Michael A. Pattison, Candidate for Mayor in Hamilton Municipal Election 2014
Details page for this candidate.
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Candidate Details (top)
|Name||Pattison, Michael A.|
|Election||Hamilton Municipal Election 2014|
|Bio||Michael A Pattison is a 42 year old local business owner. Michael spent his first 25 years on the east mountain. Born at Henderson Hospital, he went to Vern Ames Primary School, Lawfield Elementary, and Barton High School.
Michael has two sisters and one brother. His family moved into a home in a new subdivision in his early years, years that Michael refers to fondly, “It was great because the neighbourhood was so diverse. I find it’s one of the greatest things – because I have been raised culturally diverse.”
Michael started working at age 12. His first job was at Ivor Wynn Stadium, “My official position was ‘runner ‘. I restocked the concession stands with popcorn, ran food up to the special stands – my job was to literally zip around, which was phenomenal.”
Michael loved hockey and was into many sports throughout his teen years. The last competitive team was the Hamilton Huskies. Michael officially hung his skates up when he began his family.
Fun Fact: Michael was ‘Bruiser’ the team mascot for the Hamilton Bulldogs first two seasons.
Michael bought his first home at age 18. Working for an armored car company for nine years Michael gained the trust and seniority of his peers and respect from companies across the city for his business acumen.
At age 27 Michael opened his first business, Designated Drivers on Duty. For a flat or per kilometer charge, Hamiltonians would be driven home by a certified driver while a ‘pacer’ followed in the owner’s car, getting both home safely.
For approximately 11 years Michael also worked as a handyman. In that capacity he was introduced to the Skydragon Coop in the early 2000’s. He ended up spending a lot of time helping to work out issues the local activists and environmentalists were engaged in at that time. Michael became the new director of the Skydragon in 2004 enjoying his role as idea maker and problem solver.
“My plan has always been political. My whole entire life I have been preparing for a foray into politics. I am known as a problem solver.”
In 2008 Michael completed renovations in the building at 27 King William Street that is now the popular café Homegrown Hamilton.
Homegrown Hamilton is a designated international Peace café. Well known for its acceptance and support of many community groups, Michael is proud of his team there, and the regulars he chats with every day.
Michael is the proud father of three girls, age 17, 9, and 6 with his partner Beth.
Responses to Questions (top)
|Question||Brief Response||Full Response|
|Do you support the city's plan to build an east-west light rail transit (LRT) line with full capital funding from the Province?||Maybe||I do support the east west light rail if and only if, these questions are answered.
At what level of populace will such infrastructure be deemed sustainable or better yet profitable?
How can we increase ridership now to help circumvent the operating costs that will be incurred in the future? .
Do we have efficient service designs that will adapt our existing transportation services into the new vision of Hamilton?
Will the L.R.T, B.R.T or express bus transit systems identify, now or in the near future, our municipalities current needs which are not being met?
To end the debate I just wish all short and long term planning could be vetted in a way that would showcase benefit-to-cost analysis, and complete transit outlooks upon completion and most importantly construction costs and schedules that can outline our population expectancies, presumed gridlock figures and ridership expectancies before we move forward.
I see an absolute made-in Hamilton solution, for the people of Hamilton and the future of Hamilton. I know we have one so let’s lay every platform on the table at the same time with a barrage of questions that each proposal must identify and resolve before we make a selection.
|Do you support converting more of Hamilton's one-way thoroughfares into complete, two-way streets that support walking, cycling and transit?||Yes||I commend RTH on these questions because if each candidate answers truthfully you will know where we stand. I endorse complete streets that support walking, cycling and transit. I want to see traffic calming reach a safety standard that is second to none. That said. identifying Direct routes through our neighbourhoods including existing alleyways improves the safety and well-being of our citizens.
Two-way street conversions seem logical on non-arterial roads. I realize the value of having consumers being able to identify business on arterial roads but we must also look at our shipping and logistic needs for all industry in Hamilton. I don't want heavy trucks and machinery moving at turtle speeds through our city spewing diesel exhaust at exorbitant rates. The more direct we can make these routes at safe speeds with little interruption,the better our air quality will be.
Can we create east-west and north-south shipping routes that would handle all logistics traffic? Can we create perimeter warehouse districts that act as efficiency models for delivery of everything within our municipality? I ask these questions because I am trying to look forward and plan strategies with the budget in mind.
I look at life like a wheel: when you are addressing a spoke that is part of the rim always remember that the other side of the rim must be balanced with another spoke. Careful even tension creates the most efficient ride that is balanced, strong and ready to move forward.
|The City's Cycling Master Plan is up for review. Do you support improving the plan to speed the installation of cycling facilities and provide more high-quality protected infrastructure like the new Cannon Street cycle track?||Yes||I absolutely support improving the plan. Do we broach the thought now or later in regards to licensing bicycles though. Would cyclists accept an annual fee of approximately $120 to license their bicycle in the city with 80-90% of all capital raised going towards future bike and transportation initiatives? I am not saying that this is happening but I must address the shortfalls of our city's budget.
While aiming to fix our aging infrastructure and embarking on fantastic initiatives like protected cycle tracks, our city needs revenue. All new construction decisions, have to have, at their core, an understanding of future needs.
Small per square foot fees should be added to building permits to pay for, and encourage, the arts, culture and health initiatives. Until we further figure out a way to diminish or make much more efficient our culture of cars, new ideas cannot be left out. There is a way to pay for today while raising future funds for tomorrow. Your health, and the planet's health, are in need of a serious culture overhaul. :)
|The Province plans to allow municipalities to use ranked ballots in future elections. If so, will you vote to adopt ranked ballots in Hamilton?||Yes||Absolutely! My question is, do you rank the “Big 3” or do you rank all of the vying parties. I think you know my answer.|
|Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do?||Yes||My answers to this question involves some out-of-the-box thinking with boxed parameters regarding fiscal policy and affordability. Pressuring the Federal Government to remove the capital gains tax from anyone in our city who can afford a second or possibly third home while making it available to Hamilton Housing should be a priority.
The wait times for affordable housing range from three to five years plus. Accessible housing times range from seven to ten years plus. If a person has the financial capabilities to help our municipality, I will find a way to make this happen.
There are myriad ways to get creative and address the issue of affordable housing. Retro-fitted shipping containers are being used in a number of cities already*. Imagine the possibilities, and pride of ownership of the young, elderly, those with accessibility issues and lower income earners purchasing their own home… Hamilton can get out in front of this creative initiative, laying the foundation for a unique infrastructure that could handle these homes and help people throughout the city.
We can also look at city owned properties like unused schools and warehouses that fit the criteria of residential zoning. These options must be brought to the table immediately as the need for housing is ever increasing and time is not our friend.
|Do you support implementing a Vision Zero for Hamilton, with a goal of eliminating all pedestrian and cyclist deaths on our streets? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy, and if not, why?||Yes||I do support Vision Zero as safe streets are a priority when establishing family friendly neighbourhoods. As far as implementation of this policy we would have to data collect the primary reasons for all deaths and injury. We would also have to look at known trouble locations and what makes them more dangerous than the rest of our city. If visibility is the issue, is it buildings too close to corners? Is it parked cars in the vicinity that create the ensuing chaos? Once we mitigate the most common factors that lead to pedestrian deaths in our city, then we can make the best decision in order to fix these ongoing problems.|
|Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this?||Yes||Do you mean the common public gaining more knowledge of how City Hall works or the problem of mobility to some restricted residents?
City Hall should be a level playing field that is run in such a way that it enhances all public relationships. We need case managers assigned to every application that comes through the front or back door of City Hall. All departments should and would be engaged by case managers who have the authority to rectify and move along each client with reasonable preset time-lines for completion of any inspections, audits, permits etc.
This is an ongoing issue. People are constantly mistreated, leaving citizens with the belief that Their time is not important. Multiple trips to City Hall to answer questions that should or could have been asked in bulk leaves residents feeling bumped by our city staff and officials. I know how to streamline this process. Lets make dealing with City Hall easy, with an ebb and flow to how we receive all residents, businesses, potential clients and visitors.
As per mobility, I do believe that our city hall is fully accessible to all and if for some strange reason it isn't than we will have to make sure all city buildings are fully accessible!
|The Province has shelved a proposal to build a mid-peninsula highway from Niagara Falls or Fort Erie around Hamilton to connect with Hwy 401 or 407 north of Burlington. Do you agree with the Province's decision to put its development on hold?||Yes||I absolutely agree with this decision. I look at future trends and wonder why we keep making strange plans for a transportation device that is on the decline. I know we will always have some form of personal transportation but in the time it will take to build this highway are we not dedicated enough as taxpayers in this province to figure out ways to truly lighten our load on society? Trains, buses and high speed cargo carriers should be thought of and implemented first. If we are trying to up the golden horseshoes economic portfolio then efficiency has to be the word of the day. Connect the region(s) with better forms of supply chains and all commerce will benefit. The environment may breathe a little easier as well. Are these plans feasible today? They can be. Since we are looking at amalgamating our pedestrian transportation systems, cargo systems should not be deemed out of line in regards to discussion and fact finding missions for all surrounding municipalities.|
|Do you support the use of participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to propose and vote on local capital projects?||Yes||This is the foundation of my very platform. I want to see more power given back to the wards. We have the opportunity over the next four years to almost double down on aging infrastructure, opportunities and payments.
This is my plan: First we look at our city’s tax bas. We can pay for all essential services, maintenance, interest payments and departments that it takes to run this city, defining and making efficiency adjustments along the way. Then we look at how much of our tax base we have remaining for all non-essential services.
Every resident in every ward would have the right to rank from number 1 (most important) all the way down the line until every service has been ranked.
While we are collecting all such data and making the cost saving changes to any service and/or departments, all remaining taxes would be proportionately divided to each ward as per their wards overall tax collection with one exception: our downtown would receive an extra percentage point to allow us to keep the vibrancy of our downtown on the upswing. This is not to favour the downtown but to make our downtown a thriving entity as this is truly the indicator of the vibrancy of Hamilton's business community and an issue all potential incoming businesses will assess.
I want to see all urban, suburban and rural wards flourish. This can and will happen when we can pay for principle projects dedicated to each ward out of our essential services city budget then take the ward budget and use it in conjunction with each project to ensure the longest lasting, energy efficient, culturally enhancing, most effective operating and maintenance schedules.
Any taxation left over would be put into a citywide trust, accumulating interest that is earmarked for the ward it comes from. Any interest gained on said monies would be put towards debt reduction for our city. The earmarked portion would be saved until a common or bigger project can be planned, vetted and brought to fruition. This allocated money can and should be made available every year to each ward but does not have to be spent. Once again the savings are grouped together bankrolling our interest with an annual return to each ward, and the whole procedure starts again.
We have to be particularly cognizant of the potential benefits our economy is in line for with the Pan AM Games and the Junos right around the corner. It is a basic tenet of good business: when times are good save – always be prepared.
|Do you believe Hamilton should do more to protect and enhance its built heritage?||Yes||Yes I do. Not only does preserving heritage show the strength, determination and history of a city. It gives us the right to use our creativity wisely, with unknown parameters for re-use. Aging infrastructure can be addressed at the same time. New tax bases can be created.
Yet we must understand not all heritage is worthy of saving. That is the fine line that needs to be drawn. This is where I step in and state that just because a building could/can not be saved due to neglect, natural erosion etc. These are the times we need to honour our heritage. There are ways to reintroduce certain elements of the old into the new. Possibly give Hamiltonians the right to purchase objects and materials for their own home. Is there an upcoming project somewhere in the vicinity that can use parts of this heritage building? As a creative tool in design or practical application? This is what makes Hamilton special, we have been around for a long time, we have been handy for a long time and our creativity has never been more engaged!
Thank-you to RAISE THE HAMMER for your insightful questions that give the right to show Hamiltonians our visions and insights on how our city should be governed. VOTE. Hamilton. VOTE.