Municipal Election 2022 - very quiet at this point.

By Pepper Parr

July 8th, 2022



I was talking to a colleague about the October municipal election trying to get a sense as to how the public was reacting,  Everything appears to be so quiet.

The response was that: “We had something to fight for last time” adding that “the hope we had seems to have been misplaced.  Some of the antics at Council are just so embarrassing”

It seems so quiet.  Candidates are out on the streets.  All are pumping out as much as they can on social media.

There are new candidates filing their nomination papers but they don’t appear to be very active.

Ward 4 is busy – three new candidates; the incumbent finally filed her nomination papers.

Anne Marsden, an as yet to file nomination papers for office of Mayor

There will be a candidate running against Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.  Anne Marsden has been running in elections for years.  Indefatigable, blunt, certain of the issues and vocal.

Seen by many as the perpetual candidate Marsden took a stunning 17,407 votes in Burlington when she ran for Regional Chair.  Her total count for the Region was 41,136.

2018 election results

The vote count wasn’t a fluke – people were sending a message.

Keep that 17,407 in mind and then look at the race for Mayor in 2018.

2018 election results

Marsden got more votes out of Burlington when she ran for the office of Regional Chair than Rick Golding got when he ran for Mayor

Somewhere in those numbers there is a meaning to be teased out.

Marianne Meed Ward – running for re-election

If the dissatisfaction with Marianne Meed Ward is as deep as we suspect there could be one heck of an upset come October. Municipal elections usually have low turnout.  The current administration is doing more than we have ever seen a municipality do in trying to interest people in running for office.

Jane McKenna, who wants to be Regional Chair this time around, is driving around in Burlington and Oakville in a pickup truck with a huge sign in the back.

Profile she has – that’s the problem and we will leave it at that.

Gary Carr is running again.

Gary Carr running for re-election as Regional Chair

Our expectation was that Carr would retire from active politics and that a Regional Councillor would run to replace him. There are several that are more than qualified but Tom Adam, Colin Best and Zeeshan Hamid have shown no interest.

A Regional Chair has to have some on the ground experience to be able to do the job effectively. Is Carr running to ensure that McKenna doesn’t get to wear that Chain of office?

The public might be in for a very nasty election.  Power is the kind of thing wars are fought over – look at what is going on in Ukraine not to mention what appear to be desperate attempts on the part of Donald Trump to continue to be President.

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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5 comments to Municipal Election 2022 – very quiet at this point.

  • Sharon

    I think we need to hope that we have mature adults step up to the plate. We do need to get rid of the behind the closed door secretive meetings. And especially the all about me representation sitting around the table.

    • Not only the secretive meetings but the Procedural By-laws that have been changed from 2014 on that have seen a power grab for the Mayor, Chair, Clerk and City Manager. The first job of our 2022-2026 Council must be to go over those Procedural by-laws and put them back to where they used to be. They used to define accountability and transparency and encourage engagement with the people. Not any more, we were all too busy to get into the details of why the change moving to empower individuals, the Clerk, the City Manager and the Mayor and Chairs of Committes and not the Council who have been elected by the people. Lets put a stop to that with a Council who will put an end to taking the people out of the administration of the city. Lets see record numbers out to vote. Lets talk it up to be our democratic right to vote and see what a diffeeence it will make when we all go to the polls and not the low percentage we have had.

  • Bonnie

    John, it is sad to see there are so far no challengers to the council members for wards 3 and 5, as well as for the position of Mayor. We need a robust campaign in all areas of the city and in my opinion, no one should be acclaimed without challenge.

  • Another interesting statistic Pepper is what each Burlington vote cost the candidate in terms of money spent, as people should be looking at that this year because donations are to some extent being reimbused and, therefore costing taxpayers. Anne’s candidacy costs taxpayers nothing as she does not accept donations. We believe if we want to run we pay the price, that way Anne owes nobody except her team for any success she has. Her team that we know of is simply her family and close friends.

    Anne spent $200, $800 ÷ 4for her 2018 Burlington votes which means each vote cost 10 cents
    Marianne spent 86,064 for 23,360 votes costing $3.6 per vote
    Rick spent $129,000 for 16,781 votes which is almost $8.00 a vote hopefully our math is good.

    We believe, our opinion only, and we understand others think differently, that we would rather see that money go to charitable donations and there be a lot more creativity go into campaigns.Except for 84 when she received 100 for literature from a friend and around $200 in 97 all runs have been funded by ourselves with the biggest expenditure being around 10, 000 in 2014 bid for Mayor.

    We think it is important that taxpayers understand that this Council voted in rebates this year which clearly benefits them. If Meedward collected 86,000 last year and there is a rebate connected to these donations, how much she collects, will be e a good indicator in terms of her popularity as a candidate in 2022 as compared to 2018. PS Anne has an appointment to file this week. Thanks to those who have encouraged her to run again we will all know in October what a difference it made, if any, to the quality of the campaign.

  • John Jacobs

    Hopefully the election will change the Burlington Council. It did last time and was/is disappointing what we got..