Keith Beck, Candidate for Ward 7 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010

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Candidate Details (top)

NameBeck, Keith
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2010
AreaWard 07
Email beck_keith@hotmail.com
Website http://www.keithbeck.net/
BioI'm Keith Beck, 43, and a 21 year resident of the City of Hamilton. I'm married and we're expecting our first child in January of 2011. After studying Commerce and Economics at McMaster I worked as an analyst on an urban and working poverty project funded by HRDC. For the last six years I've been self-employed as a management consultant to both private and public sector clients.

Since my time as a student I've been convinced that our economy has matured and rates of growth will decline. We used to expect up to 5-6% growth a year, and the forecast for the next decade is for 1-2%. I still believe that local government policy doesn't factor in this change in the environment and leaves us vulnerable to losing funding for many programs that sustain the quality of life we have now. There are options strategically to protect the future and I want the job of councillor to bring that knowledge to local government.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not? Maybe I'm going to defer on answering the question since it is still before council. I do have positions on both the future fund and the Pan Am budgets and will be releasing them on my website (keithbeck.weebly.com) on the 11th and 18th of October.
Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing? Maybe It's hard to assess if the city is doing enough to encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods. It's easy to look around and say that not enough has happened. But, we recently reorganized the suite of incentives the city offers and the recession has put many plans for investment on hold. We're going to have to see what results their are in new construction in older areas over the next 2-3 years to see if what the city offers is enough to get what the community wants.
Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this? Yes There's been an improvement in recent years and council is now more respectful but professional and orderly are still areas to improve upon. When I've attended meetings the conduct by some members causing the most dysfunction is to take advantage of EVERY opportunity to speak to argue for their position instead of waiting for the appropriate time of the meeting (debate) to make such statements. This drags the meeting out for longer than necessary, taxing the patience of other members and guests. Knowing what I need to say at the meeting and the right time to say it, and encouraging other members of the effectiveness of this would be my plan to improve council decorum.
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 I so support accelerating the completion of the bicycle network and any proposal that would help the city meet its goals to reduce car trips in the city. The health and economic benefits of improving local air quality by meeting those goals are more than worth the investment.
For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not? Yes For this campaign I'm not soliciting donations from corporations or unions BUT I will accept them if offered. I support the move to reform donations to limit them to individuals, but until the change applies to all candidates, I will accept any allowed contribution.

In my ward race, I'm the only candidate without a previous public profile. To be responsible to my campaign and the people who support its position, I need to use all available resources to communicate the message to voters.
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? Yes I do support the current plan to expand the urban boundary up to the airport. While the original study area was too large and would have likely increased the number of brownfield sites in the City of Hamilton, the current reduced area doesn't pose the same level of risk. Further, as currently planned with employment land in the zone being brought into service first along the existing boundary (northeast/west of AEGD) the potential for residential development occuring on these employment lands ought to be eleiminated.

In the long run, it makes as much sense to locate employment zones around an airport as it does a lakeport. The caution needs to be exercises on the pace of which such lands are made available for development.
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 do support the goal to increase transit ridership and the consequential reduction in car trips. Three things I would like to do to pursue this goal is 1. See both the B and A line LRT plans built. 2. Re-evaluate comprehensively our transit routes. The city has changed and some of the older routes need to be rerouted to cover stops people commonly make. and 3. Thinking back to my time as a Mac student, I remember how convenient it was to have an annual pass. And having it made you think about using it more often to get the most value from it. I would like to see an annual photo ID pass for regular passengers available. Maybe even allow payment for it to be made by installment, or on property tax bills for homeowners.
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? Yes I have been a long-time supporter of the LRT. Whatever can be done to complete the project I'm interested in doing.