Is Councillor Bentivegna stuck in a Rodney Dangerfield warp; he just can't get any respect.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 28th, 2020



Councillor Angelo Bentivegna just might have caught a break.

While Council was going through some of the BAR reports (Budget Action Requests) that had not been dealt with he pressed once again for a review of the side walk snow clearing the city does – he lost that attempt at Standing Committee and was about to lose it again at Council when the Clerk pointed out to the Mayor that a vote lost at Standing Committee could not be brought up at the following council meeting.

Angelo - not getting it -deferal

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna arguing for a look at who is actually paying for a business license.

The Mayor, as chair of a council meeting decided that she would overrule the clerk and let Bentivegna continue. He then lost that same vote at council.

But his second issue gathered some traction – not enough to win him the votes he needed but it did let him get his point on the table – and it was a very valid point.

Bentivegna believes that there are a large number of commercial and service operations in the city that do not have a business license and this time he had some data to support the contention.

Bentivegna said he had conversations with the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) people, the Economic Development Corporation and several members of Staff and no one could tell him how many businesses there were in Burlington.

What Bentivegna was about to learn was that revenue from the business license sector was just under $500,000 and that it had not increased between 2018 and 2019.

He concluded from that data that there were about 1800 licenses issued and paid for – and argued that there were perhaps 10,000 businesses operating in the city.

Bentivegna wanted a conversation to take place that would educate the business sector and bring them to the point where they would make a point of getting a license.

Angelo B

Councillor Bentivegna listening to his council colleagues.

The issue got a little muddied when the Mayor commented that the BEDC did have the data on how many businesses there are in Burlington and that the BDBA also knew what the number was.

When it came to a vote – the only person who supported Bentivegna’ s Staff Direction was Councillor Stolte.

So the matter is closed – yet there is that lingering question: what if Angelo Bentivegna is right?

Why not put some effort to determining that question?

Councillor Bentivegna might have wanted to search the Gazette archives to learn how funding requests get handled. In the 2015 budget then Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven wanted one time funding of $35,000 for the Downtown Data Collection Project pulled. “He points out that the original staff recommendation in September 2015 included the following observation: “After considering the staff and funding resources that would be required to collect accurate and useful data to inform the performance indicators and headline measures, staff is of the opinion that the value of obtaining and maintaining such data as a means to evaluating the experience of the downtown may be limited” Remove project and one-time funding of $35,000

Related news story:

Bentivegna gets called out for his treatment of a delegation

Bentivegna thinks city should be going after lost revenue

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6 comments to Is Councillor Bentivegna stuck in a Rodney Dangerfield warp; he just can’t get any respect.

  • Hans Jacobs

    So….. if BEDC and BDBA know how many businesses there are in Burlington, how many businesses are there?

  • Bonnie

    Having been a homeowner in Toronto for many years, it was always the responsibility of the residents to clear the sidewalks in front of their properties. Needless to say, it was a surprise when moving to Burlington to learn that this job would be done by the city at a cost to the taxpayers.

    I have noted when watching the live video fed of the council meetings, that Councilor Bentivegna appears to be one of the few on council, who will bring forth motions that may not be popular with the residents. I commend him for his efforts to find cost saving measures and hope that he continues to look at ways to reduce our ever increasing tax bills.

  • steven craig Gardner

    I agree with the councillor on all fronts if businesses are not licensced and city unaware then the city are dropping the ball big time and should be embaraased.

    I also would like to see the end of sidewalk plowing and leaf pick up too. More trouble than worth.Sidewalk always plowed after i have shovelled and they always dig up my lawn. Zero value to me actually negative value as I have to buy seed or sod each spring to repair the damage they cause I wish I could block my sidewalk from them accessing.

    With all the negative feedback city got regarding leaf collection just stop it as with climate change weatehr and thus leaves falling/snow conming totally unpredictable. So same issue likely in most years. Bag them.

  • Stephen White

    If you read City of Burlington By-Law 42-2008 dealing with Business Licenses it references a number of thriving local enterprises such as “Fireworks”, “Pawnbrokers”, “Carnivals”, etc.

    Hmmm. Maybe the first step should entail updating an archaic municipal by-law that bears no resemblance to an increasingly digital economy based on intellectual capital, knowledge workers and home businesses.

    Editor’s note: Send in the clowns as well.

    • Eve St Clair

      Those “thriving” licenses involve various items the City can check if properly licensed . Fireworks involves an inspection to any establishment to insure they meet all fire regulations before they start selling fireworks . Pawnbrokers deal with local police force and are required to keep lists of items that come in ,hence a license is required so police know where they are located . Carnivals have rides hence all rides must have a TSSA certificate to insure the safety of people on these rides
      Most cities have business licensing by laws and purse enforcement via licensing or fines

  • Brian Jones

    I, for one, agree with councilor Bentigvegna.
    If our taxes are increasing yearly, the licensing of all businesses should be in force.
    could be time to investigate just who is correct