Ward 2 candidate now in a race of her own; Arnott a race organizer has come out against Meed Ward.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 15, 2014



If you live in Burlington and you are a runner – you know who Kelly Arnott is.
If you are a serious runner and live in the GTA – you also know who Kelly Arnott is. If you live in Ward 2 you will get to know who Kelly Arnott is – she is running against a very popular candidate for the ward 2 council seat.


Kelly Arnott isn't the tallest person to begin with. She had to stand on her tip toes throughout her delegation in order to be able to reach the microphone

Kelly Arnott isn’t that tall to begin with – she has a tall order to beat a very popular candidate.

Arnott wants to see a more robust downtown – we would agree with her on that issue – how to make that happen is the challenge and despite numerous studies and a lot of hand wringing, no one has come up with a solution to making downtown “vibrant”. Oakville has it figured it out, Milton has a great little downtown – Burlington; not yet. Check out the south end of Brant and wonder how many established retailers have left that part of town. New people do come in and take their chances – but the word vibrancy just doesn’t apply

Arnott has done a lot to make Burlington a destination for the running community. Every December she brings 4,000 runners in Santa Claus suits to town to run up and down Brant Street. She also runs the Half Chilly Marathon each year that shuts down a portion of Lakeshore Road. There are some that think she should be running that race in the bland, boring industrial part of the city – along Mainway.
Arnott understands what races are all about and is hired frequently to be the race director for organizations throughout Ontario.

She wants to involve younger people in the affairs of the city; not high school students – young people who have chosen Burlington as home but who may work elsewhere.
Arnott thinks from business perspective – how can something be made financially viable? How do you involve people? She certainly has a knack for involving the running community.

Santa Claus raceCan that knack be developed and be used to get people in the city involved in the way the city is run? She is the first person we have seen in some time who comes from that commercial retail sector of the city. Arnott doesn’t have a store front now – but she has had store fronts in the past and she fully understands the needs of retailers.

Do the retailers themselves get it? Hard to tell. Is Arnott a true voice for the downtown commercial community? Is she active with the Burlington Downtown Business Association? Does she have a constituency. Why is she running?

Arnott wants to see better representation for ward 2 at city hall? She has chosen not to be negative in the election race but does ask: What has Meed Ward done?

If elected Arnott wants to spend the first part of her term listening and learning what the job of a council member is about. She has a specific interest in the way the planning department works and would like to resolve issues that builders and small developers have with that department.

She also wants to see a more vibrant Tourism office. She believes Burlington has a real story to tell and would like to see Tourism doing a better job. The city has two of the largest public festivals in – Sound of Music and Ribfest plus a very good Performing Arts Centre.  The festivals pull in large numbers of people who return year after year – so why isn’t downtown a place they want to shop in and hang around at for awhile?

Are the malls the problem? We don’t know. Arnott doesn’t appear to have a clear cut solution – she just knows that downtown is a bit of a bust and a fix is badly needed.

The Arnott campaign is being run by Shannon Gillies who was a candidate in the 2010 election; she was bested by Marianne Meed Ward.

Arnott has done a lot for this city – she has just over 40 days to lay a glove on Meed Ward – she has her work cut out for her.



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10 comments to Ward 2 candidate now in a race of her own; Arnott a race organizer has come out against Meed Ward.

  • Jim Riley

    I did not vote for Meed Ward in the previous election. I found that I did not agree with her positions. Since that election, I have had an opportunity to interact with Ward Meed. I find her to be an amazingly positive, energetic councillor. I attended the All Candidates meeting held by Arts & Culture Collective of Burlinton. Meed Ward had gained a great understanding of the ward and city’s needs. She has matured as a councillor to look at several angles. Although I do not agree with her 100% all the time, I do now support her.

    I found Kelly Arnott to be earnest in her answers to questions raised at the meeting. I found her showing signs of being open but not enough awareness about arts & culture and Ward needs. I don’t know why the downtown is not attracting business but I think that it is very clean and presentable. It is a bit boring though. Public art may help. The stores seem a bit dull but the restaurants downtown are great!

    Whether Meed Ward or Arnott win, I hope that these issues are addressed.

  • Suzanne Dyer

    What’s the big deal with signs in other wards? My goodness, if I ever had the guts to run for council I’d take all the support from friends and family I could get. Must we really get so nasty? Is it “a sign of desperation” that Ms Meed Ward has two giant signs in front of a house on Walkers Line in Ward 4? I don’t hear anyone squawking about that. Nor should they.

  • Ricki Anne Andersen

    Don’t you think the candidates for a Specific Ward [2 – or others] should not be posting signs in other Wards … perhaps confusing voters that Arnott is running [so to speak] in Ward 4 — and taking away from specific Ward 4 Candidates running against an incumbent? HMMMM???

  • Cliff

    Marianne’s efforts and results are boundless and borderless.

    She checked on folks outside her Ward following the ice storm, me for one – and I’ve heard personally from a number of Ward 6 constituents, that she and John Taylor stepped in to help them battle the destruction and deceit by Vince Rossi and his landfill operation, when their own Councillor (Blair Lancaster) gave her constituents every indication, over and over again, that she was in his camp.

    They don’t come any more genuine or better than Marianne Meed Ward.
    She’ll knock this win outta the park!

    • Glenda Dodd

      Arnett asks “what has Meed Ward done” – well if she is talking about efforts to attract to the downtown core I would say free parking after 6 pm and on weekends is impressive…more lasting than a race or two…amongst many other things.
      G. Stevens made the remark “Will you show that you have integrity by publicly admitting how much of a percentage you take in from every “charity” race you organize??????……..very interesting question since she makes it sound like it’s all about charity… Some people oganize charity events as thier business and as such make an income from the charity function as payback for thier efforts. Is that true of Arnett?

  • Mr.Bean

    Not a fan of Ms. Arnott and her for-profit running games, with road closures and no real money coming to our city. She needs to open her books and let us all see how little of the money her company raises per marathon goes to charities, and how much of that money raised goes into Ms. Arnott’s pockets.

  • Ken Colombo

    I absolutely must agree with you Hans. I wanted to be at Marianne’s re-election launch, but ‘oldies’ like me sometimes have to give a nod to physical complaints. Marianne is always helpful, insightful and can direct you to your city services destination in a nanosecond.

  • Glenda Dodd

    What is her specific interest in the way the planning department works??? What issures would she like to resolve between builders and small developers and the building department??

  • G. Stevenson

    I have two burning questions for Ms. Arnott….

    1) Will you show that you have integrity by publicly admitting how much of a percentage you take in from every “charity” race your organize? And;

    2) Is it or is it not a sign of desperation when you feel the need to place your campaign signs on the lawns of acquaintances who live outside of the ward for which you seek to win a seat on Council?

    Just askin’…..

  • Hans Jacobs

    Re: “Arnott wants to spend the first part of her term listening and learning…”. Anyone who wants a $100,000 a year job as an elected representative should be ready to “hit the ground running”.

    Marianne Meed Ward certainly did that, and she has never slowed down. I wish Marianne were running in the ward where I live and would hate to lose her from council.