Nick Perry, Special
to the Post
In his address at the inaugural meeting of the newly-elected
city council Monday, Mayor Rob MacIsaac spoke of the unique
challenges facing City Hall. For the next three years
he promised an emphasis on bringing a post-secondary campus
to the city in order to draw more professionals and provide
educational opportunities. Continued waterfront development,
challenging the mid-peninsula highway proposal and taking
the province to task over growth management and transportation
planning were among some of the other items MacIsaac included
on council's 'to do' list.
Dec 5, 2003 - Dennis Smith -
The Burlington Post
A flash of colour and a call for
new ways of thinking marked the start of city council's new term
Wearing familiar 'redcoat' uniforms,
several Burlington Teen Tour Band members led council and senior
staff in for the inaugural meeting.
Superior court justice the Honourable
C. Raymond Harris swore in Mayor Rob MacIsaac and councillors
Rick Craven (Ward 1), Joan Lougheed (Ward 2), John Taylor (Ward
3), Jack Dennison (Ward 4), Mike Wallace (Ward 5) and Carol D'Amelio
(Ward 6). All are returning from last term.
MacIsaac said he's excited and
committed to working with councillors during the 2003-6 term.
"A number of challenges and a number
of opportunities are ours to seize together," he said. "It matters
that we set the bar high."
MacIsaac said trends at several
levels will impact the city.
"There have been massive changes
in the world economic order," he said. "The 21st century will
be different from the 20th century. The rules have changed."
As an example, he cited a commercial
retailer's comment that their product manufactured for $21 per
unit in Burlington can be made in China for $2, including shipping.
MacIsaac said a transformation
in thinking is needed, as well as innovators and creators.
He believes attracting a post-secondary
campus would enhance Burlington's quality of life and draw "...new
professionals, educational opportunities and a new focus."
MacIsaac said Burlington has a
great downtown; he'd like to see a national retailer and a four-star
convention hotel there. "And we will continue to develop the waterfront
as a great place for people," he said.
But core values must survive and
residents want natural features and the environment preserved,
There will be continued pressure
to build the mid-peninsula highway and vigilance is vital on that
issue, he said.
MacIsaac said suburban 905 communities'
needs are important. He said the provincial government has failed
in growth management and in linking land use and transportation
He plans to pursue the latter two
issues. MacIsaac also noted Burlington is transforming from a
suburban to an urban community.
Preserving General Brock High School
parklands, supporting a performing arts centre, strategic planning,
realigning ward boundaries, updating the Official Plan, watching
the budget and keeping taxes affordable were cited by MacIsaac
as other key tasks.
Burlington Fire Department chaplain
Terry Clark and Hussein A. Hamdani of the Burlington Mosque led
prayers and stressed the importance of council members' leadership.