Fiorito wants to see attention paid to getting lids on Blue Boxes and a ravine management program.

100 daysWe asked Burlington residents that we know and have communicated with in our seven years of operation what they think the new city council needs to do in its first 100 days.

There are a lot of people unhappy with transit; unhappy with the thinking that is coming out of the Planning department and worried about annual tax increases of around 4% annually.  Here is what Vince Fiorito thought.

By Vince Fiorito
November 20th, 2018

Congratulations to Burlington’s elected City Councillors and Mayor! May you govern wisely for our community’s benefit!

Rules of engagement graphic

These were the rules Mayor Elect used at her ward meetings. The city adopted them for city wide use.

Your First 100 Days sets the tone with constituents, city staff and various interest groups. Please treat everyone with dignity and respect to foster a cooperative, collaborative environment at city hall. You never know who can help or hurt you, including former political rivals, their supporters and the person who waters the plants in your office? Why the plant person? They overhear conversations as they water plants and know much more than they let on; same with the person who empties the trash. I recommend you get to know “everyone” at city hall.

We need a Mayor at the helm with all Councillors rowing in the same direction to make progress on important issues. I recommend all Councillors fly their ideas by the Mayor first before making public pronouncements.

Within the first 100 days, everyone must have a firm understanding of how the city collects and spends our money. I recommend an independent audit of city finances to establish baselines to measure improvements, as well as identify past poor decisions, waste and mismanagement.

You have a mandate to change the city Official Plan and solve traffic congestion problems. Please design our city to accommodate walking, biking, taxis (fleet owned autonomous vehicles), public transit and delivery vehicles. Make developers accommodate and pay for their fair share of improvements which increase property values.

All new development must prioritize creating affordable, accessible housing for seniors living on fixed incomes and millennials moving out of their parent’s basement.

We need to reform our electoral system to make every vote count, even when 11 candidates run against each other.

Sheldon Creek - farm equipment + Vince

Vince Fiorito with a piece of equipment that got dumped into the Sheldon Creek ravine.

On the environmental front we need:
• lids on Blue Boxes
• a city wide tree by-law
• a plan to relocate the Aldershot Quarry
• a ravine management policy
• a biodiversity and endangered species management policy
• an invasive species management policy
• a recognized right to know about local pollution sources
• a program that makes polluters pay for improvements to the ecological systems that clean our air, purify our water and producing uncontaminated food

Vince FitorioVince Fiorito, a ward 5 resident and an acknowledged expert on invasive species and local environmental issues.  He was named the Sheldon Creek Steward by Conservation Halton

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9 comments to Fiorito wants to see attention paid to getting lids on Blue Boxes and a ravine management program.

  • Dave

    Also, on the environmental front we need:

    -Serious action on climate change, where we have the power to achieve it at the municipal level. (Part of this goes hand in hand with the Transportation Plan).

    -More incentives or requirements for developers to build to LEED standards for energy efficiency and GHG reduction.

    -More examples of green buildings and Low Impact Development for other builders to follow. The same old way of building inefficient buildings doesn’t cut it anymore.

    -A possible district energy project, where feasible and practical.

    -Continued progress on the Community Energy Plan and incentives and projects to reduce our overall energy use.

    -Continued progress on waste (garbage) reduction and green procurement.

    -Continued greening of the City’s vehicle fleet.

    -Support for independent environmental initiatives in the city.

  • Lindsay James

    The city wide private tree bylaw has to be effective. Recall the draft Roseland bylaw immediately as it won’t stop clear cutting. Come up with a great one.

    • vfiorito

      Trees on private property are community assets. They clean our air and cool our city, reducing air conditioning costs. They sequester carbon, fighting climate change. They slow the growth rate of non-native turf grass (lawns), reducing the frequency of mowing and as a result Green House Gas emissions. Trees increase privacy and are associated with lower stress and improved mental health. Since these positive effects are community wide, even trees on private property must be considered community assets.

      We should have 4 recognized tree species categories
      1) rare, endangered or signicant native trees – protected and stewardship rewarded
      2) common native trees – protected
      3) benign non-native trees – can be removed
      4) invasive non-native trees – must be removed

      Only a limited number of common native and benign non-native trees may be cut. These trees must be immediately replaced with new native trees that will replace the lost canopy within 20 years.

      The by-law must not allow a fee in lieu of replacing lost tree canopy. Burlington has a problem with declining tree canopy. If your house lost part of its roof, the solution is to repair your roof, not take cash in lieu of repairs and accept a permanent hole in your roof.

      The by-law must not protect problematic non-native tree species such as Buckthorn and Norway Maple, in the same way it would be a bad idea to have a bylaw protecting purple loosestrife and the emerald ash borer. When problematic non-native tree species become established, they tend to out compete native trees, causing habitat loss, contributing to the growing biodiversity crisis.

      The bylaw must recognize and allow the special protection of tree species at risk of extinction, including Butternut, American Chestnut and Flowering Dogwood. The owners of these trees should be rewarded for stewardship

      The by-law must recognize and allow the special protection of Burlington’s honor roll of significant trees. An example would be Brant’s Oak tree, which was used a survey mark to define Brant’s Land Grant near 548 Allview Ave. The owners of these trees should be rewarded for stewardship.

      Non-native invasive tree species (category 4 in the OP) should be cut. The tree by-law must not protect these species. Instead the bylaw should encourage their removal and replacement with native tree species.

      Earning a living from cutting or heating homes with non-native invasive trees would be a win/win solution and should be encouraged

      I do not support the proposed pilot bylaw because it does not prevent clear cutting for residential development intensification in established neighborhoods. Native Trees must have priority over proposed new structures. Protecting Trees in this manner will also help preserve the character and nature of our neighborhoods.

      Finally a city wide private tree bylaw must be part of a comprehensive tree preservation and restoration effort to increase our tree canopy to the point where it covers at least 30% of Burlington within 30 years. Burlington’s tree canopy is anticipated to drop from 16% to 8% by 2042 without a private tree bylaw and business as usual.

  • Bob Lynch

    Lids on blue boxes! Seriously?

    • vfiorito

      Hi Bob,
      Seriously. Imperial Drive near Appleby and Upper Middle

      • Stephen White

        Why not just use two blue boxes and separate recyclables: one for paper and cardboard, and the other for tins, bottles, etc.? Put the one blue box containing paper on the ground, and weight it down with the other containing heavier items on top that aren’t likely to blow away. Problem solved.

        No need to reinvent the wheel if all that is required is a little practicality and ingenuity.

    • vfiorito

      If Blue Boxes had lids, we’d have a lot less trash to clean up, especially after windy days.

      Video of Imperial Way near Upper Middle Road and Appleby Line

      Video of Corporate Drive near Creek Way

      Blue Boxes should have a lid, wheels and be designed to be emptied mechanically

    • Dave

      Not sure how practical lids on blue boxes would be. Would people bother putting them on? Cardboard often sticks out the top. Best to avoid putting blue bins out on very windy nights and wait until early morning, or bag it in a clear or blue bag, then place in your blue box if very windy. Avoid putting light stuff on top that can easily blow away.

      Also, for anyone in Halton or Hamilton who is still putting STYROFOAM in their blue box, please stop doing this! It is not accepted in the recycling program and must go in the garbage (this includes all forms of Styrofoam — meat trays, cups, plates, packing material, packing peanuts, etc).

      Styrofoam blows out of blue boxes or garbage cans, gets broken into small pieces, and ends up in our environment; it can be very difficult to pick up. If you see Styrofoam blowing down the street in your neighbourhood, please pick it up while it is still intact and place in the garbage. Always put Styrofoam in a garbage bag (not loose), and also put other garbage in there that has a bit of weight to it so the bag doesn’t blow away. Please dispose of it properly; better yet avoid it altogether when possible.