What if Burlington had a larger city council?

By Pepper Parr

July 26th, 2023



We hear people saying: “I’m not interested in politics, it doesn’t matter to me”.  We shudder when we hear words like that.

Politics is the process of selecting the people who will make decisions on your behalf.  There are good politicians and there are those who are there for reasons of their own – they tend not to subscribe to the phrase: “We are here to serve.”

Being sworn in for their second term of office – Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte took part virtually, Covid19 kept her at home.

This citizen isn’t smiling. She one of the hundreds that were basically locked in their homes during the five days of heavy winter weather one year because streets were not cleared?

At the local level the politicians you elect will determine how often the snow is removed from the roads and sidewalks; how often the falling leaves will be collected; how many swimming pools there will be and how city property can be used.  Think Sound of Music and the benefits it brings to the city and how much noise they make.  Many people would like to see a smaller event with some events taking place elsewhere in the city.

The politicians make all those decisions on your behalf – and they do respond to pressure from the public.

All you have to do is let them know, in clear polite language please, that you are not happy – when enough of you do that – they will change.

What we currently have in Burlington is a group of seven people, SOME of whom will remove a comment someone makes on their Facebook page if they don’t like what is being said.

There are SOME who have convinced themselves that if they appear in enough photo ops they will be liked and loved.

Unfortunately, much of the population falls for that one and tend not to look at what the politician has to say and what they have done and the decisions they make.

Some of the members of Council hold regular ward meetings, other – not so much.

A photo op is a photo op – get as many as you can.

The Mayor who promotes herself is as a former journalist has yet to hold an open media event.  She doesn’t respond to questions the Gazette puts to her.

Burlington has a small city council – there was a time when there were 17 members.  Many, including the Mayor, are interested in looking into how the size of Council could be increased. It is not as simple as it sounds.

More tomorrow on how the size of city council could be changed; it is easier said than done, and how you can get what you think the city needs.


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