My Summer in a Nutshell

Our family on the beach at Hilton Head Island waiting for the eclipse.

I hope everybody had a great summer! Although the weather wasn’t as hot as I was expecting it to be, it was still fantastic nonetheless.

The highlight of this summer was celebrating my 60th birthday in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina with thirteen other family members. I read books, watched the eclipse with my family and even hit a few golf balls. The uniqueness of Hilton Head that attracts me is that they have the most stunning tree canopy I have seen anywhere.  The island has a tree ordinance that states that one cannot remove any tree unless you have permission from the city.  It truly is gorgeous.

I also had a daughter get married this summer.  It was a beautiful ceremony.  And my wife Cheryl and I took in a Nascar Race in Watkins Glen, New York.  It’s my favourite sport to watch.

For my personal growth, I took courses to keep my accreditation for my financial planning and life insurance designations. Although I’ve stepped away from that career for the last seven years, I think it’s important to continue to build on your skills no matter where you are in life.

When I wasn’t with my family, I was back at the office where I had a packed schedule.

My council colleague Paul Sharman and I took a drive to Detroit and met with the leadership of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan.  We wanted to learn about their not for profit Seniors Living Communities that we believe could take place here. I will be sharing our findings with the Mayor’s Seniors Housing Task Force at our next meeting.  You may not know that Burlington identifies itself as an Age-Friendly City, so I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of life for all citizens.

I was in Ottawa for the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario Conference. We discussed the long term financial sustainability of municipalities, the effects of the legalization of marijuana and new changes proposed for the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

Community events are in full swing during the summer.  I participated in a Burlington Chamber of Commerce Business Forum, the first Halton Freedom Festival, Joseph Brant Day and the Rotary Club of Burlington Central golf tournament just to name a few.

As we transition into September, there is much to look forward to on Council’s agenda, particularly with regards to development.  I hope you’ll be engaged as we move forward with the city’s strategic plan. A City that Grows.  A City that Moves. A Healthy and Greener city. An Engaging City.

I hope to see you out there on our beautiful streets.

Sincerely,

Rick

2017 Budget

At the January 23 Burlington City Council meeting, council approved the City of Burlington’s 2017 operating budget.

The tax rate increase for the City of Burlington portion is 4.42% and the overall tax rate increase, which includes the effect of taxes at the region and school boards is 2.56%.

The City portion includes a 2.09% increase to cover increasing commodity and compensation costs and 1.58% increase to help address the $130 million infrastructure gap. The balance of the increase (.81%) was for enhanced services that include: additional resources for tree service, project management resources and improved play field maintenance.

The increased investment ($254,000) in tree service is required to meet current levels of service for inspections, removals, stumping, planting, watering, etc. Our urban trees are a tremendous asset to all of us. They act as an air filter, they absorb carbon dioxide emissions, provide a cooling effect in the summer and add to the aesthetics of the city.

The additional resources ($550,000) for project management will assist the city in becoming more effective in how the many projects including those related to our strategic plan, are implemented. Our City Manager will direct how this funding is used and he will be reporting back to council on a regular basis. Without the investment, project work would be more expensive and not as timely.

Our play field user groups have pointed out to us that the maintenance service that the city provides for play fields is inferior to all our neighbouring municipalities. Staff were recommending that we increase the service in 2018, however council has decided to provide partial funding ($200,000) in 2017 in order to see some improvement this year. Continue reading

August 2016 Progress Report

Mayor Rick Goldring speaks about the new Home Adaptation Assessment Program at the initiative’s announcement at Burlington City Hall on Aug. 5, 2016.

Mayor Rick Goldring speaks about the new Home Adaptation Assessment Program at the initiative’s announcement at Burlington City Hall on Aug. 5, 2016.

Committee and Council Meetings

 Agendas, minutes and videos on standing committee and council meetings, as well as agendas and reports for upcoming meetings, are available online.  

Community and Corporate Services Committee – Monday, Sept. 12

Development and Infrastructure Committee – Tuesday, Sept. 13

Burlington City Council – Monday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

Mayor Goldring Re-Elected to AMO Board of Directors

This August, I was re-elected to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Board of Directors, Large Urban Caucus. The election was held at AMO’s 2016 Conference in Windsor in mid-August, which I attended with Burlington councillors Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster. I have served as chair of the Large Urban Caucus for the past two years. The new term will run from 2016-2018.

As a member of the board, I will help set policy for AMO and serve as a key municipal leader in the province. I am pleased to be able to continue to promote Burlington’s interests and work with other Ontario municipalities to create the best possible communities for our citizens. An ongoing priority on the AMO agenda I will be focused on is sustained, predictable infrastructure investment for municipalities. Addressing this minimizes the impact on property taxpayers. Continue reading

Mayor Goldring Re-Elected to AMO Board of Directors

Media release from the Office of the Mayor

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Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring.

Burlington, Ont., Aug. 23, 2016 – Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring has been re-elected to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Board of Directors, Large Urban Caucus. The election was held at AMO’s 2016 Conference in Windsor last week.

Mayor Goldring has served as chair of the Large Urban Caucus for the past two years. His new term will run from 2016-2018. As a member of the board, Mayor Goldring will help set policy for AMO and serve as a key municipal leader in the province.

“I am pleased to be able to continue to promote Burlington’s interests and work with other Ontario municipalities to create the best possible communities for our citizens,” said Mayor Goldring. “An ongoing priority on the AMO agenda I will be focused on is sustained, predictable infrastructure investment for municipalities. Addressing this minimizes the impact on property taxpayers.” Continue reading

Mayor Goldring Attending 2016 AMO Conference in Windsor

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Mayor Rick Goldring speaks with Brantford Mayor Chris Friel, left, during the 2015 AMO Conference.

Media release from the Office of the Mayor

Burlington, Ont., Aug. 9, 2016 – Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring will join more than 1,700 participants at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s (AMO) 2016 Conference in Windsor from Aug. 14 to 17.

For 117 years, Ontario’s largest municipal conference has brought together municipal, provincial and federal officials to work collectively to overcome municipal challenges and plan for the future.

“Burlington has many of the same priorities as other Ontario municipalities,” said Mayor Goldring, who served as Chair of AMO’s Large Urban Caucus for the past two years. “Working together, I believe we can make a strong case for investment by other levels of government in our communities.”

Burlington councillors Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster are also attending the conference. Continue reading