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2014 another busy year for Mountain councillors

Jackson, Duvall and Whitehead all expected to seek re-election 

 By Mark Newman, News Staff 

There will be no lack of incumbents on the Mountain when Hamilton voters elect their next municipal government on Oct. 27.

East Mountain councillor Tom Jackson, central Mountain councillor Scott Duvall and west Mountain rep Terry Whitehead are all seeking re-election.

“I have every intention to run again for re-election in Ward 6,” said Jackson, who will mark 26 years as a councillor in October.

Dating back to the pre-amalgamation era, Jackson is also the longest continuous serving member of Hamilton City Council.

He expects to officially put his name on the ballot early this summer.

“I am planning on registering in January,” said Duvall, who will be looking to win a third term on council.

Whitehead, who has been on council since 2003, would not confirm his candidacy, but is expected to run again.

“You’ll know by the second week of January,” he said.

Roads and sidewalks top the 2014 agenda for all three Mountain councillors.

“There’s nothing more fundamental than taking out ditchers…and putting in sidewalks,” said Whitehead, who noted there are several areas in Ward 8 that still need to be “urbanized” by improving roads and adding sidewalks and sewers.

Those areas include the Kenney neighbourhood off  Upper James, south of Rymal.

Whitehead said his goal there is to get those residents off septic systems this year.

Finishing the design for Dr. William Connell Park off West 5th, implementing the recommendations of the South Mountain Traffic Study (including the addition of a turning lane on Rymal at West 5th) and a resolution to the proposed development of the Chedoke brow lands are also on Whitehead’s slate in 2014.

The park development is likely to include some small soccer pitches, a tennis-ball hockey area, a pond, natural walking area and a children’s playground.

“I want to see William Connell developed as one of the flagship parks in the city,” Whitehead said.

Duvall said he plans to continue the program he started three years ago to upgrade road allowance ramps from homeowners’ driveways across the central Mountain to make them less steep.

“I had a four-year waiting list,” said Duvall, who expects to fix another 100 road allowances this year. “Now it’s down to nine months, it’s working.”

The councillor said he wants to see work at Ryckman’s Park concluded in 2014 and he noted key road reconstruction and sewer work in Ward 7 in the coming months include Mohawk Road from Cardinal to Upper Wellington and Queensdale between Upper Wentworth and Upper Wellington.

Planning for the 2015 reconstruction of Concession Street will also be done this year.

“Some of the sections may start in the fall,” Duvall said.

Reconstruction of Mountain Brow Boulevard is among the big road projects on the east Mountain in 2014.

A citizens committee has approved a reconstruction plan for the busy road between Oakcrest Drive and Mohawk Road that is expected to begin in the fall.

“Infrastructure for me is still a top priority,”Jackson said.

A variety of road and sewer projects are planned for the Sherwood, Berrisfield and Templemead neighbourhoods.

Jackson said he will continue to push for more traffic-calming and traffic safety measures in Ward 6.

“It’s still a high priority issue based on contacts to my office (last) year,” said Jackson, who noted a pedestrian-activated crossing signal will be installed on Upper Sherman in front of Macassa Park in the spring.

A member of the Hamilton Waterfront Trust board, Jackson said he is hoping to see more amenities added to the Pier 7 and 8 areas of the west harbour and along Beach Boulevard this year.

 

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