There are some very challenging issues right in front of us that will require inspired leadership. We are about to find out if the challenge is going to be met

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During a Standing Committee on Monday City Manager Tim Commisso commented on the concerns that had been brought to the Mayor and members of Council related to the condition of streets and public places and the large gatherings of people who appeared to be ignoring the ask that masks be worn.

Burlington is still in a State of Emergency and is regulated in terms of the day to day business of the city by the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG) which is made up of the Leadership Team and other senior staff including Fire Chief Karen Roche.

This group often meets several times a week and is able to make changes to practices and procedures quickly as long as they don’t have a negative impact on the budget.

The Mayor is a part of the ECG.

Commisso Apr 17

City Manager Tim Commisso

Commisso acknowledged that there are problems and added that he “had nothing to say” on Monday but expected to have things to say once he has met with staff.

Burlington has become a destination for many people who want to get out of their homes and be in places where they can meet with friends.  There wasn’t very much that was open on the weekend.

This Friday the city opens up, albeit not to the point where there are no limitations.  If past experience is any indicator the city is facing crowds that make demands on the resources and push many people beyond their comfort level when it comes to sharing what Burlington has to offer.

It was people, people, people - for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway.

It was people, people, people – for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway.

There are some who feel the city parks, especially the Beachway, should be for use by Burlingtonians only.  The fact is that the Beachway is a Regional Park managed by the city.

Burlingtonians are proud of the small town feel of the downtown core and want to retain that identity.

The city’s leadership has a difficult situation ahead of it that will require an ability to respond in a responsible way and at the same time educate the community and bring it to the point where the appreciation for the diversity that the city advocates and encourages becomes real.

During the Standing Committee Monday members of council wanted to know how many of the free parking passes were given to residents of Burlington and how many were given to residents of Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills.

This is not a metric that should matter.

There are some very challenging issues right in front of us that will require inspired leadership.  We are about to find out if the challenge is going to be met.

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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