Hurdles and hoops if you want to delegate - starting with Thank you for wanting to speak to your City Council might be a better idea

By Staff

November 13th, 2023



Jim Thomson wanted to delegate at a Council meeting.

He followed the rules and completed the appropriate form -part of that form is set out below.

The Office of the Clerks sent him the following:

Jim Thomson getting ready to begin a delegation.

Dear Jim Thomson,

Thank you for requesting to appear as a delegate at the City Council (*New Information Only) on 11/14/2023. We are reviewing your request and will notify you as to the status.

Your reference number is 2023-11-13-002.

What’s to review?  The man wants to delegate – let him speak.

How about the Clerk sending a delegator a note thanking the person for wanting to talk to City Council and then setting out the rules, politely and letting them know that what they had to say will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.


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9 comments to Hurdles and hoops if you want to delegate – starting with Thank you for wanting to speak to your City Council might be a better idea

  • Sean Lonergan

    Remember this at the ballot box next election! I like many others had high hopes when the mayor and new set of councillors were originally elected and we were led to believe in a more open and transparent local government.It has turned out to be the opposite.

    • ericsternemail

      I’ve put an entry in my google calendar for Oct 26, 2026. In the details I tried to capture how I am feeling about council today.

  • Blair Smith

    This has occurred so many times over the past 5 years – delegates struggling to get approval to speak, the order of speakers ‘managed’ to the benefit of the City, the imposition of “Good Conduct” protocols that choke respectful criticism, the inability to challenge members of Council. It is difficult to accommodate (that’s a polite word for “stomach”) this engagement charade. Delegation is very much a one-way street and I applaud those that have the “intestinal fortitude” (one of my mother’s favourite phrases) and the civic commitment to do so.

    I am of the belief that we have a Clerk who is completely unsuited to the job – who is more interested in non-binary pronouns than equity of process, decision transparency and required accountability. It is time for a change.

  • Wendy Fletcher

    Can someone advise when this form came out? I didn’t have this form when I filed the petition I’m just wondering why. That was only Oct 30. Thanks very much.

    Editor’s note:
    This is interesting. Things are tightening up in the Clerk’s Office. Is the Clerk doing this on his own initiative or has he been instructed. And if he was instructed was it the City Manager (what would he care- he’s on the way out the door) next in the pecking order would be the Executive Director that oversees what the Clerk does. That same Executive Director would have removed the Director of Communications and Engagement.

    • Jim Thomson

      Pepper see my email QED Burlington is Broken
      Wendy the form has been on the website for a while.
      We really do need a webmaster to make the site more transparent so we can have the accountability that Marianne is always so eager to talk about.
      I should be able to find your petition via the search function

  • Jim Barnett

    Something is wrong. Citizens should be encouraged to speak to council. Dialoged should be encourage since this is the best way to move forward. Questions should be asked and answered. Screening is not democracy. Its time to slow down the dictatorship, slowing down communication such as the Service Burlington initiative that just added another layer of beauruocracy.

    Editor’s note When Jim was a young man raising a family in Burlington there were more than ten community groups that were active and making a difference in the way the community evolved.

  • Lynn Crosby

    I also love how they need to ask if you’re speaking in favour of or opposed to the matter. Why is this relevant? So they can decide in what order to place the delegates? So they can remember not to greet you with smiles and hugs in chambers prior to the meeting if you’re opposed? I think we should all just check “other”.

    Agree that the whole tone is not welcoming.

  • Caren

    Our City Council have all become Dictators! They are suppose to be working for us, and in doing so, they must be fiscally responsible with our Propety Tax dollars.

    All Residents should be allowed to speak up at Council meetings and not have road blocks put up by our City Council or staff. This is suppose to be a “Democratic Process”.

    • Jim Thomson

      They are supposed to hear delegates in the order the applications are received.
      Marianne likes to “manage” the agenda.