Hamilton mayors’ debate focuses on economic development, clearing sidewalks

News Oct 07, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 Hamilton’s mayoral contenders kept the sniping to a minimum during a 70-minute, streamlined debate at the YWCA Oct. 6 hosted by a Ward 2 community organization.

Most of the five prepared questions from the organizers of the event, the Durand Neighbourhood Association, concentrated on how the candidates would improve the city’s economy and cut through the red tape residents believe has made it almost impossible for businesses to set up shop inHamilton.

“Small businesses are driving the economy,” said Michael Pattison. Yet, he saidHamiltonis “making it difficult for businesses to do business in the city.”

Stoney Creekcouncillor Brad Clark talked about establishing a foreign investment strategy, something the city currently doesn’t have. He said the mayor would rely on local CEOs to encourage foreign companies to relocate to the city.

“Hamiltonis set up for a perfect opportunity to sell ourselves,” he said.

Former mayor Fred Eisenberger reminded the over 100 people who turned out that in 2006 he invested an additional $1 million into the city’s economic development budget. That move has provided financial dividends for the city, he said.

The mayor’s job, said Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie is to sell Hamilton to the world and raise the image of the city. His focus would be to get companies in Toronto to relocate to Hamilton where the city offers a tax advantage.

All six candidates who attended the debate supported McMaster University establishing another campus in the downtown core. But Clark and Eisenberger urged any development should involve commercial uses so Hamilton can reap needed tax revenues.

There was also a question about supporting light rail transit, which McHattie whole heartedly supports. Pattison said he wants to delay the project so the city can raise the necessary money to build it, while Clark backs bus rapid transit because it’s cheaper and will provide better value for taxpayers. Eisenberger endorses a citizens’ panel to chew over all the information that has been offered to the public.

Michael Baldasaro also endorses the LRT, but wants it constructed in such a way to connect the GO transit station in downtown Hamiltonwith the waterfront.

Francis Warrand had proposed the city build a monorail from the downtown to Stoney Creek.

He said it would be a simple procedure of installing “poles in the ground,” using local steel, and will ultimately “put people back to work.”

In one of the few audience questions allowed, a citizen wanted to know if the candidates supported the city to clear snow from sidewalks across the city. Currently, only Ancaster has the service, which is paid for by those residents.

McHattie said it’s “imperative” that Hamilton provide the service, while Pattison, Warrand and Baldasaro all supported the initiative.

Baldasaro did urge he would “tax the rich” so they pay their fair share to help the city. McHattie pointed out that over the last four years the city has average 1.4 per cent tax increases per year, one of the lowest in the province.

Eisenberger and Clark both balked at the yes or no question.

Eisenberger wanted to look at how much it will cost taxpayers since they would be footing the bill.

“If the community wants to pay, (then) I’m good with it,” he said.

Clark said Hamilton’s financial situation remains precarious with a $12 million shortfall this year, with the potential of further lost millions in revenue to the city once U.S. Steel sells its property.

“Before I commit, I need to have the cost,” he said.

Prior to the mayors’ debate, the association hosted the wards 1 and 2 public school board trustees’ debate, followed by the Ward 2 councillors’ debate.

Absent from the mayors debate was Crystal Lavigne and Ejaz Butt.

In addition, Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson and Ricky Tavares did not appear. Through a number of debates held in the community, including the Cable 14 debate they have not taken part in any of the debates.

 

Hamilton mayors’ debate focuses on economic development, clearing sidewalks

News Oct 07, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 Hamilton’s mayoral contenders kept the sniping to a minimum during a 70-minute, streamlined debate at the YWCA Oct. 6 hosted by a Ward 2 community organization.

Most of the five prepared questions from the organizers of the event, the Durand Neighbourhood Association, concentrated on how the candidates would improve the city’s economy and cut through the red tape residents believe has made it almost impossible for businesses to set up shop inHamilton.

“Small businesses are driving the economy,” said Michael Pattison. Yet, he saidHamiltonis “making it difficult for businesses to do business in the city.”

Stoney Creekcouncillor Brad Clark talked about establishing a foreign investment strategy, something the city currently doesn’t have. He said the mayor would rely on local CEOs to encourage foreign companies to relocate to the city.

“Hamiltonis set up for a perfect opportunity to sell ourselves,” he said.

Former mayor Fred Eisenberger reminded the over 100 people who turned out that in 2006 he invested an additional $1 million into the city’s economic development budget. That move has provided financial dividends for the city, he said.

The mayor’s job, said Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie is to sell Hamilton to the world and raise the image of the city. His focus would be to get companies in Toronto to relocate to Hamilton where the city offers a tax advantage.

All six candidates who attended the debate supported McMaster University establishing another campus in the downtown core. But Clark and Eisenberger urged any development should involve commercial uses so Hamilton can reap needed tax revenues.

There was also a question about supporting light rail transit, which McHattie whole heartedly supports. Pattison said he wants to delay the project so the city can raise the necessary money to build it, while Clark backs bus rapid transit because it’s cheaper and will provide better value for taxpayers. Eisenberger endorses a citizens’ panel to chew over all the information that has been offered to the public.

Michael Baldasaro also endorses the LRT, but wants it constructed in such a way to connect the GO transit station in downtown Hamiltonwith the waterfront.

Francis Warrand had proposed the city build a monorail from the downtown to Stoney Creek.

He said it would be a simple procedure of installing “poles in the ground,” using local steel, and will ultimately “put people back to work.”

In one of the few audience questions allowed, a citizen wanted to know if the candidates supported the city to clear snow from sidewalks across the city. Currently, only Ancaster has the service, which is paid for by those residents.

McHattie said it’s “imperative” that Hamilton provide the service, while Pattison, Warrand and Baldasaro all supported the initiative.

Baldasaro did urge he would “tax the rich” so they pay their fair share to help the city. McHattie pointed out that over the last four years the city has average 1.4 per cent tax increases per year, one of the lowest in the province.

Eisenberger and Clark both balked at the yes or no question.

Eisenberger wanted to look at how much it will cost taxpayers since they would be footing the bill.

“If the community wants to pay, (then) I’m good with it,” he said.

Clark said Hamilton’s financial situation remains precarious with a $12 million shortfall this year, with the potential of further lost millions in revenue to the city once U.S. Steel sells its property.

“Before I commit, I need to have the cost,” he said.

Prior to the mayors’ debate, the association hosted the wards 1 and 2 public school board trustees’ debate, followed by the Ward 2 councillors’ debate.

Absent from the mayors debate was Crystal Lavigne and Ejaz Butt.

In addition, Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson and Ricky Tavares did not appear. Through a number of debates held in the community, including the Cable 14 debate they have not taken part in any of the debates.

 

Hamilton mayors’ debate focuses on economic development, clearing sidewalks

News Oct 07, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

 By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 Hamilton’s mayoral contenders kept the sniping to a minimum during a 70-minute, streamlined debate at the YWCA Oct. 6 hosted by a Ward 2 community organization.

Most of the five prepared questions from the organizers of the event, the Durand Neighbourhood Association, concentrated on how the candidates would improve the city’s economy and cut through the red tape residents believe has made it almost impossible for businesses to set up shop inHamilton.

“Small businesses are driving the economy,” said Michael Pattison. Yet, he saidHamiltonis “making it difficult for businesses to do business in the city.”

Stoney Creekcouncillor Brad Clark talked about establishing a foreign investment strategy, something the city currently doesn’t have. He said the mayor would rely on local CEOs to encourage foreign companies to relocate to the city.

“Hamiltonis set up for a perfect opportunity to sell ourselves,” he said.

Former mayor Fred Eisenberger reminded the over 100 people who turned out that in 2006 he invested an additional $1 million into the city’s economic development budget. That move has provided financial dividends for the city, he said.

The mayor’s job, said Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie is to sell Hamilton to the world and raise the image of the city. His focus would be to get companies in Toronto to relocate to Hamilton where the city offers a tax advantage.

All six candidates who attended the debate supported McMaster University establishing another campus in the downtown core. But Clark and Eisenberger urged any development should involve commercial uses so Hamilton can reap needed tax revenues.

There was also a question about supporting light rail transit, which McHattie whole heartedly supports. Pattison said he wants to delay the project so the city can raise the necessary money to build it, while Clark backs bus rapid transit because it’s cheaper and will provide better value for taxpayers. Eisenberger endorses a citizens’ panel to chew over all the information that has been offered to the public.

Michael Baldasaro also endorses the LRT, but wants it constructed in such a way to connect the GO transit station in downtown Hamiltonwith the waterfront.

Francis Warrand had proposed the city build a monorail from the downtown to Stoney Creek.

He said it would be a simple procedure of installing “poles in the ground,” using local steel, and will ultimately “put people back to work.”

In one of the few audience questions allowed, a citizen wanted to know if the candidates supported the city to clear snow from sidewalks across the city. Currently, only Ancaster has the service, which is paid for by those residents.

McHattie said it’s “imperative” that Hamilton provide the service, while Pattison, Warrand and Baldasaro all supported the initiative.

Baldasaro did urge he would “tax the rich” so they pay their fair share to help the city. McHattie pointed out that over the last four years the city has average 1.4 per cent tax increases per year, one of the lowest in the province.

Eisenberger and Clark both balked at the yes or no question.

Eisenberger wanted to look at how much it will cost taxpayers since they would be footing the bill.

“If the community wants to pay, (then) I’m good with it,” he said.

Clark said Hamilton’s financial situation remains precarious with a $12 million shortfall this year, with the potential of further lost millions in revenue to the city once U.S. Steel sells its property.

“Before I commit, I need to have the cost,” he said.

Prior to the mayors’ debate, the association hosted the wards 1 and 2 public school board trustees’ debate, followed by the Ward 2 councillors’ debate.

Absent from the mayors debate was Crystal Lavigne and Ejaz Butt.

In addition, Mike Clancy, Nick Iamonico, Phil Ryerson and Ricky Tavares did not appear. Through a number of debates held in the community, including the Cable 14 debate they have not taken part in any of the debates.