Not much time for new council to decorate their offices - job assignment recommendations go to council next week.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We can begin to get a sense as to how Mayor Meed Ward wants city council to operate.

She is asking her colleagues to approve a number of appointments and has recommended some changes to the city’s representation on a number of Boards and committees.

Her recommendation is to:

Increase the composition of elected representatives to the Conservation Halton Board from 1 out of 4, to 2 out of 4, with the remaining two being citizen appointees, subject to an interview process at the beginning of each term of council; and

Decrease the composition of elected representatives on the Burlington Economic Development Corporation from 3 to 2; and

Establish a Waterfront Citizens Advisory Committee, and direct staff to report back with proposed terms of reference by Q2 2019; and

Establish a stand alone Transit Advisory Committee, and direct staff to report back with proposed terms of reference by Q2 2019, including cooperation between this committee, the Cycling Advisory Committee and the

Integrated Transportation Advisory Committee; and

Establish the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee as a permanent citizen advisory committee of council, and direct staff to consult with members and report back with proposed terms of reference by Q2 2019; and

Decrease the council appointees on the Downtown Parking Committee from two to one; and

Conduct an overall review of citizen advisory committees, including consultation with the public and citizen advisory committee members, and report back to council with recommendations and options for any changes to improve effectiveness by Q2 2019.

In her report Mayor Meed Ward explains that “a significant portion of our role on council is serving on committees and boards, both internal and external to the city.”

There are 63 boards and committees in total, including standing committees of city and regional council, providing an equal share of 9 appointments for each council member, with the exception of one who has 8. Attached are the recommended appointments.

The Chairs and Vice Chairs of each standing committee of city council have to be elected by the Councillors. Mayor Meed Ward’s recommendations for the year ahead are:

Lisa Kearns

Lisa Kearns, ward 2 Councillor is going to be stretched to get a firm grip on the budget – it will be her first big test.

Planning & Development Chair: Paul Sharman Vice-Chair: Rory Nisan

Committee of the Whole – Regular & Budget Chair: Lisa Kearns
Vice Chair: Kelvin Galbraith

Committee of the Whole – Workshop Chair: Shawna Stolte
Vice Chair: Angelo Bentivegna

A nomination will be required from the floor for the slate, followed by a vote.

Committee appointments

Meed Ward wants to increase the composition of elected representatives to the Conservation Halton (CH) board from 1 out of 4, to 2 out of 4, with the remaining two being citizen appointees, subject to an interview process at the beginning of each term of council.

Her rationale is that there should be an equal balance of elected responsibility and citizen voice. CH’s work intersects at key points with our work on city and regional council in the areas of development permitting, flood mitigation, environmental rehabilitation, recreation and more. Given the variety and significance of these matters, a second elected representative directly accountable to the people is recommended.

There is more to this than meets the eye.  A number of years ago former Councillor Taylor wanted to add Meed Ward to Conservation Halton.  At a messy messy Standing Committee what the Gazette referred to as the “Gang of Four” shot that down.  Councillor Taylor took his name off the list and nominated Meed Ward for the role.  It was one of his finer moments.

Recommendation: Decrease the composition of elected representatives on the Burlington Economic Development Corporation from 3 to 2.

In the previous Council Paul Sharman and Jack Dennison both wanted to be on the BEDC – the then Mayor was also on that Board. Meed Ward doesn’t have that many people with a solid understanding of the role BEDC plays.  That organization is in the process of looking for a new Executive Director.  It will be a critical appointment.  The question on this file is going to be: Is the Board of the BEDC in sync with where Mayor Meed Ward wants to go?

Frank McKeown, the former Executive Director, was never convinced that Meed Ward fully understood what economic development was all about.  It isn’t one of her core strengths.

The establishment of a Waterfront Citizens Advisory Committee is a biggy for the Mayor. The issue that she rode to office in 2019 was the Save our Waterfront Committee. When Cam Jackson was Mayor he created a Waterfront Advisory Committee that was disbanded when it became clear that the committee wasn’t getting much done – mostly due to the way the Chair managed the Committee.

SaveOurWaterfront- Meed ward

SaveOurWaterfront- was the issue that Marianne Meed Ward rode to gain the ward 2 seat in 2010. She wants to make it one of the focal points for this Council.

Meed Ward fully understands that Burlington is a waterfront city, without a formal citizen’s voice advising council. This Mayor is going to do everything possible to ensure that the city takes advantage of the opportunity to do something unique with what is left of the waterfront.  She isn’t going to be able to get the land that was sold back  (a travesty of municipal administration) but there is still a lot than can be done.

Transit is key to Mayor Meed Ward. She is recommending that Council establish a stand-alone Transit Advisory Committee that will cooperate with the Cycling Advisory Committee and the Integrated Transportation Advisory Committee.

Rationale: We have over 1 million rides annually on our transit system but no dedicated citizen’s advisory voice to council on transit. Establishing a committee honours the importance of transit in the community expressed during the election campaign and before, and honours the direct request for a stand-alone transit advisory committee from Burlington For Accessible Sustainable Transit and others.

Meed Ward is picking up the idea that Mayor Goldring had with his Millennial Advisory Committee; she wants to make it a permanent advisory committee of council.

Rationale: A formal advisory committee ensures a youth voice on issues in our community that is city-based and not subject to changes in the mayor’s office.

Recommendation: Decrease the council appointees on the Downtown Parking Committee (DPC) from two to one.

Rationale: Most boards and committees have one council appointee. Reducing the composition on DPC better distributes council appointments among the various boards and committees

Meed Ward is going one step further; she wants to have a review of citizen advisory committees, including consultation with the public and committee members.

City council members are also Regional Council members; their role at that level are set out below:

Council and Regional Standing Committees

“Times are a changing” indeed.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly

1 comment to Not much time for new council to decorate their offices – job assignment recommendations go to council next week.

  • Barry Youldon

    Thank-you Pepper Parr for this article. I now have a much better understanding of the roles required of city Councillors and the mayor; some of the ways they individually, and as a whole, contribute to the management of our city.

    A follow-up on a “week in the life” (perhaps of more than one Councillor) would be much appreciated. For those who read the article(s), it would result in a broader understanding of how a city Councillor’s time is invested. Perhaps that understanding would encourage more people to vote.

    Thanks again!

Leave a Reply