Halfway through this term of office Council may want to reflect on what they have managed to get done and if this is really the job for those new to the job.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

 October 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For most of us it’s a Friday, another weekend where there are more restrictions than things to do.

But for most of the members of city council Friday matters. Marianne Meed Ward was elected Mayor, Angelo Bentivegna, Kelvin Galbraith, Rory Nisan, Lisa Kearns and Shawna Stolte were elected to council for the first time.

Full council

Paul Sharman was re-elected – he wasn’t certain that he was going to pull it off – but he did.

Mayor Meed Ward

Minutes before the Chain of Office was placed on her shoulders in December of 2018

Meed Ward has certainly made her mark during this first two years as Mayor. She has and is moving the needle.

The Gazette will report in depth on how each of the newly elected have done now that they are at the half way point and their minds get turned to re-election or deciding that being a council member isn’t everything they thought it was going to be.

It is certainly a harder job than any of the five new members thought it was going to be.

Some have grown into the job, for others it’s clear they shouldn’t be there.

There have been some surprises – the job is clearly a calling for them.

COVID-19 hasn’t helped these people adjust to the job.  There is still a little trying to figure out just what they can do and what they can’t do as members of Council when a lot of the decision making is in the hands of the City Manager and senior staff.

This Friday the five newbies deserve congratulations – they have worked hard; they have struggled and they are learning.
Mayor Meed Ward is, for the most part, doing what she said she would do. There are parts of her promise she may not be able to keep but it won’t be for lack of trying.

Like the five newbies she is adjusting to a role she has thirsted for, fought for and won.

Much to her chagrin she has found that some of her colleagues are not looking to her for the leadership she would like to provide. In the municipal world the Mayor is just one vote with a bully pulpit along with some bling.

The money is decent, more than most of the members of this council have ever earned in their lives.

The newbies have power; they can make things happen.

Power often does funny things to people; it tends to eat into whatever humility they had before they took the oath.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

 

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