Call for stronger role from ratepayer groups - does anyone know how many we have?

opinionandcommentBy Stephen White

December 3rd, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I would submit that one of the reasons this Council and Mayor have run amuck over the past seven years is because there are no strong countervailing organizations in place to challenge or question their decisions.

There are a lot of intelligent, thoughtful and resourceful people who delegate regularly, or write to their Councillor, or express feedback, but because they are acting as individuals and not as part of a concerted, united organization they get “blown off”. A case in point is the November 13th Council meeting on the 421 Brant Street development.

Your city council members: The Significant Seven.

Your city council members: The Significant Seven. Three of the seven were first elected in 2010 – all were re-elected in 2014. Two have been there more than 20 years

By contrast, Oakville has 17 Ratepayers’ Associations. They offer a strong, sustained and ongoing mechanism through which local residents can make their voices known and their opinions heard. When they delegate their Council and their Mayor listen. When they push the agenda and demand action they are able to quickly galvanize public support and things happen. Their efforts around saving Glen Abbey Golf Course is a case in point.

Burlington crest - with city referenceECoB is a great start, but if it turns into Shape Burlington it will just be gabfest and a waste of time. The time for pleasantries and persuasion is past. I hope part of ECoB’s mandate entails identifying and formally supporting municipal election candidates. Without a strategy in place we’ll have a repeat of 2014 with multiple candidates running in each ward, vote splitting, and incumbents slipping through again.

Stephen White is a Burlington resident who comments frequently in the Gazette.

It is worth noting that the Town of Oakville Clerk reaches out to the community and asks for contact information from each of the known resident and ratepayer groups and ensures they are kept informed of what takes p0olace in Oakville.

Related content:

Shape Burlington

Formation of ECoB

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2 comments to Call for stronger role from ratepayer groups – does anyone know how many we have?

  • Diane

    Roseland Community Organization, incorporated in 2012.

  • Allen Jones

    Agreed that we need more of a punch with council …… Time to reserect the Burlington Ratepayers Association … which Paul Sharman was once President of … for 4 minutes , so he could use that title in his pitch for a council seat.
    And it worked!

    Does anyone else want to be a real President for this group …. if it even still exists ?