How much of the dream will the Mayor tell us on Thursday? He plans to run for a second term – then what?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  January 23, 2013   The commercial elite will bundle up early tomorrow morning and head out to the Convention Centre to listen to Mayor Goldring deliver his third State of the City address – an event created by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

In his self – determined report card Goldring told us recently that he is just reaching his stride – getting the feel of the job and now  knows where all the levers of Mayoral power are.  I suspect he now knows where many of the black holes are as well.

Goldring’s first address was a scant two months after being sworn into office – that one had to be a little rough around the edges.  Goldring needed to set the tone and be seen as a Mayor ready to lead while still getting  a firm grip on the way city hall operated.

Thinking it over – Mayor Rick Goldring has done the final tweaking to his State of the City address – citizens get that story on Thursday.

It was one thing to be a council member responsible for the needs and wishes of a single ward – having to represent everyone with a staff that had just been assembled was a different matter.

At the time Goldring was blessed with a Chief of Staff who knew how to put together a policy paper and could bring the strategic think this kind of event needed.  Frank McKeown has moved on and the Mayor has a new, as yet untested Chief of Staff.

A few months before winning the election Goldring recalled listening to Walter Natynczyk, Canada’s  then  Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces, speak to a Chamber of Commerce event,  when it struck him: – if he won the election, and it was far from certain at that time that he would win, he would be giving a major speech.  It was a sobering moment for Rick Goldring.

His second State of the City address was significantly different.  Goldring was now getting familiar with what the job really entailed and beginning to realize that a Mayor is part of a political eco-system that involves the Region, the provincial government and a group of council members who have ideas of their own.

At the time Goldring was beginning to come to the realization that he and his city manager had “relationship” issues – which got worked out when the then city manager agreed to “step aside”.

The pier still plagued the Mayor but more importantly, the hospital was about to take up much more space on his radar scope.  Learning that the province was requiring the city to come up with $60 million to pay for the hospital rebuild and then being told that McMaster had chosen Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital as the place it wanted to locate the new family practice facility were not subjects that were part of his campaign.

That was the day the Goldring fully realized the Mayor really doesn’t run the city – his challenge is to keep it stable (get the damn pier opened) while he looks for the time to think about the bigger picture.

It has been a very full second year for Mayor Rick Goldring and now, as he plants his feet firmly on the ground of his third year,  he will tell the citizens what he sees on the horizon as well as look over his shoulder and explain the twists and turns in the wake of the ship he steers.

Expect to see a Mayor with a better grip; the question is going to be – how strong is the grip and, more importantly, how much flexibility is there.


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3 comments to How much of the dream will the Mayor tell us on Thursday? He plans to run for a second term – then what?

  • Lawrence Rossi

    Goldring does not do what he says he will do when running, I trust Pepper will remind everyone of the misses come election time. He said as a Councillor he would do something about the empty buses, the speeding cars, as Mayor, empty buses, speeding cars, still no action on those fronts. Now add, the Pier, PAC, etc he is burning money like he owns a bank. We are not a bank.

  • Bill Coucher

    He wont win the next election. 2010 was more about rejecting Cam than it was about endorsing Rick. I doubt he or his team would agree with that assessment, but then again what REAL experience do they have to make an educated assessment?
    See ya Ricky.

    • Rob Narejko

      Who then, of the current Councillors willing to run for Mayor, will win? Or will it be an outsider?

      Rick has a very even, analytical approach. He asks deep questions. He tries to be fair to the issue. He will get in for a 2nd term.

      Of the other councilor(s) rumoured to want the role, I don’t see them winning for many reasons.

      Go to the City’s website and look up the Jan 28th, 2013 Council meeting ( Watch the webcast. You will see how your Mayor and Council compose themselves. Then form your opinion.