Kim Jenkinson, Candidate for Ward 8 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010
Details page for this candidate.
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Candidate Details (top)
|Election||Hamilton Municipal Election 2010|
|Bio||Hamilton has been my home for 25 years now. I have raised a family here and enjoyed this community to the fullest from swimming at the YWCA, little league baseball, coaching basketball, concerts in Gage Park, and fireworks at the Pier. Hamilton has been the perfect place for me to raise my family.
My career began when I graduated with a BA from McMaster and later earned my Certified General Accountant degree by attending lectures at Mohawk College. I am currently working on my Masters of Business Administration part time.
I have worked for the Ontario March of Dimes and Goodwill The Amity Group as their Vice President Corporate Services in downtown Hamilton. I have helped several charities around the city write grants and negotiate for funding with Trillium, the United Way and the Hamilton Community Foundation. Currently I work in Burlington with a children's mental health agency as their controller. Hamilton has many strong social service agencies that provide a wide variety of services and touch many peoples' lives.
I believe in building consensus, engaging the community, and values-based leadership. With a strong background in finance and several years of working in senior management and with committees, I have an excellent background for the position of Councillor.
Responses to Questions (top)
|Question||Brief Response||Full Response|
|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||Doubling transit ridership would be a minimum goal; yes I support this 100%. To reach this goal city transit needs to make sense. There are several problems with our current transit system.
Problem: Lack of connectivity. Gore Park is our central downtown HSR core, but the Go Bus is three blocks away and there are no parking facilities at the GO station. This does not make sense for commuters trying to use the busses and trains to get out of the city to work. These commuters are the primary target for increasing ridership, we must have seamless easy to use transit to attract these potential transit users and reduce the traffic on our highways and roads.
Solution: A centralized bus/train/transit system with parking available. This would be a long term goal, but the city can plan for it and invest in transit to move the City in this direction.
Problem: Transit is not reliable and not user friendly. The busses are not on schedule; HSR must let people waiting know when the next bus will get there. People report the bus can be anywhere from 10 minutes early to 20 minutes late. This would not be an issue on the East/West lines on King and Main, but it is certainly an issue on the Mountain routes. If busses are not on time and connections are difficult to make or are out of the way, the transit system is not user friendly. The lack of available scheduled busses is also an issue for many riders.
Solution: The technology is available to add an app for cell phones that could tell you where the bus and/or each major bus stop should have the arrival time of the next bus on an LED board.
Problem: Low ridership, in part because of all of the reasons above. The cost of transit is also a barrier to many people using transit.
Solution: Freeze HSR fees at the current rates. Offer further discounts to seniors and subsidized passes to low income earners. These are low cost remedies, the bus system is already in place and is not running at capacity; why not make it affordable for people on fixed incomes to increase ridership?
|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||No I do not support the LRT proposal. There are four major problems with our current transit system:
1) Lack of connectivity. Gore Park is our central downtown HSR core, but the Go Bus is three blocks away and there are no parking facilities at the GO station.
2) Lack of reliability. The busses are not on schedule, HSR must let people waiting know when the next bus will get there. People report the bus can be anywhere from 10 minutes early to 20 minutes late. This would not be an issue on the East/West lines on King and Main, but it is certainly an issue on the Mountain routes. Which means transit is.
3) Not user friendly. If busses are not on time and connections are difficult to make or are out of the way, the transit system is not user friendly. The lack of available busses is also an issue, many route
4) Low ridership. In part because of all of the reasons above.
The LRT does not address a single issue above. Who exactly needs to get across the city? People need to get IN TO and OUT OF the city: the LRT does not address that. The top problems with the LRT are:
1) It will not address the primary issues of transit users in the City as listed above.
2) It will snarl traffic and effect businesses across the route (some good some bad).
3) It will increase the operational costs of transit and the longer term replacement costs.
The basic issues of our transit system need to be addressed before we add meaningless infrastructure. Transit in Hamilton absolutely needs a common sense plan to move forward and it needs to resolve the major problems to attract ridership, but at this time the City of Hamilton does not need the LRT.
|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||Yes, I support the development of the airport and the land around it for business use, NOT for residential development. The Hamilton Airport could be a major asset to attract business and jobs to Hamilton, both for importing and exporting goods. Business needs access to a variety of transportation: this would give Hamilton access to air, water, rail, and highway transportation and gives us a competitive edge that few cities can match.|
|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||Yes, poverty is a major issue in Hamilton. The reasons behind poverty are varied: poor health or disability, low wage jobs, language barriers, fixed incomes, unemployment, single parent families, etc. The Poverty Roundtable has identified three priority areas to target poverty reduction: 1) supporting children, youth and families 2) education and skills development and 3) affordable housing.
All people in Hamilton should have the right to a safe place to live, food on their table and the ability to earn a decent living. Council's responsibility is to be a strong advocate in supporting the programs and initiatives that will ensure these things are available to everyone. The City's social programs must continue to invest in the supports needed for families. One of the most critical ways the city can help Hamilton families is to attract businesses with decent paying jobs.
|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||Government at all levels needs to be accountable and transparent. Yes, I would support public data being accessible to the public.|
|Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing?||No||No, the City is not doing enough to encourage new investment in the older neighbourhoods. Traffic, parking and transit are issues throughout the city and they can be a barrier to people trying to access businesses. The permitting process can be slow; one newspaper reported a business waiting four years for the permits needed to grow his business.
Revitalizing the older neighbourhoods will depend on making them attractive for business investment. If the environment is conducive to business then investment will follow. The City's role is to ensure appropriate services in each area and to be responsive to requests from business.
|For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not?||No||This is my first election, and I hope to keep the costs down. I will be
using primarily the internet and email to market and do not expect to need a
lot of money to run my campaign. This early on, that could be naive.
I will be soliciting donations from individuals, but just enough to support
the expected expenses. I would be concerned about appearing to be
politically partisan to special interest unions or corporations.
|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||A city's downtown will always define a visitor's first impression of the city. Redefining our downtown core is what needs to happen. The City's role will be to be open to innovation; it will be business people who recognize the opportunities that will make the real change to downtown.
We need more condos/townhouse/people downtown, it takes people and traffic flow before businesses start to move in and clean up. Our city has "really nice bones", we have some wonderful architecture, there are fabulous restaurants downtown, and our transit hubs are all in the core. The basics are in place, we need to add people.
The best way to make an impression on newcomers is to provide a vibrant, thriving downtown area that is accessible by transit. Downtown needs to be a "go to" place. We have theatres, shopping, arenas, now we need to add people and that will bring business.
|Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not?||No||No, this would not be my choice. There is a vision for the Future Fund, 65% is for growing Hamilton's economic base, 20% for enhancing our social fabric, and 15% is for enhancing community life. Of the $74M available in the fund, the only category the stadium would potentially fall into is enhancing community life or 15% of the fund, or $11M. The Future Fund was meant to be an endowment for the city, to help move us forward. I am not seeing how the stadium will achieve that end.
The CP Rail site is not the answer either! McMaster Innovation Park will need room to grow, the stadium will interfere with its development. Why are we putting entertainment ahead of innovation and growth? They need to go back to the drawing board. Again.
|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||Agreed, the primary way to change council's behaviour is to model the change you wish to see. My hope would be that all councillors would sign a charter that would articulate the acceptable behaviours, and have agreed consequences if their behaviour got out of line.|
|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?||No||I do support the bicycle network: however, I have many reservations about bikes sharing major roads. To encourage biking in the city it needs to be safe. Additional bike lanes are safer than no lane, but still pose significant risk to the biker. The roads need to be wide enough to accommodate both the traffic and the bicyclist. This means a bike network across the city would mean a significant investment. Widening roads in many areas of the city would be difficult and expensive.
Hamilton has more important priorities. Transit and bike friendly busses will be used by more people than the bike lanes if they are accessible and run often enough.
Where possible, bike lanes should be added when the road are being reconstructed. Bike lanes must leave sufficient room for both the bikers and the cars.