Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is it time to clean housse at Hamilton City Hall? Yes

Only in Hamilton could they screw something up like a stadium. It's official – the track and field events for the Toronto Pan Am Games in 2015, the “glamour” events as it were – will now be held at York University instead. And their facility just needs a bit of upgrading for cheap which will no doubt come as a relief to the federal and provincial governments worried about cost overruns that inevitably happen with multi-sports extravaganzas.    With that, we're left with soccer and cycling, and at the rate things are going soccer is gone by next week -- which means no new stadium and the local football team will be gone by the end of next year.

A couple weeks ago, under very suspicious circumstances, and not reported at all by the mainstream media, council approved without any debate a two for one public for private land swap around Hamilton Airport with -- get this -- Senator David Braley, the auto parts magnate and owner of 2 CFL teams, who is widely suspected of being the source of the brief rumour that Hamilton would get any federal funding pulled if it did not kowtow to the current Hamilton Tiger Cats ownership and go with East Mountain as the site of the new stadium instead of the West Harbour which is what council decided on regardless.

Keep in mind, this all going on while we're debating the merits of the so-called "Aerotropolis" which would put commercial development on pristine farmland.

We can't get it straight when it comes to projects that come with the promise of money.   Whether it's public transit or sports facilities or whatever else, we take too long to debate these things -- meanwhile, other cities are shovel ready and the shovels go in the ground the moment the green light is given.   Or we swap land under very suspicious circumstances even if everything is above board and legal.

City government may be government, but many cities in Ontario like Cambridge and Missisauga are run like businesses.   Here it's like a mom and pop shoppe and accounting is done as if we're still on a cash system instead of accrual (i.e. transactions are recorded when they happen, not when cash or equivalent changes hands) as it's supposed to be.

Perhaps there is an argument to be made that there should be a wholesale cleaning of house when the local elections are held October 25th.  The Mayor (Fred Eisenberger) I like.   Some of the councillors -- in fact most of them -- not so much.   But with FPTP, instead of alternative vote (ranking candidates 1, 2, 3 and so on) there isn't much hope unless enough voters wake up; and with only 39% turnout last time I don't see it happening.

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1 comment:

Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

"But with FPTP, instead of alternative vote [...] there isn't much hope."

Why do you think that the alternative vote (AKA instant runoff voting, AKA ranked choice voting) would help you? It has the same two-party dominate tendencies as FPTP, and it costs more.