It was that kind of week – short with many people still away some thought it would be slow. Not quite.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  September 9, 2012  The Mayor had lunch with Eric the Great, the chief cheese at the hospital; who picked up the tab?

Mayor Goldring lunched with hospital President Eric Vandewall – who picked up the tab?

Many people in the city shuddered when the sod was turned in Hamilton for the new Navistar plant that will open there in 2013.  That was our lunch Hamilton was eating.

Navistar has been in Burlington for more than 50 years.  It began as International Harvester- the road is named after them.  They were one of the biggest farm implement manufacturers in the world.

They felt they needed to move out of Burlington and were looking at Mississauga as a possible new location when smart people in Hamilton – saw the opportunity and moved really fast and scooped the opportunity.  They are now going to be in a new building sometime in 2014.

In 1958, Harvester International poured in nearly $12 million to build the 215,000 sq.-ft. building that still stands today. A 38,000 sq.-ft. butler’s building has since been attached to the original edifice to store extra product.

The Burlington location was chosen for its close proximity to the QEW and major highways, Pearson International Airport and the C.N.R. railway tracks for swift shipment across the nation.  Nothing about the transportation part of the equation has changed – but as a Navistar official recently told the Hamilton Spectator: wasn’t on Navistar’s site selection radar the “can do” attitude of city officials changed that.

“Navistar was looking for a location and our location was not on the list of preferred sites,” he said. “We met with the mayor on one day’s notice and he said the city would do everything possible to make this happen. We do developments in many places, but Hamilton has shown it is truly the place to invest. Hamilton is clearly a municipality that wants investment and can deliver service.”

Here’s to another 50 years of Navistar in the community, said an official at the time. So much for that statement.

A good one got away on us – and no one has yet given a really good reason for that happening.

No shortage of land in this city for an operation of that size.  With the plant go 60 some odd jobs – Burlington gets left with a site that will be vacant for some time.  We didn’t do so good on the economic development front on this one.

The city has three senior positions they want to fill.  A new fire chief, a new Director of transit, a new third general manager.  The plan apparently is to bring in the third general manager first and then have that person oversee the new hires

The city ran three really small pictures of the finalist in the public art selection for the front of the Performing Arts Centre.  The pictures, which appeared as part of an advertisement in City Update, a supplement to a local newspaper, were smaller than a business card.  Not sure why they bothered – or did they think that was as much as the public could handle?

One of the two Chef’s that will do a cooking duel at the Farmer’s Market next Friday was announced during the week.

Barry Imber got really creative and set up a duel between two of the Chef’s over at Spencer’s Restaurant on the Waterfront that will take place at the Farmer’s Market September 14th.

A strictly business crowd may not be a place for a children’s party service provider to drum up some business – but Laura Martin keeps saying – they all know people who have children.

Laura Martin, operator of a home daycare business as well as the lady who runs a children’s party business,  told her Facebook friends: “I’m going to my first Business Networking event tonight, I’m excited! Maybe I’ll see some of you there.”  The Business in Burlington group, that meets once a month at the Waterfront Hotel asked men to show up in Bermuda shorts – that request fell a little short but Laura Martin was there networking like crazy.

A city Council committee got the final report from the Heritage Advisory Committee – expect to see some conflict with the way the Planning Department view the heritage file and the recommendations in the report – which is a solid step forward – but probably not the final say on the subject.

There was enough steel on the pier for the construction crews to work a Saturday shift.  Progress on the construction side.  Nothing that we can report yet on the legal side.

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