In Cole Porter’s 1948 musical Kiss Me Kate, the chorus lifts the curtain with a rousing rendition of ‘Another Op’nin’, Another Show’
That’ll be the situation for Burlington city council when it takes the stage at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Dec. 1. The inaugural meeting for the next four-year term has been moved a block south from the City Hall council chambers to the BPAC, but there’s no drama involved
Life, apparently, is just a bowl of cherries for Burlingtonians who returned all seven members to office on election day. It’s Act 1, Scene 2, but the characters are all the same.
After that, it’s back to work with the agenda picking up just where it left off.
Hamiltonians are contributing to one of the biggest problems facing council. Any time between 3 and 7 p.m. on weekdays four major east-west arteries in Burlington – Dundas St., Upper Middle Road, Fairview St., New St. and Lakeshore Rd. – are jammed with commuters coming home from work in Toronto, Brampton and Mississauga. Typically, they cut through the city to avoid the bottleneck that occurs on the QEW, near the merge with Hwy. 403. With a lot of people now living in the relatively new Alton Community north of Dundas Street, the dangers for pedestrians trying to cross the street with cars speeding is real and there have been calls for construction of a pedestrian bridge over the street, which essentially is Hwy. 5.
Development and intensification
Mandated by the provincial government to increase its population to close to 190,000 over the next 20 years, city council could find itself sandwiched with pressure coming on the other side from residents opposed to excessively high residential buildings. Currently, City bylaws call for a limit on the number of storeys, but is it enough to suit the majority? Smaller infill residential projects, in Ward 1 (Aldershot) in particular, also are coming under fire from critics who say services like grocery stores and are not being built to keep up with the demand
Low income families, already out of range of the housing market, are gradually being squeezed out of their rental units by rising rates. It’s myth that there is no poverty in Burlington and more accommodation that people can afford is urgently needed. Residents are tired of hearing that housing is a responsibility of the Region. All seven members of city council also represent their constituents at the Region and it’s time they did something about this problem.
With very little space left for industrial growth, Burlingtonians who aren’t interested in the strain of driving to Toronto every day are relying heavily on the commercial sector of the economy for employment. Council will likely focus on adding ground-floor retail outlets to condominiums, offering the possibility of jobs close to home. But that will create only a few jobs and more and more city residents will find themselves working from home in front of their computers in the future.
Horrendous flooding that occurred following heavy rains in August shone the spotlight on urgent repairs needed for sewer systems. More than 3,000 homes suffered damage and the City received 941 storm water flooding calls.
Mayor Rick Goldring said the City has issued 328 building permits so far for disconnection of weeping tiles from sanitary laterals and the installation of sump pumps and/or back water valves. He also said city staff has been assisting with the site inspections and authorization of sump pump discharge locations to minimize future lot drainage issues.
Halton Region’s consultant is continuing to work on their assessment of the sanitary sewer system and the sewer back-up flooding.
The Region of Halton is scheduled to do a new boundary and representational review. It could result in an increase in the size of city council. In addition, ward boundaries may be due for another alteration. The number of eligible electors for the Oct. 27 vote ranged from a low of 16,061 in Ward 2 to a high of 26,388 in Ward 4, meaning that Councillor Jack Dennison is serving over 10,000 more constituents than Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.
By: Dennis Gibbons