Steven Knowles, Candidate for Ward 6 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010

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Candidate Details (top)

NameKnowles, Steven
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2010
AreaWard 06
Email steven.knowles@telus.blackberry.net
Website http://votestevenknowles.blogspot.com

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Some cities have committed recently to publishing their public data in an open format that citizens can directly access. Should Hamilton pledge to become an "open source city"? Why or why not? Yes Absolutely! The more we know the better. If we are expected to invest in this city then should know exactly what is happening.
Do you believe that poverty is the most critical issue facing Hamilton today? If so, please outline your solutions. If not, please explain your reasons. Yes Poverty is a major issue for this city and others but I don't believe it is the key issue. Poverty is a result of many other issues such as city mismanagement and job loss. If we can tackle many of the other issues plaguing this city then our poverty problem will also be addressed.
Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this? No I don't agree. Often times things are done in a certain way because they need to be. If my constituents need me to be a little rough to get the point across then I have to be prepared to do that. I understand that professionalism and respect go hand in hand but they shouldn't take a back seat to real issues.
For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not? No I do not accept donations from anyone personally, on a corporate level, or from any union. I am running this campaign out of pocket because I believe in the following:

1. When using your own personal money you run your campaign very efficiently and if you can't control costs on your campaign, then how can you spend tax payers money appropriately?

2. If someone gives money to a candidate then they are creating a bias. How can people act honestly when they "owe" something to someone else.

In the end I feel if you are in this for the right reasons then you will run out of your own pocket. If people want change they shouldn't have to pay for it. We pay for enough with taxes. Save your money, enjoy it with your family. Just vote!
Do you support Hamilton's LRT proposal? If so, what will you do to ensure Hamilton's success in building LRT? If not, why do you oppose it? No I do not support the current LRT proposal. While I am a believer in public transit, we are working ahead of ourselves on that pipe dream. Those are wants when we must focus on needs.
Will your term change people's first impression of Hamilton, and make that first impression more attractive to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers? If so, how? Yes My term will definitely change the view of this city. I feel regardless of the outcome this city has really gotten involved in this process and it will go to benefit our future generations. From a personal stand point I feel I will have a huge effect on the youth of this city. I understand the issues facing our youth and I feel I will be the positive voice they need to change to occur.
Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing? No In response to the posted question, I do not feel we are doing an adequate job of promoting new investment in our older areas. One way we could ease new business into our communities would be with tax breaks.

I know corporate tax breaks are not everyone's favorite but this would allow new business to get established before paying into high tax accounts. An example of this is with our downtown. Property tax is high and for that reason many businesses just don't go there. If we offered a tax rebate to all leaseholders, provided they are still doing daily business, then it would ease there start up.

We need to focus on the future and as such, we need to save people a little money today in order to help them prosper into tomorrow.
Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not? No I am still uneasy about the rail lands. I think that project will be more work then it is worth at this time. That location has high visibility but I don't believe it is ready for that much traffic.
Council is poised to vote on the Airport Employment Growth District, a 3,000 acre plan to expand the urban boundary around Hamilton International Airport for employment lands. Do you support this plan? Why or why not? No No I do not support that plan. We are stretch ourselves thin. While I support responsible development, that is uncalled for at this time.
The City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020. Do you support this goal? If so, how would you realize it? Yes I support the plan to double ridership as I believe it is a goal that would go to benefit the people of this city. However the next government has to realize that this is no easy task and will need major planning and a redesign of the current transit structure. The current system is not working but it doesn't service all areas equally (ward 6 is a major issue).
Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan has Council approval. However, the implementation timeline is very long and ward councillors can block individual bike lane projects. Do you support accelerating the completion of a continuous bicycle network and other initiatives like a bike sharing program and better access up and down the Escarpment? Why or why not? Yes Yes I encourage the completion of such projects. As a cyclist myself I understand the benefits of riding safe and they bike lanes are the first step in road safety.