On the matter of those coyotes - citizens produced a report with recommendations - city manager and council have been sitting on the report

By Pepper Parr

August 25th, 2022



The following are some very direct questions.

They relate to a report that was produced and provided earlier this year on the coyote problem that both Burlington and Oakville have been experiencing.

1)            Why does BOCM have to wait over six months for City of Burlington officials to read BOCM’s Report and provide comments and feedback on our recommendations?

2)            Why did Nick Anastasopoulos say that our Report had not been sent to Coyote Watch, but Rosemary Fitzpatrick advised us in mid-May that is what had occurred?

City Manager Tim Commisso

3)            Why did Tim Commisso say in a June 2nd meeting that he would get back to us with a response shortly, but we are still waiting?  How long are we expected to wait?

4)            Why did Nick Anastasopoulos feel it was all right to forward a Report created by an outside advocacy group to another third party advocacy group without our prior knowledge or approval?

5)            Why does City Hall not have a formal, established process for reviewing Reports and recommendations from outside entities and organizations?

To put the questions in context let me share an email I received from Stephen White, a frequent delegator before City Council

A colleague of mine, Julie Martin, lives in Oakville.  Back in 2020 she launched an online petition asking the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington to adopt a more proactive approach in dealing with coyote management.  Julie lives in West Oakville, and she and her neighbours had many threatening encounters with coyotes.  In some cases pets have been attacked, and coyotes have managed to scale fences and get into residents backyards.  Julie lives very close to Wilmot Park in the Samuel Curtis Estates section of West Oakville.

In March of 2021 a teleconference was held with a number of Oakville and Burlington officials including Councillors O’Meara and Sharman.  There were dozens of residents in attendance.  Suffice to say the response was “status quo”.  Following that teleconference Julie and I connected, and we formed an organization called “Burlington and Oakville Coyote Management”.  In conjunction with several other residents we developed a series of recommendations and ideas on how Oakville and Burlington could better manage the coyote problem..  This culminated in a Report that was prepared in December 2021.

Julie and I met virtually with Councillors O’Meara and Robertson from Oakville, as well as Councillor Sharman, in late January 2022.  Our Report has since been shared with officials at the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington.  The Town of Oakville sent us a reply on August 9th which Julie and I found disappointing.

Julie and I had a meeting with Councillor Sharman in mid-May at which we expressed our dismay with the City of Burlington’s response.  We also had a teleconference on June 2nd with Councillor Sharman and several City of Burlington officials.  We were told by the City Manager, Tim Commisso, who was on the call, that we could expect a response to our Report the end of June.  It was never forthcoming.

On July 15th I met with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. I provided her with a copy of our Report. She committed to following up on it.  On July 21st the Mayor sent me a detailed e-mail expressing support in principle with the idea of better coyote management.  She asked the City Manager to follow up.  In a July 22nd e-mail Tim Commisso committed to getting back to us by the end of August with a detailed response.  Julie and I are still waiting.

Both Julie and I are extremely disillusioned with the response to our Report by City and Town officials.  When residents come together and proactively advance a set of recommendations to address a problem the least we should expect is proper due diligence and a detailed examination of our proposals.  While we fully acknowledge the support offered by Councillor Sharman and Mayor Meed Ward the fact remains that civic officials have “dropped the ball” on this issue, and have failed to implement any kind of proactive measures to protect residents, children and their pets.

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3 comments to On the matter of those coyotes – citizens produced a report with recommendations – city manager and council have been sitting on the report

  • Yet another example of the mayor, a councillor and our most senior member of staff not appreciating that such a report should be placed in the hands of the public and council through a Standing Committee. The December 4, 2018 letter regarding BNOP requiring modifications from “The Region“ went the same way and has yet to make it to Council although the December, 2018 Planning and Development meeting chaired by Councillor Paul Sharman were notified the letter existed (but failed to minute such) and the letter, publicly commented on at one point by Tom Muir, was referenced by the Mayor in “A Better Burlington“. These are facts the public must know and properly consider before casting their votes on or before October 24, 2022. These are things that will see strong mayors rather than strong councils be put into place and if we do not do our part on and before October 24, 2022 we have no-one to blame but ourselves.

  • Eleanor

    Unless things affect them personally our city council does not seem to care about a lot of things not only Coyotes

    • Hans Jacobs

      From what I read above, Mr. Commisso is the one whose lack of response is disappointing.
      Item #4 above gives the impression that copyright may have been violated.