Marianne Meed Ward

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

From Jan. 25-26, 2021, I attended the virtual Rural Ontario Municipalities Association (ROMA) conference. The annual conference remains an opportunity to connect with colleagues and the province and learn from experts on important and timely rural issues. More than 1,100 participants took part, virtually, in the first large gathering of municipal officials in Ontario since …

Infrastructure Minister Speaks to Improving Rural Broadband, Cellular Services in Letter to Burlington Mayor Read More »

Burlington Foundation’s Community Fund Granting Program addresses key focus areas highlighted through the Vital Signs® report, as well as several field of interest focus areas (including Mental Health & Wellness, Youth & Young Adults, Housing, Environment, Seniors, Poverty, Transportation, Work & Careers, Newcomers & Inclusivity and Performing Arts). The granting envelope for the 2017-18 granting …

Burlington Foundation Community Fund Granting Program receiving applications Jan. 9, 29 Read More »

Without an aggressive strategy of job creation, Burlington residents will see their property taxes spike, services cut or development expand into rural areas.

Here’s why: Providing all of the services required for residents – community services and infrastructure for example – far exceeds the tax revenues collected. By contrast, the “industrial, commercial, institutional” tax class – or “ICI” -pays more than double the residential property tax rate, but only costs a fraction of that to service. There can be as much as an 80% profit on industrial taxes, versus a 40% loss on residential taxes.

A balance between residential and ICI tax revenue is critical to municipal health, yet currently, residential taxes account for 82% of Burlington’s tax revenue, versus 18% from the commercial/industrial sector.
Non residential growth has essentially flatlined in Burlington over the past 15 years, while residential growth has almost tripled. Burlington used to see double digit employment growth; now, 2% annual growth is “optimistic.” When residential growth outpaces economic growth, the city is left with three unpalatable choices: cut services, dramatically increase property taxes, or expand development into the rural area.

Though the budget includes several need-to-have items – our contribution to the hospital redevelopment, money for infrastructure, the new Alton community centre and library, and enhanced transit service – it also includes almost $2 million in “nice-to-haves”.

Recent downtown developments have revealed the need for upgrades to hydro service in the downtown

Given the economic climate and the potential increase for necessary items, our budget must reflect priorities and need to haves.

We need a made-in-Burlington policy to provide clarity around fundraising and events sponsored by members of council.

City staff are recommending approval of the rezoning of 2071 Ghent Avenue to permit a four-storey, six unit townhouse building, with two parking spaces each, and three spaces for visitor parking.

Thanks to the members of the Burlington Waterfront Committee (formerly the Waterfront Access & Protection Advisory Committee) for spearheading this initiative

The Burl-Oak Naval Veterans have requested that the promenade in Spencer Smith Park be renamed the Naval Veterans Walkway

As the city tries to encourage more active transportation, we are reviewing rules around using Burlington’s streets for wheeled transportation including skateboarding, roller blades, electric scooters and other “emerging vehicles.” Currently all of these are prohibited on city streets.

The Friends of Freeman Station are hoping to move the historic train station to a new home in April, on land provided by Ashland-Hercules on Fairview Street, just east of the fire station.

Your valuable insights, lived experience, and reasonable alternatives to on-road bike lanes helped sway the vote to keep the road as is.

We must do better than a 6.5% increase, and that will require some tough choices.

There are steps we can take, both large and small, short term and long term, that will preserve what we love about the community, and make changes that will make our city even better