Staff reports missing from the Monday Committee of the Whole Agenda - no one seems to know why.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 7th, 2019



The Marsdens (Dave and Anne) were never in the business of making life easy for their elected officials.

It has cost them dearly. They have been treated with contempt, not permitted to talk to city staff and then barred from city hall as well as barred from Regional Council.

They are prickly.


Anne and David Marsden – delegating at city council.

They are now permitted to delegate at city hall; they appeared during the Provincial Review earlier this year at the Region.

This morning they were at the podium in Council Chambers pointing out an embarrassing situation.

The Agenda for the meeting this week had several problematic entries.

Several of the important items did not have a report attached which meant that anyone who wanted to know what the Agenda item was about was basically out of luck. All they had was a headline.

The Marsdens don’t take to that kind of behaviour and they stood at the podium and asked, first; why there were no reports attached to the Agenda item, and because one was of particular interest to them they wanted any discussion to be deferred to the November round of Standing Committee.

At one point it got rather testy when Ms Marsden made a statement that the chair wanted her to strike from the comments she had made.

That didn’t go down all that well with the Marsdens.

The issues for the Marsdens was that in order to delegate on a matter you had to register with the Clerk’s Office not later than the Friday before the scheduled meeting.

The following agenda items had no report attached to them.

Infrastructure Funding CM 22-18

Note: This item will be distributed under separate cover.

City Wide Private Tree bylaw Implementation RPF 15-19

Note: This item will be distributed under separate cover.

2020 Calendar of meetings for Council and Standing Committees. CL 16-19

Note: This item will be distributed under separate cover.

The private tree bylaw issue was extremely divisive; there were a lot of harsh words said at several of the meetings.  How city hall thought they could actually get away with something like this is astounding.

Not sure which is worse – that it was deliberate or a stupid administrative error.

Without knowing much about the report that was going to be debated – the Marsdens didn’t feel they could delegate. They did manage to scoot down to city hall late on the Friday and get a copy of the report – which when they saw the details they were very certain that they would be delegating.

How do things like this happen? Who lets an Agenda like this get sent out? The city Clerk is responsible for the Agenda – but the city manager signs off on everything.


Is there something about his building that prevents the left hands of those who work there from knowing what the right hand is doing?

There wasn’t much in the way of an explanation – other than a media release sent out by the city later in the day saying they were “Making it easier for residents to find information about development applications, construction and road restrictions.”

On a separate matter Heather MacDonald, Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility said: “We understand that at any given time, there can be a lot of activity happening in the city and it’s not always easy to know where to go to learn more information.”

Something isn’t right here.

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4 comments to Staff reports missing from the Monday Committee of the Whole Agenda – no one seems to know why.

  • A continuation of this discussion from Oct 7th …. Staff reports missing from the Monday Committee of the Whole Agenda – no one seems to know why. Hallelujah. Have fought for 3 months through blatant rudeness (told to either sit and watch Committee eat their Christmas festive buffet meal or sit in the hall (despite public meeting please enter sign outside door) (Dec.) and threats of calling security (Nov.) because we voiced our concern that we could not hear what was going on at committee. The purpose of our trying to make a delegation at Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee since October, 2019 was to ask for a plan to stop heritage public art deteriorating to the point of no return. Finally told we are on January 15 agenda. Minutes of December, 2019 reflect schedule of 2020 meetings distributed, not so – told they were available – this public document is not posted with December agenda or January’s – what is so secret that we cannot see when this committee meets as we do with all Council Committee meetngs. Will address outside of Gazette with Rory Nisan (Council rep) who was present at last meeting and Paul Sharman who chaired the Planning and Development meeting this committee reported to at the time of our adventures. Would be nice to have media attendance january 15th in the room behind Council chambers (247) at 7:00 p.m. given there is no webcast and dscussions on what happened at this committee become “he said, she said”. Just saying…… media promote transparency when no webcast.

  • Penny Hersh

    Is this about being busy, or not having the proper staff?

    Anyone watching the Council Meeting today would be asking this question.

  • Pepper you were there on September 29, 2014 when this story began with the Goldring led Council cancelling the scheduled October meeting without notice and holding a Special Meeting contrary to the legislative requirements and without notice right after a Committee meeting. Gazette published a couple of stories beginning September 30, 2014. We are hopeful that a report we will submit to the November 6, 2019 Audit Committee with a delegation request will stop the continuing practices associated with shutting down those who contest the Council’s failure to abide by their own Procedural By-laws and the Municipal Act and bring accountability and transparency back to the Burlington meetings. These practices are clearly not in the public interest. The report will be available from on October 29, 2019. The Marsdens

  • Judy christie

    We know City Hall is very very busy right now, but horrah for the Marsdens!!