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Burlington City Council Passes Recommendations from Dec. 2 Committee of the Whole Meeting

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If you missed our Burlington City Council meetings on Monday, Dec. 16 and Thursday, Dec. 19, here are some of the highlights of what we did — for a full recap of all the recommendations carried by Council from the Dec. 2 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting, please click the links: Post-Meeting Minutes – Committee of the Whole Committee_Dec02_2019 / Post-Meeting Minutes – Regular Meeting of Council_Dec16_19_2019.

• BOOK PUBLICATION AGREEMENT WITH E.G. KEENLEYSIDE — City Manager’s Office report, moved by Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman at committee

Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute an agreement with E.G. Keenleyside for the publication and distribution of his book, An Illustrated History of the Burlington Cenotaph, The Story of a Community Memorial to the satisfaction of the City Solicitor and any related documents related thereto.

Carried by Council.

Staff report: CM-26-19 Book Agreement with E.G. Keenleyside

MY TAKE:

I’m thrilled to see this come forward and the citizen research that has gone into it. Ed is a treasured Burlington resident and I am very proud of his accomplishment here. He’s done this all on his own time and dime, and for the city to partner with him to publish his work, it will certainly be a benefit to the city. I want to thank Ed for his research work on this. Burlington is the only one to tell Burlington’s stories. Our city owes Ed a debt of gratitude and I’m very excited to see this go forward.

 

• AUDIT AND ACCOUNTABILITY FUND CONSULTING FINAL REPORT — City Manager’s Office report, moved by Councillor Sharman at committee

Table the City of Burlington 2019 Service Delivery Reviews Final Report prepared by Performance Concepts Consulting and Dillon Consulting, dated November 27, 2019; and

Direct the City Manager to report back in Q1, 2020, on the proposed disposition of the four service reviews and recommendations contained in the “City of Burlington 2019 Service Delivery Reviews Final Report.”

Carried by Council.

Staff report: CM-29-19 Audit and Accountability Fund Consulting Final Report

Appendices: CM-29-19 Appendix A – 2019 Service Delivery Reviews / CM-29-19 Appendix B – Survey results / CM-29-19 Appendix C – Survey Questions.

MY TAKE:

A huge thanks to staff and the consultant for this comprehensive and thorough report. It asks the right questions through the right criteria. I also want to thank the staff who were under the magnifying lens. The goal here is happier people in City Hall and residents, through better customer service. I just look how much time is spent and diverted when having to respond to concerns — so if we have a process people can be happy with, then we’re all happier. With respect to a zero tolerance to incomplete development applications, that will eventually get folks to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ faster. Residents’ responsibilities don’t end after they mark a ballot. We want them to continue to give their feedback and in the process of things. We are on a continuous improvement journey and I want staff to feel comfortable to bring up ways to make our services better — as a city, we want that culture that invites that input from all staff levels.

 

• CLIMATE ACTION PLAN FOR BURLINGTON — Capital Works report

Table the Climate Action Plan in Appendix A of capital works report CW-20-19 for public review to be brought back to the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee on January 13, 2020 for discussion and delegations; and

Direct the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services to report back to the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services meeting in March 2020 with a final Climate Action Plan; and

Direct the Mayor to sign the commitment letter in Appendix C of capital works report CW-20-19 for the City of Burlington to join the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

Carried by Council.

Staff report: CW-20-19 Climate Action Plan for Burlington

Appendices: CW-20-19 Appendix A – Consultant Report / CW-20-19 Appendix B Climate Action Plan Engagement Strategy / CW-20-19 Appendix C Global Covenant of Mayors Commitment Letter

Related Link: City of Burlington Joins Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy Showcase Cities Pilot in Canada

MY TAKE:

I would like to see everything that helps the climate to be included in this plan in some way, our tree canopy, what we expect to happen with transit, etc. We have people misunderstanding why trees aren’t in the plan. We have received a lot of input already and I expect more in January 2020. I asked staff if they could take all the input received, aggregate the key themes and split things into what we’ve already done, what we’re doing and what we plan to do — and, if we’re not implementing some input, then explain why. I think all of that would be greatly helpful for our community to see laid out.

 

• OPEN AIR BURN PERMIT REVIEW — Fire Department report, moved by me at committee

Endorse the open air burning permit areas, with no changes, as detailed in Appendix A, Schedule A, of fire department report BDF-05-19 including the option of a one year pilot for open air burning in North Aldershot for 2020; and

Approve updated by-law 65-2019 open air burning for the City of Burlington, attached as Appendix C, as outlined in Burlington Fire Department report BFD-05-19.

Carried by Council.

Staff report: BFD-05-19 Open Air Burn Permit Review

Appendices: BFD-05-19 Appendix A, Schedule A, Open Air Burning Areas / BFD-05-19 Appendix C, 2019 Open Air Burning By-law

MY TAKE:

I thank staff for the detailed review of this — it was eye-opening. I am intrigued by the idea of a pilot program. I 100 per cent support the notion that if it proves to be problematic, then the Fire Chief ends it immediately. I anticipate the permissions on Waterdown Road will be given on a case by case basis. I do appreciate the cautions from the fire department in the report.

 

• FREE TRANSIT FOR STUDENTS — Mayor’s Office report, moved by me at committee

Receive and file the update on MOU discussions with all related school boards (public and Catholic) to further partnership terms and funding towards student transit passes and appoint Councillors Rory Nisan and Shawna Stolte to the MOU discussion team; and

Consider as part of the 2020 budget discussions free transit for students age 12 and under, to take effect January 1st to align with Metrolinx fare changes in March of 2019 that saw all children age 12 and under not charged any fare for GO trains or buses; and

Direct the City Manager to report back on MOU progress by June with a recommendation for council to consider approving the program. The recommendation would include timing options and funding, including the potential to begin the program in September 2020, identifying a one-time funding source from September to December and adding the annualized cost to the 2021 budget.

Carried by Council.

Report: MO-19-19 Free Transit for Students

Appendices: MO-19-19 Appendix A – HDSB resolution / HCDSB resolution / MO-19-19 Appendix B French public school board resolution / MO-19-19 Appendix C French Catholic school board resolution

MY TAKE:

There was some confusion brought up at Council about where we were at in our discussions with this item and the concern was that the discussion for free transit for high school students was off the table — that is not the case. Making transit free for children 12 and under is the first step in this process and it aligns with Metrolinx’s recent decision to make its fares free for children 12 and under. This is something we can do right away. We are still headed forward in our discussions towards making transit free for all students.

I don’t think any of us anticipated a 39% bump in transit ridership with a seniors’ fare pilot. There’s no reason for us not to believe something similar would happen here with students. If this encourages less kids to be driven and take transit instead, that’s what we’re aiming towards.

This report is an update and to let the public and council know that all four of our main school boards are in support of this. I look forward to Councillors Nisan and Stolte sitting in on the Memorandum of Understanding discussions. My aim is to bring another report and the MOU in June 2020 for approval.

 

• COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND DEPUTY MAYOR ASSIGNMENTS FOR 2020 — Mayor’s Office report, moved by me at committee

Appoint Councillors Kelvin Galbraith and Lisa Kearns, as chair and vice chair respectively to the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee effective January 1, 2020 for the term to expire December 31, 2020; and

Appoint Councillors Shawna Stolte and Rory Nisan, as chair and vice chair respectively to the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee, both regular and statutory public meetings, effective January 1, 2020 for the term to expire December 31, 2020; and

Appoint Councillors Rory Nisan and Paul Sharman, as chair and vice chair respectively to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee effective January 1, 2020 for the term to expire December 31, 2020; and

Appoint Councillors Angelo Bentivegna and Lisa Kearns, as chair and vice chair respectively to the Council Workshop Committee effective January 1, 2020 for the term to expire December 31, 2020; and

Approve the Deputy Mayor rotation as outlined in report MO-20-19; and

Amend the procedure by-law to permit chairs to serve in the Deputy Mayor rotation.

Carried by Council.

Report: MO-20-19 Council Committee and Deputy Mayor Assignments 2020

MY TAKE:

The whole tone in this report is to show that we, on Council, share the responsibilities in the service of making our City go.

 

• STAFF DIRECTION REGARDING LEAF COLLECTION — Staff direction by Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan, moved by Councillor Nisan at committee

Direct the Director of Road, Parks, and Forestry to report to committee explaining the root and proximate causes of the need to change the leaf collection program that occurred in November 2019, and provide any lessons learned from the experience of the 2019 program.

Staff direction: Staff direction regarding leaf collection

MY TAKE:

I certainly support the intent to learn all that we can on this. At a high level, we know why the program was changed — relating to the equipment and weather — staff will review the dates, look into adding a contract service to help us get around quicker, review the program, costing details, learn the lessons from what happened this year. What we know we need to do differently for next year.

 

• MUNDIALIZATION TRIP TO ITABASHI, JAPAN — Mayor’s Office report, moved by me at committee

Receive and file Mayor’s Office report MO-18-19 regarding the Mayor’s trip to Itabashi, October 2019.

Carried by Council.

Report: MO-18-19 Itabashi Report

Appendices: MO-18-19 Appendix A Full Trip Recap / MO-18-19 Appendix B – Itabashi Trip Costs for Mayor / MO-18-19 Mayor’s presentation

Related link: Overview: Official Burlington Delegation Visits Itabashi, Japan

MY TAKE:

How do you put a price on peace? Twinning relationships were established in Japan after World War Two with the goal of no more war, the idea being that if people get to know each other through exchange of cultures and traditions they are less likely to kill each other. We discover we have more in common than what separates us. During this visit we also learned valuable practises we can bring home to Burlington on emergency management, recycling (streets paved with wine glasses), privately-run train system (applicable to our GO station planning), pedestrian management at busy intersections and more, detailed in the report and daily social and online posts while in Japan.

At least three action items arose from our visit: the establishment of a Burlington Day to celebrate our city and its people; an art exchange between the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Itabashi Art Galley; and followup with three Japanese businesses based in Burlington for economic development.

Burlington’s twinning relationship with Itabashi was established 30 years ago, with an exchange of official delegations every five years, with Burlington hosting the Itabashi delegation this July and us returning the visit in October. A budget for these mutual visits was established by council when approving the twinning relationships and aligns with this year’s trip aligns with expected expenses for this exchange.

I invite those who wish to know more about the value of our city’s twinning relationships to drop in on the Mundialization Committee, or even volunteer to help out! Participation is open to all, and free. We currently have two office twinning relationships, Itabashi and Apeldoorn, and are exploring more. There will be an official visit by myself and others next May to Apeldoorn to commemorate the 75th anniversary of liberation of Holland by Canadian troops.

 

• FRAMEWORK FOR COMMUNITY RECREATION — moved to the Planning and Development Committee meeting of Dec. 3. This item was also referred to the Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee meeting in February 2020

• CITY-WIDE PRIVATE TREE BYLAW IMPLEMENTATION — moved to the Planning and Development Committee meeting of Dec. 3

 

— Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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