Sharon Anderson, Candidate for Ward 1 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

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Candidate Details (top)

NameAnderson, Sharon
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
AreaWard 01
Email sanderson.ward1@gmail.com
Website (no website listed)

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
Do you support improved public transit in Hamilton? If so, what changes do you propose? If not, why not? Yes Yes. Increased, shorter loops in high demand zones such as the area around McMaster University. Better timing of bus routes which act as connections to each other so that users do not have to wait because they just missed their connecting bus. Completing the BLAST network. I'd like to have a study completed on the feasibility of using aerial ropeway transit (ART) for the mountain accesses and for the connection to Dundas.
Should Hamilton be trying to attract more young people to live, work and start businesses here, including the 60,000 students studying at Mohawk College, McMaster University and Redeemer University? If so, what should we be doing? If not, why not? Yes Yes. We need to get students to engage more with their surrounding community while they are attending school and get their surrounding community to engage more with them. Affordable housing and housing options for single households need to be available. We do this by encouraging the smaller mid-rise developments throughout our neighbourhoods. Finally we need employment within the boundaries of Hamilton itself as well as good transit and transportation connections to employment found in neighbouring municipalities. We need to complete the LRT, and work with the provincial government on regional rail connections as well as improvements to our highway corridors.
Do you support the "Vision Zero" goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Hamilton? If so, what specific actions would you take to implement this policy? If not, why not? Yes Yes. I would work with City staff to develop a network view of this issue and make sure that when reconstruction projects come forward that the design prioritizes achieving Vision Zero. I would refuse to support projects which do not do this work. I would insist that capital project scheduling decisions include consideration of the current level of accidents occurring in a proposed project area. I would vote to make public information on the location of traffic fatalities and injuries throughout the City in an easily accessed format so that residents can make informed judgements on whether the City is doing enough to address issues in their neighbourhood. I would work with my fellow Councillors to develop and fund a program to improve areas in the absence of a reconstruction project being planned for an area.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? Maybe Yes and no. I do not think that there should be a different rate for the different urban areas in Hamilton. It is unrealistic to expect only certain areas of the City to support only certain services. However, I do not necessarily see that the full rural areas should be paying for transit unless the service is provided in their area. In theory the differing levels of service in urban vs rural should already be reflected in the different tax rates by property class. If the wish is to maintain the area rating model with different rates for transit in the different urban areas then I would propose that we should also introduce an area rating charge to other City services. I expect that the areas paying the higher charges for other services would be those currently paying the lowest charges for transit.
Hamilton has been experiencing a slow-motion crisis in housing affordability. Do you support an expanded role for the City to provide more affordable housing? If so, what should Hamilton do? If not, why not? Yes Yes. There are three main things Hamilton should do. First make sure the City zoning and planning processes are supportive of smaller developments to increase the amount of housing available. Second in larger developments require a certain percentage of rent controlled units within the development. Third improve and increase the housing stock provided by the City through mixed income developments which are designed to enable those living in them to be resilient in the case of emergencies.
Hamilton has a legacy of multi-lane, one-way arterial streets dating back to the 1950s. Do you support accelerating the conversion of these streets to two-way? Why or why not? No No. I believe that the one-way streets help substantially in maintaining the flow of traffic through our City. I believe the way we improve the one-way streets for all users is by road diets, which involve converting a lane or two of traffic to other uses such as wider sidewalks, bike lanes or dedicated transit lanes. Converting these roads to two way reduces the available width which could be reassigned to other road users. Two-way conversion also increases infrastructure costs as there would be an increase in the number of traffic signals or signs required to manage the opposing traffic flow.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandates that cities must be completely accessible by 2025. What changes would you make to ensure Hamilton complies with this mandate? Yes I have a brother who uses a wheelchair and I'm looking forward to a time when it will not be necessary to phone ahead to ensure a facility is accessible. It is my understanding that City staff are already implementing plans to meet this legislation. In addition to their efforts, I would vote to fund the report which came to Council in September 2018 to make the City's 500 facilities accessible. In addition I would seek to implement a plan to make sure all existing sidewalks at corners have appropriate curb cuts. I would also seek to implement a City wide sidewalk snow clearing program similar to the one currently used in Ancaster.
Council has voted dozens of times since 2008 to advance Hamilton's light rail transit (LRT) project, including voting to submit the plan with a full funding request to the Province in 2013, and voting to accept full funding and implementation from the Province in 2015. Do you support completing the LRT plan? Why or why not? Maybe Yes I support completing the LRT however, I have some clarifications and concerns with the current version of the plan which I think need to be addressed. In particular there are sections along King Street where there appear to be isolated blocks where two way traffic is proposed which when I interpret them on my own do not seem practical. I would also require a detailed communication, detour and access plan for the business owners and residents who will be impacted by the construction zone prior to the start of construction.
Since the 1950s, most new residential and commercial development in Hamilton has been single-use suburban sprawl. Do you believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the already-built area? Why or why not? Yes Yes concentration or densification within the built up area is required. This will result in a better use of our existing infrastructure and help decrease the lifecycle cost. An increased number of households sharing the same infrastructure should also allow for a lower municipal tax rate going forward.
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes Making sure that while we gain increased density along the proposed route, we also gain increased rent controlled units to maintain housing affordability as well as increased commercial space. Making sure our existing bus routes are adjusted to make the best use possible of the LRT route in moving people around the City. Promote the use of the LRT to our residents to build ridership throughout the City. Build off the LRT momentum to complete the other sections of our BLAST network.
Global warming is an existential challenge facing humanity. Do you think Hamilton should play a role in addressing climate change? If so, what should the city be doing? If not, why not? Yes Yes. As Cities are where the majority of the world's population now lives I think that municipal governments have the potential and the ability to affect massive positive change on this issue. I've provided five examples of programs which the City could implement to help address this challenge, it is by no means an exhaustive list. Some of these programs we could do in isolation, others will work best if we team up with neighbouring municipalities to accomplish.

* Electric buses, electric city vehicles and electric small equipment

* Clear plastic bags for garbage pickup to make sure recyclables have not been included in the garbage; an alternative to the plastic bags would need to be developed in the long term

* Solar panels and other forms of green energy as well as green roofs for all City facilities and infrastructure where possible

* Zoning laws which strongly encourage solar panels on private homes and residential buildings

* A phased-in ban on single use plastics. However bans on single use plastic straws need to consult advocacy groups for persons with disabilities for feasible alternatives prior to implementation.