Mayor lists accomplishments in the first 100 days.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 13th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a statement released yesterday Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “On December 3rd of 2018, Burlington’s new city council and myself were officially sworn into office.

Meed ward election night 1

Victory.

Today marks our 100th day serving the community of Burlington in our new roles. I still wake up smiling every morning, grateful for the opportunity to be Mayor of this amazing city.

I want to take a moment today to share with you some of the accomplishments this council has achieved thus far and remind you of where we are headed together.

As a council, we have already made a big impact on our commitments to our constituents:

• We removed the use of the new, unapproved, Official Plan of 2018 and went back to reviewing the last approved version to ensure we are aligned with Regional expectations as well as the vision our citizens have for our city.

• We approved an Interim Control Bylaw to temporarily pause development downtown and around the Burlington GO station until we can better define the land use we want to see and the policies that will support it. We will ensure the growth and development being approved in Burlington works for all our residents, businesses, and communities.

• We rallied with neighboring cities and publicly reaffirmed our commitment to protecting the Greenbelt when it was threatened by new provincial legislation. As a result, we saw that legislation modified to again protect this vital area of land and its role in our environment, health, and rural economy.

• We listened to the voices in our communities and, in a 5:2 vote, agreed to allow retail cannabis stores in Burlington.

• We led town halls and public feedback collection on our budget process and then delivered the lowest tax increase in eight years, near the rate of inflation at 2.99% for the city portion, and 2% once blended with Halton Region and education taxes.

There are countless events and fundraisers we have shared in with the community as we:

• celebrated the holidays and Festival of Lights along our downtown waterfront

• helped kick off Black History Month and Heritage Month, both in February

• rang in the Year of the Pig for Chinese New Year with the Read Leaf Cultural Integration group

• joined the fun and braved the weather at the Coldest Night of the Year charity walk

• raised money and ate like royalty at the Gift of Giving Back Top Chef competition

• had a circus-themed great time at the Halton Women’s Place Big Top gala

• held a flag-raising for Special Olympics Week

• cheered on the Chilly Half Marathon

• celebrated phenomenal women at numerous events around International Women’s Day

We also took pause to remember the lives of some of the community leaders and contributors we lost, from Pasquale Paletta and Donald Green to Ron Joyce and Bob Brechin.

As Mayor, I am proud to have:

• launched a Key to the City program and helped celebrate the talented life of local musician Mike Taylor of Walk Off the Earth with thousands of fellow fans braving a cold January night in Civic Square

• shared my first State of the City address with a full house at the Burlington Convention Centre on January 30th and outlined our council’s priorities and vision for the next four years

• met with mayors from across Ontario to discuss shared issues and ways to collaborate

• launched the Mayor’s Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force to help remove obstacles to business growth and relocation here in Burlington

For a more comprehensive and detailed list of what we have delivered for our city, visit the “Top 30 Accomplishments in the First 100 Days” post on my blog at mariannemeedward.ca

I want to thank our Interim City Manager as well as each Councillor, five of whom are new to the job, for uniquely delivering for our constituents and continuing to bring the needs of each Ward to the table:

Kelvin Galbraith, Ward 1: “The first 100 days of being a new Councillor have been a massive learning experience for myself personally but an honour to serve. Our new council is a diverse group and it has been great to work with them. I am proud that we are delivering some new services to the residents in the budget in terms of free transit for seniors, new staff for seniors’ programs and the Joseph Brant Museum. We are looking into a bike sharing program to connect residents with our mobility hubs and the downtown.”

Lisa Kearns, Ward 2: “Residents want to re-connect with their City Hall. I’ve worked to rebuild trust through the launch of the first Ward Business Meeting Registry, so you know who is talking to your Councillor, in line with a code of conduct. This directly supports the transparency, accountability and integrity of the government decision-making process and promotes open dialogue between the many stakeholders that make up our community.”

Rory Nisan, Ward 3: “I believe our primary achievement as a council has been delivering a budget that improves the quality of life of Burlington residents, including delivering the Brant Hills splash pad as well as better public transit, while keeping the tax increase within half a percent of inflation.”

Shawna Stolte, Ward 4: “The tree canopy in Ward 4 is a valuable asset to our city’s health and well- being, and I’m glad we have taken steps to protect it and replenish it with the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw and additional funding for tree planting to help mitigate the losses we’ve seen in recent years from the Emerald Ash Borer.”

Paul Sharman, Ward 5: “I’m happy to see the improvements to Burloak Park maintenance for Ward 5, and the launch of city-wide free transit for those who qualify for the SPLIT transit subsidy program, along with free weekday transit for seniors. It is a pleasure to work with our new members of Council as we all get to know each other.”

Angelo Bentivenga, Ward 6: “In these first 100 days, I’m proud to have launched advisory groups in four distinct Ward 6 neighborhoods (Headon Forest, Millcroft, Alton Village and our Rural area), held a well- attended Ward 6 town hall budget meeting, proposed a staff direction to look at how we streamline budget process in 2020, and provided input to the City in providing better hearing accessibility in Council Chambers.”

Tim Commisso 2 smile

Tim Commisso: Coach to five newbies, counselor to the Mayor.

Tim Commisso, Interim City Manager: “Council has been focused on building a strong relationship with staff. This priority was an emphasis during their orientation and out of this developed the Civic”ology” program, which is an informal opportunity for council to meet and work closely with staff in all departments.”

Meed Ward added: “There is still much work to do over the next four years, but your council is off to a great start and it all begins with respect for each other, for residents and for staff. By inviting and welcoming diverse perspectives in a respectful environment, we set the stage for great ideas to emerge to address the challenges we face in our community… together.”

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