City looking for volunteers to serve on its 10 boards and committees; good place to launch a political career or just make a difference.

September 2, 2013

By Pepper Parr

 BURLINGTON, ON.  Local boards and committees, the place where many political careers have started, is a vital part of the way Burlington works.

The city looks for volunteers to sit on a number of Boards and committees that range from the Accessibility Advisory Committee to the Burlington Museums Board.

Mayor Goldring maintains   “The volunteers who serve on a board or committee help to create a vibrant community,”  and some of those boards are certainly “vibrant”; noisy and disorganized might be a better way of describing the way some have operated.

Others have had a profound and lasting impact on how the city has developed.  The Heritage Advisory Committee did such a good job of resolving the mess the city had on its hands with the historical designation of properties that they got close to a standing ovation from Council when they turned in a report and have gone on to basically create and them implement the policies that determine how recognizing and preserving historical properties is going to be done in Burlington.

Heritage was given a substantial budget to carry out their work and operate, to a considerable degree, as an extension of city hall.

The Waterfront Access and Protection Advisory committee did not fare as well and was sunset by the city before they managed to get very much done.

The city wants to fill positions on the following:

Museum Board has plans for a major upgrade to the Brant Museum – is this a place for you and your skill set?

Burlington Museums Board

These people oversee the operation of the Joseph Brant Museum and Ireland House.  With the Brant Museum moving towards a point where they fund raise to make very significant changes  this will be a busy board.

 Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee

Accessibility has always been strong in Burlington.

 Burlington Cycling Committee

This committee needs some fresh blood; they did their best but were not able to get the city to go along with bike lanes on lakeshore road.  They did their best – but it wasn’t enough.  Some pretty disappointed people who need new energy and new ideas.

 Burlington Mundialization Committee

This Committee manages our relationship with sister cities in Japan and Holland.  Might be time for some people who do not come from those countries to be on this committee.


Is transit important? Do we spend enough on transit? Do people really want to pay for a transit service that is not all that well used? Have you experience with transit and could you contribute to the Transit Advisory Committee.

Burlington Transit Advisory Committee

There is a new regime at transit now and their advisory committee is a lot more civil.  Lots of work to be done here to make transit useful to more people.

 Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee.

Probably the best Advisory Committee the city has.

 Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee

With a growing seniors population this committee can play a very significant role in how best to be aware of the concerns, understand them and provide Council with some direction.

 Sustainable Development Committee

New leadership on this committee will see some changes.  Former chair served a full term and has left a strong team in place.  Good place to be if the environment and matters of sustainability matter to you.

Every year the Civic Recognition Committee goes through nominations for the Best Burlington has in the way of volunteer service. Is this something you could be part of?

 Burlington’s Best (Civic Recognition Committee)

This is the committee that handles recommendations for citizens that have excelled in their community contribution and deserve special recognition.  The recognition evening could do with some improvement and getting the word out on what the city means by Burlington’s Best should bring in more nominations.  These aren’t popularity contests –the city wants to recognize the truly deserving

 2014 Doors Open Burlington Organizing Committee.

This committee needs new energy and a stronger sense of direction.  If you’ve a passion fo helping the city tells its story – and it has a great story to tell – this might be a good place to dig in.

 Terms vary from one to four years, with meetings held monthly. The application deadline is Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. Applications are also available in person from the clerks department at City Hall, 426 Brant St, first floor.

“Volunteering on a board or committee is a great way to share your talents and develop your skills,” said Danielle Pitoscia, the city’s acting manager of committee services. “It’s a great way to really dig deeply into your area of interest.”  Comments like that from one of the best committee clerks this city has, gives you some sense of the energy the city wants to put behind its boards and committee.  There is staff who are there to help; each committee has a Clerk assigned to it.  The good ones are very good.  Count Pitoscia among the good ones.

The comments we’ve made are the result of our experience with several of the committee and our observations of the others.

In the past the city has recognized a number of people who have made major contributions.  John Boich, Jane Irwin, Amy Schnurr, Trevor Copp are just a few of the recipients that come to mind.

Go one line and download the application forms.  Might be something that interests you and that you can make a difference on.

For more information on a specific committee, or to apply online.

Return to the Front page

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.