“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.
I offer grassroots, unflinching leadership and a strong voice for our community – even when the odds seem stacked against us; versus a candidate who squanders the position of mayor and dodges responsibility on tough votes by arguing “I’m just one vote”; or a candidate who’s been absent on key issues facing our city, showing up regularly at City Hall only after announcing a desire to run for mayor.
Serving as mayor is more than ribbon cutting, event hosting and “doing nothing wrong”; it’s about striving to do right, even when that’s an uphill struggle, and working with residents, businesses and community groups to create a better city, by everyone, for everyone.
With a new mayor, a new voice in my former Ward 2 seat, and new voice in Ward 3 where the incumbent is retiring, that’s close to 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.
Grassroots, unflinching leadership, and a strong voice for our community
I’m the only candidate seeking to serve you as mayor who:
regularly tells you what’s happening — before decisions are made:
- 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. By contrast, the current mayor told you how he voted after the fact. The other candidate for mayor was absent on this issue.
gets involved in tough issues, rather than staying on the sidelines, listening not leading:
- 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 when in the minority
- 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. For example, 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; an additional 10 I brought failed. 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 My Take on issues, so you know where I stand and can persuade me:
- 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. Instead, 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.
provides an online community forum to debate issues and share diverse perspectives:
- The best decisions are made when everyone feels welcome to share their views and learn from others in a respectful environment. Thousands of people have engaged in discussion with me publicly and with each other on my website, abetterburlington.ca, and social feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn). My Online Commenting Guidelines keep debate respectful, with a focus on issues not personal attacks. No other candidate for mayor has sponsored this level of engagement, and transparency on issues.
regularly encourages civility and respect, among council members and with the public:
- 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 bullying of 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 to move to Burlington for the same reasons many of you did: a small town feel where people know your name and look out for each other, with community amenties for all ages and the natural beauty of our waterfront and rural areas. These are some of the unique qualities that are under pressure from over-development and hyper urbanization. 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. I’m the only candidate for mayor with this breadth of experience living in other cities, learnings I’ve brought to the city as we work together to make a better Burlington.
This is the kind of leader I’ve been for the last eight years, and will continue to be as your mayor.
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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.