They did good, they did very good and deserved the robust round of applause they got. Now they get to work.


By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  October 2, 2012  “You did what we could not do” said Councillor Craven.

”We are very proud of you” added Councillor Meed Ward.

Mayor Rick Goldring said “this is a major issue that Council has not handled very well in the past, we have come a long way.”  Council was so pleased with the way the Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee took on and then delivered on the task they were given that they gave the committee a robust round of applause – not something done very often at a council committee meeting.

Is this house a Heritage property? The owners don’t think so and they made a very compelling case to have it removed from the list. Not as simple as it seems.  The new approach to heritage report will prevent mistakes like this.  How did we get into this mess in the first place?

The unanimous acceptance of the report, which was titled: “A new approach to conserving Burlington’s heritage” was the result of many months of work on the part of a committee of fourteen people who were aided by Councillor Meed Ward.

The report now goes to Council on the 15th where it becomes policy for the city.  The report is both a set of recommendations and a guideline for the research and testing of the broad outline in the report, which we will report on in detail later this week.

What was different with this report, on a subject that has been contentious in Burlington for many years, is that the Advisory Committee was “at the table” participating fully with Council on the objective – to come up with a way to recognize and manage heritage issues in the city.

The advisory committee was just plain well managed.  Chair Jim Clements and vice chair Kathleen White sat where staff normally sit and, there is only one way to put it – they delivered.  They showed that well run advisory committees can work.

Jim Clemens, chair of the committee didn’t do this all by himself.  He had a strong committee that had to work through some difficult, different points of view – which they did.

The Heritage Burlington Advisory committee left the room with an endorsement of their recommendations that were outlined in their report and a Direction to Staff to work with Heritage Burlington to implement the recommendations.

Council decided that the Advisory Committee would lead on this file with the Planning department commenting  to council in a separate document.

What this boils down to is council handing off a major file that has plagued the city for a number of years, to an Advisory committee and then directing that advisory committee to report directly to the council committee.  The practice is usually for an Advisory committee to work with a department and the department takes the file forward to council.

Heritage Burlington will report back to the Community Development Committee with final approval of the key components of the recommendations.

That crew that pulled this off  included:

J A Clements, Jim Clemens (Chair), Kathleen White (Vice Chair), John Vice, Jacquie Gardner Johnson, Sarah Thompson, Geoff Cliffe – Phillipe, Randy McLachlan, Tim O’Driscoll, Morgan Warren, Linda Axford, Chelsey Tyers, Rick Wilson, Jeff D. Sutcliffe, James O’Neill, and Albert Faccenda

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