Is a new, very young man in the process of creating a political profile and looking at the ward 2 council seat that will soon be in play?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2021



Political leadership is something that has to be grown.

They don’t just fall off a tree like a ripe apple.

Public service is seen as honourable with good salaries and wonderful benefits.

The current city council has a very young group of people. They had an exceptionally steep learning curve and at least two have yet to get to the point where they are competent. They may never get there.

Kearns Lisa side view Mar 2019

If Lisa Kearns jumps to Queen’s Park – that opens up the ward 2 seat.

The ward 2 council seat is now in play – that will become official when Lisa Kearns comes out of her political closet and confirms that she will carry a Liberal flag come the 2022 provincial election. She will do so when it is to her advantage.

Question then is – who will replace Kearns? Kimberly Calderbank has said she will run again.

Roland Tanner has realized that he would have been a terrible Councillor and has decided to stick to his information technical pursuits. His 905er podcast does not appear to be any better than his description of how he would do as a politician.

The word abstemious might apply.

There is a young man in the city who appears to be grooming himself for a shot at the ward 2 council seat.

David Vandenberg, studied political science at McMaster, served as campaign manager for Rick Goldring in 2018 – that didn’t turn out very well – more the candidate than the campaign manager.

Vandenberg giving back

Name a charity group that needs help – and David Vandenberg will be there.

Vandenberg gets involved in organizations focused on helping other people. He is currently part of the Wellington United Church Meals Ministry that prepares take-out meals. It grew out of the Friday Night Community Dinners that were cancelled due to Covid19 issues.

The giveaway sign that David Vandenberg was going to throw his hat into the ring was the Burlington Dave podcast that Vandenberg hosts four times a year.

Vandenberg explains his podcast pursuit this way:

Vandenberg data

The Vandenberg score card

“Burlington is full of folks of all ages who strive every single day to create a virtuous, equitable and compassionate community. Reflecting on over a decade of local engagement, I have had the privilege of learning about our community, the heroes within it and the landscape in which we live – here in Burlington, Ontario.

“I hope to highlight some of our local heroes, business champions, and heritage and community issues through this blog.

Vandenberg introduces himself to people who visit his Facebook page this way:

“If we have not met before, thanks for popping by! If we know each other, welcome back! My name is David Vandenberg. I am a passionate community leader and speaker in the Halton Region. My deep commitment to innovative community and city-building inspired me to work in the advocacy space for local organizations.

Vandenberg on zoom call

Vandenberg on a Zoom call

“I am a recent McMaster Grad who now works as the Operations Manager of the Meal Bag Program at Wellington Square United Church. Outside of work, I love to capitalize on our proximity to hiking and biking trails, sit on boards of local charities and advocate for issues and people that are close to my heart.

“Building bridges is what I do. I truly believe that when we work together in our community, we can drive a bigger social impact. I hope you enjoy hearing about some of the incredible people, businesses and stories I have to share with you here in Burlington.”

That is about as political as a profile can be.

Vandenberg and Mother

David Vandenberg with his Mother

Our first reaction to young Vandenberg is – Good Luck to you, young man. Your heart appears to be in the right place.
And then we ask: Have you ever had a full time job at which you were more than a volunteer. We are aware of some internships you’ve done – all good.

We would like to see situations where you worked hard, got promotions and added responsibility. Were placed in situations where you gained what the soft liberal set call “lived experiences”.

There was a quote you put up on the Facebook that impressed me.

Vandenberg graphic

If that is the way you think, if you really have that level if realpolitik you just well might grow into a credible and effective politician.

Goodness know the city could use more of those.

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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13 comments to Is a new, very young man in the process of creating a political profile and looking at the ward 2 council seat that will soon be in play?

  • Wendy

    Owen Scop ….bet you’re a lot of fun at a party !!!

  • Wendy Moraghan

    Hey Owen Scop I didn’t see your name on the ballot! Did you ever stop to think perhaps I entered the race late because I felt the other candidates were not strong enough to beat Councillor Sharman. Better late than never !!

    • Owen Scop

      No – I wouldn’t put my name on the ballot because I would make a very poor Councillor and I have the self-realisation to know it. You handed Ward 5 to Sharman – full stop. Hopefully, you’re not thinking of putting your name forward again because I truly think you lack the savvy required. And from what I heard lately, you like to stir the pot but have other people do your work for you. This, of course, is only my opinion.

  • Helen Skinner

    Owen, we have had years of folks that have life experience…making decisions for us…often behind closed doors. How’s that working out for us? Stale!!!

    • Steve

      Life experience and success isn’t a guarantee of wisdom, but it’s usually a good indicator of it.

    • Owen Scop

      You really didn’t understand my comment Helen. No big fan of the current Council either, but if you want a “twinkie” representing your ‘beach interests’, then that’s certainly your option. BTW, how are things on the beach? Have either Galbraith or MMW delivered for you? Weren’t you one of the ones who rolled on Henschel in 2014?

  • Fred Crockett

    Great to see the Burlington Gazette back to sharing opinions on local politics. With all due respect to the terrible COVID crisis, we are bombarded with it from other media, and crave the local gossip on local political shenanigans…..

    I have known Rick Goldring for many years, and continue to hold him in high esteem as a good and decent person. The last Burlington council, however, was a disaster. Rick was not able to control the self-righteous idiots that have thankfully been bounced.

    Rick’s mayoralty campaign, though, was not nice. If it was coordinated by some little twinkie who does nice things for local charities, but doesn’t have a real job, I have no interest whatsoever in even considering the (word edited out) for my Councillor….

  • Bob

    Right, totally qualified to take on the developers?
    Wonderful, to start your career out on the backs ot taxpayers – is this serious or a joke.

  • Jim Thomson

    I don’t know if its just me but i’d prefer it if he wasn’t so folksie.
    Citizens, people, or residents please.
    That’s who he has to represent not folks, and not just Taxpayers.

  • Helen Skinner

    The last thing I care about is who’s feet David kissed to climb the corporate ladder. Perhaps David works hard as a self employed in the gig economy…because he chooses to. Perhaps David doesn’t need a full time job as we know it…maybe he’s financially set. Perhaps David is a stay at home parent…the most important job there is.
    What we need is someone who doesn’t know everything about how things behind closed doors unravel.
    With the HOT issues these days…let’s get some young, new blood and mindset in the horseshoe velvet seats (Zoom these days)….coz we’re NOT happy with status quo.

  • Greg S

    He seems like a really nice guy.

    My principle hope for the next election is we can find a balance on Council of young and energetic with pragmatic and experienced in getting difficult things done. It will be interesting to see how the field looks in all the wards when it comes time for the next election.

  • Wendy Moraghan

    David would be a wonderful councillor!!! I had the pleasure of getting to know him during the last Municipal election and he is a bright, personable, all round GREAT guy!

    • Owen Scop

      Says the unsuccessful 2018 Ward 5 candidate who entered the fray far too late and allowed Paul Sharman to ‘walk up the middle’ once again. With no disrespect, Goldring’s campaign was an absolute joke and it was not only the candidate. I much prefer councillors with hard-earned work experience and a proven record of dealing with difficult issues. David is the perennial student/volunteer. Good for him but let’s live some life first before making decisions on my behalf. As for MS. Calderbank, she seems to have been able to take advantage of her contacts to secure public sector employment (Police Board Communications ?!). Let her run again. I understand that it’s good cardio. Lisa has done an admirable job for the most part. Hopefully, she will think long and hard about joining another “difficult” leader who has a penchant for red.