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Mayor’s Mailbag – October 2021 Roundup – Noise from Loud Vehicles, Complaints About Council Decision or Council/City Conduct, & Halloween Provincial Guidelines

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Welcome to the Mayor’s Mailbag – October 2021 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 – October 2021 Roundup

HALLOWEEN & TRICK-OR-TREATING

QUESTION:

“Is Halloween and trick-or-treating still happening this year during the ongoing pandemic?”

ANSWER:

Earlier this month, the Province released some COVID-19 guidance for Thanksgiving gatherings, Halloween and trick-or-treating, and recognizing Remembrance Day. Its Celebrate Safely During COVID-19 — Online Guide includes guidance for hosting indoor and outdoor events. Head further down this post for more on the provincial guidelines.

Please note, the residents of Seneca Avenue and the City of Burlington have recently posted to social media updating our community regarding trick-or-treating on Halloween.

The street will be closed again to large gatherings due to COVID-19. In the past, Seneca Avenue would draw close to 5,000 people to the street. Even though we are moving in a positive direction with the pandemic and the Province is loosening restrictions, gatherings of this number are still too high and would prove too difficult to maintain the health and safety of everyone present.

The City thanks the residents of Seneca Avenue for their many years of generosity in hosting residents across Burlington. We know many will be disappointed with this decision, but the City of Burlington is asking residents to please enjoy Halloween and trick-or-treat in their own neighbourhoods this year, and not venture out.

PROVINCE’S GUIDELINES TO CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN

Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash.com

If you are trick-or-treating door-to-door outside:

  • stay home if you have symptoms, even if they are mild;
  • trick-or-treat outdoors as much as possible;
  • be creative and build the face covering into your costume. Remember that a costume mask is not a substitute for a face covering.
    • A costume mask should not be worn over a non-medical mask or face covering because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe;
  • do not crowd doorsteps – take turns one at a time;
  • do not sing or shout for your treats;
  • keep interactions brief with those giving out treats;
  • use hand sanitizer often, especially before and after handling your face covering, after touching frequently touched surfaces, when you arrive home from trick-or-treating, and before and after handling or eating treats; and
  • there is no need to clean or disinfect pre-packaged treats.

If trick-or-treating indoors:

  • maintain physical distancing as much as possible and wear a face covering, especially when physical distancing is a challenge.

If you choose to give out treats:

  • do not participate in Halloween festivities if you have symptoms, even if they are mild;
  • keep interactions with trick-or-treaters short and encourage them to move along after receiving their treat from you;
  • consider wearing a face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained;
  • consider including the face covering as part of your costume if you are dressing up;
  • give out only purchased and packaged treats;
  • do not ask trick-or-treaters to sing or shout for their treats; and
  • clean your hands often throughout the evening using soap and water or with hand sanitizer.
Photo by Lukasz Niescioruk on Unsplash.com

If you choose to host an in-person Halloween party:

  • do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors;
  • have the fewest number of people possible at your gathering;
  • use outdoor spaces whenever possible;
  • provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water;
  • open windows, if possible;
  • clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces;
  • ask guests not to attend if they have symptoms, even if they are mild;
  • make a list of guests attending in case your local public health unit needs it for contact tracing;
  • remind people of public health advice to follow during the event;
  • wash your hands before and frequently when preparing and serving food; and
  • have everyone wash their hands before and after eating.

If you choose to attend an in-person Halloween party:

  • you should not attend if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild;
  • wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event; and
  • consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease or exposure to 

•                    •                    •

DIRECTING COMPLAINTS ABOUT COUNCIL DECISION OR COUNCIL/CITY CONDUCT

QUESTION:

“If I’m unhappy with a decision of council, or conduct by council or staff, what can I do?”

ANSWER:

There are multiple options to provide accountability and oversight of council decisions, and council or city staff conduct. If you have a concern or complaint, or wish to launch an investigation, there are several options, listed below, depending on the nature of your concern.

Municipal Acts and Codes

If a member of the public thinks a member of Council has breached the Province of Ontario’s Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, or has breached the Council Code for Good Governance, they can file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner. On June 18, 2018, the City of Burlington’s Council appointed Principles Integrity to act as its Integrity Commissioner providing accountability services to the City. For more information, please click here.

Confidential Closed-Door Meetings

If a member of the public thinks Burlington City Council has had a “closed-door meeting” improperly, they can file a complaint through the City’s Clerks Department at clerks@burlington.ca or 905-335-7777 to be forwarded to ADR Chambers – Closed Meeting Investigator. For more information, please click here.

Service Received at the City

If a member of the public is unhappy with a service they have received from the City of Burlington, they can contact the City’s Clerks Department at clerks@burlington.ca or 905-335-7777  to first try and resolve the issue. If an impartial, independent review is needed to resolve the issue, it would be forwarded to ADR Chambers – Ombudsman. For more information on the Office of the Ombudsman, please click here.

•                    •                    •

STOPPING NOISE FROM LOUD VEHICLES

QUESTION:

“Loud noises from vehicles are getting unbearable — particularly on evenings and weekends when I’m trying to relax. Is there anything being done to stop these noisy cars?”

ANSWER:

A common inquiry we get at the Mayor’s Office is from residents asking for help in mitigating traffic noise. This issue is one we see in every corner of Burlington and most commonly disruptive on evenings and weekends when people are home and looking to relax. With COVID-19, people are home even more often than usual, often working remotely, so the sound of modified engines and loud vehicles can be particularly disruptive.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) have been running a program to address this issue called — Project Noisemaker.  The program began in 2020 and has continued due to its effectiveness in identifying offending vehicles and taking action to prevent future issues. The Mayor’s Office recently received an update that ensures the program is ongoing and yielding results.

On just one recent weekend – Sept. 25-26 – Project Noisemaker issued 33 tickets and an additional 8 warnings for issues such as unnecessary noise, having no muffler, or having an improper muffler.

Thank you to HRPS for continuing to prioritize this disruptive problem in our community along with the many other serious issues they address on a daily basis to keep us safe.

Anyone with traffic enforcement concerns can reach out via the HRPS Report a Traffic Concern online form on their website.

 

RELATED LINKS:

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

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600