Bob Bratina's voting record in ward 2 shows a progressive councillor who chooses consistently in support of the downtown core and urban revitalization.
By Ryan McGreal
Published October 28, 2010
Looking at how mayor-elect Bob Bratina voted while councillor for Ward 2 may afford some insights into what we can expect from him over the next four years.
We know Bratina was one of only two councillors (with Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie) to vote against the Airport Employment Growth District (AEGD) plan in mid-October.
At the same time, Bratina prepared and moved a motion to suspend zoning enforcement for culture industries while staff prepare a Comunity Improvement Plan for arts in the lower city.
When we broaden our perspective to the past four years, we still see a progressive councillor who votes consistently in support of the downtown core and urban revitalization.
In January, 2007, Bratina voted with most of council to direct staff to prepare a by-law restricting the use of pesticides. In September of the same year, he voted to pass it. (Of course, the by-law itself was fairly toothless and the Ontario Government passed a province-wide cosmetic pesticide ban in April 2009.)
In September 2007, Bratina voted in favour of a motion to phase out area rating for transit. Unfortunately, council was deadlocked and the motion was defeated on a tie. Mayor Eisenberger cast the deciding vote against the motion.
Council voted in February 2008 to buy $3 million in land around Hamilton International Airport on the request of airport manager Tradeport International. The motion was approved 9-7, with support from Mayor Eisenberger, but Bratina was among the 7 opposed.
In March 2008, Council voted to keep up its (at that time) six-year lawsuit against the Federal Government for trying to impose an Environmental Assessment on the Red Hill Valley Parkway. Bratina and Eisenberger were among the six councillors who voted to drop the suit.
Also that March, Council passed a motion instructing staff to look at restricting smoking in parks and asking the Province to ban smoking in personal vehicles with children. Bratina and Eisenberger both voted to support the motion.
In June 2008, Council voted for the motion to buy a restored Lister Building from LIUNA (which the union accepted). Bratina was one of six councillors who voted against it.
In October 2008, Council voted to remove the marble and stainless steel cladding on City Hall and replace it with concrete and aluminum. Bratina was among just four members of council (with Mayor Eisenberger) to vote against doing this.
Also in October, Council voted to set minimum property standards for heritage buildings "for the maintenance of heritage attributes of designated" properties. The motion passed narrowly 8-7, with Bratina and Eisenberger in support.
In July 2009, Council voted to rezone an industrial employment land at QEW and Fifty Road to build a big box development anchored by a Wal-Mart. Bratina voted against it, while Eisenberger supported it along with the majority.
In August 2009, Council voted to ask the Ontario government for the power to ban corporate and union donations. Bratina and Eisenberger were both among the nine councillors who voted in favour.
In September 2009, Council went in camera and voted to submit the Connaught building for an affordable housing proposal. Bratina raised extenuating issues related to the Connaught proposal and abstained from voting. Later, he moved a motion to defer a decision pending more information from staff.
Aside: Council approved the Connaught decision because they heard legal advice that the City's affordable housing proposals would be in jeopardy if they didn't submit all six recommendations at once. The Bay Observer's Peggy Chapman later reported that the city could have submitted the projects separately after all. The Province ultimately rejected all six projects.