Clark, Eisenberger, McHattie talk U.S. Steel in Cable 14 debate

News Sep 17, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

What would any of the potential eight mayoral candidates do if U.S Steel declared bankruptcy?

That real world scenario took centre stage at the Cable 14 televised debate, taped Sept. 16 when Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark broke the news to the other seven candidates around the table that U.S. Steel had filed for creditor protection.

He then fired off a question at former mayor Fred Eisenberger, saying he failed to provide the necessary leadership on the U.S. Steel file when he was in charge from 2006 to 2010.

“You never once met with the CEO of U.S. Steel,” asked Clark.

Eisenberger quickly called the statement false, saying he met with U.S. Steel officials “on several occasions.”

The new mayor needs to meet with provincial and federal officials and protect the pensions of the estimated 7,000 retirees whose future funds are in jeopardy, he said.

“We need to start talking about the future of the lands,” said Eisenberger.

He then turned the tables and accused Clark and his fellow council colleague, Brian McHattie, for failing to protect Hamilton from a potential U.S. Steel bankruptcy scenario.

“Those discussions should have been happening two to three years ago,” he said.

McHattie and Clark both reminded Eisenberger that it was the current council that created a Steel Committee that recently produced a report on the economic repercussions on the city in case U.S. Steel left Hamilton. The financial impact included the pensioners, mostly on the mountain and Stoney Creek taking a hit in the pocketbook. The committee has already instructed Mayor Bob Bratina and city staff to meet with federal and provincial officials to discuss the issue.

“Thank goodness (council) had the foresight to do that,” said Clark. “That should have been done eight years ago. But it wasn’t done. The mayor needs to show the leadership. Pensions are the number one issue.”

Clark accused Eisenberger of providing “no leadership” while in office, but Eisenberger reminded Clark he hasn’t been the mayor of Hamilton since 2010.

“I’m not the mayor, in case you haven’t noticed,” he shot back. “I haven’t been there for four years. The question really falls on you. Things should have been a lot better.”

Eisenberger then took a swipe at Clark, asking him why he attended a Michael Buble concert in Toronto instead of attending an important committee of the whole meeting on the stadium.

“Why were you not there?” he asked.

Clark responded that he did vote on the stadium a week later when the recommendation came before council. The Stoney Creek councillor then quickly demanded in a testy exchange why Eisenberger “pushed the council” to buy land in the West Harbour even though no stadium location had been decided yet.

Michael Pattison cut into the fierce discussion arguing the stadium is already constructed on the Ivor Wynne Stadium site.

“We need to focus on the future,” he said.

McHattie agreed, saying the stadium is “where it is” and “the future is now.”

During the estimated hour and half-long debate, the eight candidates talked about transit, the city’s lack of money for roads and sidewalk repairs, the police budget, the integrity commissioner, poverty, Randle Reef clean up, and urban gardens.

Ejaz Butt, the former taxi union president, said his one clear goal is to eliminate the bus lane along King Street, saying local business are losing money because of it. He also questioned Eisenberger on why the integrity commissioner was created on his watch. He called it a waste of money.

Eisenberger said it’s “fundamental to our democracy.” He said council can’t judge itself when a complaint is made. Instead the city needed an independent party to review accusations about politicians.

But throughout the open forum most of the debate focused on Eisenberger, Clark and McHattie taking turns needling one another. Eisenberger asked McHattie why he used his area-rating funds to build a statue in honour of Teenage Head signer Frankie “Venom” Kerr rather than repair sidewalks. McHattie defended the decision saying residents in Ward 1 voted for public art.

“Public art is something of great value to people of Ward 1,” he said.

Crystal Lavigne jumped in, saying McHattie should have provided some money to help people living in poverty. McHattie did point out part of the participatory budgeting process allowed for some funding to those living on social assistance.

But McHattie had his turn saying when Eisenberger was mayor he used his “poor leadership skills” to divide council and produced split votes.

“I didn’t have poor leadership skills,” said Eisenberger. “Many times we had councillors who didn’t want to co-operate. I had a clear position. I think people respect that. I rallied everyone.”

But Clark, along with McHattie, who both served with Eisenberger when he was mayor, said Eisenberger tried to negotiate with the federal government over dropping the Red Hill lawsuit in exchange for funding for Randle Reef.

“Actually, I didn’t do that,” said Eisenberger.

“Yes you did sir,” responded Clark, in one of the more interesting flurries.

Eisenberger said he expressed an opinion about the Red Hill lawsuit, but he followed council’s direction when he met with federal officials.

“I don’t know where you are getting the information,” said Eisenberger,

Later in the forum, an exasperated Eisenberger told Clark after another one of his accusations that “You have a habit of fabricating and there goes another one.”

McHattie also turned his focus on Clark in one discussion, arguing the veteran councillor was in the Mike Harris provincial government when it downloaded “all kinds of new costs onto the city of Hamilton.”

Clark reminded the Ward 1 councillor that he uploaded GO transit when he was minister, and he “saved” St. Peter’s Hospital and helped to prevent the closing of Henderson Hospital.

Also participating in the debate was Francis Warrand, and Michael Baldasaro, who promised to cut the mayor’s salary in half if elected, and to find a job for the runner-up candidate in the election.

Absent from the debate was Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson, and Ricky Tavares.

A mayor’s debate featuring only Clark, Eisenberger and McHattie is scheduled to be held Sept. 18 at Michelangelo Banquet and Convention Centre hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and on Sept.22 the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction is hosting a Mayors’ Conversation at the Hamilton Library.

 

 

Clark, Eisenberger, McHattie talk U.S. Steel in Cable 14 debate

News Sep 17, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

What would any of the potential eight mayoral candidates do if U.S Steel declared bankruptcy?

That real world scenario took centre stage at the Cable 14 televised debate, taped Sept. 16 when Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark broke the news to the other seven candidates around the table that U.S. Steel had filed for creditor protection.

He then fired off a question at former mayor Fred Eisenberger, saying he failed to provide the necessary leadership on the U.S. Steel file when he was in charge from 2006 to 2010.

“You never once met with the CEO of U.S. Steel,” asked Clark.

Eisenberger quickly called the statement false, saying he met with U.S. Steel officials “on several occasions.”

The new mayor needs to meet with provincial and federal officials and protect the pensions of the estimated 7,000 retirees whose future funds are in jeopardy, he said.

“We need to start talking about the future of the lands,” said Eisenberger.

He then turned the tables and accused Clark and his fellow council colleague, Brian McHattie, for failing to protect Hamilton from a potential U.S. Steel bankruptcy scenario.

“Those discussions should have been happening two to three years ago,” he said.

McHattie and Clark both reminded Eisenberger that it was the current council that created a Steel Committee that recently produced a report on the economic repercussions on the city in case U.S. Steel left Hamilton. The financial impact included the pensioners, mostly on the mountain and Stoney Creek taking a hit in the pocketbook. The committee has already instructed Mayor Bob Bratina and city staff to meet with federal and provincial officials to discuss the issue.

“Thank goodness (council) had the foresight to do that,” said Clark. “That should have been done eight years ago. But it wasn’t done. The mayor needs to show the leadership. Pensions are the number one issue.”

Clark accused Eisenberger of providing “no leadership” while in office, but Eisenberger reminded Clark he hasn’t been the mayor of Hamilton since 2010.

“I’m not the mayor, in case you haven’t noticed,” he shot back. “I haven’t been there for four years. The question really falls on you. Things should have been a lot better.”

Eisenberger then took a swipe at Clark, asking him why he attended a Michael Buble concert in Toronto instead of attending an important committee of the whole meeting on the stadium.

“Why were you not there?” he asked.

Clark responded that he did vote on the stadium a week later when the recommendation came before council. The Stoney Creek councillor then quickly demanded in a testy exchange why Eisenberger “pushed the council” to buy land in the West Harbour even though no stadium location had been decided yet.

Michael Pattison cut into the fierce discussion arguing the stadium is already constructed on the Ivor Wynne Stadium site.

“We need to focus on the future,” he said.

McHattie agreed, saying the stadium is “where it is” and “the future is now.”

During the estimated hour and half-long debate, the eight candidates talked about transit, the city’s lack of money for roads and sidewalk repairs, the police budget, the integrity commissioner, poverty, Randle Reef clean up, and urban gardens.

Ejaz Butt, the former taxi union president, said his one clear goal is to eliminate the bus lane along King Street, saying local business are losing money because of it. He also questioned Eisenberger on why the integrity commissioner was created on his watch. He called it a waste of money.

Eisenberger said it’s “fundamental to our democracy.” He said council can’t judge itself when a complaint is made. Instead the city needed an independent party to review accusations about politicians.

But throughout the open forum most of the debate focused on Eisenberger, Clark and McHattie taking turns needling one another. Eisenberger asked McHattie why he used his area-rating funds to build a statue in honour of Teenage Head signer Frankie “Venom” Kerr rather than repair sidewalks. McHattie defended the decision saying residents in Ward 1 voted for public art.

“Public art is something of great value to people of Ward 1,” he said.

Crystal Lavigne jumped in, saying McHattie should have provided some money to help people living in poverty. McHattie did point out part of the participatory budgeting process allowed for some funding to those living on social assistance.

But McHattie had his turn saying when Eisenberger was mayor he used his “poor leadership skills” to divide council and produced split votes.

“I didn’t have poor leadership skills,” said Eisenberger. “Many times we had councillors who didn’t want to co-operate. I had a clear position. I think people respect that. I rallied everyone.”

But Clark, along with McHattie, who both served with Eisenberger when he was mayor, said Eisenberger tried to negotiate with the federal government over dropping the Red Hill lawsuit in exchange for funding for Randle Reef.

“Actually, I didn’t do that,” said Eisenberger.

“Yes you did sir,” responded Clark, in one of the more interesting flurries.

Eisenberger said he expressed an opinion about the Red Hill lawsuit, but he followed council’s direction when he met with federal officials.

“I don’t know where you are getting the information,” said Eisenberger,

Later in the forum, an exasperated Eisenberger told Clark after another one of his accusations that “You have a habit of fabricating and there goes another one.”

McHattie also turned his focus on Clark in one discussion, arguing the veteran councillor was in the Mike Harris provincial government when it downloaded “all kinds of new costs onto the city of Hamilton.”

Clark reminded the Ward 1 councillor that he uploaded GO transit when he was minister, and he “saved” St. Peter’s Hospital and helped to prevent the closing of Henderson Hospital.

Also participating in the debate was Francis Warrand, and Michael Baldasaro, who promised to cut the mayor’s salary in half if elected, and to find a job for the runner-up candidate in the election.

Absent from the debate was Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson, and Ricky Tavares.

A mayor’s debate featuring only Clark, Eisenberger and McHattie is scheduled to be held Sept. 18 at Michelangelo Banquet and Convention Centre hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and on Sept.22 the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction is hosting a Mayors’ Conversation at the Hamilton Library.

 

 

Clark, Eisenberger, McHattie talk U.S. Steel in Cable 14 debate

News Sep 17, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

What would any of the potential eight mayoral candidates do if U.S Steel declared bankruptcy?

That real world scenario took centre stage at the Cable 14 televised debate, taped Sept. 16 when Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark broke the news to the other seven candidates around the table that U.S. Steel had filed for creditor protection.

He then fired off a question at former mayor Fred Eisenberger, saying he failed to provide the necessary leadership on the U.S. Steel file when he was in charge from 2006 to 2010.

“You never once met with the CEO of U.S. Steel,” asked Clark.

Eisenberger quickly called the statement false, saying he met with U.S. Steel officials “on several occasions.”

The new mayor needs to meet with provincial and federal officials and protect the pensions of the estimated 7,000 retirees whose future funds are in jeopardy, he said.

“We need to start talking about the future of the lands,” said Eisenberger.

He then turned the tables and accused Clark and his fellow council colleague, Brian McHattie, for failing to protect Hamilton from a potential U.S. Steel bankruptcy scenario.

“Those discussions should have been happening two to three years ago,” he said.

McHattie and Clark both reminded Eisenberger that it was the current council that created a Steel Committee that recently produced a report on the economic repercussions on the city in case U.S. Steel left Hamilton. The financial impact included the pensioners, mostly on the mountain and Stoney Creek taking a hit in the pocketbook. The committee has already instructed Mayor Bob Bratina and city staff to meet with federal and provincial officials to discuss the issue.

“Thank goodness (council) had the foresight to do that,” said Clark. “That should have been done eight years ago. But it wasn’t done. The mayor needs to show the leadership. Pensions are the number one issue.”

Clark accused Eisenberger of providing “no leadership” while in office, but Eisenberger reminded Clark he hasn’t been the mayor of Hamilton since 2010.

“I’m not the mayor, in case you haven’t noticed,” he shot back. “I haven’t been there for four years. The question really falls on you. Things should have been a lot better.”

Eisenberger then took a swipe at Clark, asking him why he attended a Michael Buble concert in Toronto instead of attending an important committee of the whole meeting on the stadium.

“Why were you not there?” he asked.

Clark responded that he did vote on the stadium a week later when the recommendation came before council. The Stoney Creek councillor then quickly demanded in a testy exchange why Eisenberger “pushed the council” to buy land in the West Harbour even though no stadium location had been decided yet.

Michael Pattison cut into the fierce discussion arguing the stadium is already constructed on the Ivor Wynne Stadium site.

“We need to focus on the future,” he said.

McHattie agreed, saying the stadium is “where it is” and “the future is now.”

During the estimated hour and half-long debate, the eight candidates talked about transit, the city’s lack of money for roads and sidewalk repairs, the police budget, the integrity commissioner, poverty, Randle Reef clean up, and urban gardens.

Ejaz Butt, the former taxi union president, said his one clear goal is to eliminate the bus lane along King Street, saying local business are losing money because of it. He also questioned Eisenberger on why the integrity commissioner was created on his watch. He called it a waste of money.

Eisenberger said it’s “fundamental to our democracy.” He said council can’t judge itself when a complaint is made. Instead the city needed an independent party to review accusations about politicians.

But throughout the open forum most of the debate focused on Eisenberger, Clark and McHattie taking turns needling one another. Eisenberger asked McHattie why he used his area-rating funds to build a statue in honour of Teenage Head signer Frankie “Venom” Kerr rather than repair sidewalks. McHattie defended the decision saying residents in Ward 1 voted for public art.

“Public art is something of great value to people of Ward 1,” he said.

Crystal Lavigne jumped in, saying McHattie should have provided some money to help people living in poverty. McHattie did point out part of the participatory budgeting process allowed for some funding to those living on social assistance.

But McHattie had his turn saying when Eisenberger was mayor he used his “poor leadership skills” to divide council and produced split votes.

“I didn’t have poor leadership skills,” said Eisenberger. “Many times we had councillors who didn’t want to co-operate. I had a clear position. I think people respect that. I rallied everyone.”

But Clark, along with McHattie, who both served with Eisenberger when he was mayor, said Eisenberger tried to negotiate with the federal government over dropping the Red Hill lawsuit in exchange for funding for Randle Reef.

“Actually, I didn’t do that,” said Eisenberger.

“Yes you did sir,” responded Clark, in one of the more interesting flurries.

Eisenberger said he expressed an opinion about the Red Hill lawsuit, but he followed council’s direction when he met with federal officials.

“I don’t know where you are getting the information,” said Eisenberger,

Later in the forum, an exasperated Eisenberger told Clark after another one of his accusations that “You have a habit of fabricating and there goes another one.”

McHattie also turned his focus on Clark in one discussion, arguing the veteran councillor was in the Mike Harris provincial government when it downloaded “all kinds of new costs onto the city of Hamilton.”

Clark reminded the Ward 1 councillor that he uploaded GO transit when he was minister, and he “saved” St. Peter’s Hospital and helped to prevent the closing of Henderson Hospital.

Also participating in the debate was Francis Warrand, and Michael Baldasaro, who promised to cut the mayor’s salary in half if elected, and to find a job for the runner-up candidate in the election.

Absent from the debate was Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson, and Ricky Tavares.

A mayor’s debate featuring only Clark, Eisenberger and McHattie is scheduled to be held Sept. 18 at Michelangelo Banquet and Convention Centre hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and on Sept.22 the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction is hosting a Mayors’ Conversation at the Hamilton Library.