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91  Hamilton Ontario City Issues / General City issues / City refuses to forgive drum corps' $202,000 debt on: April 20, 2006, 10:59:16 am
City refuses to forgive drum corps' $202,000 debt
By Peter Van Harten
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 20, 2006)

This may be a sad reality,
“Staff suggested it might be necessary to seize the hall, which is on city land and estimated to be
worth $1 million, to recover the band's debt with the city.”

But it’s time that Hamilton City starts being responsible for our tax dollars, not only in such areas but with HECFI including
re-examining the manner it has spent our dollars with the Hamilton Airport. The dumping of 2.6 million into HECFI, and planed
expenditure of another 18 million into the airport with little or no returns. With a further potential inferstructure expenditure
that could exceed 100 million. If the city worked as hard to bring in new business and enterprise improving the financial base,
as it does with investing our dollars in such areas that only may have a return, in the next decade, would make greater sense
in the long run.

What do you think..?

Send Comments to:
92  Provincial and Federal issues that effect Hamilton / How can Hamilton be more influential? / Farmers to block Ottawa food distribution centres on: April 20, 2006, 10:20:24 am
Farmers to block Ottawa food distribution centres
The Hamilton Spectator
Ottawa (Apr 20, 2006)
"Farmers...blockading food distribution centres"
The sad dilemma is that the Federal and Provincial governments don't care and realize that farmers have little clout. There is no pressing
issues as food is flowing well across our boarders. These inconveniences created in blockading food distribution centers have little impact
on governments. Moreover, it does little in gaining support from food distributors, it fact it only adds to the frustration to merchants who
purchase through such outlets.
The facts are that farmers are considered by governments as a fifth to tenth rate pain of distant necessity. Though the agriculture
sector is deemed to be the responsibility of provincial and federal governments who have become so isolated from the grass roots
of farming, there is a great need to bring this issue to local city governments. Cities are the true benefactors of low agriculture
products. Many will construe the fact that farmers receive too many subsidies, when in fact such benefits are to maintain lower
food prices for the urban population. Clearly this plight must examine the facts of where are the local cities on this issue, they who
collect the tax dollars. Where are the cities that stand in support of the farmers plight. When large corporations within said cities
are unstable or are facing financial difficulties and or are faced with closing their doors, cities plead to the provinces and federal
government for support on their behalf. Perhaps, only due to the fact that when such corporations disappear it impacts on their
tax base, including the fact it may effect a larger number at a time that would be forced on welfare roles. With farmers it’s one
family at a time that hits the dust, not that relevant in the big scheme of life.
It’s time for farmers to withhold their taxes. It’s time to get the local politicians and city officials to recognize they have a responsibility.
They can no longer collect such taxes without representation. When cities realize that all farmers in this province have contributed
to the foundation and growth of downtowns with little to no return and that such tax funds are not going to be forth coming they
will have little choice but to support and help broker some financial support from provincial and federal government. It has been said,
that many farmers have large mortgage and working capital that will put their farms at risk if they chose to withhold such taxes. In the
final analysis to fall, one at a time or together, moreover who will the banks or the city sell all the farmland to in Ontario to ?  When
there is no viable returns....?

What do you think...?

Send Comments to

93  Hamilton Ontario City Issues / Urban and Rural issues / Hamilton Airport on: April 15, 2006, 08:10:54 am
Straighten up and fly right

Hamilton airport
By Robert Howard
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 15, 2006)

“City council and staff appear to be asleep at the switch on airport growth and development.”
Perhaps, or just lacking in the skill to understand the basic principal of business management. A historical
down fall to this City. With millions of our tax dollars blowing around, John C Munro Hamilton Airport without
direction, like City Council. Over the years this City invests out tax dollars and fails to insure that it follows
through in the management of such, acting like children who see possibilities but have not the experience or
the maturity to understand the long term or the short term effects while they leave the tax payer on the hook.

Again, and again this City demonstrates that it lacks the basic skills to manage and follow through on such
complex issues. HECFI is another prime example including
“amalgamation....number of other pressing issues,
from budgets to Red Hill.”
all of these issues are contributing to the further deterioration of this city.

It is little wonder that this City finds it difficult to attract new business to this city and that there is such resistance
on the part of many to invest in the downtown, in particular the broader tax payer. These facts were generated
by the many who disagreed with amalgamation. A city that could not manage it’s affairs, a city that was collapsing
on it’s self. A fear that our tax dollars would be funnelled into a bottomless pit. A history repeating it’s self, taking
along with it a larger part of Ontario communities.

What do you think..?
Comments appreciated

94  Provincial and Federal issues that effect Hamilton / Canadian Social / Political Issues / ....allies of children's aid societies on: April 13, 2006, 10:13:02 am
People are the best allies of children's aid societies

By Dominic Verticchio, Executive Director,
the Children's Aid Society of Hamilton
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 13, 2006)

With all due respect Mr, Verticchio, "
...when a child is hurt or dies...such tragedies are rare exceptions
among the 82,000-plus children Ontario Children's Aid Societies..."
The facts are that only those
incidents of death are brought to the attention of the public. To suggest that, " it is important for
readers to know that all CASs work within highly regulated guidelines defined by the Ministry of
Children and Youth Services and overseen by Ontario's Family Courts. We are mandated under the Child
and Family Services Act to intervene in family life when there is evidence that a child may be in need of
protection." is some how a rationalization that such acts of deaths and abuse by the system should be
Over the past decade there have been "way to many" reported incidents of system abuse. There have
been many who suggest that a Judicial review is need to examine the many such claims that has been
directed to toward Children’s Aid Societies, including allowing the Ontario Ombudsmen the authority
to review such. It also should be noted that when these incidents of death and abuse take place within
this system, though it advocates that it’s standard of care is higher than those of the homes from which
these children were taken from, that there is a different standard that is attributed to the responsibility
of such. Such declarations as,
"In a society that has serious social challenges and too much violence
directed at children, CAS workers need help."
Perhaps, it’s the same declaration that many families are
singing, but there are families who feel that this system has other priories than, "the best interest of the
child," and it hides behind privacy issues. When a system decrees it's self as the parent and or care giver
it assumes all the responsibility of a parent and when a child dies or is abused it must be held to the same
degree of accountability.

What do you think ...?

Send Comments to:
95  Hamilton Ontario City Issues / General City issues / Millions invested revenue only $50,000 on: April 11, 2006, 08:55:48 am
Airport revenue only $50,000
January 13, 2006 (Catch site:)

The cart before the horse, no wonder our taxes are out of control. Like HECFI, the airport another sink whole
demonstrating that the city has no idea of how to set limits. Investing tax dollars in areas that is outside it’s mandate.
“The first annual payment from the airport is due in 2006, but won't make a big dent in the city's $45 million budget
deficit.” with a $50,000 dollar expected return, when it should have been around the $500,000 mark. Moreover,
“between 2005 and 2009, the city expects to spend $18.6 million for airport land acquisitions. The budget also
proposes spending $750,000 over the next two years  City officials have not calculated how much it will cost to
service the airport lands with roads, water, sewers and other infrastructure to make it 'shovel-ready' for the hoped
for industrial development. Opponents of the aerotropolis plans suggest the price tag will be at least $100 million.”

By Wey Robinson, Hamilton
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 1, 2006)

"It would have taken only 7 per cent
of Ontario's $3-billion surplus for
Premier Dalton McGuinty to keep
his promise to poor families"

There is no doubt that the province could contribute a greater percentage of tax revenue to the poor
in this city. If the cards were laid on the table, the issue of poverty has never been a priority of this
city, for years it has paid lip service to this issue. We just have to look at all the fund drives held over
the years, moneys spent on HECFI, funds designated to bring Cycling competition to the city and further
funds expended for Olympic bids, including expenditure attempts to secure a Hockey team. If 7% of these
costs were directed to help the poor in the city, perhaps we would not have the highest poverty rate in
the province.

Don't you think it's about time we get some priorities straight?

From the office of the Mayor I received the following, "taxes were only slightly above the provincial average,"
Hamilton being at $1,069, while the the provincial average was $1,003. In addition that "last year our tax waste
was the third lowest among Ontario’s larger municipalities....
indicating a strong sign Hamilton is doing the right thing to get it’s financial house in order.
This information on it own does suggest a shimmer of hope, on the other hand the 2006 tax out look states that,

•Hamilton has the highest poverty rate in Ontario.
•City’s median household income is 10% lower than the provincial average.
•Highest ratio of property taxes as a percentage of household income (5.7%).

While suggesting that all the difficulties are all related to "provincial down loading." I am not suggesting,
that down loading did not have it’s effect, at the same time down loading, equally effected every municipality
in the province. Or, are you suggesting that Hamilton was infiltrated by the poor? Yet the median household in
Hamilton is 10% lower than the provincial average, and that, Hamilton has the highest ratio of property tax.
Now the City debating on another tax grab, cat licenses...The city has to debate what it should do with HECFI,
as it approves a requested $2.6m. I think the city need to take a long honest look at getting out of areas that
it has proven that it can't manage, ski slopes, golf courses and the entertainment business. I think it’s time for
the people of Hamilton to take a stand and demand accountability. The reality is, if the future of Hamilton has
any potential, a grass root approach is needed. The blaming game must end and responsible decisions for
our tax dollars must begin. Perhaps, if through out the years tax dollars were managed for the benefit of all city
members, we could handle down turns a little better?

...Hamilton is a dump....
By Evelyn Myrie
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 3, 2006)

Wow, Evelyn Myrie did you just step out of a hibernation closet. The downtown has been in the center of a desert
storm for thirty years or more. The idea that, "There is also a need to encourage stricter enforcement of property
standards bylaws, forcing owners to bring their properties up to at least a minimum benchmark."
If you think rants
and raves are going to be transformed into changes, grow up and smell the coffee. This year the city had an opportunity
to contribute but is sunk 2.6 million into, "HECFI".

I find it distasteful when the city boasts of it’s intentions and fails to demonstrate a leadership role. While other cry.
"about absentee property owners who are not interested in spending money on improvements to their building facades"
When in fact, most can barley make enough to pay their taxes. The only strategy that seem to be propelled is the idea of forcing
people to live downtown....in the midst of thirty years of decay; including another thirty years of constant sounds of rebuilding.

"The city downtown renewal initiative. But for this to be successful, full participation is required from landlords in the core."
The City can tweak out renewal incentives but without compelling concrete indications of a realistic vision of employment and
 permanent establishment of enterprises in the downtown, other that short term construction opportunities, to support long
term growth or our dollars will be flushed down the drain while our taxes skyrocket to maintain this new facade.

"We are excited about the $117 million in investments for downtown" like change dropping into an empty bucket, it’s a start,
but lets face the facts, this City needs billions of dollars to rectify this decay....show me the sustainability of this expenditure...
give me a blue print of new businesses, enterprises, or of new corporations seeking to relocate and or expand to this City?

Is there somethng wrong here,
What do you think....?

Send Comments to:

96  Hamilton Ontario City Issues / General City issues / HECFI gets $2.6 Million on: April 10, 2006, 04:14:18 pm
HECFI gets requested $2.6m, but just barely
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 9, 2006)
Councilors on boards of directors

A Conflict of interest...

One of the crippling handicaps for councilors is the investment and political subjectivity,
along with becoming entwined with the demands of organizations that seek to influence
councilors for their support. This direct link is one that flaws the perception, and in many
situations blinds council members to their primary function. To serve the best interest
of all city members. It is the writers view that if the City's perception that this as a criteria
to maintain a sense of what is transpiring within City funded organizations, it should seek
to appoint city non elected members to sit on such boards. These members, required to
present updated reports, that are submitted to council and not a specific councilor.
This criteria will allow council to make realistic and objective decisions, with regards
to further funding, or to end such. The tragedy and mismanagement of HECFI may
have been addressed with greater scrutiny, providing the City of Hamilton savings of
Millions .....

What do you think?...

97  Hamilton Ontario City Issues / General City issues / The Lister Block on: April 10, 2006, 03:57:06 pm
Architect claims innovative options not fully explored
By Nicole Macintyre
The Hamilton Spectator
(Mar 14, 2006)
"Lister's owner, the Labourer's International Union of North America, wants to demolish and replicate the building
after their studies showed its structure and facade are in poor shape......"
"LIUNA is committed to restoring the Lister Block to its original glory on the outside with a modern interior, he said.
But a local architectural conservancy has launched back with its own expert, who argues Lister's structural frame is
suitable for restoration."

This debate has been going on for years, the pros and cons, like a seesaw blown about in the wind.
The reality is a decision must be made. Perhaps the optimal unanswered question is not addressed.
How much of Hamilton tax dollars are going to be invested. Including the amount of tax dollars have
been lost over the years. Considering the fact that the City is in financially turmoil the real issue that
needs to be addressed at this time, regardless of choice of direction. Is, what will the costs to taxpayers.
This article debates the esthetics of the issue but fails to inform the public, if the City is
intending to partner in this situation. To those who argue that "the Lister’s structural frame
is suitable for restoration, the question that flows is whether  restoration implies a temporary fix
and whether this will be an never ending re-occurrence? Moreover, we all know that most likely
that during this process it will be additional issues that were overlooked. In reality what is need
is that City Hall provide information with regards to costs...if any, to the taxpayers.
What do you think ?

98  Provincial and Federal issues that effect Hamilton / How can Hamilton be more influential? / City and Provincial Political Parties on: April 10, 2006, 03:15:05 pm
City and Provincial Political Parties

A dangerous roller coaster, when city leaders cast their public support for a provincial party. The fundamental principal of elected city
representation is and stand without party platforms. The consent of City election is based on electing a Mayor that has a vision for the
whole City, Councilors that represent the need of their distinguished wards. This concept embeds individual fundamental principal of
accountability in that each Councilor is accountable to every member of their ward. Second, the Mayor function is to attempt to
balance these issues to serve the population to which he/she was elected.
The roller coaster of funding begins when Cities display partisan political party support for a particular provincial party, rather than
focusing on City issues and needs. In doing so Cities run the risk, as provincial parties are unseated, of losing and or being ignored.
It could be said, even penalized by Provincial Parties who failed to gain City support.
Dalton McGuinty’s plan to modify City elections to a four year term is a dangerous one, it that this would encourage and exasperate
a local politicians into further alignment with political provincial parties. This concept would further erode the separation between
City and provincial needs. Some would argue that this would facilitate city’s to fulfill their intended mandate to their constituency,
but in fact this may contribute to a greater roller coaster between the city and province.
The only benefit here is that individual City elected will be in a better position to play their cards to gain a better foot hold
toward aspired dreams, of increasing their chances of securing support to advance their career in provincial politics,
while defraying city responsibility. Moreover, if the City elected have demonstrated that in three years that they have
earned the respect from their wards they will be re-elected. Others, will argue that the cost of elections every three
years, but I would suggest that the cost is well worth the alternative.
What do you think....?

99  Provincial and Federal issues that effect Hamilton / How can Hamilton be more influential? / Contributing To Poverty on: April 09, 2006, 04:09:57 pm

Is the creation of funds contributes from one level of government for a specific purpose while subsidiary governments deducts these funds
from programs that they have established.

In this situation the provincial government who dispense funds to the disabled in Ontario is deducting from contributions from the,
" he National Child Benefit Supplement (NCB) is part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit issued by the Government of Canada” and
redistribuits such as it sees fit...in fact Hamilton city receives 20% of such from the provincial “clawbacks” 2.8 million. The city of
Hamilton and other cities do not endorse this practice, it is a well know fact that when redistributing funds much of these funds
are absorbed in the process, the net result being that systems absorbs such while the poor and the disadvantage are left with the change.


7.1 2006 National Child Benefit (NCB) Strategy (SPH05035(a))/ (FCS05085(a)) (City Wide) "T he National Child Benefit Supplement
(NCB) is part of the Canada Child Tax Benefit issued by the Government of Canada. The NCB is called a supplement because it is
designed to provide extra supportto low-income families with children. The Province of Ontario deducts or "claws back" this supplement
from families receiving Ontario Works (OW) assistance and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) assistance. This deduction is
approximately $100 per child per month. The City of Hamilton receives 20% of these funds annually (approximately $2.8 million)
and is required to reinvest it in programs and supports that attempt to reduce the depth of child poverty, promote employment
for parents, and reduce overlap and duplication."

The city Council of Hamilton.
In an effort to return NCB funds to those families from whom it was taken, the PHCS department proposes to develop a new
program that directs a portion of Hamilton's municipal NCB funds back to OW and ODSP families with children exclusively.
These funds would be available for food, housing costs - such as rent and utilities - clothing, transportation, personal care items,
recreation, child care or other miscellaenous individual needs as determined by the individual families. Similar programs exist in
 London, Peterborough and Toronto.

.OW and ODSP families with children in Hamilton are struggling to meet their basic needs. Since the introduction of the NCB
program by the federal government, the financial situation of families living on social assistance has continued to deteriorate.
The City of Hamilton doesn't endorse the clawback and has requested that the province discontinue the practice. There have
been several communications sent to the Premier. And this approach also fits with the current focus on tackling poverty in
Hamilton . And lastly, the majority of those consulted agree that the NCB should not be deducted from social assistance
payments to families with children. Many people and organizations in the broader community support a change in direction
that would see the municipal portion of the clawback returned to those families from whom it was taken. ."

Your voice to such is paramount...

What do you think ?...

Send Comments to.

100  Comment Guidelines / Please Read / Mission and Purpose of This Site- on: April 08, 2006, 10:53:14 am
Mission and Purpose of This Site-

Considering that less that 50% get involved in City affairs and the fact that there are only 15 elected elected officials attemptingto determine the needs and direction of this City, it’s imperative that your views be expressed, in order that they can be assembled
in a manner to create a greater vision of this City.

It is the intention of the editor(s) of this board to at times express views that are not necessarily their views but views that are expressed to stimulate participation. It is with clear understanding that not all our views are absolute, though collectively when condensed these views, they may lead to insight, as to the needs and priorities of the City. It is the view of this writer, that
conflict is the foundation of resolution, that can lead to a greater vision,  participation and discussions are the fundamental principals
for a growing, vibrant community.

The foundation principle that have motivated this site is the fact that local papers focus on the major issues that create short term news but there is little opportunity for expression or developing long term solutions or participation. This is said, with all due respect
to all media.

With respect to the City an allocation of space has been dedicated for individual members of council and potentials, to submit their vision for their wards to which they were elected, including their view of the City as a whole. The purpose of this section is to provide such, in order that they may receive feed back and that individuals of this City may have and an opportunity to discuss such.

This site will will continue to evolve and be updated. Please register and express you thoughts
you opinions are valued. If you have any questions contact me at:

101  Hamilton Election November 13, 2006. / Vision / Council, Candidates, Welcome to Submit Your Vision... on: April 06, 2006, 01:54:03 pm
2006 Hamilton City Elected

Mayor Fred Eisenberger


 Ward 1
Brian McHattie


Ward 2
Bob Bratina


 Ward 3
Bernie Morelli


Ward 4
Sam Merulla


Ward 5
Chad Collins


 Ward 6
Tom Jackson


Ward 7
Scott Duvall


Ward 8
Terry Whitehead


Ward 9
Brad Clark


Ward 10
Maria Pearson


Ward 11
David L. Mitchell


Ward 12
Lloyd Ferguson


Ward 13
Russ Powers


Ward 14
Robert Pasuta


Ward 15
Margaret McCarthy


102  Comment Guidelines / Please Read / All comments appreciated on: April 06, 2006, 10:31:40 am
Posting to this board directly is not available-
all comment must be posted to the editor:


Please note. You must be a resident of Hamilton Ontario...and must indicate so.
Comments will not be posted
if it's copyright material but fair use is acceptable...
when you are quoting a source, Include the Source, always, and URL of the source if possible-
defamatory, condescending, remarks submitted it will be deleted.

This board is issue driven, content is important
editor(s) reserves the rights to edit and to
reject any comment submitted.
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