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Is the province about to end the State of Emergency it put the municipal world into?

By Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

From a source that has been reliable in the past there is word that the current Emergency State put in place across the province that has the day to day operation of the city in the hands of the administration

All the municipalities have been in that state since March 17th, 2019, less than a month later Mayor Meed Ward declared a State of Emergency for the city.

Municipalities created Emergency Coordinating Groups that meet regularly and can meet in minutes if they have to should there be an emergency.

The City Manager keeps the Mayor up to date and the Mayor takes part in meetings but is not believed to be a member of the ECG.

The Mayor does have one on one meetings with the City Manager on a regular basis.

From the left: City Manager, Tim Commisso; Treasurer Joan Ford and Executive Director Sheila Jones kept it all together as the city weathered a pandemic.

At least once a month, usually during the week Standing Committee meetings take place, Sheila Jones, one of the Executive Directors, takes Council through everything the city staff plan to do or change in the way city services are delivered.

There is also an update on where things stand financially as well as updates on anything that pertains to the administrative functioning of the city.

With an ECG handling changes in the way services are delivered municipalities had access to funds which city manager Tim Commisso at the time said was a good position to be in.

The city’s financial picture has benefited significantly as the result of the tens of millions that have flowed from the province to the city.

It is not clear at this time if the city will revise the way Council meetings are held if the Emergency is lifted. At this point in time they are all virtual – the sentiment apparently being that members of Council like it that way, see it as an alternate version of real engagement.

Kudos to Kearns for holding ward meetings that were both live and virtual.

Ward 2 Council member Lisa Kearns has been holding ward meetings that are both live and virtual. Kudos to her for breaking the barrier that most members of council are quite happy to keep in place.

The Mayor has said that she prefers the “virtual approach” – the city “gets more work from me when I can work from home”. We also get to hear the dog yelping.

A benefit that might not be recognized or appreciated right away is just how well many senior staff members have performed.  Executive Director Sheila Jones has come into her own; rallying the troops and delivering all kinds of support and positive feed back every chance she gets.

City treasurer Joan Ford, always reliable – proved to be a rock that both Jones and the City Manager Tim Commisso could rely on.

There were a couple of staff members who, Amber Rushton in particular, who served the city manager in a way that certainly impressed him.

Related news article:

Province declares State of Emergency March 17, 2019

Mayor declares State of Emergency

City Manager gets close to a blank cheque

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1 comment to Is the province about to end the State of Emergency it put the municipal world into?

  • Sharon

    I don’t think the residents of Burlington care the the Mayor prefers to work at home. She should be reminded that she has a office in City Hall, use it! Taxpayer dollars are still being used to maintain the building,