Arlene Vanderbeek, Candidate for Ward 13 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2018

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Candidate Details (top)

NameVanderbeek, Arlene
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2018
AreaWard 13
Email arlene@votearlene.com
Website http://www.votearlene.com/
BioA bit about Arlene...

Arlene VanderBeek is a lifelong resident of Dundas, the current Ward 13 City Councillor, a former Town of Dundas Councillor, former business owner, and active volunteer. Arlene is the person who can use her background and knowledge of the community and years of experience in meeting our needs at City Hall and in the Ward to protect and preserve the communities we love for the future. Arlene is the best choice because she is the only candidate who offers us a proven track record of getting things done!

From Arlene...

I was born here. I have lived in Dundas all my life. The small town quality-of-life and culture, mixed with the unique ambiance which makes Dundas so special to us, is the reason my husband and I chose to stay here -- to raise our children here -- and to invest in and contribute to this community.

I've participated in the history of this town; I was a Town Councillor when we joined with the former towns, including Flamborough, and tried to stop the forced amalgamation; I was there when the tracks on Hatt St. were removed, and the Greensville quarry disappeared. While on Dundas Town Council, I was as part of the committee that worked with the Greensville Optomists to save and reconstruct the bridge at Webster's Falls. I walked the whole 25 miles to fund raise for an indoor pool for Dundas; was a member of the small group of people who successfully fought the fight to save Dundas Central School from the wrecking ball in 1986; was on the committee that convinced the School Board to tear up asphalt and put in grass on the playground of Dundas Central School in the 90's; helped to run the Cactus Festival for more than a decade; Chaired the Library Board, was a member of the Board of the Hamilton Conservation Authority; still help to organize the annual Dundas Seniors Day and the Christmas Tree Lighting; and am a founding member of the Dundas Farmer's Market Management Group. I am City Council's represenative on the Provincial Niagara Escarpment Commission, a Past Chair of the Dundas Division of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and have worked for the people of our communities both federally and municipally dealing with everything from missed garbage collection to complex planning issues. I have a proven record of personal history, knowledge, experience and accomplishments in providing continuing effective service to this community.

My parents owned and operated the Dundas Office Supply Ltd., in downtown Dundas, for 42 years and I had a business in Dundas from 1986 to 2014. The years of experience and participation in the business life of Dundas has provided me with a foundation of knowledge, experience and understanding that has helped me to resolve many challenges faced by our local business community.

I spent my summers on the farms of my grandfather and my uncles (harvesting potatoes, driving tractors, haying, riding the combine, feeding livestock, etc.) which doesn't make me a farm-girl but gives me some knowledge and appreciation of rural life and a heart for it. In addition, I have spent the past 4 years sitting beside Councillor Robert Pasuta at the Committee and Council Table and have, along with him, voted to support the rural community needs in Flamborough.

Some, in Flamborough, may remember my husband (Peter), who was the Chief Building Official in the former Town of Flamborough for 15 years prior to amalgamation. By association, I learned much about the challenges and joys of life in Flamborough and, infact, met many wonderful people during those years. I would be honoured to have the opportunity to serve your needs in the future, as he did in the past.

These are the reasons why you can trust me to represent you at the City's Council table... to work with you and for you -- no matter whether you live in town or out in the country! Together we can meet future challenges, resolve issues, determine what is best for our neighbourhoods and our community; nurture and preserve what is most important to us, and actively participate in the process of planning for the future.

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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, I support a review of the status quo which should address connectivity throughout the City, with the goal of improving not only routing, but amenities and safety for riders and drivers. I strongly support the implementation of a more flexible and reliable system that provides frequent access to employment areas, the airport and the GO system.
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, young people are the future of this City. Focusing on transit, infrastructure and affordable housing must be a priority of Council.
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, we all need to support the Vision Zero goal. Working faithfully toward safe and complete streets with protected cycling lanes where appropriate.
Do you support phasing out area rating for transit? Why or why not? No No, I do not. I think that, until such time as transit is equal, residents (Wards) who receive little to no transit should not pay for transit as if they had full service. Keeping in mind that the Ward 13 Councillor will now be representing a Ward that will be predominately rural with absolutely no 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, affordable housing needs to be a priority. I am currently a member of the City's Housing and Homelessness Committee. We have great needs in the City. Council needs to advocate more effectively to the Provincial government, as well as taking steps to address issues at the municipal level, where possible.
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 I don't have a strong opinion on this issue. I see the pros and cons on both sides of the situation and would welcome staff, constituent and Ward Councillor's input on any particular proposed change.
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 would work to assure that the deadlines are met or exceeded with regard to municipal facilities and support by-laws and/or incentive programmes, where possible, to address facilities under private ownership.
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 I have always been reluctant to take a hard stance on LRT, because, personally, it is not the priority for me. However, improving transit is. Past and present Councils have, for the last decade continually voted in support of LRT . Council voted to accept the LRT $ from the Province (Based on the fact that they were offered for LRT ONLY). The current status is that LRT is going forward. Should the parameters of the current funding offer be changed by the new Provincial government, Council will be re-evaluating - based on whatever that new information is
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 I do believe Hamilton needs to concentrate new development within the built area, not only to protect the integrity of our rural areas, but to utilize the built infrastructure and intensify in appropriate areas of the City, close to services and where vertical taxation will offer relief to the tax levy.
Bonus question: If LRT goes ahead, what will you do to ensure Hamilton receives the maximum benefit? Yes I am a rationale and pragmatic person. If LRT is to continue, I will be working to be sure there is connectivity from Dundas and across the City to feed the line and make it as successful as possible.
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, I think we have a responsibility to address global warming and climate change in our City, workplaces and homes. We signed the Blue Dot Declaration, as a Council. We all have to do this together and City leadership can be shown through active and open procurement policies that lean to addressing climate change, education and communication, and consistency in building a Hamilton Culture of Climate Change advocacy.