Ron Tammer, Candidate for Ward 13 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010
Details page for this candidate.
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Candidate Details (top)
|Hamilton Municipal Election 2010
|Ron Tammer (Candidate for city Council, Ward 13) lives in Dundas with his wife Amanda. Together they have 4 children and a grand-daughter. Ron has a history of political involvement, including working on successful election campaigns for Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie and MP David Christopherson, and being a member of the Friends of the Red Hill Valley. He is presently Vice President of Senior House League for the Dundas Minor Hockey Association, a manager and coach with the Dundas Minor Baseball Association, and a member of Hamilton`s Youth Justice Committee.
Responses to Questions (top)
|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, those of us that attended the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction meeting on Monday at the Spectator Auditorium learned that this plan is a "20 year" plan. Well, that's certainly not good enough. With all of the benefits associated with making cycling more of an option for commuters, and for just getting around town, this plan must be advanced sooner than later. If the people of Hamilton started riding their bikes more and driving their cars less, their health, as well as the health of the people that would breathe in less pollution, would benefit greatly.
|Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this?
|I agree that Council meetings should be more respectful and professional. I have worked on many committees, both at work and for local minor sports associations, as well as acted as a mediator in my capacities as a union steward and on the Hamilton Youth Justice Committee. The main thing that I have taken from these experiences is that results don't come from bickering and infighting; you have to focus on the task at hand, and bring everyone together to work towards a common goal. Council seems to be moving in several directions at once, and arriving
nowhere; I would bring my sense of diplomacy to the table, and help Council to focus on what we need to achieve as a group.
|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 support the proposal to bring the LRT to Hamilton. I am a big supporter of public transit in general, and would work to ensure that service is improved to the point where there would no longer be a social stigma attached to using the HSR. I would ensure that the route for the LRT was sufficient to afford the most convenience to the highest number of riders, and allow for easy transferring to the bus system, Go Transit, and other inter-city transit.
|The City of Hamilton has committed to doubling transit ridership by 2020. Do you support this goal? If so, how would you realize it?
|I support any effort to increase transit ridership. I think the LRT will certainly work wonders towards this goal, as it can make it more "socially acceptable" to take transit. I find that in Hamilton, people are somewhat ashamed to ride the HSR; I believe if it is made more convenient and "fashionable", ridership can be increased to the level where the HSR is actually profitable.
|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?
|I think that the City should make the information as accessible as possible, and promote the site to the public. This would be a very positive step in the efforts to get people involved in civic affairs, and engage more voters, as only 37% of those eligible voted in the last Municipal election.
|Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing?
|No, the city is certainly not doing enough to encourage new investment in older neighbourhoods. As a matter of fact, if we consider the "Pearl" situation on Steven St., they seem to be striving to discourage this type of investment! Hamilton should be bending over backwards to help entrepreneurs to pursue ventures like this by loosening the antiquated zoning bylaws, and offering tax incentives to those that want to redevelop closed down and dilapidated buildings in older neighbourhoods, instead of kissing up to developers that want services handed to them when they build on prime farm land.
|Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not?
|While I believe that a new stadium would be good for the City of Hamilton and the Ticats, I feel it would be irresponsible to use the Future Fund for this purpose when we have major infrastructure issues. People who have been flooded with raw sewage during medium to heavy rainstorms have suffered enough indignity, without having to be told that their concerns are less important than those of the Ticats. I believe that the funding for a stadium should come from the Pan Am organizers and the Tiger Cats, not from the public purse.
|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, as I stated on the Cable 14 Debate, first and foremost in my platform is poverty reduction. I find it very sad that we are living in the midst of some of the most fertile farmland anywhere in the world, yet we have people that are living on low-nutrition processed foods because they cannot afford to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. I find it even sadder that there is a variance in life expectancy of 19 years between Wards in Hamilton.
In my work with the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign, I tried to raise my coworker's awareness of poverty in our own backyard. I invited people to come along on the bus tours that the United Way would conduct of the agencies that they support, because it is much harder to ignore the problem when you see the actual people that are affected.
I would use similar methods with my fellow Councillors, because the City has to do more to help its own citizens. I know that budget constraints always hang over our heads, but there are always different ways of generating revenue if we look hard enough. The idea that I have been suggesting is a $0.10 surcharge on every car going through a drive-thru; besides the revenue that can be raised, it may also encourage people to park and go into the outlet, and avoid the idling of their engines with the resulting pollution. A portion of this revenue can be earmarked directly towards helping some of the programs that are presently depending solely on United Way donations.
I would also initiate a program at area high schools, for students to earn their volunteer hours by planting and maintaining gardens, with the harvest either going directly to food banks and missions, or being preserved for year-round donations (family studies classes can add food preservation to their fall programs.)
|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?
|I am vehemently opposed to expanding the urban boundaries to take more of our precious farmland away on a gamble that businesses are going to flock to this "Aerotropolis". You can't preach "eat local" from one side of your mouth, and tell us that we need to develop our green fields from the other. Hamilton has a glut of brown fields that can be redeveloped for commercial and industrial use; these should be groomed and promoted to investors, instead of handing over some of the most fertile farmland anywhere to be dug up, paved over, and possibly sit vacant.
|For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not?
|I will not accept any contributions from corporations.
I may accept one contribution from a union, but I do not wish to speak to that until it is actually offered (if it is, I will gladly explain why this is not compromising my ideals.)
I am planning on accepting a total of 2 campaign contributions, from sources that will be disclosed once I receive them.
I am planning on running a very low-cost campaign, with a limited number of signs, some business cards, and a print ad or two.
The reasons for this are two-fold.
One, I am a bit of an environmentalist; I don't believe in handing out a lot of pamphlets that will be mostly thrown out, when my platform and updates can be posted on my Facebook page.
Two, I don't like the concept of campaign contributions, especially corporate
contributions. I don't like the idea of democracy being fueled by cash, and I don't like the idea of politicians feeling beholden to those that helped finance their campaigns. Mind you, Exxon has not been knocking on my door with wallet in hand, but influence can also be purchased on a smaller scale.
The contributions that I will (hopefully) receive will be from sources that will in no way gain a hold over me because of their assistance. I will explain that more clearly, once the donations are secured.
|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?
|As to your second question, I would certainly work to make Hamilton a model of progressive thinking. The Vision 20/20 concept that has been tucked away for a while should be the basis for out City's growth, and I would help steer us back in that direction. Lessons in green technology and sustainable development can be learned from European cities. Incentives should be offered to developers to restore heritage buildings and brown fields, instead of getting subsidized servicing to the green fields that they buy up and pave over.
I firmly believe that the future of Hamilton depends on attracting smart growth and providing living wage jobs to its people. By showing investors that we are a progressive city that is open to new ideas and business opportunities, we can make it possible to allow all of our citizens to provide for themselves and their families.