Comment 93595

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 23, 2013 at 14:58:16 in reply to Comment 93591

I agree: but I think this gets back to the timidity and and incrementalism of our leaders, who set the example to staff.

In each of the cities I mentioned, the changes were hugely controversial and required leadership to push forward (they were not necessarily "vote getters" before the fact). It also requires politicians whose goal is to make a big and lasting positive impact on their cities (i.e. some ego and long term view). The recent campaign to have begin to have Hamiltonians embrace the slogan "The Ambitious City" recognizes this.

Hamilton is by no means unique (Toronto has similar issues), but examples like the road tolls in London and Stockholm have shown that decisive leadership in implementing apparently unpopular decisions is possible. Polls actually show that people are more receptive to progressive solutions than most politicians give them credit for.

And as far as "vote getting" goes, we have a mayor who actively campaigned on getting LRT for Hamilton and who supported (at one point) a new stadium in the West Harbour but who, upon election, did everything possible to denigrate LRT and reduce Hamilton's chances for getting LRT and gave the TiCats a rotated stadium right where it was. Many people voted for him because of these progressive stances, only for his position to change after the election. Instead, his main goals have been keeping taxes low and maintaining Hamilton as the "20 minute city" (if you're driving).

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