Managing Burlington’s growth through intensification

This column appears in the February 13, 2015 edition of the Burlington Post.

Intensification is a word we use at city hall and around the community, but I’ve heard questions about what it means, especially as it applies to Burlington.

One of my priorities is engaging with residents on the topic of intensification.

To understand intensification, we need to understand what’s driving our growth. Continue reading

Setting priorities for 2015

This column appears in the February 2015 edition of Snapd Burlington.

The new year is a time for setting priorities.

I have developed five priorities I believe we as a city can make traction on in 2015.

These five priorities, in no particular order, include intensification, climate change adaptation, economic development, service based budgeting and the Community Energy Plan.

Intensification is an issue I hear about regularly from Burlington residents. People want to know why our community is seeing more residential units being built, particularly in the form of mid-rise and high-rise condominium buildings.

My goal this year is to further engage the community on this topic.

I will be speaking about intensification at every opportunity, as well as inviting feedback from the community. It is important to share with residents the federal and provincial policies that are driving intensification, and how Halton and Burlington are managing these pressures.

Climate change adaptation and education is another priority for 2015. The ice storm of 2013 and flood of 2014 have shown our climate is changing and we need to be prepared.

Currently, municipal and regional staff is working on ways to mitigate flood risks with our stormwater and wastrwater systems. Reports with recommendations are expected this spring.

I will also be hosting a climate change symposium in Burlington in fall 2015.

Economic development also remains a priority, as it was during my first term as mayor. The Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) has been restructured, with a new executive director and board. The BEDC recently released its updated strategic plan. I look forward to seeing the resulting data in 2015.

Service based budgeting is now in place for the 2015 budget. This is budgeting by service delivered, not by organizational department. The overall goal is to ensure citizens are getting good value for their tax dollar. I will be watching closely to ensure service based budgeting is the right approach.

The city, in partnership with Burlington Hydro, and with the assistance of a group of community stakeholders, has developed a Community Energy Plan for Burlington.

The plan will help us identify areas where conservation and efficiency measures can be focused, as well as assess the potential for local generation, particularly through renewable energy, and the use of smart grid technology.

I invite residents to connect with me by phone at 905-335-7607, by email at mayor@burlington.ca, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Mayor Rick Goldring.

 

January 2015 Progress Report

Committee and Council Meetings

Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings in December, as well as agendas and reports for January’s meetings, are available online.

Upcoming Meetings

Development & Infrastructure Committee: Monday, January 19 at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Community & Corporate Services Committee: Tuesday, January 20 at 1 p.m.

Committee of the Whole: Thursday, Jan. 22 at 1 p.m.

Burlington City Council: Monday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m.

City Updates
Budget 2015

Service based budgeting is now in place for the 2015 budget.

This is budgeting by service delivered, not by organizational department. The overall goal is to ensure citizens are getting good value for their tax dollar.

Continue reading

Showing solidarity with our friends in France

photoThe flag of France has been raised at Burlington City Hall to honour the lives lost and families affected as a result of the recent terror attack.

Last week, a small group of terrorists led a deadly rampage at the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. More lives were lost when the same group held shoppers hostage at a supermarket.

The City of Burlington is flying the flag to show solidarity with our friends in France that we will not allow our lives to be ruled by those with violent thoughts and actions.

 

Holiday Greetings

Christmas Card smallerFor many people in our community, the holidays are a time when they are especially motivated by a desire to make their community a better place to live and to make a difference to the lives of others.

I have always been aware of the wonderful community spirit here in the City of Burlington.

In what has been a very challenging year for our community, I have to acknowledge the incredible kindness and support that our residents have shown one another.

I have truly witnessed the incredible heart and soul of our community this year and am very grateful to call Burlington home.

Every single Burlington resident plays a role in making our City even more special.

Over the holiday season, I hope you have the opportunity to gather with your family and friends and enjoy a little of what Burlington has to offer.

Enjoy a stroll downtown to take in the Lakeside Festival of Lights and to see the retailers dressed for the holidays, skate on any of our indoor or outdoor rinks, enjoy the seasonally-inspired events at the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, or gather to watch thousands of ‘Santas’ running through our streets .

On behalf of my family, Council and staff, I wish you and your family the best for a happy, healthy holiday season and a very merry Christmas.