Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this?

Responses to the question: "Do you believe City Hall should be more accessible to Hamilton residents? If so, what steps would you take to achieve this?"

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48 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Baldasaro, Michael Yes Yes. Mayor I’ll cut my salary by 1/3 and create an OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE to be chaired by my Runner-up to Office. The Chairperson will be provided an Office and will share 1/3 of the operating budget of the Mayor’s Office for its operation.

I will then ask all Councilors to take a 15% cut in their salaries to create a General Office for their Runner-ups to Staff the Oversight Committee. The Councilors will be asked to provide 15% of their Operating Budget to help maintain the General Office and Staff workstations of the Committee.

The purpose of the Over-Sight Committee is to over-see the dealings of Council and report to the Citizens. Their job is to assist the Incumbents and reach out and support Community Groups, so we may better understand their concerns, and bring those concerns before Council. The Committee will foster more competition for incumbents at election time. Town Hall Gatherings will be held on a regular basis, funded to a great degree and Chaired and/or Co-Chaired, by a member of the Oversight Committee.

Please refer to my Platform on Facebook for further information. https://word.office.live.com/wv/WordView.aspx?FBsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdownload%2Ffile_preview.php%3Fid%3D532849766858469%26time%3D1413301685%26metadata&access_token=884370623%3AAVLUyYB9MZl6OUkpj1tPySnK2XOJTnMtBMNa4s7U1gZOgw&title=PLANKS+IN+THE+PLATFORM-3.doc
Eisenberger, Fred Yes
Lavigne, Crystal Yes Absolutely! First off, once we initiate a more flexible work environment at City Hall, we will be able to make it more accessible for those who wish to engage in the civic process. Most people work during the somewhat of a 9-5 schedule. If we truly want engagement, we would make it so that open meetings are done during various hours so that more of the general public has the chance to be involved. Yes, many of these hours will be after 5pm. People just cannot afford to take the time off of work to come down to City Hall to engage in their meetings. We're the employed, should we not accommodate a little more easily?
McHattie, Brian Yes One of my 5 key themes in my platform is More Open Government. I believe we are stronger as a City if our residents know more about what their government is doing on their behalf. I believe fully in true citizen engagement. Not only do I not fear it, I look forward to having people more engaged in their municipal government.
Pattison, Michael A. Yes Do you mean the common public gaining more knowledge of how City Hall works or the problem of mobility to some restricted residents?
City Hall should be a level playing field that is run in such a way that it enhances all public relationships. We need case managers assigned to every application that comes through the front or back door of City Hall. All departments should and would be engaged by case managers who have the authority to rectify and move along each client with reasonable preset time-lines for completion of any inspections, audits, permits etc.
This is an ongoing issue. People are constantly mistreated, leaving citizens with the belief that Their time is not important. Multiple trips to City Hall to answer questions that should or could have been asked in bulk leaves residents feeling bumped by our city staff and officials. I know how to streamline this process. Lets make dealing with City Hall easy, with an ebb and flow to how we receive all residents, businesses, potential clients and visitors.
As per mobility, I do believe that our city hall is fully accessible to all and if for some strange reason it isn't than we will have to make sure all city buildings are fully accessible!
Ward 01
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Allen, Jason Yes As a father of a child with an intellectual disability, and former president of the Down Syndrome Association of Hamilton, City Hall's lack of accessibility is frustrating and disappointing. It goes far beyond just making the council chambers wheelchair accessible and extends to making the city website WCAG Gold Standard compliant, requiring the use of Accessible PDFs by staff for public reports, and making better use of signage and iconography throughout the building to accommodate people with varying levels of literacy. Hamilton needs to do better at this. It will be a big priority for me as Councillor.
Greco, Tony Yes Yes. City Hall must be made much more accessible to Hamilton residents. I think that having an effective and easily navigable website is one step that would improve access to City Hall for many residents. They would be able to find the answer to their questions and be able to transact business on the web. I would add that, at times, many of us have had problems trying to find available staff for help at City Hall - this aspect of personal service needs some improvement. For other issues, having good access to your Ward Councillor is important. As Councillor for Ward 1, I would be available and responsive to the constituents.
Johnson, Aidan Yes I believe open and transparent government is crucial, especially at the municipal level. As Ward 1 councillor. I will use town halls, online and face-to-face forums, and regular consultation in every Ward One neighbourhood as a means of work-shopping municipal ideas for West Hamilton. The ward belongs to residents. We should have every opportunity to work together to make decisions.
Rosen, Ira Yes I believe that the connection to city hall must be through the Councillor who represents the needs of the Ward. I strongly believe that strong personal community engagement is the greatest asset a councillor can have with understanding the issues. I also strongly believe that along with the explanation of the issues there should be at least one resolution offered as this empowers each individual resident with the feeling that they are also making a difference. This is one of many reasons that lead me to become so strongly involved and I know my actions have helped to make our community a better place to live.
Shaw, Sandy Yes Accessibility for Hamilton residents quite frankly starts with accessibility to their Councillor.  Within Ward 1 the volunteer driven, active neighbourhood associations need to continue to be listened to as well as the BIA's on Locke Street and Westdale.  

I also believe that attendance at regular active citizens forums could be an additional process, so that all residents, not just those who are connected and vocal have the ability to participate.
Ward 02
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Farr, Jason Yes Having been part of 4 years worth of Standing Committee meetings, I think we are good at welcoming voices of our community to the debate. We may want to entertain a wider radius when Planning Public Meeting notices are sent out. From 120 to 300 metres. We could also pay closer attention to the idea of moving some meetings to where the people are as we did with the Fruitland Winnona Secondary Plan.

That was one form of accessibility, the other form is being addressed. We are going to fix the doors to Council Chambers and the 2015 budget process will offer a cost breakdown of making all other meeting rooms not fully accessible, accessible. I will be supportive given the opportunity.
Heaton, Kristina No I thought City Hall was accessible?!
Wallis, Terri Yes I strongly believe that City Hall should be completely barrier free for all who need to access it, with automatic doors on Council Chambers, automatic locks on accessible bathroom doors, contrasting tape or paint on the ends of railings and the top of steps outside. Work done by City Council and Staff should also be accessible to those who want it. Transparency and accountability are also important here.
Ward 03
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Agostino, Ralph Maybe Maybe; I believe City Hall is accessible to residents, I also believe Councillors should be more accessible and bring City Hall to residents. My pledge to residents of Ward 3 is for all residents to have access to my cell phone number 905-317-6654
DiMillo, Mark Yes As mentioned the new style of leadership that is prevalent today, is that we are all leaders. As such we need to invite, and be inviting to all community, and neighbourhood leaders that serve our city well. This means being accessible at City Hall. Organizing more events on the plaza, and bringing City Hall to the people with more engagement, with meetings scheduled in neighbourhoods where specific issues, concerns, and problems can be the focus. The perception of City Hall being a place that intimidates people must be replaced with creating a place (actual city hall) is more inviting, social, and entertaining. It should not just be a place for formal presentations and protests. Have it as a tourist attraction, to be entertaining with mid-day buskers in the summer or some theatre, or whatever draws people to visit city hall, and not just for the purpose of paying for permits or property taxes.
Green, Matthew Yes I will take steps to making City Hall more accessible to Hamilton residents by posting my agenda daily to publicly list all meetings involving people, lobbyists, and corporations with commercial interests in decisions made at council. By voluntarily ensuring a lobbyist registry through publishing my agenda, I believe I will help nudge the culture at City Hall towards a more open and transparent process. I believe that the public deserves to know who the unelected interests are working at City Hall.

My second step is a simple one, allow all resident delegations the courtesy of speaking at the beginning of GIC rather than making them sit through all the lobbyist delegations. This simple courtesy would encourage greater public participation in having resident voices heard and submitted as public record without having to take an entire day off work or away from family.

My third step in making City Hall more accessible to residents would be to maintain a community constituency office at 471 King St E that offers after 5pm appointments, twice a week, to provide in person access for people unable to take time off work to have their concerns addressed.
Mejia, Victor Yes perhaps telling residents eg ward 3 we meet at another location church hall getting the community more informed instead of feeling out loop.
Omazic, Drina Yes The City can and must do a better job of communicating with residents. With the technology available to us today there is no excuse for residents to not have access to timely information from the municipality.
Simmons, Tim Yes We tackled this issue on the Public School Board by bringing in an outside governance expert to show us how to modernize our procedures, communications and make our meetings more transparent. There are plenty of examples of public institutions doing accessibility well. The city needs to look at best practises.
Ward 04
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Merulla, Sam Yes I believe that City Hall is accessible and is more transparent today than any other time in history, due to social media and citizen journalists. Having said this it could always be more accessible by improving upon our communication strategy.
Moreau, Lorna Yes Yes. A Lobbyist registry is a good start, more accountability, open book policy.
Ward 05
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Brown, David Maybe I believe that City Hall is accessible to residents. If your question is whether the Council is open in terms of their decision making process, I believe that there is more that can be done to make the decision making process more transparent. My experience enables me to make decisions.
Storm, Larry Yes Any city is the citizens city, not the politicians city. We need people in government who understand, as many have in the past that the resident is the politicians boss. City council is not the director of the city. I will be 24/7 available. I will be in the community, working for my ward residents and the residents of Hamilton as a whole. I'm approachable in every way possible and if I don't have an answer instantly, I know I'll have one soon.
Ward 06
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Rodrigues, Dan Yes If we are speaking to ‘physical’ accessibility, then yes, we should be ensuring that we are at AODA standards. If we are referring to transparency and accountability, the answer would remain “yes”. There are many formats in which our citizenry can be engaged without compromising the integrity of the operations of our City’s business. From my perspective, when elected, I fully intend on engaging the residents of Ward Six, and any other citizen, to ascertain their concerns, opinions and comments regarding the various aspects of City Hall items.
Ward 07
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Beck, Keith Yes Absolutely City Hall and its business should be accessible to residents. If elected, I intend to form a ward council for ward 7 supported by a wb based platform to share information about current issues before council. I also intend to have that council meet publicly at different venues across the ward over the term. Additionally, I want to push for a project where open data can be used by residents to generate alternatives for consideration. My hope is this helps change a culture at City Hall that believes managing public information is the only way to get work done.
Burghall, Greg Yes Yes, I believe City Hall should be accessible to everyone. First off, City Hall and Councillors need to better take advantage of social media to communicate and receive input from their constituents. Secondly, participatory budgeting will help residents have more say in how their tax dollars are spent. The more involvement people have with their city, the more they will care.
Ward 08
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Czerniga, Joshua Peter Yes
Ward 09
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Conley, Doug Yes Yes, I will need to review this once elected.
Galindo, Cam Yes Yes. Often times there is a disconnect between what happens at city hall and what actually happens on our streets. Most of that is the result of lack in communication. As Councillor, I will commit myself to being the most accessible Councillor at City Hall.
Marrone, Tone No city hall is very accessible,council meetings are open to public,its the councillors job to keep constuents informed...
McMullen, Geraldine    Yes Yes, citizen engagement is very important. Where does it say that people have to come to City Hall, let’s take City Hall to the people? I think that small tours with and education on how to become more engaged should be offered on a monthly basis, so that more residents will understand how to access their elected officials, city staff and city departments.
Robbins, Marie Yes Absolutely, this is a key area of change I want to bring to City Hall. In addition to having the most comprehensive platform of all the candidates in Ward 9, I have promised to publish my office expenses online so they are available for public scrutiny and to host office hours so citizens have regular and easy access to their representative amongst other things. Most importantly, I’m advocating for term limits for city councillors so that we are able to have more truly competitive elections for city council.

As it sits, incumbent councillors win practically every election race because of the inherent electoral advantage that comes with being a councillor. Not only does this stifle new ideas from making their way to council, it incentivises councillors to squat on their council seats instead of running in the mayoral race, which lowers the pool of available talent for Hamilton’s highest office. If elected, I will advocate for mandatory term limits at city hall and will not seek re-election beyond a second term, regardless of whether or not the rest of city council votes for term limits.
Rosser, Christopher No I think the Councillors need to be more accessible. City hall is very accessible in my opinion.
Rukavina, Frank Yes First off city hall has a very antiquated website that needs a major make over. The website needs to be simple. If elected I would hold regular town hall meetings to keep Ward 9 informed.
Ward 10
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
DiFalco, Teresa Yes Public meetings should be held in the evenings so that the public can attend. All meetings should be recorded and made available on the city website. City owned buildings need to be barrier free. City departments need to be more clear about their roles and mandates. The city website needs to be totally re-hauled (despite the recent attempts). Online transaction processing should be expanded. I support openness and full transparency.
Pearson, Maria No I believe City Hall is accessible to Hamilton residents.
Ward 12
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bryson, K. Grace No City hall is exactly that. A meeting place for the city.
Ferguson, Lloyd Maybe
Iachelli, John F.F.   Yes City Hall should be more accessible. For one, look at internal processes. It sometimes takes 3 people to get information and get one thing done. As for the Mayor and Councillors themselves, constituents should trust that they will hear back from their councillor when whey have a problem. I am hearing this quite a bit.
Nicholl, Anthony Yes Yes. Hamilton residents should be provided with more opportunities to have their voices heard through public meetings. There should also be free parking for residents visiting City Hall (for example to pay for property taxes).
Ward 13
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Norton, Kevin Yes I believe that the service offices are physically accessible to Hamilton residence. I believe I should be more accessible to Hamilton residence. To accomplish to aim I will make do my best to find time to meet face to face with any resident who has something they want to bring to my attention.
Risdale, Marc Rhéal Yes Yes. I stand for transparency, accountability and equity. I have also pledged a 100% open door policy as Councillor. I will maintain the current Councillor's office in Dundas and will continue to consult a new and improved Dundas Community Council. Furthermore, I plan to have a special resident's panel on responsible development in Dundas and I will publish a regular news letter outlining specific municipal and local issues.
Scime, Danya Yes YES, Encouraging more transparent dialogue, easier access to information and celebrating our Citizens while respecting their thoughts would encourage participation.
Vanderbeek, Arlene Yes Yes. I believe that services should be as accessible as possible to residents. Dundas residents already have the ability to access many services without the need for a trip to downtown Hamilton. The building is easily accessible, many City services are available through the Municipal Service Centre staff, the Councillor's office is located on-site, as well as Building Department staff and Service Canada staff on a regular schedule.
Yull, Toby Yes Anyone who has appeared at City Council can attest to the inexcusable waiting that is usually involved. This behaviour is not acceptable in any other professional arena and should not be tolerated in city government. When deputations are on the Agenda, Council must stick to timelines and show respect to people who have taken time out of their workday to attend.

Upgraded parking machines that accept credit cards, are needed at city hall. Twenty-first century; hello!

Ironically, I spent most of a day waiting to appear at Council last year, in support of the report of the Engagement Committee, which was looking at ways to increase and improve engagement between the admin and the public - the waste-of-time waiting told me a lot about the problems that exist in that relationship.
Ward 14
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Knowles, Steven Yes yes, I believe we need to consider extended hours and possibly weekend openings for some departments. This would allow residents to have access to services when its appropriate for their schedule.
Stewart, Scott Yes Assuming accessible in your question is not referring to physical accessibility but information transparency, I will be posting my office expenses online quarterly (City website or I'll create my own). I will also urge Council to have any significant Committee and Council decisions posted to the City website (or I'll do it myself) showing a summary of the issue in everyday language and the recorded vote if there were one. This will save people having to sort through multiple committee, GIC and Council minutes to find detail and then usually searching further for relevant documents, as I had to do for details of the 20 year stadium license agreement (lease?++).

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

39 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

Clancy, Mike
Clark, Brad
Francis, Warrand
Iamonico, Nick
Ryerson, Phil
Tavares, Ricky
Ward 01
Lewis, Brian
Ward 02
Dallas, Ed
Henry, Ryan
Vail, John
Ward 03
Anastasiou, Maria
Assadourian, Bob
Gibson, Sean
Hess, Jol
John, Eva
Kelly, Brian
Millette, Byron Wayne
Pinho, Carlos
Szajkowski, Bernie
Ward 04
Laurie, John
Whalen, Tina
Ward 05
Collins, Chad
Rusich, George
Ward 06
Jackson, Tom
Olynchuk, Brad
Ward 07
Duvall, Scott
Ward 08
Whitehead, Terry
Ward 09
Austin, Lee
Fiorentino, Nancy
Ward 10
Yachetti, Luana
Ward 11
Johnson, Brenda
Rigitano, Vincenzo
Ward 13
Coull, Mark
Court, Rick
Mitchell, Pamela
Urquhart, Christeen
Ward 14
Pasuta, Robert
Ward 15
Bos, Neil
Partridge, Judi