Ward six now has a race: Bentivegna, who won by less than 50 votes in 2018 will face Rick Greenspoon

By Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2022



Rick Greenspoon’s trip to city hall to file his nomination papers took a circuitous route.

Rick Greenspoon: “It was Shawna Stolte who got me involved in the politics of the city”

When he learned that ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stole had said she was thinking hard about not running again, (she quickly recanted that comment – gave some thought to running for Mayor and decided that she would run for re-election after all) Greenspoon met with Stolte and let her know that was interested in running in ward 4.

When he learned that Stolte was in the race to retain her Council Greenspoon decided he would run in ward six. His residence in one block away from the ward 6 border.

“It was Shawna Stolte who got me involved in the politics of the city” said Greenspoon.

Stolte was working with Millcroft residents who were battling an attempt by a developer to turn some of the golf links into housing – there are two groups: one, Millcroft Greenspace Alliance, is fighting the Argo plans to develop some of the land that was part of the golf course the community was built around.  The other group, MAD – Millcroft Against Development will be meeting with Greenspoon later this week.

The Alliance was not happy with what the current Council member, Angelo Bentivegna, was doing for them, and by extension the Mayor who had aligned herself with Bentivegna, and were looking around for someone who might do a better job for them.

Stolte mentioned Greenspoon to them – and thus a candidate was born. The connector in this was Dainty Klein – she and Greenspoon spent two and a half hours in conversation – Rick left that meeting knowing he was going to be running in ward 6

Rick Greenspoon: had a retail operation in what was then the Burlington Mall.

So who is this guy?

Originally a Montrealer, fluently bilingual, Graduated with a degree from what was then Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) from the Health Sciences faculty.

Rick moved to Burlington when his employer transferred him to the city. A transfer returning him to Montreal didn’t come about – which worked for Greenspoon – he came to love the city.

Back in the 80’s when he had a retail operation in what was then the Burlington Mall he and some of the other retailers in the city petitioned council for changes in the hours retailers could operate.

In those days stores were open Monday to Thursday and Saturday until 6:00 pm. Open until 9:00 pm on Friday.

Chance came his way and Greenspoon left retail and has spent the last 34 years in the automotive field where he operates an automotive brokerage business in Burlington.

He also served as a vice president with The Magic of Metals Children’s Foundation and worked with others to channel the foundations charitable donations into the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Before the group closed things – they were getting older and the charitable sector was undergoing a change they raised over $2,900,000.00. Most of the donations came from the servicing sector of the steel industry.

Greenspoon spent over 20 years in minor hockey with both the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario as a referee, a supervisor and instructor.

The campaign literature – side 1

Played hockey with the Old Timers, realized his physical limitations and now referees some of their games.

He has been an active participant in the Sound of Music.

The first thing Greenspoon made clear to me during a lengthy interview is that he was seldom the #1 person in the many organizations he has been involved in. “I am very comfortable and prefer to work in the background to bring about changes.”

He and his wife Louise raised two daughters who got into soccer and when they completed their educations they moved into the  medical services sector; they are not campaigning  – yet.

One of his daughters posted on her Facebook page: Mt Dad does more that talk the talk – he walks the walk.

Greenspoon has learned that there is a lot more to municipal politics than he at first realized. There are many issues he has yet to decide just where he stands – he has a lot of reading to do in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to hear how he worked his way through some of the 1000 page plus consultant reports.

Greenspoon is not yet doing the door to door thing and his web site is a work in progress. He does have a single piece of literature that he hands out.

Rick Greenspoon: approach to a problem is to find a way towards a solution.

He is bothered by the sense of apathy he is experiencing and has yet to find a campaign manager.

Is he up to speed on the major issues? Not quite – he has yet to look at a budget document – that will be a bit of a shock once he starts going through the pages.

Parkland dedication issues – not read that document yet either.

But there is a deliberateness to Rick Greenspoon. He listens, gives you a pretty straight from the shoulder answer – if he doesn’t know he will tell you he doesn’t know.

His approach to a problem is to find a way towards a solution. The answer is not always obvious but Greenspoon believes there is always a way.

“When people say you can’t do that” Greenspoon first asks – “Why?”

On the affordable housing issue Greenspoon can only say “we have to do something.”

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