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Video on Burlington: Valuing community’s input and engagement in city hall’s decisions

Vol. 1 of “Little Ideas that can make a difference” video series

City Hall does a good job of asking community residents what they think. Where there’s room for improvement is incorporating that engagement and feedback into final decisions.

Burlington city hall believes it needs to educate residents on development and intensification
City hall believes residents need to be educated on things like development and intensification; instead the city’s attitude should be – “what can we learn from each other”

This video explores some of the attitude changes that need to take place to make that happen. We’ve got to move beyond dismissing residents as NIMBYs, special interests, or uneducated when you provide input that decision-makers may not want to hear. I’ve heard these sentiments too often, including in city meetings this past week.

We’ve got to value all engagement and input, and find ways to incorporate it.

Want to comment on this video or have an idea for how to make our city better? Please leave a comment below or send me an email at meedwardm@burlington.ca, and I’ll post it online.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

4 Comments

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  1. My view, which i have expressed before, is that the Pier project is beyond financial resolution. the Taxpayer will be lumbered with the overruns. All this  ,like the BAC was never,ever supported by the community at large. It has been a total disgrace for Burlington from which we will never recover.City Council has to learn that their duties are strictly to support the City infrastructure, not carry the torch for major Arts programs. certainly not before garning majority taxpayer support..

    chris harvey

  2. Why do high rises have to be close to the lake?  Yes, they sell better there but we must protect our valuable waterfront for people activities.  The Pier project is a fiasco but it is still a good idea.  Let’s develop the waterfront for ALL of the people of Burlington not just a few in highrises.

  3. Sidebar, but relevant. I got an email notification from Ward 3 Councillor Taylor’s office this morning informing me of a ‘public meeting’ TOMORROW about the proposed increase use of ‘rural bicycling’ in the Ward. Speakers will include the Burlington Cycling Association. The ‘header’ reads – Room for Everyone. Personally, I find this kind of ‘mock’ “public consultation” insulting. In simple terms, the deck is clearly loaded BEFORE any ‘public consultation’ starts. This is all to common. A ‘special interest’ group gets their ‘objective’ to Council, curries interaction & response, and then foists the ‘conclusion’ on others who do not have a vested interest, but will, nonetheless, be affected. Another good case in point is the ‘hijacking’ of the design of New City Park by the ‘downtown’ soccer ‘club’ & the Pan Am organization. ‘Public consultations’ in the Ward (1) & in the adjacent Ward (3) were non-existent and/or MASQUERADED under a ‘general’ overview of the park development. I am quite certain that if residents KNEW that the development had morphed from a ‘recreational’ sports park to a ‘tournament’ level soccer facility on THREE fenced-in fields of plastic grass in the largest NATURAL park in Burlington, and the FIRST park within the Niagara Escarpment/Greenbelt – they would protest. As it now is, ALL Burlington tax-payers are on the hook to REPLACE these million dollar lifeless carpets when they expire (after the Pan Am Games in 2015). Worth repeating – ALL taxpayers will be paying for ONE downtown soccer club’s exclusive ‘access’. Sherwood Forest Park residents didn’t want the Pan Am games and their fields of ‘artificial turf’. If City had ASKED us, instead of TELLING us, after the last minute SWITCH to New City Park, we too would have told them – WE do not want tons of toxic ‘plastic grass’ in OUR PUBLIC park. I do most sincerely hope that you, Marianne, will keep this in mind when you become Mayor. Please do not burden Burlington tax-payers with the millions of dollars replacement cost of fake grass.
    Thank you. We appreciate that SOMEONE in City Hall IS listening ….

    • In this day of consciousness of pollution, garbage disposal problems, destruction of natural habitat, and a multitude of other issues, it’s shocking and disgusting that special interests are sneaking in acres of plastic. Pollution control is apparently for others – not for those in charge. 

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