Ken Leach, Candidate for Mayor in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010
Details page for this candidate.
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Candidate Details (top)
|Election||Hamilton Municipal Election 2010|
|Website||(no website listed)|
Responses to Questions (top)
|Question||Brief Response||Full Response|
|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?||No||The proposed expansion of the urban boundary around the HIA is a very difficult question to answer simply. Future growth of the city of Hamilton, and the expansion of the services provided by the HIA necessitate the expansion of the urban boundary. To expand the urban boundary to ensure future growth is a positive and forward thinking approach. However to develop the lands at this point is not only irresponsible it is scandalous. If we simply annex the lands to provide for future growth, I agree. If we choose to annex and immediately fund development of the business park, I strongly disagree.|
|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||People's first impression of Hamilton is negative at first glance. Entering the downtown core is a lesson in social planning gone wrong. We have grouped all of our social services in a single area. Through simple use of postal code sampling, we could shift social services to the areas at risk, while changing the face of the downtown core.|
|Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not?||No||The future fund should not be used to build a stadium. However, the funds could be used to finance the development with a repayment schedule. The ability of the fund to aid in development of the city is contingent for the future growth of the city.
With that being said, I find the CP Rail Yard choice of location to be pitiful. If council decides to move forward with the Aberdeen/Longwood site, I strongly disagree with the use of the future fund. The proposed location shows a lack of process, direction, and does nothing to enhance the community at large.
A stadium that is used for Ti-Cat home games and the single event of the Pan Am games, is not what was envisioned by Hostco. The future fund was meant to enhance the city through development, not through the destruction of a community. Place the stadium in the logical location, Confederation Park, fund the stadium with the future fund, and create a repayment schedule that can be financed through usage of the stadium. A legacy stadium, used for concerts, community events, that has a major tenant, was the goal of Hostco, and with that I agree.
|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||The Cycling Master Plan has my utmost approval. However, we not only need to move forward with this plan, we need to ensure that the end destination is determined. The long delays in the Transit Master Plan, combined with the uncertainty of the LRT proposal, make it difficult to ensure that the eco-commuters' safety is ensured. I strongly agree with a community that can travel by foot, bicycle, skateboard or any other self propelled mode of transit. I must ensure that we do not shuffle these commuters onto streets that will bear the brunt of the overflow traffic once we move forward with the Transit Master Plan. I will ensure that we provide a safe environment for these people, before I create an avenue to fail.|
|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||The ineffectual council, and its inability to properly articulate an issue is abundantly evident. Professionalism has become the rarity, not the norm. He who speaks louder, is more aggressive, often has a better chance of accomplishing his/ her goal. To censure a council member for his/her aggressive non-professional behaviour, is unfortunately detrimental to the constituents of this city.
However, to demand respect and an inclusive workplace is not only professional, it is the law. If council members are unable to raise their level of decorum inside a workplace, then unfortunately they do not belong in said workplace. As Mayor, I would not ask for professional behaviour, I would demand it.
|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||Transit revenues and ridership have been dropping for years, yet the city seem to be unable to respond. In mid-2010, HSR asked council for $3,000,000 to improve services, and council deferred the decision till the 2011 budget.
The creation of an arms-length transit corporation, although widely debated, that is in control of daily activities and answers directly to the council has been proposed. This transit corporation will be mandated to work closely with the communities and improve services, and efficiencies.
Currently the net operating cost for a single transit ride is $6.27 (2009 stats.) nearly double the cost of 2008. The layers of government make it extremely difficult to ensure flexibility and cost effectiveness of routes.
We must reduce the number of 'dead miles' and ensure that we place transit where and when needed. This can most effectively be done by a commission comprised of business leaders and community spokespeople from throughout our city.
The implementation of the PRESTO pass in late 2010/early 2011 will also make it more convenient for citizens to utilize transit.
|Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing?||No||Currently the city is not doing enough to support new investment in our neighbourhoods. We are unable or unwilling to support our investors with needed direction. We currently have multiple program directed at rejuvenation of our neighbourhoods, but our investors are waiting to see progressive movement from the city. We currently have multiple programs geared for rejuvenation efforts, that are being under utilized. However, from an investors stand point, why should they battle City Hall and the red tape associated with it, if we are unable to gain their confidence in the future. The investors currently are willing to wait for the real estate values to increase and sell for a profit, instead of developing and waiting for the city to move forward.|
|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||The city should become an open forum for our public data. All citizens deserve the right to have access to the information that impacts them directly. In order to ensure transparency of our government, while ensuring that the public is aware of our plans to move forward, we must give them the opportunity.|
|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||Poverty is an issue for the City of Hamilton, yet poverty is not an issue that we can address through simply increasing funds. Poverty by nature is cyclical. In order to break the cycle of poverty we need to create avenues of escape. The single most important factor that can relieve poverty issue is education. We have secondary and post-secondary institutions in this city that are willing to share their expertise and support our communities, yet we ignore them. The educational cycle of a child is 14 years. To impact a child during their educational cycle and create the possibility of growth is far more important than funneling monies towards their family. This is not to say that a roof over your head, food on the table and clothing on your body is not important, but to give hope for the future is the greatest gift that we can give to those in poverty. It is equally important to create training facilities for our unemployed workers, to create the ability of our citizens to gain meaningful employment at greater than a living wage is extremely important.|
|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||The LRT proposal not only build the basis for the City of Hamilton, it allows for investment by our community. Funding for the system will obviously need to be both municipal and provincial, but as a long term strategic initiative we must move forward.
The construction of the LRT could work hand in hand with municipal infrastructure issues. If we are to tear up the major east-west corridor, should we not plan to do much needed undeground work at the same time. With pre-planning and proper budgeting we should be able to complete multiple projects allong the way.
As the province continues to download services to the municipalities we need to assume that we will be stretched even further than we are currently. With that in mind, the LRT expenditure will become a cost savings in the future.
|For your campaign, will you be accepting donations from corporations or unions? If so, why? If not, why not?||No||I will not be accepting donations from corporations or unions.
With past mayoral races in mind, the question that you ask is obvious.
I do not wish to dissuade voters by leaving the impression that I am pro-business, or pro-union.
I am pro-people.
Although corporations and unions support their workers, I do not wish to associate myself with these organizations,
I prefer to associate myself with their members.
With that in mind another interesting question arises, if the candidates are unwilling to accept donations from
corporations, are they willing to accept 'personal' donations from the executive members of the same corporations and unions?
Again I will distance myself from any potential issues.