Special Report: Pan Am

Noticing

Odd things observed at the last COW meeting.

By Graham Crawford
Published October 04, 2010

Odd things can happen when you pay attention to your surroundings. I'll admit it helps if you're in an odd place, populated by odd people, who often make odd decisions. Such was the case at the specially convened Committee of the Whole meeting I attended on September 29th.

Some Legacy

I noticed... the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were out in full force. At least the guys who wear dark suits and white shirts. Guys like Scott Mitchell and Don May, an ex-planner with the City of Hamilton. Actually, May is one of the Ticats hired guns. A small caliber one, judging by the quality of his presentation to Council. I'm sure he's a better planner than he is a presenter. At least I hope he is.

His presentation covered old ground. Slowly. When Councillors started asking him questions, I must admit I recognized all of the words that came out of his mouth, but just not in that order. How can you move your lips that much and make sounds as you move them, but say almost nothing? Boy, did Mr. May come to the right place to showcase his skills. Like coal to Newcastle.

He introduced Councillors to the Hamilton Legacy Foundation, which will be created by Bob Young, and which seemed to be limited to some chatter about how valuable children are to our future. No money. No programs. No plan. Just the suggestion that Bob Young is a good man, of which I have no doubt, who loves children. Is 'legacy' the ancient Greek word for hollow?

He also said the Ticats would be "willing" to partner with the City if the old Ivor Wynne site is going to be redeveloped for either commercial or residential use. I think they used to call that wanting to get in on the action, but Mr. May's pitch made it sound much more noble.

Mitchell in the Gallery

I noticed... that Scott Mitchell never takes to the podium. Not sure why. He's been present at the last few COW meetings, but prefers to sit in the gallery, take calls in the upstairs hallway, and do media scrums just outside of Council Chambers.

Busy guy. I guess he's always thinking about how to pitch the latest Ticat position on how they will work with the City of Hamilton and help us spend our money? At least that's what he seems to do, when he's not giving the City of Hamilton's Chief Financial Officer, Rob Rossini, what appears to be information and/or direction.

It's hard to tell which from afar and without the benefit of audio. Rossini came back to talk to Mr. Mitchell twice at the last meeting. He did the same thing at another COW meeting. Don't know about you, but I prefer to have my City officials negotiate with for-profit organizations formally, officially and on the record and not in the public gallery.

Apparently neither Mr. Rossini, nor his boss, City Manager Chris Murray, agree with old-fashioned and too-delicate me.

Can we at least agree the optics are bad? What's worse is Mr. Mitchell was curtly saying something to Mr. Rossini, and using his right hand to help him make the point. I noticed Mr. Rossini nodding his head, suggesting he understood what Mr. MItchell was communicating. Like I said, the optics are bad.

So bad, I think we should stop this kind of inappropriate and unseemly behaviour immediately. I'll leave doing that to Mr. Murray, and to Council to censure the behaviour. Perhaps the next time I see Mr. Rossini act this way I'll shout out, "I thought you were working for me, Rob."

Wonder if he'll then come over and talk to me about some of my ideas about how we should spend our tax dollars?

Naming Rights

I noticed... Mr. Rossini thinking it was OK to allow the Ticats to get all $7 million (according to Delloite) of the naming rights money to operate the stadium. When asked about this by Councillor Duvall, he responded that the City of Hamilton was going to ask for more money from the Feds and the Province, which would offset the naming rights revenue.

Somehow, our CFO concluded that if other levels of government give you money, you can give away local money to for-profit organizations simply because they ask for it.

I suspect he calls this a wash. I call it naive. In fact, I call it stupid. I think a savvier CFO might consider keeping both amounts.

Why give $7 million away? Exactly what is his business rationale? How about highest and best revenue for the City of Hamilton? All of it is our money.

Hey, if we kept it, perhaps we could use it to hire lifeguards to ensure citizens don't drown while driving their cars on main roads in the middle of their city when we get another of the hundred year storms we've had this year? Just an idea.

A Story of Progress

I noticed... Chris Murray worked very hard to present a story of progress, of meetings with people from the Premier's Office, with Minister Aggelonitis and with MP McMeekin. All positive. All fabulous. All useless.

That is, unless you'll be happy with what Murray described as a "utilitarian stadium, much like BMO Field," only bigger.

I wasn't expecting spectacular, but for the kind of money we're investing, the amount of staff time of our highest paid bureaucrats, for the level of provincial and federal contributions, top-ups and favours, I had expected more than "utilitarian".

We use up all of this effort and money for average, or less. What a strategy!

It seems the biggest positive Murray could report is that no one has said "No!" to him yet. No kidding, Chris. That's because you're just talking. No costs, no details, no offers, just talk. And plenty of it. Week after week, after month after month. Talk. All positive. Are you worried yet? I am.

When asked by Councillor Ferguson if he thought he could "bring this one across the finish line", Murray paused. Then paused some more. Then started to speak, hesitantly. I think Ferguson threw in another sports analogy. It was the feel-good moment of the meeting. Third down and 90 to go.

I wonder what it would take for Murray to conclude that this little game was not being played fairly by all parties, and that it was destined to end in tears?

Is it not an unreasonable expectation of our City Manager that he would put up his hands and say to Council: "Look, at this rate citizens are going to pay too much to keep the Ticats, even if the Province and the Feds pony up more money. Using up those kinds of government financial favours for an ill-advised stadium doesn't bode well for future government investments in higher priority and higher impact projects, such as LRT and all-day GO service"?

Sticky Numbers

I noticed... that Councillors Ferguson and Jackson are doing everything they can to manufacture good news from this debacle. Ferguson asked if the site could work and if the Cats were supportive of the site. Really deep.

Jackson posited that we could probably build a larger (and even more mediocre) stadium for the money already allocated. Go big and go cheap. Now there's a vision. Thanks Tom.

We heard that BMO Field cost $3750 per seat, but that it wasn't big enough for a CFL stadium. We also heard that the funding gap, before the purchase of the land, remediation, and relocation of the existing businesses, was $35 million.

That's like saying your new house will cost $200,000 and not mentioning that you have to tear the building down that's on the site, buy the land and get services to the site. Suddenly that house starts to look a little more expensive when you add in the other unavoidable costs.

Sort of like believing in the $169 flights to London, England offered by Air Canada.

You can't help but notice, during this stadium debate, that we're very good in this City at getting numbers in the public's mind that really don't mean much in isolation, but that serve a nefarious purpose.

A $35 million funding gap? No problem. Surely the province can see their way to giving us that. It's kind of like a $75 million dollar investment from the Ticats. Or a $7 million dollar loss per year if forced to play in the West Harbour.

The trumped up number gets thrown out, and somehow it sticks.

Less Parking

I noticed... Mayor Eisenberger pursuing a line of questions about the number of parking spots proposed for the CP Rail site. Murray told him it there would be 2,500 spots associated with the stadium. Mr. May said that the Ticats would have between 300 and 500 on the 10 acre site they plan on purchasing and developing.

Apparently, the MIP will have a few hundred more. Total? 3,500 maximum. What happened to the need for 6,000 spots on the East Mountain? According to May, the Cats can make do with the 2,500.

That's even less than the 4,700 parking spots the City has identified within walking distance of the West Harbour site - the site that's impossible for the Ticats to play in because they will lose $7 million a year if they do.

When you generate $15 million in gross revenues, and you lose $7 million doing so, you have to wonder about that business model, don't you? While the Ticats remain flexible, I guess we're expected to remain gullible?

It seems that highway visibility is turning out to be the only difference between the West Harbour and the CP site. Hmmm. And highway visibility affects naming rights, according to the Ticats. Double hmmm. And who owns the naming rights? Shouldn't be debatable, as far as I'm concerned.

No Ticat Investment

I noticed... the Ticats will not be investing any money in the new stadium, but are "willing", according to Chris Murray, to run it for the chumps we know as ourselves. In return, they expect to be paid a stipend so that community groups (likely including some of those wonderful, and needy, kids Mr. May talked about when he presented the Hamilton Legacy Foundation idea) could use the stadium they paid to build.

If I didn't know better, I'd swear Chris Murray was suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Too much time with the Ticats as his captors?

Outsourced Management

I noticed... in the media scrum that followed, Scott Mitchell said the Ticats would prefer not to manage the stadium, as it represents quite a risk for them.

I feel for him and his organization. In fact, I think it would be unfair to put such risk on the Ticats' shoulders. I suggest we let HECFI, the organization we already have set up with a CEO, staff, premises, contracts, experience, etc., manage all of the current and future entertainment assets owned by the citizens of Hamilton.

For those people who don't think HECFI is up to the job, then we may need to change some of the players, or shut it down entirely.

Having said that, I prefer to keep it. Why on earth would we establish another organization to compete directly with a city-owned organization that would be operating our other entertainment assets? Please forward your answers to R.U.Nuts @ City Hall.

So-Called Debate

I noticed... that what passes for debate by Councillors in the peoples' Hall falls sorely short of real debate. Don't get me wrong, some Councillors are at least trying to point out, through their questions, just how ludicrous (if not downright irresponsible) this whole "Save-the-Ticats" stadium discussion has become.

Yes, I noticed.

Graham Crawford was raised in Hamilton, moving to Toronto in 1980 where he spent 25 years as the owner of a successful management consulting firm that he sold in 2000. He retired and moved back to Hamilton in 2005 and became involved in heritage and neighbourhood issues. He opened Hamilton HIStory + HERitage on James North in 2007, a multi-media exhibition space (aka a storefront museum) celebrating the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the City of Hamilton.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 07:45:00

"While the Ticats remain flexible, I guess we're expected to remain gullible?"

That nicely sums up this whole mess Graham! Great line. Great article. Great work.

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By Atkins (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 08:21:48

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Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-10-13 17:20:39

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 08:33:26

Another wonderfully insightful piece.

I'd pay to see footage of some of the part-players reacting to reading it...

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By TnT (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 08:34:15

I can see why so many younger people get turned off by municiple politics. Yet this is something that should make us want to push back against harder then ever. The process is killing the spirit of it and by continuation killing the soul of the city. Sigh.

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By CrawfordFan (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 09:14:05

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By adrian (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 09:31:22

if Fred and boys hadn't wasted 2 years stuck in the WH and had really negotiated when time was on the city's side, we wouldn't be in the sorry mess we are in.

I think you're forgetting that the TiCats didn't voice any opposition to the WH location, which has been the City's preferred choice for a stadium for seven years, until a month before the final decision was due.

Perhaps you should have loaned Eisenberger and his team the crystal ball you've been using, since without it, I don't see why they would have commenced negotiations with a party that had not voiced any objections to the planned location.

Let's not forget Bob Young's pledge: "We will make it work, whatever the site." Is that when you would have commenced negotiations?

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By Andrea (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 09:55:44

Thanks Graham! Not having attended the meeting, I was hoping for some insight from someone that was there as to the general optics and attitude in Council Chambers. I think that 'observation' is as important as listening in meetings in that type of seting; as one can discern a lot from the subtle nuances of body language.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 10:17:11

CrawfordFan

The root cause problem should now be obvious to all given the latest comments from the Cats. It's the Cats themselves.

  1. They're now OK with less parking than exists in the WH.
  2. They're now OK with a site that has fewer roads into and out of it than the WH.
  3. They now are OK with a site because it has at least one transit link to and from it, versus many for WH.

While I agree that highway visibility is a factor in naming rights revenue, experts agree that it's not the key factor. Broadcasters and other media saying, showing and printing the name over and over and over is the critical factor. Besides, the naming rights are ours to sell, not the Ti-Cats. So the point should be moot in any case.

So, why is the WH still no good for the Ti-Cats? Perhpas we need look no further than the 10 acres they want to purchase so they can build their Ti-CatLand mini conference centre and restaurant village? Am I missing something?

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 10:21:49

CrawfordFan,

You should email Councillor Ferguson and ask him to repeat what he told council regarding the Cats sitting in the room in February when council ratified the WH. He said they didn't utter a word of concern, but on the contrary, left everyone feeling like a huge victory was coming Hamilton's way and everyone was on the same page. Since that time, you'll need to find the dirty trail of politics and political interference behind the scenes.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 10:47:27

The Ticats hung Don out to dry up there. Scott Mitchell should be the one up there. Not sure why he just sits whith his head in his hands, looking pissed off while their 'hired gun' is under attack. You think the Cats would have briefed him on all the 'right' things to say.

Listening to McHattie, I miss living in Ward 1. Fred's reaction to the parking isuse was my favorite part of the meeting. You could feel the tension form the entire council table and the chamber. 'Are you kidding me?'

I spent some time with the Ivor Wynne Stadium Scrapbook last week. Four things caught my attention:

  1. Opening up to the first page of the six volume scrapbook, dated 1957. 'Build a new stadium in Kings Forest or upgrade Ivor Wynne'; and so the trend continues to present day.

  2. Bob Young talked about a Fenway Park vision for Ivor Wynne back in 2004. Wonder what happened to that vision? $$$ a 'new' would bring perhaps?

3. The OMB forced the City of Hamilton to hold a vote by the people, becuase of the amount of un-budgeted money council was about to spend on rebuilding the north stands. A citizens group fought it and lost, but a city wide vote was held. A group of 60 people petitioned and even hired a lawyer to represent them. Wouldnt' a vote be nice right now. At least we would know where we stand with regards to spending all this money on a new stadium, or restore Ivor Wynne. You would probably have to have quite a few boxes to check so people could say yes build it, but at West Harbour, or CP is fine or ...

  1. The Ballard years should be read into. His game was a little dirtier, but there are some similarities from a stadium in Burlington, Milton, moving the Cats to Varsity Stadium in Toronto, etc.

Here is a link to some highlights from the scrapbook, as well as a few chosen articles. Take 10-15 minutes just to look at the titles of the articles.

Comment edited by lawrence on 2010-10-04 09:55:59

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 11:11:52

CrawfordFan said "if Fred and boys hadn't wasted 2 years stuck in the WH and had really negotiated when time was on the city's side, we wouldn't be in the sorry mess we are in."

Shouldn't that read "if Bob Wade, Larry DiIanni and Fred and boys", because that's how far back it was that the West Harbour was considered and then identified as the site for a new stadium.

OR perhaps more appropriately, it should read

If Bob Young and the Tiger-Cats had been honest and straightforward and identified their (now apparently non-existent) "concerns" publicly years and years ago BEFORE the West Harbour was chosen instead of attempting a last minute, plundering of the public purse AFTER both an unsuccessful bid for the Commonwealth games and a successful bid for the Pan-American games, we wouldn't be in the sorry mess we are in.

The only thing Hamilton Council can be blamed for is caving in to a now clearly empty threat to move a losing team to a non-existent location from a greedy, self-promoting "caretaker" intent on using public money to build himself a private shopping "precinct".

To date, no one has come up with a site that better balances the needs of BOTH the Tiger-Cats (they're getting a brand new, free stadium, for gawd's sake) AND the City than the West Harbour does.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 11:25:57

realfreeenterpriser

Wow. Excellent. I want you as my lawyer!

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 13:53:48

Love the biting humour to get your point accross.

A little harsh, but effective.

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By ponyboy (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 15:27:28

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 15:43:22

...very little research went into the writing of this article.

Research like this?

Are these 4700+ parking spots all driveways?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 15:50:58

Donkeyboy

The parking lot numbers are from a study completed by the City. The number is in excess of 4500. Not sure what driveways you're parking in when you venture dowtown, but there are many within 700 metres. There are hundreds one block in from James North alone. Not to mention John St. IBI did the research. You didn't. They're reputable. You're not.

Don't believe everything the Ti-Cats tell you. They've played without helmets for too long.

Nice try though.

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By jimd (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 16:00:30

RE: "When you generate $15 million in gross revenues, and you lose $7 million doing so, you have to wonder about that business model, don't you?

Actually, Young claimed that he would lose $7M on $10M in revenues (and $17M in expenses). What's puzzling is the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who also have an old stadium with 30,000 seats, limited parking revenues, and a location nowhere near a highway are able to generate $15M per year in revenues (and pretty much just break even annually).

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 16:23:16

Didn't the city offer up additional on site parking spots, 1,500 or so IIRC, once the track and field events were moved thus no longer requiring an adjacent warm up track.

Am I remmebering correctly?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 16:37:50

Jimd

The business is broken and just might be terminal. When you can't fill the current stadium when you offer cheap seats and many giveaway seats, exactly why do you believe you can make it profitable? Higher ticket prices in a utilitarium stadium? Nobody has even talked about whether or not there will be boxes at the stadium. If there will be, who is going to pay for them? Given Chris Murray's warning about it "not being the Taj Mahal", will they feature lawn chairs and TV tray tables?

What's even more confounding is why are we still bending over backwards to accommodate a losing business? It simply isn't worth the investment we're being asked to make. CFL teams can make money. Some do. But the Hamilton franchise has been subsidized for too long by the owner and by the taxpayer. Time to either rethink the business model entirely, or pull the plug, just like in any other business.

Tough decision, I know, but somebody's got to make it.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 16:45:30

Well Bob Young wanting something for nothing is really not new. RedHat the company that made him his (b)millions took a free product (Linux) , added a logo, and Tech Support and sold it as there own. Not saying anything illegal not saying they did contribute back to the open source community, BUT he is really not the self made man he would hold himself out to be ....

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By TheLastStraw (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 18:43:42

I noticed...how perfectly you’ve articulated the events from the last COW meeting. Another great article Graham...and yes, very disturbing optics re: Rossinni’s interactions with Mitchell.

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By ward 1 resident (anonymous) | Posted October 04, 2010 at 21:23:09

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted October 04, 2010 at 22:39:46

So now it comes down to it. The Ti-cats really didn't care about parking, road access or transit. They just didn't want to build at the West Harbour.

They accomplished what they want, though. The necessary homes and businesses around the brownfield site are now all bought up and boarded. Now it's ready for bulldozers and development.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted October 05, 2010 at 08:13:18

The real point of Bob Young's obstinacy is control over revenue flows.

Longwood will have less parking, but it will be Bob's parking. No restaurants in the immediate vicinity? No problem, come to Bob's Restaurant, built with the money that should have gone into the stadium.

WH would bring crowds downtown that would walk back to their cars and pass a large number of restaurants. I used to work at Kay's Pizzeria years ago on Barton and Gage, and on game nights we'd have a two hour waiting list!

But that was money going to people other than the 'Cat owners, which is a Bad Thing.

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By cmc (anonymous) | Posted October 05, 2010 at 09:50:18

I think Brandon has it right. It's about non-stadium revenues. The football club is willing to put money into ancillary lands whose revenue and development potential is a result of proximity to a stadium they will not invest in.
It looks as though the mayor has been the one player representing Hamilton's best interest throughout but he was undermined by Council during the West Harbour negotiations.
Handing the negotiations over to city staff was Council punting, hoping to avoid a critical decision before the election but most of council ready to bend to the club's demands in the end.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 05, 2010 at 11:42:40

That's all it was ever about, we're being played for suckers. Wait till Trinity Developments notices we approve a commercial box right next to the land we just told them they can't develop because of the Innovation Park.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 05, 2010 at 23:19:45

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2010 at 06:14:17

Another predictable comment from HamiltonFan ignoring any evidence that might contradict his uncritical support for Bob Young. Snooze.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 06:38:33

Ryan, Bob himself has admitted making mistakes with some aspects of his ownership of the TigerCats and what he has said publicly on the stadium issue. If you've been following this at all. And I will say that all sides are guilty of having made some errors in judgement.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2010 at 06:48:22

HamiltonFan, the Ticats want taxpayers to shell out something like $180 million on a new stadium, but refuse to provide their analysis of why the city's preferred site - a site chosen in close consultation with the Ticats - can't work for them. The "compromise" site that brought the Ticats back to the table is significantly worse than the city's preferred site in three areas the team insists are critical - accessibility, parking and neighbourhood compatibility - while also being significantly worse than the city's preferred choice in the city's own objectives.

You're asking us to accept the team's contention that 4,700 parking spots at the West Harbour weren't enough but 2,500 parking spots at the CP Rail Yard are enough. You're asking us to accept the team's contention that 40 vehicle lanes running into the West Harbour - a pleasant, compact, walkable neighbourhood dotted with businesses that would benefit from the infusion of people - weren't enough road capacity but 6 vehicle lanes running into the CP Rail Yards - a site abutted by residential housing, a highway and an industrial park - are enough.

I would be willing to accept the team's contentions if the evidence support them. Unfortunately, the team refuses to provide that evidence and expects us to accept their conclusions on faith in their "experts".

That might be good enough for you, but it is not good enough for me, and it shouldn't be good enough for our elected councillors.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-10-06 06:05:06

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 07:51:26

Well, I think there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that a lot of people don't know about. It is certainly more than access issues or road issues or parking issues. I trust that the city with their negotiations know the answers to your questions and are proceeding with negotiations based on the information they have with the TigerCats. That's what my tax money is going for to pay for city council.

If city council isn't satisfied that, as you say, it's not good enough, that is the evidence the TigerCats have brought forth to council from their experts, then I trust that city council will make that known to all of us since all of us are paying the freight here. In other words, if the TigerCats are keeping council in the dark, surely we would know of this, at least I would assume so.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-06 06:52:19

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2010 at 09:43:10

HamiltonFan

We do know the Cats are keeping Council in the dark. How do we now? Because Councillors have told us so. Just check what Councillor Pearson said at the second to last COW meeting. She said she had not received ANY financial information from them about their business case. Nothing! She made this clear to the public present in the Chambers and on the public record. I was there. Is she lying? Is she stupid? Is she naive? I say no to all three questions.

What do you say?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 09:52:52

I say then that city council should then halt negotiations on the stadium project until they are satisfied with the information the TigerCats bring forward. If this is the sentiment of city council as a whole.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2010 at 10:00:08

Couldn't agree more and I, and many others on RTH, have been saying essentially that for a couple of months.

This is not how partnerships are supposed to work. The Ti-Cats haven't just been playing with a football, they also been playing with Council.

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 10:02:32

H+H, it is then council's duty and responsibility to act accordingly if they see that the TigerCats are not playing fair or by the rules. I will base my personal thoughts on how council acts as a unit though and not just from the thoughts of one member.

Comment edited by HamiltonFan on 2010-10-06 09:12:17

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted October 06, 2010 at 10:28:51

HamiltonFan

The problem is an election is coming, and as Councillor Jackson said he doesn't want an asterisk beside his name indicating that it was on his watch that the Ti-Cats decided to leave Hamilton, a sentiment that seems to be shared by Councillor Whitehead (the flip-floppers).

This has become an emotional issue versus a fair and balanced partnership/business issue, and the Cats know it. Too many Councillors are prepared to turn a blind eye to the total inequity of the proposed deal so they are not fingered as the ones who forced the Cats to go who knows where.

Only a very few such as McHattie and Merulla have highlighted the problem. At the last COW meeting I think it's fair to say more Councillors are seeing the situation for what it is and are finally asking some fairly decent questions of the Ti-Cats spokespeople. Unfortunately, the Cats are smart enough not to put someone like Scott Mitchell at the podium who can answer the questions, so paid representatives such as Don May, who have neither the information nor the authority to answer the more detailed and pointed questions from Councillors, essentially talk a lot and say nothing. Mitchell, on the other hand, has not met a media scrum he didn't love. Weird eh?

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 10:36:58

Hey, I'm no political guru, I can only trust that our elected officials are doing what they feel best for their constituents. But I really think council has the right, if they want to, to demand whatever information from the TigerCats that they need in order to make effective decisions. If they aren't satisified then maybe the city should back out of the PanAm stadium project all together, I don't know.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 11:06:08

I can only trust that our elected officials are doing what they feel best for their constituents.

Don't just trust them, get involved!

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By HamiltonFan (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 11:17:23

I have emailed both the Mayor and my councillor Tom Jackson on occasion. But I'm not an activist in any major sense but I do applaud those that are even if I might disagree with them on issues. Good for Matt Jelly to run for Mayor!

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 11:19:09

Don't be an "activist", be a citizen! Good to hear you're talking to your mayor/councilor. Also Mat Jelly's running for ward 2 not mayor.

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By realfreeenterpriser (registered) | Posted October 06, 2010 at 13:05:21

Councillor Jackson said he doesn't want an asterisk beside his name indicating that it was on his watch that the Ti-Cats decided to leave Hamilton

I've always found Jackson's reference to an asterisk particularly presumptuious, self-promoting and wildly inflated considering the short memory of sports fans and the voting public and his non-role as City Council's most blatant panderer, not to mention in the shaping of our City.

He is referring, of course, to the proposed (it never happened) placement of an asterisk beside Roger Maris' name after he broke the world record for home runs of Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.

The only asterisk that will appear beside Jackson's name will read as follows: * any association between Tom Jackson, a world record, a Hall of Fame or any feat of greatness is entirely co-incidental.

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