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Woodruff on annexing Waterdown - a joke he can use at the Mayor's expense.

opinionviolet 100x100By Greg Woodruff

September 22, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The timing of asking the Province to put Waterdown into Burlington’s territory is no good and lack of communication with Hamilton even worse. It’s lots of fun to poke fun at Rick Golding over the abysmal optics of the whole thing. And as much as I’d like to jump on the bandwagon of making jokes at Rick, unfortunately, it’s not a bad idea.

Government is nothing more than a device to avoid human conflict and make people more prosperous then we would be without. The efficiency of service delivery and decision making matters greatly. Does Waterdown make more sense in a unit with Burlington?

Hamilton boundary

Hamilton’s boundaries – from the City of Hamilton web site.

Yes, it think it might. I measure just 2 km from subdivision to subdivision in which development along Highway 5 is merging into pretty much one city. The Waterdown road expansion will remove the “rural” break from North to South. It will seem like one city.

LaSalle Park

Does the city of Hamilton own this much of what we see as Burlington?

While we are on the topic of annexation, one thing the Ontario government should definitely annex for Burlington is Lasalle Park. By a historical accident, it’s Hamilton’s on the map, though operated by Burlington for living memory. The “Hamilton put money into LaSalle Park” argument doesn’t hold water here. Negotiations between Hamilton and Burlington is nothing but old school blackmail. Pay us for the land we have had nothing to do with for decades or we sell it to developers. Taxpayers on both sides are now paying civil servants to argue about it. Certainly, Mr. Ford rapidly transferring the park to Burlington is an easy win for efficiency and sanity in government.

But I digress …

Not only will Waterdown and Burlington seem every more like one city, but it’s also going to function like one too. The commercial investment in Clapson’s Corners is nothing sort staggering where you think all those shoppers come from? We need integrated road and transportation with water down. There is no bus up there. There is no reason at all to prevent the Halton Region and Burlington City vehicles to buzz 2km farther down the road during the day. You would think things like snow removal would get objectively easier.

The city of Hamilton I suspect has quite enough work to deal with the 610,000 souls under care.

Waterdown-Library-Civic-Centre-01

The Waterdown Library – a gem.

Now comes the sticky part; the money. Hamilton probably has a point on the fact that long-term investments made were designed to be offset by future taxes. You can’t leave Hamilton holding the bag so to speak. Though I believe they have billions needed in infrastructure funding – yes billions. So the government of Hamilton is bankrupt sooner or later in any event. Even so, if the accountants can see that an investment has been made we need to pay back Hamilton. The best way to do that will be to “special levy” Waterdown the difference between the “Burlington” and the “Hamilton” tax rate until it’s paid back. I realize Waterdown would like instant tax relief, but over time is better than none at all.

dfe

The Mayor wasn’t laughing.

Not that we should do any merging without considering the people of Waterdown and the people of Burlington. Obviously, public consultation and a lot of mulling over is required. Unfortunately, it’s not the worst idea ever and I will have to find some other way to make jokes at Rick’s expense.

Greg WoodruffGreg Woodruff is a candidate for the Office of Mayor in the 2018 election.  He ran for the Office of the Regional Chair in 2014.  He has never held political office.

Related new stories.

The end of Burlington as you may know it.

Wallace and Meed Ward respond to the idea of annexing Waterdown.

 

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1 comment to Woodruff on annexing Waterdown – a joke he can use at the Mayor’s expense.

  • Dayna W

    I have to disagree with you, Greg, on a number of points, and coming from the perspective of a resident of Waterdown and long-time resident of Flamborough. There is a bus in Waterdown, actually, and Hamilton has done well to get that set up over the past few years. It connects all the way down to Aldershot GO Station, and has a circuit around town and into the subdivisions. The Waterdown Public Library is a mess and far from “a gem” as the caption states. Its construction took too long, it does not match the aesthetic of “The Victorian Village of Waterdown”, and its poor construction has resulted in broken doors, shattered glass windows, etc. since it finally opened. The library is really irrelevant to the discussion at hand, though I will say that I prefer the Hamilton Public Library system to Burlington’s, given its size and accessibility.

    Clappison’s Corners is doing very well, yes, and so is the growth in Waterdown. I’m not convinced that the staff at the City of Burlington would know how to integrate Waterdown at all, given the transit issues already a problem in the city, and the huge focus on high-rises. I have to disagree with you regarding snow removal in particular, as my experiences of living in Waterdown and working in Aldershot have demonstrated that Hamilton does a much better job at snow removal than Burlington. My coworkers who live in Hamilton also remark on this.

    Honestly, I’m not sure why we’re even talking about this and why you’re trying to suggest any sort of legitimacy to Goldring’s idea. It was not vetted by the public or other councillors, much less discussed with the City of Hamilton. It does not demonstrate being a team player, and it certainly fails to address the present concerns in the City of Burlington. To discuss it at all is to further enable a distraction.