Paul Casey, Candidate for Ward 2 in Hamilton Municipal Election 2010

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Candidate Details (top)

NameCasey, Paul
ElectionHamilton Municipal Election 2010
AreaWard 02
Email caseyforward2@gmail.com
Website http://www.caseyforward2.com/
BioI am a proud resident and homeowner in Ward 2. Married, with two children, both of whom attend school in Ward 2 as well.

16 years with Mountain Equipment Co-op, the last 12 of those in various management positions. MEC is a Canadian icon of sustainable business practices and social responsibility. With that I bring a tremendous amount of positive energy to the table. I am very much an optimist and have the ability to inspire, encourage and empower those around me.

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Responses to Questions (top)

QuestionBrief ResponseFull Response
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 I absolutely support this, but we need to jump on it now. Efficient and inviting Mass Transit (I don't like the term Public Transit as it can infer it is only for citizens that do not have a choice but to use it, instead of describing a system that is built to effectively move people from where they are to where they want to go) is one of the cornerstones to the redensification of downtown, and will be the arteries of the city, particularly as gas prices rise and congestion gets worse.

I would motion for a pilot project to actually reduce transit fees by by 10% for 1 yr. Yes it would reduce revenue, however I believe that increased ridership would offset that and it would prove that people would return to an affordable transit system Cost is not the only thing however, we must push forward with LRT ASAP, increase the reach and frequency of service and make it scalable (more people at a transit stop than the bus/train can fit, another shows up within 10 minutes even if it is not scheduled for an hr)
Is Hamilton doing enough to support and encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods? If not, what should the City be doing? No I do not believe we are doing enough. City Hall does not create the jobs or reenergize our older neighbourhoods; most good examples throughout this city are the the result of visionary individuals, entrepreneurs, the neighbourhoods themselves. These successes have taken hold in many cases despite City Hall instead of in partnership with them. The City, the Mayor, the councillors must do more to inspire more of our citizens to step forward through incentives, easy access to resources and authentic support for their ideas. The desire to to realize great potential should never be shut down by red tape, bureaucracy and a "whatever" attitude.
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 I would definitely believe in the value of accelerating the implementation of the Cycling Master Plan. If one of our goals as a city is urban densification, this will be a key component. Densely populated cities rely on cycling as a primary mode of transportation, not just a recreational activity. Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Portland all have integrated their bike plan into the whole urban experience. As we attract more residents to the urban areas, we will have no choice, no other way to stem gridlock and pollution.

We also must consider many of our new residents are from countries where the bike is THE primary mode of transportation, we should take this cue and look at this as an example of the importance of the simple bike and what it's real role can be in our city.

But it can't stop there, we have to encourage new businesses, as well as those that already exist, to consider those that commute to work as well. Safe bike storage, shower facilities and such.

Finally, this is a Hamilton Cycling plan, not Ward specific. No councillor should be able to "block" portions going through their ward. That would be a tragedy.
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? Yes I support the AEGD with strict conditions:

I know this will likely cost me some voter support, and I do strongly believe that attracting viable and sustainable business to our wealth of Brownfields is a priority in revitalizing Hamiltons economic engine. However we need options. We all want to see our already serviced and established industrial lands churning out goods again, but we don't own alot of that land right now, and a high tech industry, or research facility may not wish to be located in the midst of medium to heavy industrial areas. When you look at the Technology hubs and Light Industry campuses around the world we admire and strive to attract, it is generally their choice to locate in more pristine areas. We need the space and infrastructure for both.

My conditions:

-A much smaller corridor than that currently planned for. 1000 acres or so.

-Strictly business: Light industrial, high tech, research and innovation. No retail unless it is there only to support these new businesses (ie: no big box outlets, shopping centers that would take business away from existing "consumer" areas

-NO rezoning for residential.

-Any and all environmentally sensitive areas strictly Hands Off with a wide buffer zone.

-Brownfield First mind set: We always pitch out existing lands first, no matter who the prospective investor may be with an strong 2nd option of the AEGD

Any city owned agricultural lands not in my downsized AEGD plan would be either leased back out at favourable rates for continued agricultural use, or even better, used as community garden areas for the residents of Hamilton to grow their own non commercial produce. Small plots that can be rented out by the season for a small rate.
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 any corporate or union sources. Although a such a revenue stream would provide a definite advantages paying for a bigger campaign, I personally believe the benefits are short lived. I would not want to feel compromised in any way. If the members of a union or employees of a corporation believe in me and what i stand for, their individual choice to vote for me has far more value.

That said, once I finalize my website this week, I will have a "contributions" page, however I will be asking that instead of funding my campaign to buy flyers and posters that have a relatively short usable life, individuals consider donating any time or money that they would consider giving to my campaign to a cause of their choice instead. It blows me away how much will be spent over the next 5 weeks. In Ward 2, candidates have a cap of $21k for campaign expenses. I am trying to be fiscally responsible right out of the gate and will force myself to be as strategic and creative as possible. I figure one of my big expenses is going to be footwear as i plan to do a lot of walking over the next 36 days.
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 As I see it, there should be nothing to hide. We have entrusted our citizens with the very important responsibility to "Hire" us as their respective representatives through democratic process. The City in return must respect and honour their right, their needs, as our employers to ensure they know what their employees are doing.
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 I agree. I have attended council meetings and was amazed with the indifference to the protocols, rules of order and the disrespect by some councillors for the citizens making presentation. Even the "fashion statements" were appalling. Wearing a suit and tie is something I do not normally do, however if it fits the job, and in this case it does, you present yourself at the level you should. We represent the city and people of Hamilton, should we not provide a strong and professional image?

What would I do about it? I would personally live by Graham Crawford's "Some Council for Council" http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/1165/some_counsel_for_council , and recommend it as required reading for all new and existing officials at City Hall.
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 absolutely support the LRT proposal. I think we just have to look at cities like Portland and see the benefits for the economy, community and the environment. However, this not one of those "instant gratification" projects. It will take years to reap the full value once the ground is broken.

To ensure success in creating a successful LRT system in Hamilton, we would first and foremost need buy-in from the citizens of Hamilton, procure provincial/federal and private dollars and partner with other municipalities that are implementing their LRT strategies as well (ie Kitchener/Waterloo).

We do not have to reinvent the wheel on this one, the proof exists that if done well it can be a big contributing factor to sustainable growth. I would ensure that this is one of the priority items to get a jump on as it would have a positive influence on many of our cities other pressing issues.
Should we spend the Future Fund to build a Pan Am / Ticat stadium on the CP Rail Yard lands? Why or why not? No Any use of the Future Funds (or, more to the point, the interest from the Future Fund Pricipal) must go to projects, uses and causes that will have the greatest public and accessible benefit to ALL the citizens: parks and recreation, clean air, clean water, restoring pride and livability to areas hardest hit buy our current economic situation.