Comment 91870

By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted September 07, 2013 at 21:53:38

Norman M. Kearney, the President, Chief Executive Officer, Founder, and Facilitator of Participatory Budgetting Hamilton, issued the following statement to media at 8:38pm on Saturday:


After a successful round one, Participatory Budgeting Ward 2 (PBW2) is already gearing up for round two. I would like to update you on our current activities and next steps.

Under the Bylaws of PBW2, I officially remain Facilitator until my successor is elected. I have appointed a Transition Team, and delegated to it all my authority under the Bylaws, to organize the transition into round two. At present, the Team is focused on organizing annual general meetings for the eight assemblies.

At their AGMs, each assembly will elect its organizing team for round two. Once elected, the organizing teams will elect a Facilitator and the Transition Team will dissolve.

The assemblies will also elect a representative to the Governance Committee, which is responsible for reviewing and, from time to time, recommending changes to the Bylaws of PBW2. The Bylaws, which were enacted under the authority of the PBW2 Planning Committee, establish the structure and rules of PBW2. The Committee was co-chaired by the Councillor or his designate. Under the Bylaws, the day-to-day operation and administration of PBW2 is determined through policy by the Participatory Budgeting Office (PBO), which consists of the organizing teams and the Facilitator.

Through the Facilitator, the PBO works closely with the Councillor and City staff to ensure that the resident-led PBW2 articulates with Council and City administration. It is important that all parties respect the authority of residents to adjust the structure and rules of PBW2 through the established process. This process was entrenched in the terms of reference of the PBW2 Planning Committee, which were published by the Ward 2 Office on September 6, 2012: “...all authority over the structure and rules of PBW2 will transfer to the budget assemblies.” It is also important that all parties, including the Ward 2 Office, be consulted by the Governance Committee and the PBO on how to improve PBW2 for round two.

Finally, ongoing operations funding from the Ward 2 Office is vital for a robust and sustainable PBW2. In a letter listing conditions for their support, six of the founding partners in PBW2 – the neighbourhood associations of Ward 2 – called on the Ward 2 Office to “provide sufficient resources to support PBW2”. With an operating budget of $50,000 and a capital budget of $1 million, PBW2 operates at a lean 4.8% of its total funding – a rate that is well-below the administrative costs of the most efficient charities. The operating budget was jointly drafted and revised from time to time by the PBO and the Ward 2 Office – a collaborative approach that should be repeated.

Going forward, Lee McIlmoyle will be speaking on behalf of the PBO. Lee was elected Chair by his colleagues on the Transition Team at its inaugural meeting on Saturday, August 31, 2013. Assisting Lee is Dave Stephens, who was elected Vice-Chair.

The Transition Team is a seasoned and well-rounded group, and I have complete confidence in its ability to set PBW2 up for success in round two. Following is the membership of the Transition Team:

  • Lee McIlmoyle (Chair), past organizer for the Stinson Assembly and Poll Supervisor for the 2013 Vote;

  • Dave Stephens (Vice-Chair), past participant and member of the PBW2 Planning Committee representing the North End;

  • Tom Allen, past organizer for the Durand North Assembly;

  • Mike Borrelli, past member of the PBW2 Planning Committee representing Beasley;

  • Shamso Elmi, past organizer for the Central Assembly and Deputy Returning Officer for the 2013 Vote;

  • Kathy Hagan, past participant and Deputy Returning Officer for the 2013 Vote;

  • Dawn McIlmoyle, past organizer for the Stinson Assembly and Poll Supervisor for the 2013 Vote;

  • Norm Pase, past organizer for the Corktown Assembly and Poll Supervisor for the 2013 Vote; and,

  • Lisa Wang, past interpreter for the Durand North Assembly.

Over the coming weeks, I will be consulting with participants, volunteers, the Ward 2 Office, and City staff in order to prepare my report on the first round of PBW2 and recommendations for round two. I am also convening a steering committee to bring participatory budgeting citywide, and I look forward to sharing further details about this exciting next step soon. If you or someone you know is interested in bringing the PB movement citywide, please contact me at Finally, I will be presenting an academic paper at a conference at Aarhus University in Denmark this November on our innovative work here in Hamilton. I look forward to sharing my paper and my findings at the conference with you, as well.

Please do not hesitate to contact me about PB in general, but please direct all inquiries specific to PBW2 to Lee McIlmoyle and the Transition Team. Lee can be reached at

Best wishes,

Norman M. Kearney Founder, Participatory Budgeting Hamilton

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