A race for the mayor’s job in Burlington in this year’s municipal election is assured now that former Burlington MP Mike Wallace and city resident Greg Woodruff have declared their candidacies.
Mayor Rick Goldring already had announced he would be seeking a third consecutive term in the Oct. 22 election, making his intention clear one year in advance of the election.
“As we grow as a city, it is critical we maintain and enhance the 50 per cent of Burlington that’s in the greenbelt,” Goldring said.
If re-elected, Goldring said he would continue to bring what he has in the past to the office.
“I think that’s the attitude of service, an attitude of collaboration, connecting with the community on a regular basis, as well as helping provide direction to the city going forward, which I have done for the last seven years.”
After losing to Liberal Karina Gould in the 2015 federal election, Wallace obtained his real estate licence and has been working as a team with his wife Caroline in that field.
Before serving in the House of Commons for 10 years, Wallace was a member of city council representing Ward 5.
Wallace said he will have an official press conference on Jan. 22., but preferred not to reveal lhis platform until then.
Greg Woodruff, who is self-employed building web applications, also plans to run. The 43-year-old father of three ran for regional chair in the 2014 election and finished second to incumbent Gary Carr, although Carr outpolled him 84,348 to 12,344.
Woodruff, who lives in Aldershot just two blocks south of Plains Road, says the intensification projects the City is launching don’t match what officilals announced once you see them on the ground.
“It’s little more than knocking down strip malls, putting up condos and declaring it a win,” he said.
Woodruff said he once could walk to a Canadian Tire Store near the intersection of Plains Road and LaSalle Park Road in 15 minutes. That was torn down to make way for condos and now it takes him 40 minutes to walk to Home Hardware further east.
“The narrative from the City was that all changes were creating a more walkable place!” he said.
Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward said she has been asked by many people to run for mayor, but has not yet made a final decision.
“Whatever my decision is, it will be based on where I can best serve the community,” she said.
In her monthly newsletter Meed Ward said she remains convinced that most Burlingtonians are unaware of what changes are coming to their neighbourhoods, downtown and across the city in the new Official Plan.
She intends to bring forward several motions for changes to ensure balanced development, rather than the overintensification she sees in the current proposals.
Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison, who will have completed 24 years’ service on council by the time of this year’s election, said his plans are to continue to serve his community in the same position.
“It’s important that we finish our official plan, our downtown plan and mobility hubs,” he said.
Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman said he fully expects to run for re-election. Managing City and Region spending to maximize value for communities is a high priority for Sharman, who is chair of the City’s audit committee.
Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster gave a very definite yes to the question about whether she will run for re-election.
“I campaigned on best practice,” she said. “We now have improved financial services and we have implemented best practices, but we are in a mode of continuous improvement. I want to keep taxes low.”
Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven, who has held that position for 18 years and Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor, the longest serving member of council with 30 years’ service, could not be reached for comment by The Bay Observer press time.
New legislation introduced since the last election prevents candidates from registering before May 1. Candidates also must file a declaration signed by 25 other eligible voters.
Unions and corporations can no longer donate to candidates.