September 6, 2013
September Progress Report
September is a time of renewal and new beginnings. We have enjoyed a beautiful two months of summer weather in Burlington with lots of activities happening all over the city. I hope you have had many opportunities to get out and explore the community
Next week we start back with committee meetings, with our first Council meeting for the fall taking place on September 23. We can expect a very busy few months as we tackle some challenging items including the Burlington Airpark and the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Master Plan. We will also be focussing on the Community Energy Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Cultural Action Plan and continuing our Official Plan Review.
Through the Mayor’s office, I am also re-launching the communication initiative: I imagine Burlington. I invite you to read more below.
Upcoming Committee Meetings
- Development and Infrastructure Committee: September 9, 2013
- Budget and Corporate Services Committee: September 10, 2013
- Community Services Committee: September 11, 2013
- Committee Highlights: July 12, 2013
Speaking up for Burlington at the AMO Conference
Last month I, along with Councillor Blair Lancaster, attended the annual AMO (Association of Municipalities in Ontario) Conference in Ottawa with more than 1,600 other municipal leaders.
During that conference, I met with several of our provincial ministers to discuss important Burlington issues. Meetings took place with Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation; Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment; Jim Bradley, Minister of Environment and Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Municipal Affairs; Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy; and, Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors.
During AMO I also participated in a meeting of LUMCO (Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario) where we discussed issues that affect large urban municipalities with Minister Jeffrey, Tim Hudak, Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party and Leader of the Official Opposition, and Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, including interest arbitration, transportation and economic development. Read more about LUMCO in the news release “Mayor’s From Ontario’s Largest Cities Challenge Parties to Work Together.”
A full report on the AMO Conference is available here.
A number of updates to the situation at the Burlington Executive Airport have been posted here over the summer.
To summarize, on July 18, prior to a meeting between the City, its legal counsel and officials from the Burlington Executive Airport, lawyers from the airport and King Paving served the city with an application to take the city to court.The City of Burlington sought an injunction to stop the airport from continuing to bring in fill on July 22nd and also commissioned a review of the available environmental testing reports of the fill. On July 29th, an interim settlement was reached to stop the fill operations until a decision is made about whether the city has jurisdiction to regulate fill operations through its site alteration bylaw. On August 2, a hearing date was announced for October 4th.
Council and the City of Burlington will take whatever measures are within our power to bring the airport operations into compliance with the Ministry of Environment regulations. Meetings with the area residents will continue will to be arranged to share information.
For a full reporting on the Burlington Executive Airport, visit the city’s website.
Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan
A staff report on the vision of the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan will be discussed at the September 11 meeting of the Community Services Committee and ultimately council will deal with the report at the September 23 council meeting.
Following this process, Region of Halton Staff will be preparing a report for discussion at the October 23 meeting of Halton Regional Council.
I have heard from many of the current beach residents who have expressed concern over the long-standing goal of public ownership of the remaining private holdings that exist along the beach strip. Last month, I met with several of these residents.
The City of Burlington staff report basically outlines 3 options:
- The first option, which staff are recommending, is to improve the park by purchasing some homes that provide an opportunity for a significant improvement in the park.
- The other two options are to take a very direct approach to acquiring the remaining 30 homes to in order to create a much bigger park, with the third option to leave all the homes as they are.
I have heard the Burlington Beach area described as “funky” and “quirky”. To me, the area is unkempt. We need to tidy up the area, create greater access to the beach, widen the multi-purpose pathway in order to make this park area attractive, inviting and functional.
I look forward to the delegations and discussion at the September 11 meeting.
Conservation Halton’s (CH) board of directors voted 6-6 at its meeting on the recommendation that the region continue its acquisition policy of the remaining 30 Burlington Beachway homes, as well as add a timeline and dedicated funding. As a result of the tie, the recommendations failed. CH staff will continue working with the city and region on the Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park Master Plan, developing a strategy to address encroachment issues following a decision around the residences, and creating an environmental management plan as part of the master plan to guide the restoration of the park.
Cultural Action Plan
The Cultural Action Plan process is all about interaction. I recently attended one of the public consultations at the Burlington Art Centre. Please read Tina Depko’s article from The Burlington Post for more information. The next public consultation will take place on thursday, September 12 at Tansley Woods, Community Rooms 2 and 3, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.
Please join us to discuss the recommendations for moving forward. We want to hear from you about:
- Cultural nodes
- Local investment, including support for individual artists and emerging organizations and events
All Burlington residents and taxpayers, including artists, performers, cultural organizations and others, are welcome.
In the meantime, please take a few minutes to complete an online survey that will help to finalize the Cultural Action Plan report, which will be considered by the Community Services Committee on October 2, 2013.
Community Energy Plan
The City of Burlington has been working with Burlington Hydro and other stakeholders to produce a community energy plan that will help the city identify areas where conservation and efficiency measures can be focused; assess the potential for local generation, particularly renewable energy, and the utilization of smart grid technology; and look at the energy implications of future growth and prosperity.
During AMO, I had the opportunity of presenting a draft copy of our CEP to Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy. A follow-up meeting is scheduled for October. I am very pleased that we are creating a ‘made in Burlington’ plan that will focus on a sustainable, renewable and economical approach to community energy.
On September 25, Brent Gilmour from QUEST (Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow) will speak about Community Energy Plans at Inspire Burlington at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre. I invite you to attend this event to learn more about Community Energy Plans. Keep reading for more information and register here
Official Plan Review
As part of our Official Plan Review, a public session is being held:
September 10, 2013, 6 pm, at the Burlington Art Centre, 1333 Lakeshore Road, on Mobility Hubs Opportunities and Constraints
The purpose of this study is to set high level vision and guiding design principles for the two Provincially-identified Mobility Hubs (Burlington GO and Downtown Burlington) and the two Major Transit Station Areas (Appleby GO and Aldershot GO) in the City as well as for the corridors that connect them.
The session will provide residents an opportunity to learn about:
- The Big Move: The Provincial Plan for Transforming Transportation in the GTHA;
- Burlington’s Mobility Hubs and Major Transit Station Areas; and,
- The Mobility Hubs Opportunities and Constraints Study.
The evening will provide the opportunity to talk in detail about the opportunities and constraints identified relative to each of the Mobility Hubs (facilitated by detailed mapping) and discussion of draft vision and principles for each area.
Telephone Town Hall: Land Use, Transportation and Transit – September 26
The City will be reaching out to residents via a Telephone Town Hall on September 26th which I will hosting. This live, interactive telephone town hall session will be accessible to participants via phone from the comfort of their homes. The evening will provide an opportunity to learn more about our city and how making smart decisions about land use, transportation and public transit will help us to build a more complete community.
We will be putting ads in the Post and using an automated phoning system to 10,000 randomly selected homes in Burlington to engage residents. If you are interested in participating, please contact Helen Walihura, Communications Advisor, City of Burlington at 905-335-7600 ext. 7483 or email email@example.com.
Private Tree By-law
On September 9 at the Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting, a final decision on whether the city will pursue and implement a Private Tree By-law will be made. This issue has continued to be discussed over the summer and I have heard from a number of residents on the subject.
The report presented in July indicated that staff will not be bringing forward a recommendation for a private tree by-law, based on research done and the results of public engagement.
At the July 8 meeting, Committee voted to “receive” the report and a lengthy discussion about a private tree by-law ensued.
During the committee meeting, we will be able to have further discussion and see if there are alternatives to a by-law that would provide further protection for trees than what we have now.
I have done some research over the summer, reaching out to other municipalities that have tree by-laws.
One mayor I talked to said the overarching objective was to prevent developers from clear cutting trees on lots planned for development prior to the appropriate development applications. In the last couple of years this has been an issue in Burlington at one location. When I asked the mayor whether the by-law was effective and if so how they were able to measure the effectiveness, he was not able to provide a clear answer.
For some residents, the issue of trees is about aesthetics. There may be an opportunity to provide a mechanism for like-minded residents to provide tree protection in a narrow defined area of a neighbourhood. This idea will be discussed at the Development & Infrastructure Committee meeting.
Burlington Transit is proposing the service changes effective November 3, 2013, as part of the final phase of its interim service plan.
Information for riders and residents is available on the Burlington Transit website and through Burlington Transit’s community information booth at the Burlington Mall this Saturday, September 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, September 8, from 12 Noon to 3 p.m. Transit staff will be there to answer questions about the service plan and provide information. We are also encouraging you to submit comments by telephone and e-mail.
Phase 3 of the interim service plan will:
- address customer requests for later evening service, earlier weekend service and increased service during Statutory Holidays
- improve connections and level of service to GO Train and bus services across the city
- improve the route network in order to provide faster service and increase reliability
- improve the route network in order to provide more direct service lines
- provide further investment in growth areas such as the Plains Road corridor (Hamilton to Burlington), along the QEW corridor and Downtown Burlington
I’m very pleased to report that Burlington Transit has seen ridership growth following changes to Routes 2, 3, 10 and most notably on the QEW employment corridor (Routes 80/81) where there has been a 31 per cent increase in ridership. Burlington Transit also introduced a Route 101 Express on the Plains Road corridor, which is showing a steady ridership growth of 5 per cent.
Shave and Pave
Over the past several months, staff have been busy continuing with the Shave and Pave initiative. To date, we have completed 52 road segments consisting of approximately 28 lane kilometers.
I would like to thank the Burlington residents for their understanding and patience during the road repair construction over the summer. By keeping in our roads repairs up to date this saves the city the cost of road replacements.
The City of Burlington is one of the largest employers in Burlington and many of our staff are local residents. Our staff compliment swells during the summer months when we engage approximately 300 individual students for summer programs and services such as our pools, roads and parks maintenance, Parks and Recreation programs.
It is always a pleasure to see these young people return each summer and I would to wish them well as they return to their studies.
Citizen Committees are seeking members
The City of Burlington is seeking members of the public to fill vacancies on the local boards and committees.Terms vary from one to four years, with monthly meetings.
Volunteering on one of our local boards or citizen committees is a great opportunity to meet new people, share your talents, and develop your skills while addressing a common interest. More information on the specific committees can be found online. Application forms are also available online.
Spira Stela Unveiled
Spiral Stela, a towering sculpture featuring bronze-cast local artifacts was unveiled at a community event on August 25 at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Stela is the city’s newest addition to its growing public art collection.
The event attracted more than 125 people, many of whom contributed personal items to be cast and embedded into the sculpture’s spiral-wrapped base. Canadian artist Peter Powning participated in the unveiling along with city officials, members of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre and local business owner Dan Lawrie, who contributed $37,500 to the project.
Earlier this year, residents and local organizations were invited to bring objects of significance to one of three sessions where the artist created an impression and mould, which was later cast in bronze – a process Powning calls “cultural mulch.” More than 200 items were submitted by residents and incorporated into the large band that encircles the base of the sculpture.
This is a really unique piece of public art and I invite you to visit The Burlington Peforming Arts Centre plaza to have a look.
Premier Wynne Joined me at Canada’s Largest Ribfest
Premier Kathleen Wynne visited Burlington on Saturday, August 31 to attend Canada’s Largest Ribfest. It was a pleasure to be the Premier’s host as she toured the Brant Street Pier and Ribfest, speaking with a number of residents, Rotarians, and Ribbers.
The Premier’s attendance was a wonderful promotional opportunity for Canada’s Largest Ribfest.
On September 23 Team Burlington will be hosting Burlington 2040 – Building a City of the Future – a special business summit.
In June, 2013 I traveled to Germany on an economic development trip and became acquainted with the leading edge Fraunhofer Institute. The Institute is the largest organization for applied research in Europe and is working with McMaster to establish a centre in the region. They are also the leading proponent in the development of Germany’s Morgenstadt: City of The Future initiative.
Even as the best mid-sized city in Canada, I believe that Burlington can benefit from innovative approaches to building a more versatile and livable city. Prof. Wilhelm Bauer, Head of the Fraunhofer IAO Institute has agreed to come to Burlington and share their knowledge about global megatrends that will transform our future cities.
Team Burlington will be seeking the input of the business community on the innovative ideas that will help achieve Burlington’s Vision of a city where people, nature and business thrive.
BEDC Mayor’s Networking Luncheon Series: Collaborate – Motivate – Accelerate
On September 19, BEDC will host the next luncheon in this series that provides innovative strategies and resources to the Burlington business community on how they can compete in the global marketplace:
Thursday, September 19 at the Burlington Convention Centre “Building a Better Business Leader” featuring Keynote Speaker: Dr. Leonard Waverman, Dean DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University
More information is available from BEDC here.
BurlingtonGreen selected by Jamieson in Call for the Wild! Contest
Local environmental organization, Burlington Green, was selected to participate in a nation wide contest for a chance to win a portion of $100,000 from Jamieson Vitamin’s Call for the Wild contest! Last year, the David Suzuki Foundation represented Ontario and this year it is BurlingtonGreen! Please join me and help them out by voting every day. You can vote at the Call for the Wild voting page.
You can vote once a day every day up until September 15th.
I Imagine Burlington…
Through my conversations within the community and through the Inspire Burlington speaker series, we have discussed many new ideas and different perspectives on some of the challenges and opportunities that exist in Burlington. I will continue to host these conversations throughout the fall of 2013 and into the first half of 2014.
I thought it would be timely to hear from many more of you again.I invite you to share the possibilities you imagine.
Through my website and my blog, I will be sharing your thoughts, feedback and ideas.
Use the hashtag #IimagineBurlington on social media to join the discussion.
Let’s continue the creative process and share the possibilities you imagine. Please click on the graphic and share how you imagine Burlington can be.
I’m very pleased to be hosting three more Inspire Burlington events this fall. We begin again on September 25, 7 pm at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre. We will present “Community Energy Planning” with Brent Gilmour from QUEST (Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow).
I invite you to register now for the event on September 25th.
And save the dates for:
- October 24 – “22nd Century Community Engagement” with Angus Reid, Chairman of Vision Critical and Angus Reid Public Opinion
- November 20 – “Creative Cities” with Trevor Copp, Artistic Director of Tottering Biped Theatre and Jeremy Freiburger, Cobalt Connects.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office should you have any concerns or comments. For any issues you want to discuss or need help with, please connect with the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-335-7607.