Comment 66040

By BeeBonnett (anonymous) | Posted July 12, 2011 at 10:20:29 in reply to Comment 65982

Both Fred and Larry had plans in their respective campaign platforms to form a community leadership forum that would, as a collective, move Hamilton's case for LRT forward with the provincial and federal governments. Our city's biggest problem is not only the NIH syndrome, it's also that no one at employed by the city or elected to council is tasked with the sole purpose of government relations (also know as "lobbying"). This task would help to promote the priorities of our fine city and also ensure that Hamilton has a voice at the table at both upper levels of government. No one is doing this work now -- not the mayor, not council, not the city manager, and not a single city staff person. The only time the city engages in any form of government relations is when it whines about not getting enough money to be used for social services gap funding. We always present in a "hat in hand" approach that is not at all appealing to either government bureaucrats or cabinet ministers. You have to go with a strategy, with a plan, and stick to that plan. You have to be willing to leverage existing assets to attract investment opportunities and to promote investment partnerships with the province, federal government and the private sector. Hamilton does not do this -- only for one-offs such as the $160 million stadium renovation (a joke) or perhaps the McMaster Health centre downtown (another joke). Until the city's upper echelon management and the mayor understand that Hamilton is going nowhere fast without a proper public affairs strategy, we will always be late to the party and left without essential and necessary funding partners.

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