Councillor goes looking for way to recoup lost revenue - also wants city to think about not providing snow removal from private residences.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Things sort of fell off the wagon during the Budget deliberations last December.

There is a Budget Requests report (BAR) that each Councillor prepares setting out things they would like to see changed. In the rush to get the budget process completed a number of requests were not dealt with.

There was a little bit of time available at the end of the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting to deal with some of the requests.

Angelo watching Roru

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna

There were two on the list that were submitted by Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna that gave us a closer look at how the Councillor approaches his job and his views on what people should get for the taxes they pay and how the city goes about collecting fees that have not been paid.

One BAR read: Direct the Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry to review options for residential property owners to clear sidewalks in front of their property and identify any impacts.

Staff reported that there are 850 km of sidewalks; those belonging to schools get taken care of by the school boards.

Bentivegna argued that the money saved could be put into infrastructure, particularly roads.

The Mayor asked “Is this to remove side walk clearing from the budget – then I’m not supporting it.”

Councillor Sharman added that 30% of the population below the QEW is over 65 – he wasn’t supporting the idea either.

Councillor Galbraith said he wouldn’t support the idea.

Councillor Nisan said the move would “literally” hurt people.

Councillor Kearns said the bylaw expense of enforcing such a bylaw would eat up any savings. The motion to move the Staff Direction failed 6-1 with Bentivegna the only supporter.

Bentivegna had a second BAR. He wanted to:
Direct the Director of Building and By-law to investigate the feasibility of providing additional support to ensure by-law compliance (e.g. business and lottery licenses, building permits). Investigate pilot project on specific commercial roads to ensure compliance with all businesses to create a level playing field and to seek compliance opportunities to ensure transparent practices throughout the city. Seek opportunities to utilize business Intelligence (BI) platform for reporting data to internal and external stakeholders.

Bentivegna had apparently gone looking for business locations that did not have the proper licenses. He saw this as a revenue opportunity to re-coup those losses in revenue.

The biggest concern for council members was the cost of determining who did and didn’t have a license.

City manager Tim Commisso thought the idea should be deferred until the city learned if there was going to be any additional funding from the province to look into the creation of more efficient processes at the municipal level.

Dev fee guy STAFF

City bylaw enforcement officer

Councillor Galbraith said it was a little vague to him and asked “is there a problem to solve?” The Bylaw enforcement officer  said there wasn’t a problem.

Councillor Kearns said she had never heard of there being a problem.

Councillor Stolte said she would support a motion and added that this looked like one of those situations where “we don’t know what we don’t know”

The Mayor saw this as a service review question and added that if the Councillor (Bentivegna) knows of establishments that don’t have the required licenses “tell us”.
The Councillors colleagues suggested he prepare a memo to Council with more detail.

The BAR was withdrawn.

A Licence is required for the following:

Automotive Establishments
Motor Vehicle Repair Garage (Includes Auto Body Shops)
Motor Vehicle Dealership (Includes Used Car Dealers)
Storage of Motor Vehicles
Convenience Stores
Class A – Sale of Foodstuff/Sale of Tobacco
Class B – Sale of Foodstuff/Sale of Tobacco/Lunch Counter
Personal Services
Acupuncture
Aesthetics
Barber/Hairdresser
Ear Piercing
Electrolysis
Nail Salons
Tattoo/Body Piercing
Public Assembly
Billiard/Pool/Bowling/Pinball/Electronic Game Machine Establishments/
Theatres
Night Club
Public Halls/Banquet Halls
Restaurants, Take-Out Restaurants and Lunch Counters
Transient Trader
Day Sales
Seasonal Sales (Christmas Trees)
Door to Door/Sales Person
Antique/Collectable/ Auction Show
Craft Show
Trade Show
Flea Market
Refreshment Vehicle
Refreshment Vehicle – Class A, B and C
Miscellaneous
Carnivals
Festivals
Newspaper Distribution Boxes
Sale of Fireworks
Sale of Foodstuffs/Catering
Sale of Tobacco
Sale of Adult Magazines
Salvage Yards

The fee for a license is set by the city each year.

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3 comments to Councillor goes looking for way to recoup lost revenue – also wants city to think about not providing snow removal from private residences.

  • Eve St Clair

    I always clear my sidewalk ,and to have the City Contractor swing by at 4 am to plow bare cement etc is a waste . Really not much extra work for a homeowner to clear their sidewalk . Kudos to Councillor Ward 6 for bringing this up

  • steven craig Gardner

    I support stopping sidewalk plowing all they do is chew up my lawn as they come many hours or days after i have shovelled my sidewalk and sriveway. Itt is a lame excuse to have something just because peole are old. I am retired and if I can not shovel my driveway or sidewalk myself perhaps time to move into a plavce that I do not need to do these things. Do most ontario cities waste money on sidewalk shovelling?
    Based on past 2 year I think we should abandon the leaf program too and save monies spendt on tha as no one seems happy with it. Again because peope are old not an excuse to keep this program.

  • James

    Nice man. In way over his head. He tries real hard, but this job just isn’t for him. And I don’t think there’s any shame in admitting that, it’s not for everybody.

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