How will the Mayor lead his Council after they trashed his board and committee appointment recommedations?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 8, 2015


City council will meet for the first time this year on Monday morning of next week to review the first draft of the 2015 budget.

It will be interesting to watch how Mayor Goldring manages to bandage the wounds that were inflicted when the council he leads trashed the recommendations he made on appointments to Boards and Committees.

Mayor and chair

Does Mayor Goldring now lead a Council that is headed for a string of 4-3 votes with Councillor Dennison being the swing vote. Has it really come to this?

Those recommendations were not something the Mayor scribbled on the back of an envelope and gave to the Clerk. They were the result of discussion with every member of council.

While the Mayor has just one vote, he is seen as the first among equals. Citizens expect him to lead and he certainly led when he put together his list.

That his Council trashed his recommendations and put forward three amendments that stripped Councillor Meed Ward of much of her board and committee work is disturbing to say the least. There is the very real possibility that the Mayor will be seen as a lame duck the first month into his four year term.


Councillor John Taylor may not be waving the draft of the 2015 budget – but he will be guiding it through the Standing Committee he chairs.

The budget meeting will be chaired by Councillor Taylor with Meed Ward serving as his vice chair. Taylor at times struggles with detail but he will remember the 18th of December meeting when he was recognized by the provincial government for his 26 years of service.

He will also remember the meeting as the one that stripped Meed Ward of Board and Committee appointments that she wanted to continue doing.

It was also the meeting that had Taylor giving up his appointment to the Conservation Authority so that Meed Ward could serve there.

There is every reason to expect her to become a solid council representative at the Conservation Authority but it will be sometime before she can amass the knowledge Taylor has; losing him at Conservation is a significant loss.

As for Council meetings – we may be looking at a level of fractiousness we have not seen since the Cam Jackson days; that fractiousness was one of the reasons –Rick Goldring ran for Mayor in 2010.

What comes around goes around – maybe Cam Jackson wasn’t the problem after all.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly

6 comments to How will the Mayor lead his Council after they trashed his board and committee appointment recommedations?

  • Enid

    “Be Accountable” pretty well sums it all up succinctly…makes one wonder whether Meed Ward is a ghost staff writer for the Gazette and/or a seemingly endless source of self promoting political information.

  • Dave and Anne Marsden

    We clearly understand what happened on election night. With her second place finish, Anne was given the go ahead to lead from the lectern. Like all democracies there is a role for the official opposition, particularly when the official opposition has a very good understanding of how Council is supposed to operate rather than how it is operating. Our comments as Health, Safety and Access Advocates are always accompanied by our names. Our telephone number is public information in the Burlington Directory and on the Burlington Election website, so we can always be reached and asked to share the evidence that supports what we are saying on this website, if someone believes we are simply “mayor” and “council” bashing.

    Those who make comments about Burlington Gazette articles and those who comment on the articles, are entitled to do so. Hiding behind a pseudonym, however, does not give much credibility to the author especially when they are clearly participating in the Burlington Gazette website, simply to “bash” those who have the guts to continue to bring a different side of Council’s deliberations than you will read in either the Post or the Spectator and are willing to state who they are.

    Dave and Anne Marsden
    Health, Safety and Access (including to the democratic process) Advocates

  • Be Accountable

    i started reading what you call a online newspaper last summer. in my time reading what you report i think i can say with some certainty you appear to hate the mayor and 4 council people, you like john and you have a big crush on marianne. one last comment to the former candidate for mayor, thank you for running for office, but you lost by a very large margin so stop bashing mayor and the other council people, they all won the election it is time for you to understand what happened on election night

  • Dave and Anne Marsden

    Don’t know what happened to the last paragraph in the above comment but it was supposed to say:

    There was a motion made by the Mayor at the September 29, 2014 Special Council Meeting to set aside the Procedural Bylaws to allow Dave and Anne Marsden to delegate at the Special Council Meeting (see webcast) and this motion does not appear in the minutes of the September 29, 2014 Special Council Meeting as it should. Council members are responsible for confirming the accuracy of the minutes and the September 29, 2014 minutes were confirmed as accurate regardless of the fact that there was no reference to the motion setting aside the procedural by-laws and no reference to our comments regarding the meeting being non-compliant with the Procedural By-laws and our belief that the Council were out of order proceeding with this Special Council Meeting.

    Respectfully Anne and Dave Marsden
    Health, Safety and Access Advocates

  • Dave and Anne Marsden

    “There is the very real possibility that the Mayor will be seen as a lame duck the first month into his four year term.” Burlington Gazette

    An informed public would know that the Mayor was a lame duck for at least the last two years of his previous term which was the central point of Anne’s platform in the 2014 Municipal election.

    Goldring turned his chain of office over to City Staff on several occasions that we are aware of. In particular he accepted the City Manager and Clerk rather than the Mayor had the authority to call and set Special Meetings of Council. He accepted this despite his name appearing at the end of Procedural By-laws that govern same.

    The Procedural By-laws clearly set out that the Clerk cannot set a Special Council Meeting until after she receives a petition signed by the majority of Council or a council resolution that contained the same information. The Mayor accepted the City Manager and Clerk’s position that was contrary to the Procedural By-laws adopted by the City of Burlington in accordance with the Municipal Act at least 30 times during 2013 and 2014

    The main issue, is if the Special Council Meeting was not called in accordance with the Procedural By-laws and there was no motion to set the Procedural By-laws aside, the validity of the decisions made at some 30 Special Council Meetings in 2013 and 2014 including September 29, 2014 are clearly in question.

    Such a motion was put forward by the Mayor and it was approved by a majority of Council but there is no notation in the minutes of the Special Council Meeting of September 29, 2014 that have been confirmed as accurate by Council regardless of the inaccuracies that are clearly evident after viewing the webcast.

  • Glenda Dodd

    “we may be looking at a level of fractiousness we have not seen since the Cam Jackson days; “”””maybe Cam Jackson wasn’t the problem after all”””.
    Well said.

    Taylor is the only old time councillor that has any scruples…don’t trust the rest of them….observing how the current group of four conspired against a fellow councillor sure looks like their re-election has made them power crazy. Looking at personal personality differences and vendettas instead of what is best for the City — shame on them if they continue in the same manor they displayed the 18th of December.

    Taylor is the only old time councilor that has

Leave a Reply