Ira Rosen, Candidate for Ward 1 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2014

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Candidate Details (top)

NameRosen, Ira
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2014
AreaWard 01
Email campaign@irarosen.ca
Website http://www.irarosen.ca
Bio"From time to time in our home we may face big challenges, but I believe that together, we can make big progress. I have devoted nearly nine years in service to this community as a volunteer and those positive efforts have had an effect, I have made a difference and have helped to accomplish a great deal. As your Councillor I know I can accomplish a great deal more. By applying the business related skills I have learned in my professional life, I will work every day to bring people together to get things done on the issues that matter to the people of Ward 1 as well as all Hamiltonians."

Ira Rosen, born in 1967, has lived in Westdale his entire life. After attending Westdale Secondary he continued his education at Mohawk College where he received certificates in management merchandising and software engineering. While attending Mohawk College Ira worked for the department of counseling and career development as a peer tutor in addition to this student leadership program. Ira served for several terms on the Mohawk College Student Association, including the Faculty of Engineering Technology Advisory Council. Ira represented nearly 3,000 students and received the MSA “Award of Appreciation” for his services.

Watching, with concern, as the neighborhood he lived in was rapidly changing from a family-rich environment to a predominantly student-based area Ira's first step into the public arena came as a founding member of the “Westdale Heritage Housing Action Committee". This groups' mission was to determine if there was value in having 'Westdale proper' designated as a heritage site, thereby stemming the growth of 'monster' student houses in the area. After a year this group presented their recommendation to the Ward 1 Councillor and disbanded, but it did not deter Ira's interest in the community.

Seeing that the housing issues in Westdale encompassed other problems Ira decided to join the “Ainslie Wood Westdale Community Association” in 2005. Ira was appointed to the Board of the AWWCA to work specifically on violations of property standards and noise by-laws. In this newly crafted position, Ira worked closely with City Officials, Hamilton Police Services, community members, McMaster University, and the McMaster Students Association. Those efforts led to a more productive collaboration between the public, the Police and the City By-law department. Evidence of this is noted in the improvements throughout the Ward in relation to response times by officials to public complaints and the strict enforcement of laws. To better serve the community, Ira attended Hamilton Police Services Citizen College, which led to a two-year term with the Hamilton Police Services Superintendence Community Advisory Council. Additionally, Ira was a committee member of the Community Liaison Committee for Rental Housing License By-law.

In conjunction with his AWWCA involvement, in 2006–2007 Ira worked with 'ASPECT'(Ainslie Wood Westdale Secondary Plan Committee) and assisted with the Police Services West Town business plan. During this time, Ira spear-headed a collaboration between the AWWCA, the McMaster Students Union, the Ward 1 Councillors' office and the Hamilton Fire Department to perform a pilot project to inspect homes in the area to confirm they met with all present-day fire safety codes. Additionally at this time, Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie appointed Ira as Chair of the Steering Committee for the Hill Street Dog Park located in Kirkendall. This has led to Ira's continued input into any proposed Dog Parks in Ward 1.

Following his late fathers' footsteps, Ira served on the Hamilton Holocaust Education Committee for seven years. With his aid, this groups' programming has become a benchmark on a national level. Ira served as a Chaperone and head of Security for more than 160 local High School Students on two trips to Washington D.C.

Ira has over thirty years experience in the automotive and information technology industries. He has worked in Union and non-Union environments and has additional experience in retail, production, industrial, and administrative capacities. During this time, some of the positions Ira has held include General Manager, Field Service Representative, Vehicle Inspector and Junior Programmer.

Ira developed a high level of leadership skills during his time in management; including building and guiding employees, while still providing support and mentoring. Ira believes strongly in being able to communicate effectively with staff to ensure greatest productivity and profit, during both normal day-to-day activity or in a fast-paced environment, with or without any formal supervision.

Ira has a keen understanding and ability to utilize all possible mediums available to him in order to assist the public in a timely and professional manner. Ira’s effective use of time management, a key skill to meet demands, in addition to solid problem solving and decision making, has enabled him to assess needs and provide services to meet those needs. One of Ira’s strongest qualities is his outstanding interpersonal skills, which have demonstrated an ability to build and maintain productive business and personal relationships.

Presently Ira is the First Vice-President of the AWWCA, Co-Chair of Open Streets Hamilton, a Board member of the Hamilton Jewish Federation, and is on the committee to determine the future of the Lawn Bowling Club House at Churchill Park. In addition Ira continues to show his care and concern by sharing his experience to help determine the future of the Prince Phillip School and is participating with the group S.A.S.H. (Seniors Activities in Southwest Hamilton).

As evidenced from his lengthy volunteer and professional work-load, Ira has shown tireless energy and focused reliability. He works well alone and as a team player - achieving results, effective leadership, and making a difference. In 2006 as a result of his energetic efforts and dedication to the Westdale community and the City at large, Ira was a proud recipient of the “Hamilton Celebrates VIP” award.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Do you support the use of participatory budgeting to allow ward residents to propose and vote on local capital projects? Yes Under the leadership of our present Councillor Ward 1 was the first to adopt this process and over the years the system has grown in popularity however the present system still needs to be more transparent. Any local resident who wants to assist with this process must be allowed the opportunity to participate to ensure that it does not appear to be only a special interest group.
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 feel that Vision Zero Hamilton can be is an achievable goal, however to get there we need to make some major changes to the city's infrastructure which would include the redesign of our crosswalks, new ways to look at high accident areas. There needs to be better separation between cyclists and vehicular traffic. Many people in Ward 1 that I have talked to would like to see more speed barriers and perhaps more stop signs. The addition of the dedicated Bus Lane has become a catalyst for many traffic related issues with in the Strathcona community perhaps that plan needs to have some adjustments.
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? Maybe I am glad that the City's Cycling Master Plan is up for review. I fully support well thought out installation of cycling facilities however, I do not believe we have done a good enough job. One of the many issues that I hear is that many cyclists are not using the bike lanes properly and we must work towards stronger enforcement of the laws regarding cyclists, and I believe this must be part of the master plan.
Do you believe Hamilton should do more to protect and enhance its built heritage? Yes Hamilton is an incredible place full of amazing history and incredible natural beauty all of this is part of the city heritage and we must act as Stewards to protect and enhance these treasures. I first became involved in the community when I was one of the founding members of the "Westdale Heritage Housing Action Committee". This groups' mission was to determine if there was value in having 'Westdale proper' designated as a heritage site and I feel this is still a worthy pursuit and would advocate strongly to move forward with that objective.
Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this? Yes I believe that the connection to city hall must be through the Councillor who represents the needs of the Ward. I strongly believe that strong personal community engagement is the greatest asset a councillor can have with understanding the issues. I also strongly believe that along with the explanation of the issues there should be at least one resolution offered as this empowers each individual resident with the feeling that they are also making a difference. This is one of many reasons that lead me to become so strongly involved and I know my actions have helped to make our community a better place to live.
The Province plans to allow municipalities to use ranked ballots in future elections. If so, will you vote to adopt ranked ballots in Hamilton? Maybe I believe the issue here as well in many other municipalities is a lack of community engagement even considering that Ward 1 has one of the highest voting rates in the city we need to do better then perhaps we can have a serious conversation regarding ranked ballots.
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 not feel we have all the required information to make a well informed decision. Since the plan is already in place, I will support the previous decision but only if we are guaranteed full funding for all the building, capital, and infrastructure costs as well as any possible remediation and demolition that might occur. In addition, I would only move forward if we have a strong financial assistance program to any business that might be affected in a negative way during the building process. If one business closes due to this that is not acceptable.
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 Yes, however I believe it is an absolute must that the province look at better ways of moving traffic around are area, transportation costs are only going to increase and we need to find better ways to move goods to assist in lowering those costs.
Do you support an expanded role for Hamilton to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? Yes I believe there are many opportunities in collaborating with private investors and developers In the near future. One possibility would be to include low income housing in student purpose built rentals there are several proposals presently and with a future McMaster University development in the downtown this would be something worthy of serious conversation. In addition, there are many homes in the Ainslie Wood area that might be past the point of repair these could be used for new low income housing developments.
Do you support converting more of Hamilton's one-way thoroughfares into complete, two-way streets that support walking, cycling and transit? No I fully support all modes of active transportation however I feel that this can be accomplished with out the conversion of the major one-way streets to two ways.