Editorial: Wagging the dog at Hamilton City Hall

Opinion Mar 12, 2015 Ancaster News

Hamiltonians can be forgiven if they believed nothing was done at City Hall last week.

Despite the political showdown over boosting the city’s long neglected transit service, debating the merits of adding to Hamilton’s land ambulance service and even applauding the coup of hosting the Juno Awards this weekend, politicians, staff and some residents were consumed by the antics of Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, and independent journalist Joey Coleman.

Soon after out-going Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse released his report into a physical altercation between Ferguson and Coleman, last year’s cause célèbre became this year’s crisis.

There were cries from the chattering classes that Ferguson didn’t get his comeuppance for what he did. Soon after, under pressure from Merulla and his proposed motion that would have further continued the make-believe crisis, Ferguson held an impromptu news conference to detail his self-imposed penalties, including donating $1,000 to the Ancaster Community Services. However, quickly after, it was discovered that the OPP had been asked by Hamilton police to conduct an investigation into an “historic” assault at city hall. The OPP have refused to identify what the investigation was about.

The smoke make have cleared, and Coleman taken a leave of absence from City Hall, but council has been left to pick up the pieces. Ferguson and Merulla continue to publicly feud and snipe at each other further distracting Hamiltonians from the real issues of the day.

And those issues are of the festering sort that could lead to the political body spinning off into dysfunction under the leadership a newly elected Mayor Fred Eisenberger. The mayor revealed last week a renewed distrust of his senior administrative staff, including the transit director, David Dixon, and City Manager Chris Murray, who some believe have “sabotaged” Hamilton’s LRT dreams. To the surprise of no one, Eisenberger lost yet another showdown with his political colleagues. While he remains a firm believer in an LRT, the writing would seem to be on the wall that the province will now provide Hamilton with a “historic” $300 million to improve its exisisting transit service, pushing the LRT debate well into the future.

Then there are the all important 2015 budget discussions. Homeowners should know they will be paying higher taxes this year, after basically getting away with small jumps over the last four years, a tribute to politicians’ election antennae rather than ability to properly budget enough savings and adequately pay for needed services, especially road and sidewalk repairs.

For some politicians distracting the public with what is actually a minor dust up between an aggressive media person and a haggard politician serves the purpose of hiding the escalating problems of this council.

 

[poll id="203"]

Editorial: Wagging the dog at Hamilton City Hall

Opinion Mar 12, 2015 Ancaster News

Hamiltonians can be forgiven if they believed nothing was done at City Hall last week.

Despite the political showdown over boosting the city’s long neglected transit service, debating the merits of adding to Hamilton’s land ambulance service and even applauding the coup of hosting the Juno Awards this weekend, politicians, staff and some residents were consumed by the antics of Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, and independent journalist Joey Coleman.

Soon after out-going Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse released his report into a physical altercation between Ferguson and Coleman, last year’s cause célèbre became this year’s crisis.

There were cries from the chattering classes that Ferguson didn’t get his comeuppance for what he did. Soon after, under pressure from Merulla and his proposed motion that would have further continued the make-believe crisis, Ferguson held an impromptu news conference to detail his self-imposed penalties, including donating $1,000 to the Ancaster Community Services. However, quickly after, it was discovered that the OPP had been asked by Hamilton police to conduct an investigation into an “historic” assault at city hall. The OPP have refused to identify what the investigation was about.

The smoke make have cleared, and Coleman taken a leave of absence from City Hall, but council has been left to pick up the pieces. Ferguson and Merulla continue to publicly feud and snipe at each other further distracting Hamiltonians from the real issues of the day.

And those issues are of the festering sort that could lead to the political body spinning off into dysfunction under the leadership a newly elected Mayor Fred Eisenberger. The mayor revealed last week a renewed distrust of his senior administrative staff, including the transit director, David Dixon, and City Manager Chris Murray, who some believe have “sabotaged” Hamilton’s LRT dreams. To the surprise of no one, Eisenberger lost yet another showdown with his political colleagues. While he remains a firm believer in an LRT, the writing would seem to be on the wall that the province will now provide Hamilton with a “historic” $300 million to improve its exisisting transit service, pushing the LRT debate well into the future.

Then there are the all important 2015 budget discussions. Homeowners should know they will be paying higher taxes this year, after basically getting away with small jumps over the last four years, a tribute to politicians’ election antennae rather than ability to properly budget enough savings and adequately pay for needed services, especially road and sidewalk repairs.

For some politicians distracting the public with what is actually a minor dust up between an aggressive media person and a haggard politician serves the purpose of hiding the escalating problems of this council.

 

[poll id="203"]

Editorial: Wagging the dog at Hamilton City Hall

Opinion Mar 12, 2015 Ancaster News

Hamiltonians can be forgiven if they believed nothing was done at City Hall last week.

Despite the political showdown over boosting the city’s long neglected transit service, debating the merits of adding to Hamilton’s land ambulance service and even applauding the coup of hosting the Juno Awards this weekend, politicians, staff and some residents were consumed by the antics of Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson, Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, and independent journalist Joey Coleman.

Soon after out-going Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse released his report into a physical altercation between Ferguson and Coleman, last year’s cause célèbre became this year’s crisis.

There were cries from the chattering classes that Ferguson didn’t get his comeuppance for what he did. Soon after, under pressure from Merulla and his proposed motion that would have further continued the make-believe crisis, Ferguson held an impromptu news conference to detail his self-imposed penalties, including donating $1,000 to the Ancaster Community Services. However, quickly after, it was discovered that the OPP had been asked by Hamilton police to conduct an investigation into an “historic” assault at city hall. The OPP have refused to identify what the investigation was about.

The smoke make have cleared, and Coleman taken a leave of absence from City Hall, but council has been left to pick up the pieces. Ferguson and Merulla continue to publicly feud and snipe at each other further distracting Hamiltonians from the real issues of the day.

And those issues are of the festering sort that could lead to the political body spinning off into dysfunction under the leadership a newly elected Mayor Fred Eisenberger. The mayor revealed last week a renewed distrust of his senior administrative staff, including the transit director, David Dixon, and City Manager Chris Murray, who some believe have “sabotaged” Hamilton’s LRT dreams. To the surprise of no one, Eisenberger lost yet another showdown with his political colleagues. While he remains a firm believer in an LRT, the writing would seem to be on the wall that the province will now provide Hamilton with a “historic” $300 million to improve its exisisting transit service, pushing the LRT debate well into the future.

Then there are the all important 2015 budget discussions. Homeowners should know they will be paying higher taxes this year, after basically getting away with small jumps over the last four years, a tribute to politicians’ election antennae rather than ability to properly budget enough savings and adequately pay for needed services, especially road and sidewalk repairs.

For some politicians distracting the public with what is actually a minor dust up between an aggressive media person and a haggard politician serves the purpose of hiding the escalating problems of this council.

 

[poll id="203"]