“Mayor Meed Ward’s Weekly Update: September 7-13, 2020”

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2020


The taxpayers of Burlington can now get a peek at what Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has planned for a week.

This is a new feature coming out of the Mayor’s communications department.

It is described as “a regular and predictable communication of my high-level meetings, media engagements, events and regular communications”.

mmw updateAn example of what the Mayor is providing is HERE.

Look at the September 9th entry for Clearwater Development Discussion entry.  Was that meeting with the developer, who has revised the plan for two medium rise buildings in what is a single dwelling community or with the ward Councillor:  who was involved in that meeting?  This particular development is of serious concern to a number of people in the community.

One wonders if this weekly peek is being put in place rather than a Registry that has been proposed by ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

A Registry is a list of the people that an elected official meets with on city business.

A Registry entry would set out the name of the person the Mayor or Councillor met with, the company they represented, the business that was discussed and the length of time the meeting lasted.

There are a lot of people who want to do business with the city of Burlington.  Many think that the Mayor can serve their interests well and they look for an opportunity to meet with and impress the Mayor. Never hurts to have friends in high places.

A former Mayor of Burlington once told me “anything that happens in the city comes through the office of the Mayor”. A Registry is a much more  disciplined document and in some municipalities there are penalties for not complying with keeping an accurate and timely Registry – no noting that you met with someone three months ago.

During the presentation of a development by a large corporation at a public meeting the senior officer of a much smaller development organization approached a Councillor who was elected for the first time in 2018.  It was a very casual meeting, lasted just a few minutes during which a business card was presented.  I would bet dollars to donuts that there was a follow up meeting.

And there is nothing wrong with that – but, when public money is involved – you note the event.

This is a good and commendable effort.  More detail would make it what the public is entitled to.



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