By Kevin Werner, News Staff
She has lived all of her 63 years in Stoney Creek. She taught school in the community, and she opened her flower shop where the Tim Hortons is located at King and Lake streets.
Marie Robbins now wants to serve her community on city council.
“I believe in the city,” she said. “This is the best way to serve my community.”
Robbins is registered to run for the open Ward 9 council seat in this fall’s municipal election.
This will be her first time seeking political office. Robbins did sit on the library board prior to amalgamation, and she has served on the Trillium Foundation. Recently, Robbins, and her husband Doug, who own Robbinex in downtown Hamilton, proposed a multi-million development across the street from the soon-to-be built Go Station on James Street North.
But Robbins heart remains squarely in Stoney Creek. She acknowledges current Ward 9 councillor Brad Clark’s announcement that he is seeking the mayor’s chair nudged her into registering to seek the seat. She would not have challenged Clark in an election.
If elected, though, Robbins said she will make sure Clark’s initiatives, such as reconstructing King Street, and revitalizing the downtown and continuing with fulfilling the former city of Stoney Creek Old Town Plan, will happen under her watch.
“We need to make (downtown) a people place,” she said.
She supports a leash-free park on the former west quarry dump in upper Stoney Creek, and said the exploding development on the mountain, while “exciting,” still has to be managed. There is a need to widen Rymal Road, install pedestrian crosswalks, and improve Green Mountain Road, she said. And she will continue Clark’s legacy in protecting the Eramosa Karst lands.
An idea she is proposing is providing better access for the public to the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
“If we can do something to enhance that area,” she said. “We would need to work with the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Niagara Escarpment.”
Robbins is cautiously optimistic about Hamilton’s pursuit of the $800-million light-rail transit system.
“We need to look at it in detail,” she said. “I want to listen to what the people in the area have to say.”
By nature, said Robbins, she is a quiet person. But she says don’t mistake being quiet as lacking in conviction. Although this is her first political campaign, she is familiar to most of the city’s councillors.
“I want to work with all people, and all politicians,” she said.
The deadline to register for the election is Sept. 12. For the most part, Robbins wants to hear from residents about how to improve the community before she announces projects.
“Politicians don’t listen to people. I want to listen. I look forward to meeting people. It’s so important to speak to all of residents of Stoney Creek.”