Council gets through a heavy agenda - Climate Action Plan has a consensus; Private Tree Bylaw is far from a consensus. Council begins its second year in office.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 3rd, 2019



Monday was a long day, a very long day for the seven members of city council and the city manager who had to sit through it all. Various Staff came and went as Council worked its way through a heavy agenda.

The debate on the Climate Action Plan was robust; the debate on the Private Tree Bylaw was divisive; the debate on the Leash Free space to exercise dogs was instructive – we just might see some creative solutions on this one.

Leaf collection 2017 truck

Is leaf collection a service the city should continue to offer?

At some point the citizens of the city just might learn where the screw up on the leaf collection problem was and who is responsible. Weather was certainly an issue – the real problem was Staff effectively and professionally informing members of council and the public. Angelo B saying it was a lesson learned just doesn’t cut it.

The debate made it clear that Burlington has to find a solution to the leaf collection that is financially sound.

The city is now at the point where it can begin the creation of a Memorandum of Understanding with all four school boards that will lead to a formula for free transit use for high school students. It is complex and will take some serious negotiation.

It was an issue that Mayor Meed Ward brought to Council and she expected to be the lead on the issue.

Meed ward election night 1

She won the election – she is the Mayor.

Sharman - bullying meet Feb 5-2018

Councillor Sharman: A course correction needed.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman wasn’t comfortable with that – he wanted the report to come from Staff rather than the Mayor. City Manager Tim Commisso said he would have the report come from his office.

The battles’ that plagued the 2006 and the 2010 councils have not ended. Sharman is still dogging Meed Ward – this time he is alone and no longer has former Councillor Rick Craven supporting his efforts to reign in Meed Ward whenever they could.

Meed Ward won the election, she is the Mayor. Councillor Sharman has to come to terms with that fact.

Today, Tuesday December 3rd is the first anniversary of this Council being sworn in – a good opportunity for Sharman to complete the psychological adjustment he has to make.

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4 comments to Council gets through a heavy agenda – Climate Action Plan has a consensus; Private Tree Bylaw is far from a consensus. Council begins its second year in office.

  • Alfred

    Elan what grew on the land before your residence was built mushrooms? Where trees not cut down to clear the land for homes to be built. ? Were trees not cut down and used to build your home? Even the forestry staff of Burlington and surrounding Municipalities suggest in reports that the tree by-laws don’t work and are in place as window dressing. Most of the councilors know this. Few have the courage that Councilor Sharman has to tell the truth. Speaking of the truth, a maple tree was planted 19 years ago the day my son was born. Planted on the City portion of the lot. That tree now has a canopy over 30 feet wide and is 34 feet tall. Yes I measured. One hundred twigs planted 20 years ago would be 100 trees of the same size today. Who’s doing the misdirecting. You are sounding like someone who rents. As well as Councilor Sharmans mind reader. Also give delegating at council a go sometime. Not as easy as it looks.

  • Elan

    Don Johnson’s delegation was misdirection at it’s core. He argues, as a real estate agent, not a lawyer, property ownership infers the existence of every blade of grass, current or forever contemplated, is at the sole discretion of the property owner. Wrong. Rights of citizens does not mean we can burn down Burlington lot by lot and the City has no jurisdiction. Municipalities, as reflected by law and precedent, are well within their rights to regulate. Also, rather than applaud Councillor Sharman’s ‘courage’, we must consider the extent to which he is beholden to developers. Developers contributed almost 70% of his 2018 total campaign donations, to his re-election. No wonder he is fighting so hard to slam dunk climate change initiatives, such as the tree by-law. And don’t be fooled by his eco-transit stance…he is banking on there not being enough money in the budget to provide electric buses to the system, although he is advocating for it.

    Also….Penny….viewing the stump of an 85 year old healthy tree taken down in Shore Acres recently to make room for the latest vanity monster home begs whether some mechanism of sober second thought might be appropriate. We can plant a hundred twigs in its place….we will all be dead before that replaces what has been lost.

  • James

    I actually applaud Councillor Sharman for having the courage to regularly challenge the Mayor and keep her in check. Somebody has to, she has demonstrated a tendency to get ahead of herself on occasion. He fills a much needed role in this term of Council.

  • Penny Hersh

    I watched the meeting last night, and I learned a lot about managing the tree canopy, the rights of citizens when it comes to their properties, and the fact that the proposed tree by-law will do little or nothing when it comes to climate change.

    The proposed by-law should, in my opinion, NOT be passed. There are many knowledgeable residents in Burlington who should be consulted on how to do this properly.

    Let’s do it right the first time around, and not rush to pass something to simply fulfill a campaign promise.