated by Halton Police. Each of these deaths represents the tragic loss of a loved one – a senseless tragedy that in most cases could have been prevented.

Our annual participation in Operation Impact forms an important part of our overall traffic strategy where partnerships lead to greater road safety. A focus on high risk behaviours provides opportunities for enforcement as well as education.

A good program, that will be solidly enforced – what was missing? Not a word about distracted driving – the nut cases that think they can text and drive at the same time. If the behaviour isn’t mentioned and targeted it may not get the attention it deserves.

Operation Impact is sponsored by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) and member agencies of the CACP Traffic Committee from across Canada in support of Canada’s Road Safety Strategy 2015, which has a goal of making Canada’s roads the safest in the world by 2015.

That is an interesting target – aren’t we already in 2015?

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Bylaw prohibits feeding of wild animals - including coyotes - does not go into effect for one year. City wants to educate people particularly around Fairchild Park.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 5, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

At its meeting on Sept. 28, Burlington City Council approved a new bylaw prohibiting the feeding of wild animals, including coyotes, in the city’s public parks.  The bylaw will not however become effective for one year.

werv

The bylaw prohibiting the feeding of wildlife in public parks goes into effect in one year.

“This new bylaw will help the city address public concerns over coyotes by trying to prevent conflicts before they occur,” said Scott Stewart, the city’s general manager of development and infrastructure. “Research and experience show that one of the most significant things everyone can do to reduce direct public interaction with coyotes is to avoid feeding them.”

Trumpeter swan - wings wide

Swans can be fed but only by those who are licensed.

The no feeding wildlife bylaw prohibits the feeding of any wildlife including waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, in public spaces. City Council approved an amendment to the bylaw to allow the Trumpeter Swan Coalition to continue its work with the trumpeter swans that live in LaSalle Park.

“Like all wildlife in Burlington, coyotes are just trying to survive, and they do that by finding food sources,” said Tracey Burrows, manager of bylaw enforcement and licensing. “The new bylaw will not come into effect for one year, during which time the city will be reaching out to residents to help inform them about how we can work together to eliminate and properly manage food sources around homes to ensure coyotes remain wary of humans.”

In addition to the no feeding wildlife bylaw, the city also offers an online service where residents can report coyote sightings. These sightings are monitored and tracked by city animal services staff to learn more about which areas of the city coyotes are located.

For more information about coyotes or to report a coyote sighting, please visit www.burlington.ca/coyote.

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