Special Report: Light Rail

Jill Stephen Leaving City of Hamilton

The manager in charge of the rapid transit office has resigned from the City of Hamilton after a summer of politicking against LRT by Mayor Bratina and senior management.

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 08, 2011

RTH has confirmed that Jillian Stephen, the manager in charge of the City's Rapid Transit Office, has resigned from the City. Her last day will be September 22, after which she has accepted a position working with Niagara Region as their senior transportation planning engineer.

This follows the recent resignation of Harold Groen, a senior project manager for the City of Hamilton, who left the City at the end of August. Groen's last position was also in the Rapid Transit Team.

This news is sad but not surprising. Stephen's team was effectively disbanded after City Manager Chris Murray announced in July that he was suspending all work on light rail transit outside of what the City is contractually obligated to complete for the Province.

Stephen was still on vacation when Murray sent the email advising that he had made the decision that effectively de-funded and de-prioritized LRT in favour of a new task force to work on all-day GO train service. She was not aware before leaving on vacation that Murray's email was forthcoming.

Murray himself left on vacation right after sending the Friday afternoon communication, and Stephen had to wait for him to return from vacation to determine what he meant by essential and non-essential work related to the Metrolinx contract.

When Murray returned to work in August and was challenged about what sounded like a unilateral change in city priorities, he told councillors, "I would suggest reading the email again."

The email stated in part: " I have made a decision to suspend all current direct and indirect activities of the Light Rail Transit Initiative other than any work activities required to be completed under the agreement" between the City and Metrolinx in which the regional transit body provided $3 million in funding for an environmental assessment on the LRT plan.

Both before and after Murray's email, Mayor Bob Bratina has made a number of negative comments about LRT. Most recently, he said on the Bill Kelly show on CHML that LRT is "not a priority" and that the City's priority is all-day GO instead.

Both Metrolinx and the Provincial government were also caught off guard. Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin responded that it is up to Hamilton to decide what its priorities should be.

In response to the news, Metrolinx confirmed that it has "not asked the City of Hamilton to choose one project over the other.

It is important to remember that both rapid transit initiatives planned for Hamilton – the Hamilton LRT and all day GO Train service from Toronto to Hamilton – are viable and can co-exist. Hamilton’s current rapid transit situation is not an 'either-or' scenario.

This abrupt de-prioritization comes less than three years after Council voted unanimously to approve a motion instructing staff to undertake the "functional design, detail design and construction of the B-Line rapid transit corridor ... utilizing Light Rail Technology" in cooperation with Metrolinx, which would provide most of the capital funding under the proposed plan.

Since then, city staff from public works and from planning and economic development have been working in parallel on the design and engineering of the system, as well as an intensification study to create a secondary plan along the LRT route that encourages new investment.

Most of that work came to stop after Murray's decision to shift priority away from LRT.

Now, Councillor Jason Farr is introducing a motion for Council to reaffirm its support for LRT and ask for more funding from Metrolinx to continue its planning and design work.

However, even if Council manages to change course and make LRT a priority again, the damage - to morale, to organizational integrity, to the project's momentum - is already done.

Key Rapid Transit staffers have already decided to leave the city and take their expertise elsewhere. In the best case, will take months to assemble and train a new team that can pick up from where Stephen's team was kneecapped.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:02:58

The definition of bad news: we lose Jill Stephen but we keep Chris Murray.

This city drives good people away.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:04:27

Is it possible to overthrow local governments mid-term in Canada??

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By Dissident (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 17:22:42 in reply to Comment 69226

Oh, it's possible to overthrow governments at any time! (Don't expect them to condone it, but that's not what you asked) ;->

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By myrcurial (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:12:05

I hate to be the one to say it, but I'm starting to think that the best way to move Hamilton forward is to ensure that the primary qualification for local government positions is "was not born in Hamilton, has not lived here for more than 5 years" -- the self-loathing that is the mark of the native Hamiltonian is what is killing this city.

As a city, we've spent so long doing nothing that now EVERYTHING needs to be done. I'm sorry if you (Murray/Bratina) don't like having a full portfolio but frankly, you asked for the job, you've got it and now you need to DO IT.

Why don't we just do it all?

  • Build the Stadium for the Ticats

  • Build a community use Stadium

  • Build a Velodrome

  • Build the LRT

  • Build new GO Stations along the full-service route and get bi-directional all-day service at =120km/h

  • Clean up our streets by enforcing by-laws / doing the work for recalcitrant landowners

  • Remove the toxic waste that plagues much of the serviced land north of Barton

  • Seize / assume any piece of land left derelict without purpose for more than a decade - offer it to the lowest bidder who enters into a bond to complete a project which effectively (provides property tax revenues) utilizes the land within 2 years

  • Rip out the one-way streets -- there is no proof anywhere that they do more than make Hamilton a place that people don't like driving to/in

  • Rip out the inner city "green wave" highways in favour of something more like a city street - bi-directional, multi-user, livable and human-scale

Just do it - hell, do half of it - DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN SPENDING YOUR TIME ON THE AM FREAKIN RADIO RAMBLING ON POINTLESSLY WITH YOUR WORD-OF-THE-DAY ABOUT WHY IT CAN'T BE DONE.

gah.

[Note: I edited this comment at myrcurial's request to fix the formatting]

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-09-08 13:16:14

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:31:31 in reply to Comment 69228

I hate to be the one to say it, but I'm starting to think that the best way to move Hamilton forward is to ensure that the primary qualification for local government positions is "was not born in Hamilton, has not lived here for more than 5 years" -- the self-loathing that is the mark of the native Hamiltonian is what is killing this city.

I get your point, although some of the most passionate Hamilton boosters I know are lifelong Hamiltonians. I would just be happy if one of the primary qualifications for management level positions is that they live in Hamilton period.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 15:48:32 in reply to Comment 69228

If you are putting "Build the Stadium for the Ti Cats" as your 1st priority... I beg to differ, & ditto the Velodrome.

I do agree with "Stop spending your time on a.m. radio..etc."

"Just do it. Do Half of it".
Isn't this what we do a lot? Do everything Half Way & then claim that it's 100% Done? (put a sign on it, & people will think it's completely Done.)

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By George (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:14:26

Who the hell is running this city, council or the Mayor and city manager?

This is downright criminal

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 15:54:32 in reply to Comment 69229

"Good" & by that I mean very competent, experts in their fields, & intelligent people @ jobs related to City Hall have been leaving here for years/decades.
It's Not New!!

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By Louis Logic (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 17:00:40 in reply to Comment 69245

...So, it's okay and we should continue to let it happen?

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 19:03:58 in reply to Comment 69253

I don't know what personally you or I can do to make someone else's job a position that they wish to remain in. That is to the extent that the individual is able; their responsibility.

If they no longer can, I guess they must either leave, or continue on collecting their salary, while looking for something else. Or maybe just stay the course.

I know of one person who tried the legal system to 'make things right'. It didn't work. I'm sure that you read about it in the papers too.

I don't know how to prevent it from happening. It's certainly not o.k.

If the person is still on City payroll in another capacity, how could the problem be fully investigated?

If the person has been fired or left on their own accord, any further actions could be seen as 'sour grapes' on their part.

I think that certain aspects of City Hall, ( & not just elected officials) should be open to objective scrutiny. That cannot happen as the situation is now.

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By Louis Logic (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 19:26:14 in reply to Comment 69267

Personally, I can do much alone, but collectively with other like-minded people we can more than nothing.

I agree, who can blame them if they are prevented from doing what they were assigned to do. It's frustrating in any situation to have someone tell you devote your time and effort towards a goal and then be told it doesn't really matter anymore.

I'm not familiar with investigation processes, so I can't comment. Regardless, it should never have to get to that point.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 19:05:51 in reply to Comment 69267

I think H+H's comment below says it all.

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By Louis Logic (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 19:27:13 in reply to Comment 69268

That's a disturbing summary...

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:14:46

This is not good news. Not at all. The organizational culture at the City of Hamilton is poisonous. In my past life as a management consultant to major corporations, it was always the really good people who left first.

The stats for absenteeism, short term disability, and long term disability in the City of Hamilton as presented to Council by the City's Human Resources Department are all trending in the wrong direction. These are all signs of a sick organization. People don't want to go to work because they feel under-appreciated, lost, and have no sense of purpose or contribution. Yes, that's right, it's the vision thing. At least the operationalized vision thing.

Sadly, Jill Stephen will not be the last of the good ones who leave.

We are in trouble, organizationally and operationally. Some Councillors may see it, but it's not evident they do with the possible exceptions of Brad Clark and Lloyd Ferguson. While we throw money around like we actually have it, Rome burns. Be worried. I love my city, but this pattern of behaviour is not sustainable.

Let's recap:

$20,000,000 grant to McMaster to build their Health Campus downtown $35,000,000 in rent to McMaster to house our Public Health Department $10,000,000 over spend for IWS $25,000,000 shortfall for the velodrome (not to mention the half a million dollars in annual operating costs, or maintenance costs) $10,000,000 in West Harbour land acquisition (don't worry, Walmart will save us)

Please add to the list as you see fit.

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By DowntownDowner (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 21:24:35 in reply to Comment 69230

More than just Ferguson and Clark are aware. (Clark is a Tory and that scares me anyway).

Jason Farr is engaging and young.

Brian McHattie has been the lone crackpot for years

Brenda Johnson is an environmentalist and transit expert

Judy Partridge is a progressive.

Scott Duvall is a union man

Terry Whitehead is also on the side of right

And then there is MorelliMerullaPowersPasutaCollins just taking up space.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:34:35 in reply to Comment 69230

"...$35,000,000 in rent to McMaster to house our Public Health Department," which is currently housed in The Right House building at half the Mac lease rate.

This is all going south so fast...

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:21:34

Sorry for continuing, but don't forget that Chris Murray had the audacity to suggest all of us had misread his email. You know, the one that Jill Stephen didn't even know about until she got back from vacation.

You know, the one he sent the afternoon he left on his own vacation.

Enough of this utter contempt for citizens and for valued city employees. I for one am going to ask my Councillor to wake up and to start asking questions, carefully listening to the answers offered, and then comparing the answers to the questions asked, and then in all likelihood asking the same question again because the question wasn't answered. Yes, that's you Councillor Farr. This ain't radio anymore. This is the real world and we are being dragged down by unprofessionalism if not downright incompetence.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:35:16

On behalf of those Hamiltonians who still support and believe in LRT, I want to extend my deepest gratitude for all the hard work and dedication Jill Stephen and her team gave to the Rapid Transit project.

Their level of community outreach and engagement was unprecedented: broad-based, substantive and innovative - exactly in keeping with the City's vision. Similarly, the quality of research that went into the team's published reports was impressive.

I also want to apologize for the horrible way Jill and her team have been treated. The unprofessionalism and sheer contempt of the Mayor and City Manager are inexcusable and reflect badly on all Hamiltonians.

I wish Jill all the best in her new role. Hamilton's loss is Niagara's gain.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 13:53:47

Some one said to me yesterday "You can't get anything done in Hamilton unless your last name ends in a vowel. No wonder Ms.StepheN left!

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 14:09:10

I know she won't have much to say - it's unprofessional and bad personal politics to badmouth an ex-exmployer - but has anyone contacted Ms. Stephen for information on what lead her to leave the City?

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By Megan (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 14:25:52

What a loss for this city. Just noticed a tweet from @RickAtTheSpec that said she'd been moved to oversee the velodrome.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 14:39:07

Congratulations Bob and Chris, another coffin nail in the LRT you're so determined to kill off. This is why we can't have nice things.

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By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 14:41:36


IMO the mayor and city manager should be made to take public transit (both at work and in their personal lives) for as long as they remain in their positions. I reckon it wouldn't take more than a few months before they realize the inconvenience of riding the HSR full time (in it's current state) is greater than the inconvenience of fixing the problem. Let them stand out in the elements having no idea when the next bus will arrive, because it was scheduled 10 mins ago. Let them stand out in the freezing cold only to watch the bus they've been waiting for roll by b/c it's at full capacity and can't stop to pick them up. Then let's ask them if they prefer all-day-GO over LRT.

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By Carter (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 17:04:07 in reply to Comment 69240

Bratina claims he takes the HSR.

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By Downtown Downer (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 21:28:11 in reply to Comment 69254

I can attest to this. I have actually stood beside him on the bus. He is a very tall man.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 14:43:31

What a blow of the city...she was doing some really top notch work on her intensification study, and had some good suggestions.


Guess it'll just be more of the status quo...if only there was some way we citizens could get more involved. *waits for it*

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 14:51:49

if only there was some way we citizens could get more involved. waits for it

you must be one of those dissidents.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 16:18:18

The Spec has posted an article on this.

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By fired up (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 17:23:45 in reply to Comment 69251

"While there has been much discussion about the city’s commitment to LRT in the wake of negative comments made by both Murray and Mayor Bob Bratina, Stephen says none of that played any role in her decision to leave the city.

"“I have young kids at home … I realized how important my family is to me. I needed to get some balance.”"

Right because people usually take promotions in another city to get more life-work balance. All respect to Stephen who is too professional to point a finger at the train wreck of Conductor Chris and Engineer Bob but we all know that's why she's leaving.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:49:24 in reply to Comment 69256

Yeah, that's kind of a confusing response... well, unless she lives out in Niagara or something.

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By mike_sak (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 18:59:40

I don't know what to say anymore...I'm honestly not surprised that it would come to this.

I just hope people don't take this that LRT is dead in the water. I want to be optimistic, but it's hard when you have an exodus of true leadership.

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By Silent Scream (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 19:18:52

It is a real shame that visionary leaders are driven out of our City. A true professional and all class. Nobody but nobody should have to read about their project being shafted in the daily newspaper. We asked a lot from the LRT team, they delivered great work, and this is how they get treated. It should not be a surprise that people are leaving. The real question is what is our City leadership going to do - this is about transparency and accountability.

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted September 08, 2011 at 21:09:40

They say, if you go into an old bathroom and say "I miss Fred Eisenberger" three times then spin around the ghost of our former mayor will visit you and listen patiently to both sides of the issue.

For everyone who wanted a more "decisive leader", we've got one. He doesn't care about 'dissidents' or 'special interests', and he's willing to fire back at critics. He sticks to his guns and doesn't let facts, rules or public opinion get in the way. Is this what we really wanted?

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By TnT (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 09:13:05 in reply to Comment 69277

I did this a supercrawl and he appeared! Looking both relaxed and depressed at the same time. We didn't know how good we had it.

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 23:16:41 in reply to Comment 69277

I saw him taking the GO train the other day...

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 23:03:30

Good leaders will grow their own replacements. Hopefully the progressive thinking and will to move the yardsticks has been instilled in others who have worked with Jill.

But when good people in leadership roles leave for other opportunities, their best staff often eventually follow them. The city needs to ensure that this vacuum doesn't wind up shifting to blow more people out of town.

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By Anonomyous (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 23:45:31

People can be replaced. If Council really wishes that the LRT move forward than they will allow senior management to move forward with filling the vacant position. I'm sure there are many competant people out there that can do such. Let's respect Jill for her position on the matter and not rush to judgement. She is moving on for her own reasons, all the best and Hamilton will survive. I also heard that Geoff Rae Senior Director in Public Works is leaving for a job in Brantford. All the best to him as well after a one year stay!

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 08, 2011 at 23:46:51

The hard work of Ms. Stephens, her staff and the volunteer committee has produced much of the ground work necessary to take the concept of local LRT to the next level. The knowledge and experience that she will take with her, and her accessibility to public queries about LRT during her tenure here, will be very difficult to replace.

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By JM (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 08:24:53 in reply to Comment 69285

...i hope its much less difficult to replace the mayor!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 09:57:21 in reply to Comment 69287

...i hope its much less difficult to replace the mayor!

The comment is kind of funny...and yet not. It's a pretty straightforward process, as you know. But think of this: those people who wanted Mayor Fred out said the same thing...and Mayor Bob...who some here want replaced...was voted in.

What makes you think the same sort of thing won't happen again?

Or, more to the point, if there's an inherent challenges associated with our election process...vetting, getting more voters with more qualified opinions out to the booths...how would you suggest we 'not vote the wrong guy in again'?

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By JM (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 10:37:06 in reply to Comment 69293

that's the problem... and there's nothing really to suggest here. it all depends on the mindset of the citizens of this city, and sadly they are all happy with the status quo (and for some reason the high tax rate that comes with it).

my only "suggestion" is to hope that we can engage more citizens, and get them interested and thinking beyond the status quo - realizing the potential we have in this city

lucky for us, there is a bit of momentum growing. we just have to make sure it doesn't stop!

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By hshields (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 08:56:05

Three questions for the City:

  1. Will all-day GO train service from James St. N. be faster getting you to Union Station than bus service from Hunter St.?

  2. Given Hamilton has Aldershot GO/VIA, how will a James St. N. station be more attractive? Will it have free and ample parking? Will it be easier/faster to get to? Will it have better and more commercial, residential around it?

  3. How will people get to this new station? Will there be dedicated transit? Will there be review of traffic arteries?

These kinds of questions will need to be analysed and answered by professional engineers, designers and transit experts. Ms. Stephens was one of them. Who at the City will do this work?

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:15:24 in reply to Comment 69289

Though I'd prefer LRT, I'm one of those dewy-eyed folks that bought into the Beasley neighbourhood about 5yrs ago, looking to the future. Back then, Megan and I crossed our fingers that LIUNA would be brought back from the dead, so the all-day-GO thing has its bright sides (for me).

RE: your questions, from what I gathered during the Metrolinx public sessions, all-day service from James N. will chop 5-10 mins off the average Ham-Tor ride of about 75min. This is quite significant for someone like me who has only seen their trip get longer over the past 4yrs. But the express GO bus will still probably be faster during off-peak hours. The train is only really faster during rush hour, or if you're trying to get to Burlington, Oakville or Mississauga instead of Union Station.

Unfortunately, a platform at LIUNA only really made tons of sense when integrated into a larger city and transit-building initiative like WH+LRT. You're right to ask how people will get there and whether transit will be routed nearby (the #2 and #4 lines stop reasonably close-by, but that's it).

The walk to LIUNA is a fraction of my 15-20min walk to TH&B, and it opens up all of the North End as a new suburb of Toronto, but I'm not fully convinced it's going to do much for Hamilton, as a whole.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:25:49 in reply to Comment 69298

All-day GO train service gets a lot more interesting if the Province goes ahead with electrifying the Lakeshore West line and eliminating the last remaining level crossings. At that point, the train could be competitive with the express bus even off-peak.

The real problem, of course, is that all-day GO has been framed in competition with LRT, when the two are actually complementary and mutually reinforcing.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-09-09 11:27:36

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:38:04 in reply to Comment 69300

Absolutely, Ryan. In fact, you might even go further than that and say that the success of all-day-GO at increasing transit ridership is dependent on the quality of the transit network that connects with GO hubs.

As others have intimated, more GO ain't worth much if you can't easily get to the station and there's nothing (transit, shops, cultural/sporting destinations) to make you want to live nearby.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:46:27 in reply to Comment 69302

Mayor Bratina has made it clear that he regards access to Toronto as the primary benefit to Hamilton of all-day GO:

A million people a day go into Toronto. That's the critical mass of people that's going to change Hamilton and the people who are moving in and out of the city, not moving within the city going from Eastgate to downtown.

In other words, Hamilton's best bet is to position itself as a bedroom for Toronto and not an economic centre in its own right that deserves a high-quality intra-urban transit network.

The worst is that this self-fulfilling logic of self-loathing and failure runs contrary to the facts: only a tiny fraction of Hamiltonians commute to Toronto to work, whereas 70% of Hamiltonians work in Hamilton, and 38,000 people commute daily into Hamilton to work.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 09:45:16 in reply to Comment 69289

Bob and Peggy

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By CrazyTrain (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 10:08:24 in reply to Comment 69290

With Bob's communication skills and Peggy's navigational skills, this will be a fun ride. "We should be pulling into "head-up-our-ass" junction in just a few minutes folks."

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By hshields (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 10:33:02 in reply to Comment 69295

As colourful as these responses are, seriously, has any thought been put into the cost-benefit of all day GO service down at James St. N. compared to the alternatives like better service to Aldershot?

And doesn't one mode of transport depend on other modes working well. When you get off your GO train, don't you need a car, a cab, a bus, a bike to get you to that last mile of your journey?

GO transit is great at what it does - a regional transport network. But it is only as good as its complimentary transport systems. Who at the City will be making sure Hamilton's complimentary systems maximize this opportunity?

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 17:12:49 in reply to Comment 69296

GO transit is great at what it does - a regional transport network. But it is only as good as its complimentary transport systems. Who at the City will be making sure Hamilton's complimentary systems maximize this opportunity?

Apparently those complementary systems will be put in place when another 500k people move here due to our fabulous GO service!

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By Bobby1 (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 09:50:32

Not sure I support LRT, but do support the idea of investigating everything about it before making a final decision! But with our "no plan" Mayor,details never are important! Just look at recent history,Mayor Bob's $10,000 UW donation,McMaster Building,Stadium and now Veldrome decided with little or no information and all requiring a decision within hours of a deadline! All those projects should have been evaluated just like LRT was at one time! No matter how you look at it,the competency of City Council has to be questioned! Don't you wonder why no one during last 6 months asked someone "how's the stadium project going",how's the Veldrome project going","how's HECFI operations going these days"? Nope,no one asked because they may then have knowledge and have to do something about it. Better to let it become a crisis! Hopefully this Council can say "no" at least once to the Veldrome as they will not have adequate information or time to contemplate any info given!

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By Pomposity Has a Name (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:21:36

MyStoneyCreek says: Or, more to the point, if there's an inherent challenges associated with our election process...vetting, getting more voters with more qualified opinions out to the booths...how would you suggest we 'not vote the wrong guy in again'?

You are so pompous it really is embarrassing; and I looked at your website...nary an identifying name; for someone with so much to say, you sure are timid about revealing who you are! Tell you what: give yourself a name and I will do the same. You may be surprised!

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 17:49:24 in reply to Comment 69299

I really don't have any desire to get involved in all this dreck. Never mind the deconstruction of the obsession some people have with 'anonymity'; to me, it's the bailiwick of the feeble mind and porous personality to get all hot-and-bothered about not being able to put a 'real' name to someone's words. What matters most to me are those words, not who says them or whether or not their name is 'real'. But to each his or her own.

However...

Putting aside your assessment of my 'pomposity' (I'm not asking you to read my blog. If you're not interested, then simply don't go there.), it was my choice on My Stoney Creek to not have my name attached to the blog. (This choice was solidified when my stalker began his campaign.) Anonymity is my right. If you have a problem with that, then I'll tell ya what; here's a Loonie towards your initial therapy sessions to get over your frustration.

As for who you are? Phhttt. Not particularly interested.

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-09-09 17:55:56

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 10, 2011 at 07:17:07 in reply to Comment 69321

"Never mind the deconstruction of the obsession some people have with 'anonymity'; to me, it's the bailiwick of the feeble mind and porous personality to get all hot-and-bothered about not being able to put a 'real' name to someone's words."

"Anonymity is my right. If you have a problem with that, then I'll tell ya what; here's a Loonie towards your initial therapy sessions to get over your frustration."

It seems your buddy Mahesh has a real problem with this very issue.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 10, 2011 at 07:22:49 in reply to Comment 69347

It seems your buddy Mahesh has a real problem with this very issue.

My 'buddy Mahesh' and I don't agree on myriad things. I don't speak for him and he doesn't speak for me. We're big boys, we can sort out our differences of opinion.

But I am curious as to why you'd feel compelled to point out this seeming 'paradox'.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted September 10, 2011 at 09:03:01 in reply to Comment 69348

In defending yourself you have resorted to using very crude and broad brush strokes, painting many in the community. You have posted in the past about your support for Mahesh's political aspirations, considering this and the article of his I linked, is he included in the included in the "feeble mind and porous personality" box you have so hastily constructed?

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 10, 2011 at 09:22:30 in reply to Comment 69351

Ahem, mrjanitor...

Honestly, if you don't like how I express myself...if you take umbrage at my 'using very crude and broad brush strokes, painting many in the community'...I'm not sure how I could ever assuage your apprehension about my style (or intent for that matter (yet my goodness, how odd it would be were I some kind of misanthropic dilatante, who judges so many so frequently, given the efforts I have gone to and continue to go to in order to bring about good change at a civic engagement level), because you have, as memory serves, noted your displeasure with me and mine in the past. I'm not going to be changing any time soon, and I have no intention of going away...

As for my support of Mahesh, yes. I believe he brought the most of any of the Mayoral candidates to the campaign (more than the 'Big Three' combined, actually), though his path was flawed from the start, and therefore was, in my eyes (as I had expressed to him on several occasions last year) doomed...and a great lamentable waste.

But no, to answer your clearly facetious question, he is not included in the 'feeble mind and porous personality' box I absolutely, positively did not 'hastily' construct. That he has his own contrasting views on anonymity has nothing to do with my take on the subject. (Never mind the fact that he is about as far from that 'box' as you could possible imagine.)

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-09-10 09:36:20

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By Dissident Avenger (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:46:53 in reply to Comment 69299

Whooo - This is a throw-down, a show-down, hell no, I can't slow down, It's gonna go.

You and me, three o’clock.

[10 points if you can name the two references]

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 22:14:04 in reply to Comment 69305

Fresh Wes and 3'oclock high

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By Dissident Avenger (anonymous) | Posted September 10, 2011 at 12:07:38 in reply to Comment 69332

Correct Sir!

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 11:39:43 in reply to Comment 69299

Adrian has never made any attempt to hide his identity.

Time to step up, Pomposity!

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 13:17:33

highwater, that's a flat out lie. m adrian brassington has used several aliases to insult me. He was vicious and personal in his attacks and none of the precious RTH regulars said a word, which is rich. I've invited m adrain brassington to meet me for coffee or a town hall so he can say to my face what he's said online, but he's too timid. Now he has a girl fighting his battles, which is richer.

m adrain brassington is a liar and a fraud and a coward. I have no idea who Pomposity has a name"" is, but he nailed it.

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By MPB (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 14:34:57 in reply to Comment 69309

Ryan, Is this Kevin the same as Kevin Somers, the writer on this blog? I did ask him in the past and he did not confirm. Such continuing drivel and personal attacks need to be stopped immediately. They do not by any stretch of imagination add to discussions.

Allowing such people a free license to publish such garbage repeatedly ends up makeng not only this blog but our City look amateurish.

This guy needs to be publicly warned by the editor of his repeated transgressions viz his personal issues that he chooses to make a public spectacle off here.

Continuing to call this person an "author" on this site demeans all other authors here.

Mahesh P. Butani

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By Pomposity Has a Name (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 13:54:11

And Kevin nailed it again; however, I haven't heard from MyStoneyCreek, just from Highwater. Is that the same person?

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 14:03:38 in reply to Comment 69310

No, Highwater is someone entirely different, and was trying to point out that MyStoneyCreek is M. Adrian Brassington, and does not try to hide this fact, as can be seen from Adrian's author profile:

M Adrian Brassington is the author, editor and publisher of the blogs My Stoney Creek and [Town Halls Hamilton] (http://townhallshamilton.blogspot.com/).

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 16:55:46 in reply to Comment 69313

Highwater also makes no attempt to hide her identity.

In fact, most of the regular, registered users here that use aliases only seem to do so out of internet habit, not for anonymity.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 19:53:03

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-09-09 20:38:29

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 23:36:36 in reply to Comment 69325

For those suffering eyesight disorders or eyesight deterioration with age, I apologize on behalf of the RTH team's abject lack of sensitivity for such conditions - by their providing its readers an insidious tool to grey out the text of any dissenting view.

For your convenience, the above comment has been re-posted here now titled: Why Amalgamation will not work in Hamilton until we fix our attitude towards democracy.

The greyed out post above contained a critical link to the article under which it is posted now, thereby maintaining its original relevance and continuity of thought.

If this new post is greyed out too, it will be posted on a national forum on urbanism very soon, to share with the world - the disingenuity of some of Hamilton's urbanists, and the debilitating conditions they have created to block real dissent in Hamilton.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-09-10 00:49:02

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 22:08:12 in reply to Comment 69325

I disagree with a great deal of your post and suggest that there is some irony in your accusation of arrogance. In all fairness, your diatribe is dripping with contempt that appears rooted in the fact that perhaps fewer people (here) than you wish agree with your points of view.

On the other hand, I agree that the level of discourse had detracted from the discussion, but in part I believe this is from frustration with the process.

Since you seem quite critical of the medium, I ask what you suggest?

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 22:41:52 in reply to Comment 69331

GrapeApe: Disagreeing is good. Now we can have a conversation. Accusations are always arrogant. And I am equally guilty of that on most days.

Glad to know that we do agree on distractions from the level of discourse.

I agree it is partly from the frustration of the process. You may even agree that the process does not fail on its own, and that it fails only when it is hijacked for partisan purposes.

What we may not agree on is: who it is, that has hijacked the process.

If you are agreeable on this disagreement, I would love to have a conversation with you and others here on this.

I am hardly critical of the medium, (which I presume you mean to be this online forum). What I am critical of is the hijacking of this medium for partisan purposes - and failing to see and exploit its potential for higher purposes.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 22:50:40 in reply to Comment 69333

Full disclosure - I voted for Fred. How does it make me partisan if I believed in his ideas, his vision for this city? I don't support them because Fred said so, I support them because I think they make sense. If nothing else, I felt the vision was cohesive. The decisions now are piecemeal and if they have some connection, it's not articulated.

I guess what I most strongly object to is the idea that disagreeing with you, by your definitions above make me ignorant, arrogant, and blindly partisan. I am none of these.

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 22:54:39 in reply to Comment 69335

As for hijacking the process - what process? There is no process to take part in. It has become a spectator activity and much like a car wreck I find it difficult not to gawk in disbelief at our posiiton. Before Bratina (BB) I felt this city had momentum and a direction. AB I feel we are adrift, rudderless and the pirates have raided our supplies.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted September 11, 2011 at 15:45:20 in reply to Comment 69336

As for hijacking the process - what process? You seem to be inferring that the process is the political process re: LRT, the stadium, the velodrome, etc.

Actually, what was suggested was the hijacking of this medium for partisan purposes.

Do you feel this is a valid suggestion?

(The pointed exchanges here was the reason I began getting RTHers together for coffee. So that actual discussions could be had, actual dialogues rather than serial monologues.)

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By z jones (registered) | Posted September 09, 2011 at 21:58:36 in reply to Comment 69325

Oh look, Mahesh is having one of his tantrums.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 22:46:05 in reply to Comment 69329

z jones: I too deserve the right to a tantrum like every one else here. What makes you think I am not deserving of this :)

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted September 09, 2011 at 23:48:42

Mahesh Thanks for your feedback.

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By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted September 10, 2011 at 01:18:54 in reply to Comment 69340

Graham, You do important work of high quality in archiving this city's past and promoting its art, architecture and heritage - for which I have the highest regards.

It is the side-shows and vaudeville performances that distract your important contribution to this city.

Please do not take my observations as a personal slight, they are but only personal observations by a chronic outsider in this city, and they may be faulty.

The virtues of being an outsider offers insights that may be at odds with the prevailing group think - but is that not what adds to the diversity of thought in urban environments?

Good art & architecture in itself is politics at its best - as you may agree. It is when they try hard to play politics, that things get unnecessarily twisted and their very cause suffers.

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2011-09-10 01:21:11

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted September 10, 2011 at 16:45:22

Andrew Dreschel's column on thespec.com today is titled "Manager's exit sets up LRT showdown". He comments on the perception of a morale problem and an impending "brain drain" at City Hall with the departure of a number of key staff over the past several months and highlights Ms. Stephens' situation. Although the piece needs to be edited by deleting several repetitive paragraphs, Mr. Dreschel has identified the scope of the problem rather well:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-09-10 16:47:12

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 11, 2011 at 14:11:48 in reply to Comment 69368

Here's a more up to date link:

http://www.thespec.com/opinion/article/5...

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By Luftballons (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:15:41

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/591990--mcguinty-s-keen-to-get-going-on-all-day-service-for-city

Premier Dalton McGuinty says all-day GO — not LRT — is the province’s first transit priority for Hamilton. McGuinty, who sat down with The Spectator this week while campaigning for October 6 provincial election, said the province is following Mayor Bob Bratina’s lead by focusing its attention on GO rather than light rail transit (LRT). “That was the No. 1 ask of the city,” McGuinty said. “We’ve had some important conversations with the mayor, and *this is their priority. Which made it our priority.* Over time, we can enter into other discussions about things like the LRT.”

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By George (registered) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 10:16:42

The Spec: Do you think Hamilton should receive provincial funding for LRT?

Horwath: I’ve been pretty clear about that. I’ve had meetings with Metrolinx and encouraged them to seriously realize how important the LRT system would be for the City of Hamilton.

I’m absolutely 100 per cent in favour of LRT in Hamilton.

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

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By Guitar (anonymous) | Posted September 12, 2011 at 18:24:20 in reply to Comment 69422

insult spam deleted

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