“We have a leadership vacuum at City Hall, and that vacuum is being filled by private interests setting the agenda, not citizens. My role is to fill that vacuum with your voices“
What I offer
You have a clear choice this election of who you want to serve as your mayor.
In my 8 years on council, I’ve been a tireless advocate for our community even when the odds are against us.
The alternatives are a candidate who squanders the position of mayor saying “I’m just one vote” instead of building consensus on decisions; or a candidate who’s been absent on city issues till deciding to run.
Serving as mayor is more than ribbon cutting, event hosting and “being a nice guy”; it’s about striving to do right and not backing down when the going gets tough. I’ll work with you to achieve your aspirations for Burlington, now and in the future.
With a new mayor, a new voice in my former Ward 2 seat, and new voices in Wards 1 and 3 where the incumbents are retiring, we’ve got the four votes we need to bring the change you’re looking for.
Are you in? Join our campaign, vote Marianne For Mayor on Oct. 22, then stay involved for the next four years as we work together to create a Better Burlington.
“City Council treats our Official Plan and Zoning By-Laws as merely a starting point for negotiations with developers. The city needs a strong leader, an experienced researcher and a communicator.
Perhaps most of all, we need a leader who listens and acts. Marianne Meed Ward meets all of these criteria, which is why I heartily endorse her to be the next Mayor of Burlington.”
– Mary G. Munro, Mayor, City of Burlington (1977-78)
I’m the only candidate seeking to serve you as mayor who:
Lets you know what’s headed your way before decisions are made. The current mayor lets you know only after he’s voted, including the 30 highrises in the downtown plan, and the 23 storeys on Brant.
I first ran for office because my neighbours told me they heard about decisions after the fact, when it was too late to affect change.
As a print and broadcast journalist for over two decades, with clients including CBC, VisionTV, Toronto Sun, CHCH, SunNewsNetwork, Ryerson University, Chatelaine, TVO and many more, I thought, “I can do something about that!” I launched A Better Burlington website and newsletter, relied on by people across the city to keep up with City Hall.
I let residents know about the 23-storey application across from City Hall before the vote in November so you could be involved, leading to more than 30 residents speaking at City Hall including one with a 1400+ name petition.
Through my newsletter, social media, and video, I alerted residents about the proposed 30 highrises for our downtown. It was clear at the November meeting even council members didn’t know what was being proposed.
By contrast, the current mayor told you how he voted after the fact. On the downtown plan, he downplayed residents’ concerns, saying “The vast majority of [the] downtown precinct plan is not proposed to change in a significant way.”
The other candidate for mayor was absent on both issues.
Gets involved in tough issues, rather than staying on the sidelines – whether it’s school closures, OMB reform, or working with residents to have your voices heard on developments in your neighbourhood;
I advocated for parents when several Catholic elementary schools were slated for closure; trustees pressed pause. I advocated for parents and students when public high schools in Burlington were slated for closure, and went to Queen’s Park to press for a moratorium on all school closures (which eventually came, but too late for us).
I joined municipal colleagues across the province to press for reform to the Ontario Municipal Board, which was eventually disbanded and replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
I’ve helped residents across the city have their voices heard on developments in their neighbourhood, creating free community organizing documents: Strategies for Citizen-Led Community Planning: I – Before an application is filed (10 pages); and II – After an application is filed (8 pages). The Blue Water/Avondale community used this to shape an application for townhouses in their area (now before the OMB); the Havendale neighbourhood used this to present their case at City Hall for a better plan at 2100 Brant St. (also now at the OMB). These presentations were hailed by council as the best they’d seen.
Stands up for residents, even if it means I’m in the minority; the current mayor plays it safe, bringing in few motions unless certain they’ll pass.
I’ve stood up for residents and advocated for what’s best for our community, even when I’m in the minority and face a 6-1 vote (OMB reform; pausing the Official Plan to get it right; moving the Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub from the downtown; protecting Aldershot neighbourhoods of Clearview and Queen Mary from overdevelopment; advocating for fairness in soccer dome time at Sherwood Forest).
By putting issues forward, that advances the conversation and keeps the issue on the public radar until council comes around.For example, by continually advocating to fix transit — and losing votes along the way — I was successful in 2018 in getting Christmas and New Year’s Eve transit service, with the help of residents and members of the millenial advisory committee. I’ve gotten more motions passed, than have failed, and brought more motions than my colleagues combined, making our decisions for residents better.
On the recent Official Plan discussion that unfolded over several months, I brought or co-sponsored 26 motions that passed, more than all of council combined.
The current mayor plays it safe, brings very few motions, and the ones that come forward are often written by staff. That’s letting the tail wag the dog, not leadership. The other candidate for mayor has been absent on these important issues.
Gives you the straight goods on what’s happening, how you can get involved and My Take – so you can lobby me if you disagree; I don’t minimize residents’ concerns or shift blame to the province for our decisions.
One of the most popular features of my newsletter and webpage is giving you My Take – more than just reporting what’s happening at City Hall, I let you know where I stand which lets you hold me accountable and persuade me of your views.
When the city considered sending a letter of support for a provincial loan for the LaSalle Marina Wave Break, residents warned the city could be on the hook if there was a default. I leaned toward supporting the letter until hearing from you. I listened and suggested to committee we get more information on the Marina’s ability to pay before sending the letter.
Council and the current mayor supported sending the letter by a 6-1 vote. The other candidate for mayor was absent on this issue. Weeks later, staff presented an analysis of the finances and rules around provincial loans. Residents were right. The letter was (quietly) never sent.
Neither the other two candidates for mayor have sponsored this level of engagement, and transparency on issues.
Regularly encourages civility and respect, among council members and with the public; by contrast, the current mayor has remained largely silent, rarely challenging disrespectful behaviour in council chambers.
Watchers of city meetings will know basic civility is sometimes lacking, leading a long-time councillor to call out bullying by council early in this term, and to recently state he “can’t wait” to leave.
I read a “Point of Personal Privilege” earlier this year to call everyone to respectful debate, and to stop unfounded personal attacks against staff, council, residents and community members.
Since joining council, my neighbourhood meetings have opened with a statement that we don’t have to agree, but we do need to be respectful of each other. I did the same when I chaired city standing committees.
That leadership-by-example led to the call for respect being included as a standard slide at city meetings and part of the standard script for meeting chairs.
By contrast, the current mayor has remained largely silent, rarely stepping in to confront disrespectful behaviour by council members or the public; the other candidate for mayor has been absent on this issue.
Chose Burlington as our home.
I was born in Colorado and raised in Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa, where I completed my Bachelor of Journalism degree before joining a national magazine in Toronto.After our three children were born, my husband and I chose Burlington for the same reasons many of you did: less congestion, more parks and greenspace, lower-priced housing, and small town friendliness, where mom and pop business owners know your name and neighbours look out for each other.
When my husband was hospitalized for a month with a life threatening illness our neighbours delivered meals and took care of our young children so I could be at the ICU. We didn’t experience that sense of community in the large city we moved from.
Many of us moved to Burlington from bigger, congested urban cities and we don’t want Burlington to turn into that. I love Burlington as you do, and I’ll do everything I can to hold on to what makes us the best mid-sized city in Canada.
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Campaign for MMW
This city is at a cross-roads as our elected representatives want to change Canada's best mid-sized city, ignoring widespread objections from citizens. Now is the time is to speak up for Burlington - it's Everyone's City.