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Mayor’s Mailbag – March 2023 Roundup – Recognizing a Cause/Event, Burlington City Crest, & Windrows/Snow-Clearing

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward Mailbag

Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – March 2023 roundup.

The Mayor’s Monday Mailbag is a weekly initiative Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor’s Office has launched to share answers to questions from the public we’ve received through our main email inbox at mayor@burlington.ca or the Mayor’s social media platforms.

At the end of the month, we publish a roundup of those most pressing questions we’ve received in the weeks prior.

Mayor’s Mailbag – March 2023 Roundup

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HOW TO RECOGNIZE A CAUSE/EVENT

QUESTION:

“How do I request a flag-raising, proclamation or pier lighting at the City of Burlington in recognition of a particular cause or event?”

ANSWER:

There are several ways you can recognize a specific cause or event at the City of Burlington, through either a flag-raising at City Hall, lighting of our Burlington Pier, or a proclamation or congratulatory letter/certificate from the Mayor’s Office.

Request a flag-raising

Community Groups and organizations can fill out this online form to submit a request for a Flag-Raising in Civic Square at City Hall to recognize an event, an historical event or a specific month (eg. Red Cross Month, etc.) under the following guidelines:

  • Please submit your request at least 30 days prior to the proposed flag-raising event;
  • Request will be reviewed and are subject to availability;
  • The Mayor and members of Council may attend a flag-raising based on availability; and
  • If the flag is not already on site, the organization will need to provide a 3’ x 6’ flag, with 2 gromets to City Hall Operations prior to the flag raising.

Request a pier-lighting

We light the beacon on the Brant Street Pier each night with different colours. The lighting choices are based on nationally-recognized events, City events and special requests. Lightings are for non-profit and community events of municipal, regional, provincial and national significance. Personal anniversaries, birthdays and ceremonies do not meet the lighting criteria. Awareness months and weeks are scheduled for a one day light show. This helps shine recognition on the event and allow space for scheduling the many community requests the City receives.

To request a pier lighting or for more information, please contact pier@burlington.ca. Please review the schedule for available dates and send your request four months before your event date.

You can also view a list of currently scheduled Pier-lightings at events.burlington.ca/pier

Request a proclamation

Community groups and organizations can fill out an online form to submit a request for a proclamation.

A proclamation is an official announcement issued by the Mayor to recognize exceptional events, groups, people, or achievements in the City of Burlington. The goal of a proclamation is to recognize and celebrate achievements, and to raise public awareness of important issues in Burlington.

Proclamations will be included in the Council Agenda for the month proclaimed if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Submitted by representatives of a recognized charity with offices located in Burlington OR by a community group based in Burlington;
  • Will be issued only in respect of activities that support residents of the City of Burlington or related events taking place in Burlington;
  • Must demonstrate respect and tolerance for all Burlington residents;
  • Should foster a sense of community; and
  • Should not be used as a vehicle to attempt to influence government policy.

The City receives many requests for both new and annually recurring proclamations. Please note that all requests for proclamations must be resubmitted each year.  Please allow a minimum of four (4) weeks for a proclamation to be prepared and included in the Council Agenda.

Note: Individuals and organizations seeking proclamations to recognize regional, provincial, or national causes or events will be referred to the other appropriate order of government for recognition.

Request a congratulatory letter/certificate

The Mayor’s Office is pleased to provide a congratulatory letter or certificate to Burlington individuals, organizations, and businesses celebrating a milestone birthday, anniversary, opening of a business, or another significant achievement. Please fill out the online form here with all the necessary information and details needed.

Please allow up to 4 weeks for letters or certificates to be prepared.

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MEANING BEHIND BURLINGTON CITY CREST

QUESTION:

“What is the meaning behind the City of Burlington Crest?”

ANSWER:

It is important when we talk about Burlington’s 150th anniversary this year that we recognize the land now known as the City of Burlington has an Indigenous history that goes beyond 150 years. We honour and recognize the diverse Indigenous Peoples that have lived in this area and we acknowledge that Burlington is on Treaty Lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Burlington was first incorporated as a village in 1873, as a town in 1915 and then a city in 1974.

In 1873, the villages of Wellington Square and Port Nelson merged to become the Village of Burlington. In 2023, 150 years later, the City of Burlington is a diverse and inclusive community that celebrates its history while embracing its present as a multicultural, metropolitan gem where people, nature, and businesses thrive. We’re also a community that takes pride in protecting our beautiful natural environments, wide-ranging leisure, arts and cultural opportunities, and enhancing our economic sustainability.

Each piece of our City Crest has a specific meaning and represents different symbols reflective of certain pieces of Burlington’s history.

The peaks of the dividing line in the middle of the crest represent the major local headlands of the area that include Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Flamborough Head.

The lighthouse at the top and the ship in the top right corner of the crest are representative of Burlington’s early years serving as a lakeport.

The heifer (cow) and the apple, in the top left and lower right sections, respectively, represent the farming industry of the municipality and the importance of agricultural growth — something that we take great pride in protecting to this day.

There are some who believe the heifer may be the origins of Burlington’s name — in the Lincolnshire dialect of Old English, the word “burl” was a term used for a heifer or cow. Others also believe the collar on the cow resembles a bridle, leaning to Burlington being derived from Bridlington, a town in Yorkshire, England.

The beehive in the lower left of the crest symbolizes the role industry has played and continues to play in our city’s development.

Finally, the motto “Stand By” at the bottom of the crest is an old nautical term meaning to be ready for everything and ready for service, as we have learned from our local veterans.

Today, these words are just as important and also reflect our community’s commitment to stand by one another, working together in collaboration to ensure every single Burlington resident feels respected, represented, safe and supported — not just now, but future generations as well.

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WINDROWS/SNOW-CLEARING

QUESTION:

“Why are Burlington plows blocking my driveway when snow-clearing?”

ANSWER:

The resulting blocking of driveways during snow-clearing operations across our city is not intentional, but rather occurs due to the current nature of snow-clearing. As the plow moves to make our roads safe to commute, it deposits snow off to one side and accumulation of snow all along the side of the road and along driveway entrances is unfortunately unavoidable as the snow has to go somewhere.

To help avoid a large pileup when clearing their driveways, residents can try piling the snow onto the right side of their driveway — that’s if you’re standing on your driveway and looking out towards the street. This can help reduce the amount of snow that is pushed onto your driveway when a plow passes. Plows are not able to lift or angle their blade to avoid the snow from piling onto driveway entrances, as this would result in snow being deposited on the road — and that ends up being hazardous for vehicles and pedestrians.

The City of Burlington does not clear windrows (the pile of snow left at the bottom of a driveway after a snowplow has cleared the road) or driveways. Staff are aware of a mechanism that can be attached on a snowplow that helps avoid pushing snow back onto the driveway. However, the mechanism does not fit on any existing City snow-clearing equipment that are designed to move continuously. If the City were to invest in additional snow-clearing equipment, that would come at additional costs.

City staff are currently looking at cost-efficient options to help with the issue of windrows.

Presently, the City of Burlington does offer a Windrow Snow Clearing Program that residents can apply for. Please note this is a very popular program and tends to fill up quickly and early.

The windrow clearing program is offered to residents who are not physically able to clear their own windrow(s). Burlington residents who meet the criteria, may apply to get assistance with removing their windrow for the next winter season, as the program registration for this season is now closed.

We know this may not be the response some residents were looking for, but unfortunately, large accumulation of snow at the end of driveways (particularly after a heavy snowfall) are sometimes unavoidable due to the current nature of snowplow operations combined with winter conditions.

However, if you do have concerns with snow-clearing or requests for service, please contact Service Burlington at city@burlington.ca or 905-335-7777.

Residents can also sign-up for snow updates and check the progress of City snow-clearing efforts online at burlington.ca/snow

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