Municipal Election 2010

Candidates' Ideas on Improving Hamilton's Image

Municipal candidates share diverse ideas on how they will improve Hamilton's image and make the city more attractive to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers.

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 25, 2010

Raise the hammer posed the following question to candidates:

Will your term change people's first impression of Hamilton, and make that first impression more attractive to visitors, students, commuters and newcomers? If so, how?

As at this writing, 38 candidates, or 45.8%, responded. All 38 respondents answered in the affirmative. You can read the full candidate responses on the RTH Elections site.

Mayoral Candidates

Eleven mayoral candidates responded to this question.

Michael Baldasaro claims Hamilton "will once again be known for our prosperity, fairness and innovation, especially in the Industrial fields due our employment of vacant buildings and U.S. Steel and other workers in order to make equipment to supply our new found Industries for harvesting, handling, research and processing Hemp/Marijuana products."

Bob Bratina will use his role as Mayor to be "the number one salesperson for Hamilton." He adds, "The thing that will be significantly changed is the Hamilton "brand". At one time "made in Japan" implied cheapness and low quality. That was changed diametrically in a generation after the 2nd World War. We can do that for Hamilton."

Mahesh Butani will use his "HamiltonNow!" theme to "strengthen our shaky confidence in our own abilities to seize the moment and run with it in order to carve out our own destiny -- an act of 'community self actualization' that is rooted in implicit respect for our younger generation and their dreams & aspirations; while not loosing our deep admiration for our seniors and their contributions." Fred Eisenberger will make the Pan Am games "a driving force in cleaning up our community through brownfield re-development, new sport infrastructure, and a legacy of increased activity in wellness. Hamilton will never be the same as we welcome the world with open arms during the 2015 Pan Am Games."

Pasquale Filice writes, "fix downtown first. It's imperative or change will not come."

Andrew Haines wants to see a "City which is, truly, guided by its own citizens" once "given the opportunity to love each-other and to help each other just a little more than they already do." He adds, "'Career Politicians' are a lot like diapers: they need to be changed often and for the same reason."

Glenn Hamilton would "change our image to a new business hot spot so jobs and new companies are plentiful and bring new life to our business sector for jobs. I would make City Hall business friendly. I would also aggressively market and change Hamilton to express all our natural beauty, arts and lifestyle."

Ken Leach writes, "Entering the downtown core is a lesson in social planning gone wrong. We have grouped all of our social services in a single area. Through simple use of postal code sampling, we could shift social services to the areas at risk, while changing the face of the downtown core."

Tone Marrone sees the city's poverty and the city's image as interrelated. "People in poverty need to have a sense of purpose in life. We as a municipal government have to help facilitate programs that will enrich the lives of the less fortunate and develop a renewed sense of belonging and purpose."

Gino Speziale calls on the city to survey residents on how best to improve the city's image, arguing, "Only citizens can see the real light that shines on their community." He believes the laws currently governing the city are "so far removed from the common citizen of Hamilton and Region that their decisions at the Provincial and Federal levels respectively, causes greater hardships for our citizens then beneficial as it was intended."

Steven Waxman writes, "Hamilton is troubled by perceptions which become realties to those who perceive same. We must appear cohesive and organized and strive to become 'ambitious' once again." He adds that changing the perception entails changing the substance. "You can only sell waterfalls so much before they dry up!"

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 25, 2010 at 10:44:08

Sad that we're getting all these answers rapid-fire on election-day morning.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted October 25, 2010 at 11:49:40

We've been posting these articles for the past few weeks. These are just the last few questions. We posed them to the candidates the middle of last week and got most of the responses over the weekend.

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By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted October 25, 2010 at 13:03:02

First impressions have two sides - creating real change, and then knowing how to market it and change perception. I hope those who are elected today can do both.

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted October 25, 2010 at 13:11:34

Nothing from Di anni?? Guess he just doesn't care, no surprise.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted October 25, 2010 at 14:20:56

I'm sure LD would have an interesting perspective on the matters of image engineering and changing public perceptions.

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