Of the 46 candidates who responded as at this writing, 33 or 71.7% answered "No", 6 or 13.0% answered "Yes", and 7 or 15.2% were ambivalent or undecided.
By Ryan McGreal
Published October 18, 2010
The Spectator reports today that 62.6 percent of respondents to a recent Spectator/Nanos survey of city residents oppose spending more public money on the proposed Pan Am / Ticats stadium. At the same time, 80.4 percent spending more money to address poverty.
Earlier this month, RTH contacted the candidates for the upcoming municipal election and asked:
Of the 46 candidates who responded as at this writing, 33 or 71.7% answered "No", 6 or 13.0% answered "Yes", and 7 or 15.2% were ambivalent or undecided. You can read all the candidate responses on the RTH Elections site.
Nearly all of the mayoral candidates who responded were opposed to the plan.
Michael Baldasaro wants the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to stay in Ivor Wynne Stadium and add parking in the vacant Scott Park School property. He adds that he has heard "first hand from the Tiger-Cat Football Club's Vice Presdient that Ivor Wynne was good for another 25 years."
Mahesh Butani believes the real issue is not the stadium itself but the location, and wants to "allow the process to unfold, without casting any further aspersion on it" after the recent "trauma" around the issue. He also believes any Future Fund contribution should be a loan, not a grant.
Larry Di Ianni would treat the Future Fund money as a loan to be repaid, not as a grant. He states, "The City should never be the primary funder for any development project." He believes the City has not done enough to involve the private sector.
Fred Eisenberger reiterates that his preferred location from a city-building perspective remains the West Harbour, but that the CP Rail Yard "meets some of our city building objectives and meets the main criteria of the legacy tenant, which is to be near a highway." He believes this "compromise" can still build a valuable legacy for the city.
Edward HC Graydon believes the Longwood site is "terrible" and will "kill the real estate values in that area of the city." He hopes the Future Fund board of governors is "running away from supporting this possible location."
Andrew Haines believes the city's priorities are "feeding, clothing and sheltering our poorest citizens." He also criticizes the current Council for "screwing things up for all of us" after higher levels of government "giving Hamilton extension after extension".
Glenn Hamilton believes the Future Fund money should be loaned "as per the original mandate of the Fund." He believes in keeping the Ticats because they "are responsible for millions of dollars of Hamilton promotion each year on the global stage."
Ken Leach believes the "Future Fund should not be used to build a stadium" but could be used as a loan. He adds that the CP Rail Yard location is "pitiful" and demonstrates "a lack of process, diretion and does nothing to enhance the community at large."
Tone Marrone does not oppose using the Future Fund "for projects that justify the expenditure", but does not believe the CP Rail Yard stadium qualifies. He prefers re-opening Confederation Park, which he argues will be a better location at a lower cost.
Victor Veri wants the Future Fund invested in "other areas which will generate much more return on the investment not only financialy but for other societal benefits."
Only six candidates supported the CP Rail Yard site, and another seven were ambivalent or undecided. The supporters are also more likely to be incumbent councillors, including Mayor Eisenberger and councillors Clark and Powers.
John Castle, candidate for Ward 2, wants to see more cost-benefit analysis before deciding.
James Novak, candidate for Ward 2, supports the location on the condition that most of the construction work goes to Hamilton-based labour.
Mark DiMillo, candidate for Ward 3, promises to "consult and engage" ward 3 constituents before making a decision. However, he does not believe the current location is viable given the under-funding and unresolved issues.
Giulio Cicconi, candidate for Ward 4, also wants the city to divert some money to remediate the West Harbour and redevelop the old Ivor Wynne stadium site. He believes the current council should have directed staff to conduct feasibility studies on all potential sites.
Keith Beck, candidate for Ward 7, responded that he would "defer on answering the question since it is still before council."
Brad Clark, candidate for Ward 9, argues that the Future Fund can be used for legacy projects "in any part of the city" and that the stadium is an appropriate use, since it "will qualify for Pam Am Games Legacy funding and our youth will have access to the stadium for sports training and games."
Geraldine McMullen, candidate for Ward 9, believes the stadium meets the Future Fund criteria and "will create a lasting legacy for current and future generations."
Russ Powers, candidate for Ward 13, regards the planned velodrome as "a Pan Am gem and the real legacy project".
Dayna Scime, candidate for Ward 13, would support making a small contribution from the Future Fund, "only if absolutely necessary". She wants to see more engagement with the private sector.
Neil Bos, candidate for Ward 15, suggests that the stadium could be built in Cootes Paradise or on brownfield land donated by US Steel.
Brian Gaspar, candidate for Ward 15, is "excited and enthused" but wants to limit any taxpayer burden and design the stadium with a roof. He wants a five-year payback for the investment.
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