City looking for citizens to serve on Advisory Committees - there are 18 of them

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is looking for community members to volunteer on a city committee or board and play a key role in providing advice and feedback to City Council and staff on a variety of city issues. Applications are now being accepted online at burlington.ca/committees until Friday, Nov 27.

Table work Action plans Thomas

An Action Lab – one of the events that took place when the city was determining the role that Advisory Committees would play in bringing you new ideas to the table.

Residents over 18 years of age, representing the diverse backgrounds of our community are encouraged to apply. Participating on a city committee provides a unique opportunity to:

• Lend your voice and expertise to help shape decisions and services that impact our community
• Expand your network and meet new people
• Gain a broader understanding of how municipal government works.

There have been Advisory Committees that have served the city very well in the past.  The Heritage Advisory is one.

Attend a Virtual Information Session
A virtual information session to share more details about the openings and application process will be held on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Individuals who would like to attend can register in advance by emailing clerks@burlington.ca.

A recording of the Nov. 17 virtual information session will be posted to burlington.ca/committees following the event.

Kevin Arjoon, City Clerk who oversees the administration side of the Advisory Committees will tell you that: “Sitting on a local board or committee provides a unique opportunity to directly impact the future of our city. We are looking for volunteers who represent the diversity in our community to lend us their expertise and ideas to help make a difference in our community.”

Quick Facts
• The City of Burlington has more than 18 boards and committees that play a key role in providing advice and feedback to City Council and staff on a variety of issues, including heritage, accessibility, diversity and the environment.

Here is where the problem exists:

Many people who have served on Advisory Committees have come away disappointed and unsatisfied with what they were able to achieve.  They didn’t feel that they were really listened to and that members of council play too big a role in how the Advisory Committee operates.

Many would like to see the Council members left outside the room.  Many more feel that the members of Council play far to large a role in determining who sits on the Advisory Committees.

Until these issues are worked out – the problems of the past few years are not going to go away.  Which is unfortunate because in events this reporter has taken part in there have been some very smart, dedicated people who want to see and are committed to citizen participation.

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2 comments to City looking for citizens to serve on Advisory Committees – there are 18 of them

  • Alfred

    Penny well said.

    The City is looking for robots they can control. Not creatve free thinkers.

  • Penny Hersh

    “Burlington is looking for community members to volunteer on a city committee or board and play a key role in providing advice and feedback to City Council and staff on a variety of city issues. Applications are now being accepted online at burlington.ca/committees until Friday, Nov 27.”

    This is a joke. Until the structure of these committees change people are wasting their time. The City is only looking for “advice and feedback” if it matches up to what the city was planning on doing from the start.

    Remember the fiasco of trying to reorganize these committees that took place about a year and a half ago. Money spent on forums inviting residents to participate in changing the way these committees ran, and a report that never got to council.

    Residents should not be fooled yet again. Nothing has changed. This is merely “lip service” so that Council can say they engage with the residents.

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