Nisan takes a credibility hit - might not be able to deliver on a promise.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 5th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Something went wrong somewhere and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan finds himself in a bit of a bind.

Kilbride community centre

Traffic on the road near the school is just too fast for many Kilbride residents.

Rory Sept 2019

Councillor Rory Nisan – said he thought the speed reduction was a done deal.

People in the Kilbride community complained about speeding along the main road in the community. Many delegated at the time and the Councillor felt there was an understanding that the speed limit would be reduced.

The Councillor checked in with the Transportation department and was told that the speed limit would be reduced. Nisan passed the word around the community – he had delivered. The rural people remember things like this.

During the Planning and Development meeting Tuesday afternoon the Councillor learned that a 40 kmh limit would not be put in place because it wasn’t warranted.

You could almost hear Councillor Nisan gulp.

Director of Transportation Vito Tolone has advised Council that the department was trying to cut down on situations where a single area had a reduced speed limit. They wanted instead to impose speed limits on areas and a collection of roads.

Vito Tolone

Director of Transportation Vito Tolone said the speed reduction request didn’t meet the criteria.

Kilbride Road was not an area that they wanted to put 40 kmh limits on. There was apparently a report setting out why the department decided not to put the limit on that road.

Nisan said he wasn’t aware of any report and he certainly didn’t see anything.

Rory Nisan is going to have to find a way to convince the Director of Transportation to change his mind or corral enough council votes to Direct the department to put in a 40 kmh limit.

Let’s see what Nisan manages to achieve.

One of the things he might want to work on is polishing up the relationships with the various departments.

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10 comments to Nisan takes a credibility hit – might not be able to deliver on a promise.

  • On the other hand, we have been researching the Civic Square delay imposed by Council and find that policies that were accepted by Council 2010 to 2018 with regard to Capital projects under 5 million did not have to come back to Council have been set aside because Councillor Nissan and the Mayor and Councillor Kearns disagreed with the design put together with resident consultation. Civic Square is a disgrace in terms of end of life and an accident waiting to happen. Our requests as Community Health, Safety and Access advocates and Ward 2 residents to meet with Lisa Kearns and the Medical Officer of Health to discuss the current issues were refused.

    The June 10 2019 Committee of the Whole had the report etc. In the Addendun I.e. No notice. Committee sent it to Planniing and Development the next day, again no opportunity for taxpayers to understand why and what the Council had in mind for this much needed update to our place to celebrate. The Staff report and answers to questions showed they had done an excellent job of public consultation and incorporation into the design of public ideas. It was apparent from the June 11 Planning and Development meeting chaired by Sharman that the plan was to can the project but the motion worded by the Mayor with the help of Sharman did not give taxpayers an opportunity to understand this. It simply stated it was to be sent back to staff. When Council know they have intentions, as they did, of canning this very important project and do not take the opportunity to properly inform taxpayers of their intention when there is six days between Planning and Development and Council to do so. This would have allowed for delegations for those who had taken time to give their input to the project. Council’s actions shows a much different concept of transparency than we have. Take time to view the P&D and Council discussions and see if you can count the number of times the pronoun
    “I” was used to obliterate us having a safe and respectable Civic Square anytime soon. It
    would have been all in place but for the things members of Council did not like about the community design for Civic Square and the much needed updates to below ground Infrastructure that, introduce us to innovative storm water diversion etc., make it compliant with 2016 accessibility standards, put in place shady spots and protect the fountain from pets etc using it to cool down rather than it being a place of tranquility where the water sounds shut out the noise as it was meant to do by those who blessed us with it.

    We would have known nothing of this but for the Mayor refusing our delegation related to CM-22-19 Infrstructure funding on October 28th after we were unable to find out when $191,000 of government funding was approved to be used for Civic Square and two reports claimed it was approved. Our information was Civic Square and the rainbow crossing on Lakeshore was not eligible for the funding and we were trying to get to the bottom of why Council believed it was.

    While Nissan and Kearns are rookies the Mayor and Sharman have had 11 years experience and should understand their transparency and accountability responsibilities as set out in the Municipal Act by now.

    • Elan

      No disrespect intended, but this note is very difficult to follow and understand. For those of us not in this fight yet, can you distill it down? I know the civic square design was halted because the city staff design was basically paving paradise to put up a concrete parking lot (let’s cut down all the trees..etc). Accessibility should and always be a design element.

      • council were successful in having no you and many others believe their position However, there was no opportunity for any taxpayers to understand the intent of Council as it was an Addendum item at COW, and sent to P & W the next day. Their motion was to send back to staff and Chair Paul Sharman crafted the wording for the Mayor avoiding any reference to canning the who,e project which was clearly the intention. Taxpayers and staff had worked hard to ensure issues like no animals or humans in the water which is as it should be for this kind of water piece Mayor Meedward disagreed and so she simply convinced her colleagues that her way was better than what the community wanted. The trees that were going were end of life and needed replacement. Systems were built in to manage tree preservation better. Accessibility was key in this design, as the law requires. Cobblestone as it was is difficult to maintain and has left us serious fall issues, that Councillor Kerns refuses to discuss with those of us who have worked hard for decades to ensure safety and accessibility arei key to the design so all can enjoy. The lack of transparency by not having the motion state the intent and over-riding what the engaged community clearly stated they wanted are the issues – sound familiar with the rest of down town? Hope this helps Elan if you wish feel free to call us at 905-467-2860. There is also the issue of 191,000 of the proposed funding being ineligible for Civic Square or the Lakeshore Rainbow crossing which we are presently discussing with the Ministry as we cannot get our questions in this regard answered.

  • Bonnie

    Another example of poor communication between councillors and city staff. It is my hope that the new city manager will open the lines of communication and change the culture that has prevailed over the past years. .

  • Elan

    As further example of City staff confusion, I cite an issue I watched at Planning Council last night. City Planning brings forward their researched zoning By-Law recommendation on Cannabis. No big deal. Except Councillor Stolte and the Mayor look at it and question (around the rude and bizarre chairmanship of Councillor Sharman) why City Planners are pushing this to the front burner when there is a ‘hair on fire’ and similar zoning by-law issue regarding short term accommodation? City said originally, given all their priorities, Airbnb had to wait three years, based on current priorities. We now see one of those was pot shop zoning. The Director had no explanation. But committed to look into it.
    Considered and connected leadership would have recognized the urgency on Airbnb and moved current priorities to deal. I think City staff are working hard. Evolution to more integrated and responsive City Staff leadership might help them. Looks like an opportunity To me.

  • Elan

    Just a rookie Councillor oversight to take Transportation Department’s word on it and think it is settled (not follow-up). That isn’t a shot at Nisan. I am sure that is true for all the new Councillors. There seems to be quite a bit of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing among and within City departments. I am sure Councillor Nisan will investigate and affect the appropriate adjustments to get this fixed. And I expect he will reinforce that the City is charged to move Council priorities, not the reverse.

  • David

    There really does need to be some house cleaning. This is appalling, the Mayor has only just questioned out loud why things take so long to accomplish through the mire of staff.
    Rory Nisan just tried to get something simple done on a handshake….While you’re under that bus Rory could you maybe check the tires?

  • david barker

    Dear column writer.

    You seem intent on trying to knock down Councilor Nisan. I refer to the nonsense written here in the Gazette both on behalf of the paper and by a few readers, whose agendas were not that well hidden, as to Kerns and Nisan contributing to each other’s campaign’s election expenses. You seem to be “at him” here in this article. Clearly he is trying very hard to work for his constituents. But you seem to revel in his misfortune of being misled by staff. You have no harsh words towards those who it would seem misled Councilor Nisan and welched upon an agreement, hanging the Councilor out to dry. I would suggest the City staff member learn the meaning of “my word us my bond”.

    • Hans Jacobs

      I agree with Mr. Barker’s impression of this column. Is there some obstacle to staff communicating effectively with council members that we should be aware of?

  • Bob

    Poor Rory, to much travel planning and Mundallization – jet lag maybe.

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