New Mountain trustees Archer and Danko set to join Hicks at board table on Dec. 1

News Oct 29, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Kathy Archer didn’t chance a repeat of her mistake in 2010, when she went to bed thinking she’d won by 300 votes, only to wake up the next morning to find out she’d lost by nearly double that count.

Ward 6’s new public school trustee spent Monday evening taking down her election signs as she waited for results to confirm her victory.

It was her third run at regaining the seat she’d lost after one term to Laura Peddle in 2006 and it proved to be the charm: a 462 vote win over Al Miles, her closest competitor in a five-way contest.

Hers was the tightest of the three public school trustee races on the Mountain, which saw Ward 8 incumbent Wes Hicks and Ward 7 newcomer Dawn Danko cruise to victory.

Overall, the new board will have seven new trustees, all the result of incumbent vacancies.

Archer, a retired bus driver and part-time clown who runs Mountain Kidz Klub, said although school closures were a top priority at the door, most people told her they just wanted better communication from their trustee.

“That’s the biggie,” she said. “That’s all this ward wanted, was communication, and that’s exactly what I’ll give to them.”

Danko, who captured two-thirds of the vote in Ward 7 in her first run for office, said she was careful not to promise what she can’t deliver and instead focused on vowing to advocate for the entire community.

That’s important because schools south of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, where growth is fueling enrolment, have different needs than those to the north, she said.

“I really am reaching out to people and I’m asking what their needs are so that I can bring that back to the board and hopefully do that in a responsive way,” said Danko, a Mohawk College professor who runs a photography business with her husband.

“Even at the door, people were saying, ‘Put up a sign because you responded to me, you followed up on what I emailed you about,’” she said.

“Those were often questions about transportation issues or about boundary changes or what I think about parent choice, whether they send their kids to school full-time in kindergarten and junior kindergarten.”

Hicks, who took nearly three-quarters of the vote in a two-way race to retain the seat he’s held for 29 of the past 32 years, said he’s excited by the big turnover at the board.

He said his priority will continue to be student achievement, with the coming year’s budget and efforts to boost math skills among immediate concerns facing the new board.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the new trustees so that we can get their fresh ideas and sort of blend that with our existing policies and procedures and see if we can come up with a better direction,” Hicks said.

Elsewhere, incumbents Ray Mulholland in Ward 4, Todd White in Ward 5 and Alex Johnstone in Wards 11 and 12 were returned by comfortable margins.

Other newcomers include Christine Bingham and Larry Pattison in the lower city, Jeff Beattie inStoney Creek, Greg Van Geffen in wards 13 and 14, and Penny Deathe, who edged challenger Nick Lauwers by 11 votes in Waterdown’s Ward 15.

New Mountain trustees Archer and Danko set to join Hicks at board table on Dec. 1

News Oct 29, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Kathy Archer didn’t chance a repeat of her mistake in 2010, when she went to bed thinking she’d won by 300 votes, only to wake up the next morning to find out she’d lost by nearly double that count.

Ward 6’s new public school trustee spent Monday evening taking down her election signs as she waited for results to confirm her victory.

It was her third run at regaining the seat she’d lost after one term to Laura Peddle in 2006 and it proved to be the charm: a 462 vote win over Al Miles, her closest competitor in a five-way contest.

Hers was the tightest of the three public school trustee races on the Mountain, which saw Ward 8 incumbent Wes Hicks and Ward 7 newcomer Dawn Danko cruise to victory.

Overall, the new board will have seven new trustees, all the result of incumbent vacancies.

Archer, a retired bus driver and part-time clown who runs Mountain Kidz Klub, said although school closures were a top priority at the door, most people told her they just wanted better communication from their trustee.

“That’s the biggie,” she said. “That’s all this ward wanted, was communication, and that’s exactly what I’ll give to them.”

Danko, who captured two-thirds of the vote in Ward 7 in her first run for office, said she was careful not to promise what she can’t deliver and instead focused on vowing to advocate for the entire community.

That’s important because schools south of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, where growth is fueling enrolment, have different needs than those to the north, she said.

“I really am reaching out to people and I’m asking what their needs are so that I can bring that back to the board and hopefully do that in a responsive way,” said Danko, a Mohawk College professor who runs a photography business with her husband.

“Even at the door, people were saying, ‘Put up a sign because you responded to me, you followed up on what I emailed you about,’” she said.

“Those were often questions about transportation issues or about boundary changes or what I think about parent choice, whether they send their kids to school full-time in kindergarten and junior kindergarten.”

Hicks, who took nearly three-quarters of the vote in a two-way race to retain the seat he’s held for 29 of the past 32 years, said he’s excited by the big turnover at the board.

He said his priority will continue to be student achievement, with the coming year’s budget and efforts to boost math skills among immediate concerns facing the new board.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the new trustees so that we can get their fresh ideas and sort of blend that with our existing policies and procedures and see if we can come up with a better direction,” Hicks said.

Elsewhere, incumbents Ray Mulholland in Ward 4, Todd White in Ward 5 and Alex Johnstone in Wards 11 and 12 were returned by comfortable margins.

Other newcomers include Christine Bingham and Larry Pattison in the lower city, Jeff Beattie inStoney Creek, Greg Van Geffen in wards 13 and 14, and Penny Deathe, who edged challenger Nick Lauwers by 11 votes in Waterdown’s Ward 15.

New Mountain trustees Archer and Danko set to join Hicks at board table on Dec. 1

News Oct 29, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

By Richard Leitner, News Staff

Kathy Archer didn’t chance a repeat of her mistake in 2010, when she went to bed thinking she’d won by 300 votes, only to wake up the next morning to find out she’d lost by nearly double that count.

Ward 6’s new public school trustee spent Monday evening taking down her election signs as she waited for results to confirm her victory.

It was her third run at regaining the seat she’d lost after one term to Laura Peddle in 2006 and it proved to be the charm: a 462 vote win over Al Miles, her closest competitor in a five-way contest.

Hers was the tightest of the three public school trustee races on the Mountain, which saw Ward 8 incumbent Wes Hicks and Ward 7 newcomer Dawn Danko cruise to victory.

Overall, the new board will have seven new trustees, all the result of incumbent vacancies.

Archer, a retired bus driver and part-time clown who runs Mountain Kidz Klub, said although school closures were a top priority at the door, most people told her they just wanted better communication from their trustee.

“That’s the biggie,” she said. “That’s all this ward wanted, was communication, and that’s exactly what I’ll give to them.”

Danko, who captured two-thirds of the vote in Ward 7 in her first run for office, said she was careful not to promise what she can’t deliver and instead focused on vowing to advocate for the entire community.

That’s important because schools south of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, where growth is fueling enrolment, have different needs than those to the north, she said.

“I really am reaching out to people and I’m asking what their needs are so that I can bring that back to the board and hopefully do that in a responsive way,” said Danko, a Mohawk College professor who runs a photography business with her husband.

“Even at the door, people were saying, ‘Put up a sign because you responded to me, you followed up on what I emailed you about,’” she said.

“Those were often questions about transportation issues or about boundary changes or what I think about parent choice, whether they send their kids to school full-time in kindergarten and junior kindergarten.”

Hicks, who took nearly three-quarters of the vote in a two-way race to retain the seat he’s held for 29 of the past 32 years, said he’s excited by the big turnover at the board.

He said his priority will continue to be student achievement, with the coming year’s budget and efforts to boost math skills among immediate concerns facing the new board.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the new trustees so that we can get their fresh ideas and sort of blend that with our existing policies and procedures and see if we can come up with a better direction,” Hicks said.

Elsewhere, incumbents Ray Mulholland in Ward 4, Todd White in Ward 5 and Alex Johnstone in Wards 11 and 12 were returned by comfortable margins.

Other newcomers include Christine Bingham and Larry Pattison in the lower city, Jeff Beattie inStoney Creek, Greg Van Geffen in wards 13 and 14, and Penny Deathe, who edged challenger Nick Lauwers by 11 votes in Waterdown’s Ward 15.