Flamborough resident presents petitions for Hamilton to review ward boundaries, amalgamation

News Apr 22, 2015 by Kevin Werner Flamborough Review

Flamborough resident Roman Sarachman is determined to protect his community from a potential power grab from urban politicians.

Sarachman, who is still chair of the de-amalgamation group Committee to Free Flamborough, will be delivering two petitions to the Hamilton city clerk’s April 23 requesting the city keep the ward boundaries the same, and also review Hamilton’s amalgamation status.

He has also requested provincial Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin present another petition, signed by over 1,000 people, to review the city’s amalgamation at Queen’s Park.

Sarachman has requested many times the city and the province review the 2000 amalgamation of Hamilton, but has been met by politicians with opposition to the idea. He said amalgamation remains a hot topic among Flamborough residents, along with other Canadian municipalities, including Toronto, and its school boards.

“(Politicians) are afraid to (conduct a study),” said the retired engineer. “They are afraid of the results. It is not working. Taxes have gone up. It has become a white elephant.”

The ward boundary petition, though, is the first time he has submitted such a document to the city. The petition, signed by over 1,000 people, requests that the current wards remain the same.

But if there is a ward boundary change, such as increasing the number of urban wards there should be a corresponding addition number for the suburbs.

“The ratio has to be the same,” said Sarachman.

He said as Flamborough, Glanbrook, Ancaster and Flamborough’s  population grows, the suburban area needs at least more representation around the council table.

“The next 10 to 15 years, you will see the growth,” said Sarachman, who now builds custom homes.

Hamilton has a population of about 520,000, with planning projections suggesting it will increase to about 590,330 by 2021. Residential growth is exploding in Waterdown, Binbrook, Mount Hope, Ancaster and along the Mountain.

Councillors earlier this month debated whether to have a ward boundary review, but they tied 8-8, which under municipal guidelines the motion loses. Still, city staff is continuing the review based upon a previous council recommendation in 2012. It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 prior to the next municipal election.

 In Ontario, ward boundaries have been created using such criteria as composition of council, density, simplicity, compact and contiguous, ward history and public consultation.

Sarachman says there is a fear among suburban residents that Hamilton’s urban wards will get extra representation on council, which will upset the delicate rural-urban power balance.  Currently, the former suburban areas have seven councillors, while the urban areas have eight politicians.

The Mountain councillors have argued for years they need another ward to accommodate the population explosion on the mountain. For instance, Ward 7 councillor Scott Duvall represents about 60,000 people, while Pasuta represents about 15,000, but has the largest ward by geography in the city.

Prior to amalgamation the old city of Hamilton had two alderman per ward to represent their constituents at council.

“I don’t want to see an 11-6 split,” says Sarachman. “If you did you would have a revolution in Flamborough.”

Sarachman points out that Flamborough has two councillor – Robert Pasuta and Judi Partridge - a product of an amalgamation strategy to provide proper representation around the new council table for suburban residents. He laments the time prior to amalgamation where Flamborough had its own council and mayor that represented the area’s interests. Now Flamborough’s two representatives, he says, are so overworked they are more focused on Hamilton issues and don’t have time to talk about local issues with residents.

“Right now (Hamilton’s representation) is biased (towards urban areas) and slanted,” said Sarachman. “We have to fight that.”

 

Flamborough resident presents petitions for Hamilton to review ward boundaries, amalgamation

News Apr 22, 2015 by Kevin Werner Flamborough Review

Flamborough resident Roman Sarachman is determined to protect his community from a potential power grab from urban politicians.

Sarachman, who is still chair of the de-amalgamation group Committee to Free Flamborough, will be delivering two petitions to the Hamilton city clerk’s April 23 requesting the city keep the ward boundaries the same, and also review Hamilton’s amalgamation status.

He has also requested provincial Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin present another petition, signed by over 1,000 people, to review the city’s amalgamation at Queen’s Park.

Sarachman has requested many times the city and the province review the 2000 amalgamation of Hamilton, but has been met by politicians with opposition to the idea. He said amalgamation remains a hot topic among Flamborough residents, along with other Canadian municipalities, including Toronto, and its school boards.

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“(Politicians) are afraid to (conduct a study),” said the retired engineer. “They are afraid of the results. It is not working. Taxes have gone up. It has become a white elephant.”

The ward boundary petition, though, is the first time he has submitted such a document to the city. The petition, signed by over 1,000 people, requests that the current wards remain the same.

But if there is a ward boundary change, such as increasing the number of urban wards there should be a corresponding addition number for the suburbs.

“The ratio has to be the same,” said Sarachman.

He said as Flamborough, Glanbrook, Ancaster and Flamborough’s  population grows, the suburban area needs at least more representation around the council table.

“The next 10 to 15 years, you will see the growth,” said Sarachman, who now builds custom homes.

Hamilton has a population of about 520,000, with planning projections suggesting it will increase to about 590,330 by 2021. Residential growth is exploding in Waterdown, Binbrook, Mount Hope, Ancaster and along the Mountain.

Councillors earlier this month debated whether to have a ward boundary review, but they tied 8-8, which under municipal guidelines the motion loses. Still, city staff is continuing the review based upon a previous council recommendation in 2012. It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 prior to the next municipal election.

 In Ontario, ward boundaries have been created using such criteria as composition of council, density, simplicity, compact and contiguous, ward history and public consultation.

Sarachman says there is a fear among suburban residents that Hamilton’s urban wards will get extra representation on council, which will upset the delicate rural-urban power balance.  Currently, the former suburban areas have seven councillors, while the urban areas have eight politicians.

The Mountain councillors have argued for years they need another ward to accommodate the population explosion on the mountain. For instance, Ward 7 councillor Scott Duvall represents about 60,000 people, while Pasuta represents about 15,000, but has the largest ward by geography in the city.

Prior to amalgamation the old city of Hamilton had two alderman per ward to represent their constituents at council.

“I don’t want to see an 11-6 split,” says Sarachman. “If you did you would have a revolution in Flamborough.”

Sarachman points out that Flamborough has two councillor – Robert Pasuta and Judi Partridge - a product of an amalgamation strategy to provide proper representation around the new council table for suburban residents. He laments the time prior to amalgamation where Flamborough had its own council and mayor that represented the area’s interests. Now Flamborough’s two representatives, he says, are so overworked they are more focused on Hamilton issues and don’t have time to talk about local issues with residents.

“Right now (Hamilton’s representation) is biased (towards urban areas) and slanted,” said Sarachman. “We have to fight that.”

 

Flamborough resident presents petitions for Hamilton to review ward boundaries, amalgamation

News Apr 22, 2015 by Kevin Werner Flamborough Review

Flamborough resident Roman Sarachman is determined to protect his community from a potential power grab from urban politicians.

Sarachman, who is still chair of the de-amalgamation group Committee to Free Flamborough, will be delivering two petitions to the Hamilton city clerk’s April 23 requesting the city keep the ward boundaries the same, and also review Hamilton’s amalgamation status.

He has also requested provincial Liberal cabinet minister Ted McMeekin present another petition, signed by over 1,000 people, to review the city’s amalgamation at Queen’s Park.

Sarachman has requested many times the city and the province review the 2000 amalgamation of Hamilton, but has been met by politicians with opposition to the idea. He said amalgamation remains a hot topic among Flamborough residents, along with other Canadian municipalities, including Toronto, and its school boards.

Related Content

“(Politicians) are afraid to (conduct a study),” said the retired engineer. “They are afraid of the results. It is not working. Taxes have gone up. It has become a white elephant.”

The ward boundary petition, though, is the first time he has submitted such a document to the city. The petition, signed by over 1,000 people, requests that the current wards remain the same.

But if there is a ward boundary change, such as increasing the number of urban wards there should be a corresponding addition number for the suburbs.

“The ratio has to be the same,” said Sarachman.

He said as Flamborough, Glanbrook, Ancaster and Flamborough’s  population grows, the suburban area needs at least more representation around the council table.

“The next 10 to 15 years, you will see the growth,” said Sarachman, who now builds custom homes.

Hamilton has a population of about 520,000, with planning projections suggesting it will increase to about 590,330 by 2021. Residential growth is exploding in Waterdown, Binbrook, Mount Hope, Ancaster and along the Mountain.

Councillors earlier this month debated whether to have a ward boundary review, but they tied 8-8, which under municipal guidelines the motion loses. Still, city staff is continuing the review based upon a previous council recommendation in 2012. It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 prior to the next municipal election.

 In Ontario, ward boundaries have been created using such criteria as composition of council, density, simplicity, compact and contiguous, ward history and public consultation.

Sarachman says there is a fear among suburban residents that Hamilton’s urban wards will get extra representation on council, which will upset the delicate rural-urban power balance.  Currently, the former suburban areas have seven councillors, while the urban areas have eight politicians.

The Mountain councillors have argued for years they need another ward to accommodate the population explosion on the mountain. For instance, Ward 7 councillor Scott Duvall represents about 60,000 people, while Pasuta represents about 15,000, but has the largest ward by geography in the city.

Prior to amalgamation the old city of Hamilton had two alderman per ward to represent their constituents at council.

“I don’t want to see an 11-6 split,” says Sarachman. “If you did you would have a revolution in Flamborough.”

Sarachman points out that Flamborough has two councillor – Robert Pasuta and Judi Partridge - a product of an amalgamation strategy to provide proper representation around the new council table for suburban residents. He laments the time prior to amalgamation where Flamborough had its own council and mayor that represented the area’s interests. Now Flamborough’s two representatives, he says, are so overworked they are more focused on Hamilton issues and don’t have time to talk about local issues with residents.

“Right now (Hamilton’s representation) is biased (towards urban areas) and slanted,” said Sarachman. “We have to fight that.”