Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this?

Responses to the question: "Many observers argue that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. Do you agree? If so, what will you do to change this?"

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57 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael James Yes I agree. Council Meetings could be more respectful and professional. What I will do to change that is to seek the agreement of Council to time limit submissions to 1-5 minutes depending on the subject matter and complexity. Home work should be done at home and Members should be able to keep it short just like they do during All Candidate Debates. The less time we spend getting to the point means the more time we have to read up and study the problems and articulate our replies.
Bratina, Bob Yes Decorum is maintained by strict application of procedural by-law and Rules of Order. For instance, when a point of order is called for, the response of the Chair should be "what is your point of order?" Instead on many occasions the response was a Kreskin-like "that's not a point of order".

The mayor under the Rules of Order keeps track of and adds names as requested to the Speakers' List. At one meeting, my request to be added to the speakers' list to raise an important issue was ignored by the Mayor. When asked later about this the reply was, "I won't be Councillor Bratina's lackey".

Another mayor, chairing a public meeting regarding the Lister Block, told a member of the public, "Well, some of what you said was intelligent." This caused an uproar in the gallery with the Mayor being shouted down, and demands issued for an apolgy.

The meetings I conducted as chair of many standing committees were said by media, staff and the public to be models of decorum, carried out in an efficient, productive and timely manner. This was achieved by simply following the rules of order and disallowing lengthy time-wasting statements irrelevant to the business at hand.

The meetings of the Board of a billion dollar corporation should be conducted at the highest level of efficiency and respect. Personal attacks, impugning motives of other speakers and insulting the points of views of others does not belong in Council business and is not allowed by procedural rule.
Butani, Mahesh P. Yes The current council's reputation for being unruly has been magnified by the single infamous act of "pencil throwing" in the council hall!

By now, we have forgotten what led to that sorry incident - but the reputation of 'gross unruliness' stuck. Could that particular councillor's salary have been docked? Could he have been reprimanded and forced to offer a public apology for his act? Could he have been forced to do community service - especially when the general perception of this particular councillor has been that he was MIA through most of the two terms?

Instead, our media gives this councillor the status of a know-it-all patriarch, and elevates him to become a front runner in one of the most critical elections this city is facing. And now empowered, he goes on to extol the virtues of procedural by-laws and rules of order to the community - without once taking blame for his actions which brought so much disrepute to the entire council; nor once accepting his well known fiery temper and his predilection to hold grudges at the smallest of perceived slights.

Our serious concern here should not be the collective misbehavior of our councillors, which I think is exaggerated and quite unfair - but the recurring individual outbursts that can easily be identified as a personality trait - which has gone unpunished in our council hall as well as in our media.

Our perception of 'councillor unruliness' is also often magnified by council votes that are often at odds with our preferences - and as such we need to be very specific about what creates this impression of unruliness and lack of professionalism, and what gives the loose impression of dysfunctionality - from our councils inability to arrive at a time bound consensus on critical matters regarding our city.

I would develop a new code of conduct for all councillors (to reflect our new market focus on economic and business development) - not just for while they are performing their duties in the council hall, but also when they are out in the community, or responding to their constituents service or inquiry calls. Any proven violation of this code of conduct would result in swift and decisive actions as prescribed in this new councillor performance manual.

The Bay Observer recently asked a similar question: "The public seems to have lost respect for the way city council functions. Why?"

Below is an excerpt from my response in this months edition:

"Much as the public appears to have lost respect for the way city council functions, it is part of the bigger loss of respect for our many public institutions that once stood for honour, integrity and respect. Our local media sadly has played a very central role in alienating the citizenry. When it can easily play an educative role in honestly informing the residents of our civic affairs, it chooses partisanship and sensationalism. The public takes its many cues from the media. And the payback is apathy and loss of respect..."
Eisenberger, Fred Yes I agree that there is a certain perception of council but it is important to keep two factors in mind. First, the Municipal Act forbids council members from meeting as a group except at a formal council meeting. That means council is working things out literally for the first time in public and in real time, unlike other levels of government where positions get worked out behind closed doors in caucus meetings.

The second factor is that the news media by its nature focuses on controversies and disagreements. That means the media does not report on the hundreds of hours of committee and council meetings when members agree, accept friendly amendments, and get things done.

Are there controversies? Yes. Does the news media report on them? Yes, as they should. Does council function well for the most part? Yes it does. Can we do better? We can always do better and always strive to do so. Is progress being made? Absolutely!

Despite the perception, Council has been working better than ever before. I want to continue to build on the success that we have achieved so far. Under my leadership, for the first time, Council and Senior City staff completed a strategic planning session to set council and community building priorities.

We also went through a vision exercise which means that for the first time, we have a city vision for all council members and city staff as a basis to work from. That vision is: "To be the best place in Canada to raise a child; promote innovation, engage citizens, and provide diverse economic opportunities."

We have made excellent progress, we have achieved success, and now I want to keep building momentum towards the prosperous Hamilton of the future that we all want.
Graydon, Edward H.C. Yes The attitude that has been shown by the front running candidates has been shameful. I am certain that if voters had been aware of the child like actions from the three front runners or witnessed it first hand, then to me there is little question that the front three would in fact be the last three. Swearing at debates because of bickering between the front runners is questionable behaviour at best, the attitude that has been shown to fair play by the leading candidates is nonexistent.

I believe that many of the neighborhood organisation have been disappointed by the actions of the top three, does this mean that they will continue the attitude when elected to the office of Mayor or that they are incapable? More than likely it is better to promote yourself with some sense of fair play and not expose your child like behaviour.

The pattern of behavior that has been promoted by the top three will continue and will be present in council if they are elected back in. It is the Mayors responsibility to promote fairness in actions towards all people and groups.

If candidates wants to be recognized for this type of behaviour "than what can I do", but try not to be party in these actions.
Haines, Andrew Yes Answer to part one of your question: I agree.

Answer to part two of your question: Everything I can.

Passing an Eagle Feather between the speakers may be a good start.

In executive aboriginal circles, it is customary to pass the Eagle Feather amongst the speakers.

If you have the Eagle Feather: it's your turn to speak and everyone listens.

If you don't have the Eagle Feather: it's your turn to keep silent and let the one who has the Eagle Feather speak.

...ok, it may not work with the White Man; we're just too ornery, selfish and boisterous to be quelled by a feather.

But it's an idea, though.

Hamilton, Glenn Yes Create financial penalties for crazy behaviour.
Leach, Ken 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.
Marrone, Tone Yes It has become obvious that council is lacking the leadership necessary to properly govern in the best interests of the public. Council needs direction and leadership, which is really the mayor's most important role. The word 'govern' comes from the Latin word 'gubernare', which means to 'to steer or direct', like the rudder of a ship. Unfortunately, the previous councils seem to have been drifting without a real captain.

Strength of leadership is what sets me above all the other candidates, and it will be my mission to control the decorum and steer the council towards a properly functioning team acting always in the best interests of the city.

I would also implement an online 'report card' system where the public can rate the performance of each Councillor and the mayor. I believe that Councillors and the mayor need to be more accountable for their performance and actions.
Waxman, Steven Yes Insist that this be the normal course of behaviour and institute a policy for censure if not maintained.
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
McHattie, Brian Yes Having been through seven years on Council I certainly agree with the decorum issue. Some thoughts:

- Have shorter meetings - after 5+ hours (ie. Planning Committee at 8+ often) everyone gets a bit punchy.

- The chairs need to intervene more often and sooner before things get out of hand. Frustration is often at the root of outbursts when other Councillors use another's name in vain.

- Councillors should use more respectful language even when challenging colleagues on issue.

On the other hand, a certain amount of fiery behaviour is to be expected at Council as we challenge each other on emotional issues, so I find that I am not as bothered as many observers. We're pretty well-behaved compared to our friends in Queens Park and Ottawa!
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Caplan, Marvin Yes Council sometimes sounds like a bunch of kids in a school yard. Their disrespect for each other, staff, and community is shameful. The Municipal by-law for Hamilton has rules of decorum that are often not enforced. I plan on rising on a "point of order" each time those rules are broken. If the Chair of the meeting isn't enforcing the rules, Councillors have an obligation to bring that to his or her attention.

I would propose two changes. Councillors should stand when speaking, the physical change may help remind them of their duty to speak respectfully. Once Council has made a final decision, there should be a rule that no member of council may publicly criticise that position.
Casey, Paul 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.
Castle, John Yes I think they should all bring along extra shoes to sling at one another.
Chiarelli, Diane Yes I have to agree with the observers that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. A code of conduct may be required as a solution to this problem. It is my belief that if you are a public servant, and that is precisely what a councillor is, that it is a duty to conduct yourself accordingly.
Deans, Ian Yes I'm going to carefully review the Parliamentary practices pertaining to proper decorum, with an eye to developing something appropriate to deal with municipal issues.
Farr, Jason Yes My whole campaign has been about bringing coucil together and stopping the fighting.. time to fess up to the fact we have not acted in the best interests of those we represent - every incumbent is hearing that loud and clear and I expect a new attitudde - and hope greater solidariity (with the Hamiltons best interest at heart)
Geleynse, Martinus Yes To change this, I would first ensure that my own behaviour is respectful and collaborative in nature. I believe that disciplined leadership by humble example can go a long way, and genuinely respecting others in spite of differing viewpoints is essential. People in constructive dialogue are able to accomplish infinitely more than people engaged in reactionary confrontations. There is no place for insults, threats, or name-calling in the forum of City Hall.
Gentile, Matteo Yes With too many issues, this council seemed to be more interested in self-serving personal agendas instead of truly having a vision for the whole city and co-operating with that spirit. It also seemed there were too many "deals" being made amongst councillors to support each other's initiatives (call it vote buying). Operating this way makes for a dysfunctional council.

I have a few guiding principles. One, have integrity. Do what you say and say what you do. Two, do it with respect. People often have differing views, but when you articulate your views with respect and integrity, you will garner support. Three, any perspective has to have due diligence and process to support that perspective and four, if it means spending, how are we going to pay for it without increasing or adding taxes or debt.

I believe if you act this way consistently, you will garner support from fellow councillors and build a professional and respectful council.
Ielasi, Pat Yes First it is important to realise that every member on council has been elected to represent their individual ward constituents and every councillor has there own personality and style ... each will speak with passion and conviction on what they believe will be the best or right decision.

NEVER WILL I ENGAGE IN ANY CHARACTER ASSASSINATION of ANY MEMBER OF COUNCIL publicly or privately. We may disagree on issues but ones character will never challenged. Respect breads Respect.

Maybe we could have a "Disrespectful comment jar" placed in the middle of the chamber and when one councillor is deemed to be disrespectful they have to pay 100.00 to the jar and that money can be collected put toward the elimination of poverty.

I wonder if we would have raised enough money to eliminate poverty in the last four years... hmmmmm.
Janjic, Ned Maybe Spirited discussions and emotional debates are what democracy is all about. I have not found the council meetings to be particularly disrespectful or unprofessional. However, I have on occasion found the topic of discussion to be petty and often times drawn out.

There have been clashes of character between members of council, which perhaps could be reduced through established guidelines for debates.

For the most part, council runs efficiently, but appears to be sidelined by technical issues and problems that may be better addressed by support staff, which deals with these issues on a regular basis. Members of council should not hesitate to take a firm stand on the issues. Being on council sometimes means making tough decisions.
Jelly, Matt Yes Respectful meetings begin with each Councillor committing to conduct themselves respectfully and I will certainly follow through on that. This includes listening to the public and fellow councillors; not working on other matters during meetings (including answering emails via blackberry or laptop); treating delegations with respect; and ensuring that I have read and am informed on the matters before the Committee or Council.

I think many of the meetings are too long - the marathon sessions of the Planning and Economic Development Committee do not foster good behaviour. Sitting for 7 to 9 hours is inappropriate for citizens and members of Council. We must have an agenda that deals with the issues, fosters citizen participation, and provides councillors with the time for respectful debate.

Finally, I think it is very important that we remind ourselves that we may disagree on issues but they cannot become personal attacks on fellow councillors, citizens, or staff. Good debate includes respect.
Lescaudron, Dawn Yes Yes. I agree with this comment however in order to rectify you must have a strong team in place, a team that works together and not against one another. Respectable and professional practice is the result of good team work. I also believe that the mayor should lead by example and practice etiquette while enforcing the rules and order of conduct. Our behaviour is contagious.

I am passionate and I believe in fighting for the cause but at no time will I be anything less than professional. I practice good listening skills, clear communication and I encourage those around me to do the same. I have no difficulty addressing disrespectful behaviour.
Novak, James Yes It is important to realize once you are elected as a Councillor, the election is over! It is then time to get down to work and fulfill the expectations of those who entrusted their vote to you. The structure of civic government demands co-operation among mayor and councillors in order to move ahead with the civic agenda. We have been stalled over the last year because Councillors and the Mayor have gone off in many different directions attempting to stake out election positions instead of working together for us.

I know how civic government works and will work together with the mayor, council and citizens to move the Ward 2 and city agenda forward. I may not agree with the mayor or other councillors on certain issues, BUT I will always be respectful and considerate of their opinions. Following an election, check the ego at the door of City Hall, it is time to get down to work.
Pipe, Charlie Yes I believe Council meetings can be passionate and heated debates. However, long-winded grandstanding that wastes so much time has no place in City Council.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Black, Bob Yes Yes I agree that Council meetings should be held in a professional, respectful manner ,we are the REPRESENTATIVES of the people of Hamilton so it would appear that we they are okay with acting in a childish fashion, I don't think most people would accept that kind of behaviour from their children why should they have to see it from their REPRESENTATIVES?
DiMillo, Mark Yes Of course I agree that council meetings should be more respectful and professional. Personally, it seems to me that the Councillors do not meet outside of council to discuss and deliberate issues that are presented on the agenda in advance. The formal televised sitting of council should be the last step in the process to publicly support, refer or decline to move forward with agenda items.

I will encourage that we meet more regularly, without time restraints and cameras and seek to get all of the answers we need in advance, so as to present ourselves in a professional manner, showing deference to our positions as Councillors -representing the electorate in a unified and professional manner.
Gibson, Sean Yes Treat others they way you want to be treated; Respect- Integrity- and above all Honesty are the cornerstones of my character and those values I'll bring to City Hall.
McGrimmond, Wilamina Yes Yes, Council meeting should be more respectful and professional. I will not act like a spoiled child like the present council does and even Queens Park is trying to change their image as a lot of people are getting turned off by the presend leaders we have in power.
Tetley, Paul Yes I come from a background in my professional career where colleagues are treated with respect. That respect is extended to all in attendance even when there is a difference of opinion.

I will bring that professional experience to council, and treat my colleagues, and any differences of opinion, with respect. A key part of my past experience is being able to understand the reason why differences of opinion exist, and identifying what can be done to narrow or eliminate the gaps, thus reducing the chances for discourse.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Cicconi, Giulio Yes Maintaining professionalism and respect is vital during meetings to ensure that council members remain focused on the issues. I don't believe that personal attacks or "finger pointing" is productive in resolving differences.
Merulla, Sam No The definition of dysfunction is to be inconsistent and unpredictable and representative democracy can be inconsistent and unpredictable, which leads to discourse and passionate discussions. Therefore the alternative is unrepresentative and undemocratic.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Behrens, Chris Yes I agree that council meetings should be more respectful and professional. Councillors constantly come and go during the meetings. This is unavoidable at the moment, because there are no structured breaks. When they get back from their breaks, they waste time by asking for the information to be repeated to them. We all have needs for breaks; we should look at the way the meeting is structured to eliminate this from happening. I believe that a 40 minute on, and a 10 minute off structure would serve council much better. The media, who have to stay with their equipment, would appreciate this as well. I feel that this would be a significant first step to bringing about a more professional council meeting.

I feel that if a councillor misses a meeting and does not have a legitimate excuse, then they should be docked pay. As for the characters, personalities, and their behaviours, well that is clearly up to the electorate who elect them in. As a Certified Teacher, you just need to deal with those situations as they come.
Jackson, Tom Maybe In my many years on Council I have always respected the integrity of the Council Chambers. I will continue to maintain a high level of decorum and respect the rules of behavior expected of our elected officials. I would use my experience and my personal behaviour to influence my Council colleagues.
Knowles, Steven No I don't agree. Often times things are done in a certain way because they need to be. If my constituents need me to be a little rough to get the point across then I have to be prepared to do that. I understand that professionalism and respect go hand in hand but they shouldn't take a back seat to real issues.
Pecyna, Ed Yes I agree that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. To change this, the best I can do is lead by example. It is pretty straight forward: follow the Rules of Order, listen when others have the floor, prepare, speak when I can improve the silence, be on point and concise.
Yan, Nathalie Xian Yi Yes It is true that the council meetings are lack of control. In most case, people just broke the rules of decorum without intentions, as they might mistakenly believe they have to play rough to make themselves be heard by others. This is not the case in most meetings. Just imagine an intersection without stop signs or traffic lights, and every car rushes to drive through. In fact, this is a wide acknowledged problem in all levels of parliamentary meetings throughout Canada.

To elevate decorum, I would suppose that we first take another look at the applicable rules. In my opinion, the rules of decorum are verbose yet dysfunctional. We should make it concise and operational. The bottom line is it should maintain the balance between the fairness (i.e. rights to be heard) and efficiency.

We could enhance the efficiency through many measures. For example, we could have people stand up and speak from a podium, which help them project their voice and act more prudently. We may also try to announce the rules in a clear and brief way at the very beginning of each meeting. This way, even for those people who do not bother to read the rules could become familiar with them. We need to foster a fair and efficient procedural practice progressively.

On the other hand, the speakers could be more skillful and concise. Sometimes, when you talk too much, your audience begins to lose focus. The listeners may show more respect and patience in listening. Let the speaker finish before you begin to talk. I do agree that the person chairing the meeting is essential in that she or he should not only exercise the rules of decorum but also control the pace of the meeting process, such as time limitation.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beck, Keith Yes There's been an improvement in recent years and council is now more respectful but professional and orderly are still areas to improve upon. When I've attended meetings the conduct by some members causing the most dysfunction is to take advantage of EVERY opportunity to speak to argue for their position instead of waiting for the appropriate time of the meeting (debate) to make such statements. This drags the meeting out for longer than necessary, taxing the patience of other members and guests. Knowing what I need to say at the meeting and the right time to say it, and encouraging other members of the effectiveness of this would be my plan to improve council decorum.
Duvall, Scott Yes At times tempers heat up and members of Council can get carried away trying to get their message across, however I believe that no disrespect is intended. While not always agreeing with everyone's opinion, I have always endeavored to keep my words and tone respectful to all Councillors. Keeping to the five minute response time, having the Chair exercise more control over unruly behaviour, and being sure that all elected officials know the Rules of Order will help alleviate these issues.
Gallagher, John Yes The public perception that city council is dysfunctional is a very real problem and must be corrected. The Mayor or committee chairs seem unable to check bickering, overtalking and generally impolite behaviour by our elected councillors.

Restoring cohesive, functional and productive debate to city council meetings will require council members (veteran and new) to learn and understand the Rules of Order council has adopted for the conduct of meetings. And, most importantly each and every Councillor must respect the Rules of Order and obey them without fail.

I would begin by requiring every person elected to council this term to study and be tested on their knowledge of the Rules of Order. It would be preferable to obtain the services of an experienced professor or other expert in the history of parliamentary Rules of Order to package a study course on the subject, instruct the councillors on the course material and test each Councillor to confirm that they have indeed become schooled in city council's Rules of Order.

Finally, I propose that the Mayor and/or committee chair be seated on a platform slightly higher than the other seats at the council/committee meeting in order to clearly establish the authority held by the person chairing a meeting. And, I would require a speaker, once recognized by the chairwoman or chairman as "having the floor" to stand in their place to address the meeting.

A raised chairman/chairwoman and a speaker standing to address a gathering while others present are seated is an ancient, effective and proven technique to establish the authority of a meeting leader or speaker. A respectful meeting decorum is more likely if meetings are conducted as described herein.

At least it would be a beginning.
Pettit, Trevor Yes I believe that council meetings begin with the intent of all to be respectful and professional. Sometimes in the heat of debate people go too far overboard. All councillors, both old and newly elected, should be thoroughly briefed on the Rules of Order and Code of Conduct that currently exist. I would also like to see a dress code that would show respect for the institution. Blue jeans, turtlenecks, etc. are not acceptable. Perhaps we need to look at time restraints for speaking. Toronto was given special powers and maybe Hamilton should have the same. Perhaps we should have a Speaker, who would have the authority to remove unruly councilors from the meetings based on the Rules of Order. The Council Chamber needs to be respected as the board room of a billion dollar enterprise, not a Hollywood stage set. The taxpayer expects and deserves no less.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Jenkinson, Kim Yes Agreed, the primary way to change council's behaviour is to model the change you wish to see. My hope would be that all councillors would sign a charter that would articulate the acceptable behaviours, and have agreed consequences if their behaviour got out of line.
Whitehead, Terry Yes We must make sure that the rules of order are followed and hold those accountable who fail to respect these rules.
Ward 09
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Fiorentino, Nancy Yes I do agree that Council meetings could be more respectful and professional. If elected, I will review the current code of conduct policy and the procedural by-law to ensure that they clearly stipulate the decorum for proceedings and to further ensure that there is a form of restitution in the policy for those that are continously rude and/or disruptive.

Many municipalities currently require that the 'rude' councillor apologize to not only the person that has been insulted or disrespected, but also to all present in the Chamber. They also go an extra step and enable the Mayor and Clerk to adjourn the meeting should things get out of hand or ask the member that is being disruptive or rude to leave the room and not participate in the discussions. This then places pressure on the councillor to be more respectful or face media and public scruitny for not representing their constituents well if they are unable to participate in the meetings.

Another way to ensure that councillors are respectful is to change the standing committee meeting times to the evening to enable more public to be present and also to have all meetings broadcast perhaps in a web based form through the City's website. If the councillor is continuosly rude and unprofessional, then the public will see it and can decide themselves if they want that sort of representation on council.

I personally will not tolerate any rude, disrespectful, or unprofessional behaviour towards anyone on Council. I will call them on their behaviour through the Clerk and the Mayor to ensure that professionalism is maintained. Such behaviour would not be tolerated at any other place of employment and this is no different.
McMullen, Geraldine Yes There is always room for improvement when it comes to respect and professionalism. It is time to change the conversation on City Council. With my experience as a Parliamentarian for one of the organizations I have been involved with and my participation on various Executive Boards, some of my duties and responsibilities included ensuring decorum was adhered to.

While it may be difficult at times, persistence will help. Concensus building an collaboration are key. I am up for the task. I will use my skills and knowledge and bring them to City Council.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bustamante, Jose Pablo Yes Yes. The Council requires an "ethical code of conduct". Whit the creation of this code, we can improve not only the relationships among all councillors, but also their behaviours before the eyes of the community.
Josipovic, Bernard Yes Council meetings should be more respectful. Some of the stuff that has gone on in the last 4 years needs to be addressed. A code of conduct should be implemented and strictly followed.
Ward 11
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Chartrand, Ken Yes Absolutely we should change the process to become much more professional. First off we must ban cellphones from inside chambers, as I have seen my councillor on the phone numerous times during council sessions. I have been attending council meetings for the past year and I am amazed that so many things are going on while debates are in session. Councillors are on their phones, some are talking to each other and a lot of the time councillors walk out right in the middle of debate. Professional behavior must be put in place and rules must be followed while representing the residence of your Ward. This is a place of business and it should be treated as such.~
Johnson, Brenda Yes I have had the opportunity to attend many meetings at City Hall. Many of those meetings are very lengthy and I understand that tempers can be tested, (not condoned) however agendas need to be respected. If City staff has knowledge that a certain issue will take up a considerable amount of time, then maybe a meeting for that issue should be held separately to avoid 8 hour meetings to cover a full agenda.
Mitchell, David Yes We need a mayor who has strong leadership skills that will ensure council meetings run appropriately. with the new electronic system in place in the council chambers, this will enable the mayor to turn off any speaker who is being inappropriate.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Cox-Graham, Brenda Yes There are many corporate business programs from which to choose that teach groups of disparate people how to work together in a positive way. Many corporations and work groups use them to teach the skills necessary to work towards common goals using systems such as those used by School Boards to help teachers form skills to work towards the good of their students as a group of very diverse adults. They learn better communication skills, form social bonds with each other and help each other, all towards the goals of the organization. Of course these skills are learned better by some than others, but all learn to credit each other for their efforts. They need to form common goals and help each other to reach them rather than compete for them. Egos need to be dropped at the door. This takes training but it can be done. An occasional retreat from the council room would be needed. The cost is low and the results are usually high for all participants and the organization benefits.
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Powers, Russ Yes I chaired Council's Governance Committee that over the past year undertook an extensive review of Council's Procedural Bylaw and made many improvements to improve process and increase accessibility and transparency (these changes are now law). Respect, courtesy and decorum go hand in hand...sometimes the Chair must be more forceful.
Robinson, Glenn No I believe that Council meetings are generally respectful and professional. There are times when passions are fired and heated debate ensues. Deference for the protocols and procedures governing council are designed to ensure that council meetings remain a productive forum for decision-making.

Over ten years in management has taught me to remain calm and listen to differing opinions even when emotions are high. As a councillor I will bring this experience and skill to the table.
Scime, Danya Yes I agree that at some of the meetings; the tone, anger and attitude has gone out of bounds. If people would take a step back and understand why there are 'flare-ups', it would be easier to stay level headed. Bottom line is every Councillor wants what is best for their Constituents.

We need to get back to the basics that allowed each individual 'Hamlet' (Ward) to thrive and move forward as a Team.

What I would propose to do is; Every Councillor and head of City Staff go out and have a "tour" of each Ward. Until someone actually knows the area, they are not prone to understanding the unique issue there. When people are trying to communicate an issue of importance to them and there is lack of understanding, it builds frustration. In essence, the communication process is already compromised because of ignorance and indifference.

I am a huge advocate of negotiations and mediation. I remain very calm under huge amounts of pressure and have always put my foot into the other person's shoe.


My previous experience in being Chairperson and President of not for profit organizations has given me insight on ways to engage with those less patient.

I will lead by example and keep the motto that we are all in this together to respect our differences, celebrate our uniqueness and make the City as a whole a better place no matter which Hamlet we live in.

We must realize the old adage "United we stand, divided we fall..." I penned it slightly differently years ago to include "United we stand, divided we FAIL." I, as a new Councillor will work patiently, fairly and diligently to have our City Council be respected leaders in our community.
Tammer, Ron Yes I agree that Council meetings should be more respectful and professional. I have worked on many committees, both at work and for local minor sports associations, as well as acted as a mediator in my capacities as a union steward and on the Hamilton Youth Justice Committee. The main thing that I have taken from these experiences is that results don't come from bickering and infighting; you have to focus on the task at hand, and bring everyone together to work towards a common goal. Council seems to be moving in several directions at once, and arriving
nowhere; I would bring my sense of diplomacy to the table, and help Council to focus on what we need to achieve as a group.
Ward 15
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bos, Neil Maybe I've been a student of the Parliamentary process, rules, protocols and tradition for more than 30 years, and I look forward to my time on Hamilton city council.

When I was on council at the Township of Flamborough, I always treated my colleagues as the mature, sincere, hard-working and constructive councillors they were, and they did the same for me.

My character won't change overnight. I will be respectful, generally speaking. But if somebody behaves in a manner that is hurtful, bullying and ignorant, you will come to hear them say, when there is a crass comment, "Neil's up!" Meaning: sparks are going to fly!
Gaspar, Brian Yes Mayor and councillors have been chosen by their communities they serve as role models to the communities. They consist of different ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs. As representatives of our communities, they should act in a professional manner because they are our leaders. They need exemplify care in how they present themselves. These men and woman have been chosen because they will fight for what their community believes in and their best interests. There are times that the frustration causes some erratical behaviour but this is politics as long as we are not swinging microphones, sticks throwing or repetitively getting peeped this is politics. Perhaps come up with a merit plan that awards individuals for good behaviour.

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

26 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Di Ianni, Larry
Filice, Pasquale
Speziale, Gino
Veri, Victor
Wozny, Mark
Ward 01
Greco, Tony
Paquette, Raymond
Ward 02
Coleman, Shane
Ferguson, Lloyd
Hess, Erik
Jones, Hoojung
Wright, Kevin
Ward 03
Morelli, Bernie
Ward 04
Bulbrook, Norm
Ward 05
Bedi, Jaswinder
Collins, Chad
Rukavina, Frank
Stacey, Dave
Ward 06
Febers, Michelle
Ward 09
Clark, Brad
Mowatt, Andrew
Ward 10
Pearson, Maria
Ward 12
Ferguson, Lloyd
Ward 13
Zuliniak, Marty
Ward 14
Pasuta, Robert
Ward 15
Partridge, Judi