My actions speak louder than words.
YIKES! Maybe you’re here because it feels like there is a test tomorrow and you forgot to study. No worries, Coles notes here to help.
You’re undecided, that’s ok. There’s a lot of discussion this election, and for good reason. Here’s a quick look on how I can earn your vote:
FIRST - Over-intensification. The strongest voice on this may be one thing, but the track record for action is another. I have delegated (spoken to Council) seven times since November 2017 on issues of: Incompatible 23 storey towers, too much height and density in the Official Plan, lack of Transit + Transportation Plans (big part of gridlock), and lacking community benefits (housing affordability, parking). No one else has.
Ahead of the issues - I have been on Ward 2 (and beyond) over-intensification for more than a year. I have attended every Council + Committee meeting to do with the Official Plan and am more than ready to serve with no learning curve. I was the only Ward 2 candidate that attended the last Council meeting, ready to pick up where the last council left off. I have been quoted on bringing a sensible official plan forward and opposing 23 storeys in the heart of downtown in every local news publication - when it matters to you. Head on over to a Google search + my Instagram/Facebook. I am already working for you, now. ICYMI… Shape Burlington was 2010, Save the Waterfront 2009…
In 2016 I worked with our friends of Lakeshore Residents to speak up on a development application that would radically change the community, resulting in a successful OMB appeal. Before that, I advocated with our friends of St. Luke’s on development that would be so incompatible and dense in the neighbourhood that the heritage character would be forever changed. With advocacy as a community, the character has remained. Imagine the passion to deliver on this level of commitment while being a regular resident with a full professional career and two young kids? That is the level of energy, knowledge and passion I will continue to bring, as Councillor or continue otherwise. I love our community, our core, our ward, and our city. Support me to make our vision happen, together.
SECOND - Engagement. We can’t do anything alone. I have not promised anything in this election, I have shared my vision and plans, but know that Staff and the rest of Council must be aligned to move our city forward in a way that reflects residents values. I do know that I have the community support and strong professional background to right our path and deliver on the platform highlighted below. There is truly so much happening in our City across the issues that I have addressed at the thousands of doors I have visited. These visits confirmed that I am ahead of the issues, have unparalleled knowledge of the policy framework that affects the city, that I stand tall on the right side of the issues and strongly bring residents voices forward. I held 4 open Ward 2 Updates this election to share what is happening with you, two socials to causally share your concerns, newsletter (that will get better when there are more active issues), a pop-up campaign office and got on social media (big step!) to ensure we connected in a way that works for you. As councillor, I will have an open door policy - this is a very normal thing in many organizations, let’s bring it to the City, where council works for you! I will continue to do this, if elected. First 100 days will also see a lobbyist registry, code of conduct and review of the delegation process. Issues will change, my promise to work diligently with respected values, trust and community strength to create a city for residents that we can be proud of will not.
THIRD - Experience. I am asked what I do for a living, and to be honest, I just always continued along with my head down getting work done in a way that I knew was delivering value to the community, to Canada. What I officially say is “I work in strategic procurement for a national medical diagnostic company”, it’s a mouthful, right! Really though, my professional career is in line with the work that a councillor would do. I manage and forecast for big budgets and work to drive value out of restricted funding - that means paying for the day to day operation and the capital investments. Finance is no problem for me and I am beyond excited for the budget - I don’t believe that zero budget will work this year (being floated by some candidates) based on when the budget is due and the amount of effort required to prepare the business cases, get competitive quotes, have department heads prioritize spend requirements, and assess capital + technology planning. Whew! What we can do, is strengthen the planning cycle and invest in a flexible reserve fund to prepare for emergency (like over $1m to bring Burlington Transit into employment and technical compliance) so that when unforeseen issues happen, we don’t have to cut from somewhere else. Everyone works on a budget - the key is to respect your budget, put priorities first, and save for a rainy day. That’s what I do - nationally. I also build relationships with stakeholders across the board - based on respect and “getting to yes”, it is all about the win-win. In the world today, everyone is connected, we must work with agility within the city and with those outside the city in a way that is balanced and delivers the best value for everyone - and that, I am especially excited to enhance.
But…wait, I can back that up with some credentials! My honours degree in political science from Western University has never come in so handy as when running for office! But I didn’t stop there, during my career I have valued continuing education through University of Toronto and taken courses in Accounting and Negotiation & Effective Communication…again, quite handy in an election.
LAST - Me. We are all in this together, I have said that the community asked me to serve, and that is the truth. My character of being a calm, rational, balanced voice before council with unmatched expertise on the official plan and policies that affect our ward proves I am a leader with vision to bring us forward. And, I’m approachable. We both know it! My best canvassing is in the freezer aisle of No Frills…when I am just like you, a resident that cares, wants to know what is happening and wants to trust there is someone looking out for me. I, like you, know that what we have is so special, with your voice at the forefront of decisions, we will keep what is special and welcome new residents in a sensible way to enjoy our unparalleled quality of life - at any stage!
Let’s do this together.
With gratitude, Lisa Kearns
I live in Ward 2, married with two young children. We moved here to enjoy the quality life unique to this great city and our ward.
As a commitment to my desire to make a better Burlington I’ve created and assisted in the management of culture building events and organizations that work to improve our lives and strengthen the bonds of community.
City Hall’s pressure for incompatible change compelled me to become deeply involved in issues of planning and development. As I started taking a deeper role in my advocacy for our community I discovered a need for change. A change that would put residents at the forefront of the civic process.
Through my unmatched expertise of the Official Plan and the policies that affect our Ward and City, I’ve earned the trust and respect of many residents. You asked me to serve. Now it’s time to support me so I may continue to make this happen for you, for us.
Let’s do THIS together!
Our downtown commercial core is in a state of uncertainty right now. I know this. And so does many businesses who
As commercial areas ebb and flow through changes, it is important to provide a sense of stability and show our businesses we care. Our strong business presence across the ward has many owners and staff working and living within our neighbourhoods - keeping people invested in our community. This creates a great place to live and promotes culture and economic vibrancy.
Thoughtful and responsible growth must address how we support existing and encourage new employment within the mix. Priorities for existing and upcoming businesses must include a transition plan as the downtown evolves.
Current land speculation has created a void by depleting leasable spaces. This has prevented opportunities for many new businesses; small charming retail or large scale anchor stores. In addition, some land owners are intentionally leaving spaces derelict.
When our city doesn’t enforce its existing official plan, it allows over-speculation on land leading to properties with higher cost than viable businesses can afford. Meaning our unique downtown retail culture is directly at risk and being squeezed out.
Support a robust retail study initiative that must drive measurable value in a new commercial and retail employment mix.
Create a task force to invite discussion and collaborate on solution-finding challenges around construction and development.
Hold firm to height and density permissions. Put an end to breaking the law for the profit of a few; those that push our businesses out or give less than we had.
I believe your voice should shape the future of this ward.
The approach to our responsible growth should preserve and enhance the quality of life we currently enjoy. Burlington is on track to grow and the Official Plan is the most important vehicle for implementation and long-term planning of Burlington’s vision.
With continued pressure and appeals for more height from developers, I have been firm on my stand that our city should be in control of height and density—exclusively, we need to respect our own regulations that have been set to control growth.
I have read the Official Plan thoroughly and have communicated my unparalleled understanding of the Plan through many delegations at City Hall. I have already dedicated hundreds of hours to bringing forth residents voices on this plan in a rational, respectful manner that has earned me the trust of many.
I will bring a motion forward to the Region to set out a reduced height and density in the Adopted Official Plan (April 2018) to the level of intensification that can be supported by the Regional, City and Ward infrastructure. Most specifically reduce the Brant Main Precinct to a four story maximum. Allowing developers to push for excessive height up Brant Street will put an intense pressure on our existing infrastructure and neighbourhoods.
I have advocated for revisions in the Official Plan which include Neighbourhood Character Studies, Official Plan peer review and many issues outlined concerning intensification.
People need to move through our city - many days it feels like gridlock.
Like you, I feel the pressure on our streets; together we can get our Transit & Transportation Plans right. Transit is very important to our community. I have heard from you that we need the investment now to explore transit solutions that reduce car dependency.
The incredible return on transit investment will touch each of our lives in a way that delivers economic value, reduced congestion, improved air quality, increased mobility options and it can unlock barriers to employment.
The bottom line is that a Transit Solution is the right thing to invest in – now and for the next generation.
Commit to funding. Advocates require a 5% year over year investment in transit - that is $6 of your taxes per $500K of your property tax assessment.
Route the #10 back into Mapleview Mall – let’s review + restore this partnership.
Priority route from Downtown to Brant Hills Community Centre and beyond, with no unsafe transfers.
Expand hours of John Street Kiosk to improve ridership, provide passenger information, and maybe even a public washroom.
Pilot free Senior’s ridership on Mondays to connect with Oakville Transit.
Housing affordability is now at a breaking point in Halton.
To create inclusive communities and advocate for a better mix of family and assisted units we need to address, learn, coordinate and create a Burlington for everyone.
The deficit between income and the cost to responsibly own a home is polarizing. We need to learn what works through strategic partnerships, like Habitat for Humanity and Halton Housing - then scale out. We know that simply increasing housing supply through intensification and height will not deliver on vibrancy and inclusion.
Together we can walk the walk on "No Neighbour in Need.”
Champion smart, supply-focused housing strategies with our regional tools and provincial Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) for real change.
We can create new communities by opening land that was closed in the Official Plan that will be left unused for years.
Community Benefits and the 2014-2024 Comprehensive Housing Strategy can do more for housing, and I am on record supporting both.
Your Voice at City Hall
It is time to reconnect constituents with their government.
I want to restore a sense of trust between the community and its City Council. The trust earned by hard work, purpose and values in the right place—an understanding of who comes first— constituents and independent Ward 2 businesses owners over the interests of external politics.
I bring a strong business acumen and political maturity to serve you with respect.
I look to bring a Code of Conduct that is actually followed. The current culture in City Council is unapproachable and its time to work in a way that serves residents first.
I support a Lobbyist Registry so you know who is talking to your Councillors and Mayor. Its time to bring about transparency on the decisions that affect how we enjoy our city.
We need to look at the delegation process from the bottom up and commit to an open line of communication that gets the value of citizen led input.
Real Value For Your Taxes
It would be wonderful to promise no changes to your taxes, but that’s not in a Councillor’s full control.
Many feel that our cities infrastructure has been underfunded and the things important to you have been put on the back burner. We need to re-balance the budget in a way that supports the investment that residents truly value - green space, community centres, active programming, bike shares, and tree bylaws.
Some upward pressure on taxes is due to assessments on high land value resulting from speculation; as over-development happens, your taxes go up. Taxes and development fees don't cover the whole cost of development and infrastructure, you do.
Establish a flexible reserve fund for times of emergency or unforeseen expenses, having the money ready reduces overpaying and ensures the integrity of our budget.
Currently consulting fees are a large portion of expenditure in our city budget (ie: $1.3M QEW Employment Study). Bringing corporate policies to city management can develop in-house talent and expertise by requiring Council approval for consulting projects over $100,000.