Rick Greenspoon knows a lot more about what a City Councillor does - and understands the advantage the incumbents have - all about those photo ops

By Rick Greenspoon

October 26th, 2022



Rick Greenspoon: candidate for the ward 6 Council seat.

I want to say that my experience in running for city council was extremely rewarding and I want to thank all the people I encountered at their doors, who took the time to ask questions about the issues of our city, what issues were important to me, and how we would be able to make our city even better as we grow.

I want to challenge all of our Councillors and the Mayor, to live up to the promises that they made during the campaigns, and continue to make Burlington one of the best cities in our country to live in.

I now have a new perspective on how our City Councillors can retain their seats on council. I was told before I started that an incumbent starts with a 20% advantage over any new challenger. In Burlington in 2022, this advantage was even more evident. All six Councillors and the Mayor retained their seats with a very high percentage of the votes.

This does not necessarily reflect the calibre of the candidates who chose to run against the incumbents. After going out and knocking on almost 95% of the homes in my ward, I am disappointed at the incredibly low voter turnout. I have to wonder what can be done to get more people out to vote.

Unofficial election results

There seems to be a very large portion of our community that do not know what a city councillor does, and why it is so important for their voices to be heard through the voting process. There needs to be a way to reach all of our citizens and educate them on the incredible importance of our municipal officials.

I want to say thank you to all the wonderful volunteers and campaign contributors that helped all the candidates run their campaigns. You all have helped maintain the excellent democracy that we live in.

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3 comments to Rick Greenspoon knows a lot more about what a City Councillor does – and understands the advantage the incumbents have – all about those photo ops

  • What we had this election Rick on top of the 20% was at least 7 issues that could have, not necessarily did, weight the incumbent advantage. We made sure we tweeted this list before the results came out as we knew we would hear sour grape calls from those who supported incumbents if we sent it out afterwards:

    1. After nominations opened current Burlington website was replaced. New one had huge gaps in the information voters need to check performance of current Council and Mayor.

    2. Re-elect Burlington Councillor Angelo Bentivegna was an accepted follower on City Clerk Kevin Arjoon`s twitter account.

    3. Policies the City Clerk Kevin Arjoon is responsible for reviewing policies covering accountability and transparency lapsed in April, 2022. These definitions were previously removed from Procedural By-law.

    4. Multiple complaints of voters` cards not being received, eliminating ability of multiple voters to vote on-line.

    5. Multiple duplicate copies of voters` cards issued.

    6. Candidate Demoe was refused a delegation to the last Council meeting by Clerk Kevin Arjoon based on an assumption on the part of the Clerk after Demoe confirmed witnessing release of confidential information by the Ward 2 incumbent to the Downtown Business Association.

    7. Arjoon agrees to scrutineers for the downloading of tabulator advanced polls but not October 24, 2022 polls that will be undertaken in the presence of staff only.

    Surely these issues need addressing immediately after election to determine if candidates believe this election met all their expectations in terms of fairness to all candidates rather than being weighted to the incumbents.

  • Renato Velocci

    Well said,Rick, I agree with you.

  • Penny Hersh

    Mr. Greenspoon, you are absolutely correct. A very large percentage of residents have absolutely no idea what is happening not only in their wards but also in Burlington in general.

    When discussing the municipal election with people many told me that they voted for their current councillor/mayor “because he/she is a good guy”, “because as far as they are concerned everything is just great in Burlington”, while they admitted that they did not follow municipal politics.

    This is exactly how incumbents like it to be.