Comment 1907

By Newbie (anonymous) | Posted November 06, 2006 at 14:33:01

I'm new to Hamilton, having moved into Ward 3 less than a year ago. It's a neighbourhood with more than its fair share of blight but also remarkable potential. Unfortunately, in my time here I've come to feel things could all too easily go either way.
In my experience, while we certainly don't agree on every issue, Bernie Morrelli has been an excellent representive: willing to listen and quickly respond to local concerns when called on.
My biggest concern with the ward race here, and the other races in the City in general, is the lack of options all around. Despite real evidence of some stellar urban thinkers and people with a genuine passion for all things Hamilton (like this website and others show), there seems to be a real dearth of choice on the ballot I'll be faced with next week.
I wonder if this is not caused, in part, by the system in place.
For instance, the much smaller Ontario city I moved from has two positons on council for each ward (ten councilours for approx. 60,000 population overall). In Hamilton, there seem to scarcely be two real candidates in many wards and the tip of the hat has to go to the incumbent in most of them. Perhaps opening things up to allow more representation would bring more candidates, and, in turn, more choice to the voters. Very few will invest in a candidacy if the chances of success seem so limited.
(P.S. Off topic: I've heard that City tax treaments can make it more pofitable for merchant landlords along Barton, and elsewhere, to close up shop and rent adjoining apartments than to keep comercial space active. Anyone know if this is true? If so, what are the pros and cons? Thanks for your insights.)

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