Delegate suggests paid parking at Bateman - slams council for constantly changing delivery dates.

By Staff

June 7th, 2023



Jim Thompson delegates frequently – he is currently focused on the Bateman project.

Last week he had a list of things that were not working out all that well

Delegator Jim Thomson going through his list of things that are not being done on the Bateman project. He suggested that the city require people to pay for parking.

At the April council meeting the mayor stated that the project was on time and on budget. She was only half right. The schedule presented in December had Phase 1 occupancy at September 2024, not September 2025. The schedule slipped by a year. I’m surprised that none of you asked any questions about the slippage in the schedule and how this affects the project cash flow. I assume the tenants won’t start paying rent until they move in. Counselor worries about $20,000 for a city wide mailing but ignores the cost of the years delay in occupancy. I also note that the December schedule had already slipped by a year from the initial schedule that showed everything being done by September 2023. That schedule slipped due to the time taken to negotiate the purchases. So I guess that’s okay.

Both the initial schedule and the December schedule were presented as Gantt charts – those useful charts were dropped from the April report. I guess it would have made it too obvious that the project schedule had slipped.

When Counsellor Kearns asked for a timeline for the milestones and decision points for the balance of the project, I would have expected this to be presented as a Gantt chart rather than a bunch of dates and a table. I don’t actually see any decision points listed in the table.

At the public meeting last year it was stated that traffic studies would be done in Phase 2. I don’t see any reference to traffic studies at all. How does the number of extra users impact congestion on New Street and Appleby Line?

I’m disappointed in this draft plan. I expected to see a complete plan that gave dates for the two public information sessions that council directed to take place in Q3. The only date is the Food for Feedback event which isn’t actually looking for feedback is just to inform the public of engagement opportunities. No actual feedback is expected.

There’s no consult in the engagement. The document states that the engagement began in spring 2022 with the creation of a project site, a survey was started and quickly paused and never restarted. How’s that for engagement?

I guess the initial results of the survey weren’t what the city hoped for. Okay, the project page has a Q&A section that is filled with non answers. When I looked at it in preparation for this meeting, I was struck by the number of questions regarding the green space that were posed five and six months ago. The reply to all of them was that council has directed staff to review the parking issue. That direction only came in March. So basically the question went unanswered for two to three months. That’s engagement ?.

I found this to be typical of the current situation at City Hall.

Last year, it took six months for someone to get around to answering a question I posted through Service Burlington. I’m currently waiting two months for a case number to be assigned to the question I posed through Service Burlington. And that’s after complaining that I didn’t get a case number. I was told I’d get a response soon.

Jim Thomson delegating while Daintry Klien waits patiently for her delegation to start.

Okay, with regards to the policies and factors that cannot be influenced. Option 2 states due to expanded use of the facility anticipated additional parking will be required and that may result in the loss of green space. If that’s a given, then the staff direction regarding parking is a farce. . The decision has already been made and the staff direction is just window dressing. The key parking space message is that you’re going to communicate more parking as needed. Why? You’re supposed to be looking at the future and transit and moving people away from cars, building parking just encourages commuting. So I guess the communication tactic is to stress the need for more parking. So to make it palatable to the public when the cost comes due when staff reports.

I’m going to suggest that you need to add paid parking as one of the issues to be put in place. When I go to courses at Mohawk College I had to pay for parking; when I use the Engineering Library at McMaster – I have to pay for parking. When I come here to delegate I have to pay for parking. When I go to Joseph Brant Hospital, I have to pay for parking. So there’s a revenue stream – paid parking at Bateman.

In the key messages for the outdoor green space planning residents are asked to provide their thoughts on what should be done with the space available within the limits of budget and services. What are the limits?

Who’s making those decisions? And if this is really about engagement, why will there be a walking walking path through the green space? Who decided? Isn’t that what the public consultation is for?
Those are my comments. Thank you for your time.

Thank you very much, Jim. I don’t see that you have any questions at this time. So thank you for your delegation.

Council was prepared to tolerate Thomson and let it go at that.


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15 comments to Delegate suggests paid parking at Bateman – slams council for constantly changing delivery dates.

  • Joe Gaetan

    If you have had enough of COB’s engagement record, it may be time for the real Engaged Citizens of Burlington to join together en masse for an engagement sit-in at a COB council meeting? Just show up, SIT THERE, SAY NOTHING, AND DO NOTHING. Why? Speech is silver, silence is golden.

    • Jim Thomson

      If you say nothing that will be interpreted as agreement with whatever they are discussing.

      The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

      • Joe Gaetan

        Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” How was your delegation received, open minds, curiosity, lots of questions, indifference, silence?

        • Jim Thomson

          “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke.

          You can sit silently by and say and nothing but what does that accomplish?

          Council has been getting a free ride on Bateman precisely because no one is delegating.

          My delegation wasn’t actually directed at the Council. It was directed at Staff.
          Council is always saying what a great job staff is doing. My delegation was highlighting how poorly staff are doing on engagement on Bateman.

          I can’t make Council ask questions, but I can let staff know that people are noticing the mistakes they make.

    • Gary Scobie

      Excellent suggestion, Joe. But because Council is in “Hybrid Mode” where they don’t have to show up in person even though Covid is blending into something less frightening and most of society is accepting that, I think they would all choose to skip that meeting in person and we’d all be sitting there, still physical distancing, essentially alone in the room. Council will be chuckling silently behind their masks at home as we too sit silently. We’d better at least have some good signs to hold up for the meeting but the tech people there would probably have orders not to show the audience. It’s all part of the “great plan forward”.

      • Joe Gaetan

        Gary: Do you recall us standing outside City Hall on a Saturday in January in the freezing cold with a mock-up of the ADI tower on Martha? I do and it was worth it. The sad things is we tossed out a council that by many accounts had a better engagement record. Sure you had to put up with some snarkiness and zinger questions but man alive were we engaged. Council do not need to be present and they would probaly vote to attend via zoom anyway.

    • Tom Muir

      You better have an Agenda item to delegate, and something to say submitted to the Clerk, or the Clerk will not let you delegate.

      But maybe you mean just show up for whatever Agenda item you want to demonstrate, or just show up as Joe says and others agree. The same thing might happen in outcome. It’s tricky. Make a plan.

      Walter Mulkewich told me they could not refuse you permission to delegate an item of your choosing, not on the Agenda, but that was Walter, who had integrity, and was involved with John Boich in drafting the Citizen Engagement Charter.

      Remember that? Nice sounding words, honourable and honest intentions by two good men.

      • Joe Gaetan

        A sit-in is just that, in council chambers or outside with BIG SIGNS. No reason to be there other than to send an engagement message quietly and to observe the machinations of council whether all memebrs are there in full or in part zoom or no zoom. “The medium is the message”. Marshall McLuhan’s phrase sums up that the medium through which we choose to communicate holds as much, if not more, value than the message itself.

    • Lynn Crosby

      I like this idea. We could wear masks – not for COVID or smoke but to illustrate the fact that we have no voice at COB, in spite of how many times those people we elect throw out the word engagement or do online surveys and pretend those mean anything.

      • Joe Gaetan

        Great idea.

        • Tom Muir

          I agree. We want an Agenda item that captures the issue. Better to be able to speak and ask for response – so we can ask for one for us to speak to as citizens. Not necessary though.

          If there isn’t one in a timely manner, just sit-in as Joe says and folks agreement. That in itself will send a message.

          More planning needed. More sit-in volunteers needed, and structure of it, and our message.

          I like Joe’s observation that the Council members show their own integrity – show up in person, or not.

  • Lynn

    Love how they talk about engagement and when a citizen shows up to engage, they don’t talk to him. No conversation, no questions, no engagement.

    What a joke it all is. Councillor Kearns can’t perform miracles when the rest don’t support engagement. This is why the deputy mayor thing is, as is so much with this leadership, all for show, but meaningless if the “leaders” want it to be meaningless.

    Hey Rory – Want to engage the ward 3 residents and at least tell them you’ve moved away? That you planned it before the election but forgot to mention it?

  • Gary Scobie

    That is supposedly the mark of a successful delegation at Burlington City Hall. It is so superb that it requires no questions at all (or no answers either). What is wrong with this picture? How do we fix it if there is no response?

    • Joe Gaetan

      Yes of course, a reflection of how 5 or 10 minutes at the dais is or is not acknowledged.

    • Lynn Crosby

      It sure seems like a total 180 from the days when MMW as ward 2 councillor would publicly release motions she was planning to bring to council meetings, most of which she knew would fail, but she would encourage the masses, through her social media accounts, website and newsletter, to come and delegate in support of them. Then she would greet those delegates with a smile, maybe a hug before the meeting, and ask lots of positive questions so delegates could speak further. She also often publicly stated that it wasn’t right that many people refused to delegate because of the atmosphere and feeling dismissed.

      Hmmmmm. How dramatically things have changed.