Candidates for City Council explain why they decided to run for office.
By RTH Staff
Published October 20, 2006
I decided to run for Mayor So I would have someone to vote for.
You see, I believe that together, we can awaken the Sleeping Giant, Hamilton, Lynch Pin of the Golden Horseshoe. I felt that Hamilton needed a impartial Leader. Someone like me who would be responsible to the electorate. Someone who would change what needed to be changed without their campaign being funded and/or influenced by anyone or a special interest group. I wanted a leader who could take us back to prosperity and safety such as we enjoyed during my childhood years in the 1950's. Those were the days. My mother would leave the Milk Man money in empty bottles in our doorways and would take me downtown with her Friday nights on the bus to walk up and down King Street, in and out of stores which have since disappeared. Would that not be great? Back to prosperity!
Some aspire to become politicians. These people chart their lives, social events, friends, places of residence and volunteer work to create a good campaign. Others get into politics because a need arises. These people haven't thought of themselves as a politician, but they care about the people in their city, and the future of their city. That's the category I fall into.
This February one ordinary day became an extraordinary day for me. After reading The Hamilton Spectator I was frustrated and fed up with article after article on the inappropriate handling of our money and talk of increased property taxes. I was most frustrated by the indication that our municipal government is out of touch with the working people of the Greater City of Hamilton. That day I knew I had to do something about it. That day I made the decision to become a candidate for mayor.
I decided to run for Mayor because I have something to add and am prepared to serve.
The reason why I'm running for Mayor is simple. I'm a people person and I work with people. My dad was on Dundas council for 17 years and that's where I got it from. It's in the blood!
I decided to run for Council for many reasons. On a Ward level, we have made significant strides to improving quality of life in the Ainslie Wood Westdale community by forging stronger working relationships between the City, McMaster University, Students' Union, and Ainslie Wood Westdale Community Association - gains to date include special duty police on Friday and Saturday evenings, a student house accreditation program, and other gains - but many challenges remain including managing truck traffic, encouraging Mac to expand downtown versus on the existing campus which is at capacity. I have begun a number of projects over the past three years that I would like to continue such as: establishing a Pedestrian Charter for Hamilton, setting up the Hamilton Trees and Parks Foundation, ensuring creative re-use of heritage buildings especially in the Core,and others.
I ran for Council after a recent trip to to Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Dresden, and Vienna. The beauty, cleanliness, and efficiency of those cities, reflected in the joy their citizens felt for their surroundings, made me want to get involved in bringing this quality of life to Hamilton. It seems to me if my memories of Hamilton of 40 and 50 years ago are accurate, that it was once like that.
I asked myself, "Why?" Why are things the way they are in Ward 3? Why have things remained the same for so long in this area? Why is it that no one is being held accountable for the state of Ward 3? All my questions went unanswered; it's time for a change. I am tired of this status quo and I would like to be the one accountable. That's why I decided to run for Ward 3 Councillor.
I am running for office because my life experience has been that my elected representatives were not representing me (or the constituents in general) at city hall but rather representing city hall's position to me (us). I want that to change.
Having been born and raised in Hamilton, I have always felt a civic pride for this community. Over the last number of years I believe that City Hall generally and City Council specifically has lost its sense of direction and its vision. I believe that we need a Council that can develop a progressive sustainable vision for our future. We need to build on our strengths of being Canadian's Steel Manufacturer, a home of great hospitals and having world class post-secondary institutions - Mohawk College and McMaster University. It is these sectors that will drive our future. Our vision needs to be built their future successes. I am running to develop and be a part a better Hamilton. By building a stronger, vibrant city we allow the citizens of Ward 7 to be able to fulfill their dreams and live in a safe, and healthy community.
I'm running for City Council because I enjoy doing good public work and I have ten years of political experience including Legislated Committees. I also believe in term limits to allow democracy to flourish and dreams to bear fruit for this great city called Hamilton, my home town.
I am running for council because I know I have something to contribute to the quality of life of our citizens. My past experience in the private sector, and as the assistants to Robert Morrow, David Christopherson and Sheila Copps has given me a wealth of experience, seldom seen in any municipal candidate.
I firmly believe that my abilities to facilitate and bring disparate views together, my management experience in the not-for-profit sector and my experience in provincial government gives me a unique perspective that will help me fight for the residents in Ward 9 and the broader interests of Hamilton.
I decided to run for council after watching it work as a citizen for a number of years. I noticed that instead of finding a way to work together, the urban and suburban segments of our city are usually fighting each other for dominance. I grew up in a suburban environment (North Burlington) and spent the last 17 years in the urban part of Hamilton. I believe I understand both perspectives and can find the way foward on issues before council that satisfy both communities. That's the contribution I want to make to the City if elected. Thanks for asking.
I'm running for City Council as I believe writing letters to the editor about the actions and inactions of our current Councillor just didn't cut it anymore. I had to walk the walk and provide the people of Ward 11 a clear and sensible choice.
There is a tremendous need for change, both in Ancaster and Hamilton. Some of the need for change in Ancaster is directly related to issues in Hamilton. I have spent my entire adult life in community service, for which I have received many local, provincial and federal service and recognition awards. As a twenty-five year resident of Ancaster, a community I love and wish to protect it from over-development, I see the opportunity to serve as Councillor for Ward 12 as a natural extension of my life's work.
After being a school trustee in Hamilton for nine years, I made my first attempt at municipal politics in Ancaster in 2000. The door to door campaigning in the 2000 municipal election, where the main theme was amalgamation, allowed me to see first hand the diversity of the Ancaster community, and the importance of strong representation for voters on both local and city issues.
With the incumbent no longer running in the upcoming election and the population having increased in the ward by an additional 6,000 voters since my last campaign, the role of this councillor is now even more important. I believe that I have the experience and talents to best represent the people of Ancaster in the current municipal structure and to follow through on the initiatives of the previous incumbent.
After working with city council staff over the past two years, I have sensed frustration because some councillors question their advice or choose not to take up their recommendations. My own frustration was at seeing lost opportunities and a lack of commitment to protecting our environment. These are the reasons I decided that to make a difference, I needed to become one of the decision-makers myself.