Special Report: Pan Am

Council Controversy over Velodrome Proposal

Councillor Ferguson and Clark have objected to the short notice for Monday's proposed General Issues Committee and Council meetings to make a decision on the Pan Am Velodrome.

By Ryan McGreal
Published August 26, 2011

At 9:40 this morning, the City Clerk issued a notice to Council and the media that a special Council meeting has been scheduled to follow the General Issues Committee (formerly Committee of the Whole) meeting that was specially scheduled for Monday, August 29.

The purpose of the special Council meeting is to ratify any decision made at the GIC meeting, which was called so staff can present a Pan Am Velodrome proposal to councillors.

Councillor Lloyd Ferguson replied to Council and the media, stating that he objects to this special meeting "in he strongest possible terms", not only because it was called "at the last minute in the summer break on a very important issue" but also because the staff report has not been circulated with the agenda.

Ferguson called on other Councillors "to not support his meeting or waiving the rules. It should be done at a regularly scheduled Council meeting. That is why we have these rules."

He also noted that he "sent two emails to the Mayor and asked that this not happen and never even got the courtesy of a reply!"

In an email reply, Mayor Bob Bratina wrote, "My office was informed and I have confirmation that the City Manager did respond to your message."

Councillor Brad Clark also weighed in, writing, "On an issue so significant as the PanAm velodrome, we should not be rushing a council decision to 30 mins after a GIC [meeting]." Echoing Ferguson, Clark noted that the City has "an excellent process that is meant to provide councillors and the public time to make informed decisions."

He worried that "Short-cutting the process on such items will only breed further cynicism and contempt with our citizens."

Clark also expressed concern that he heard the report will be "a verbal report" and that he hopes this is incorrect.

Velodrome Planning Away from Public

After last year's very public Pan Am Stadium debate, City staff and councillors have worked hard to keep the Velodrome planning away from the public eye.

The meeting for councillors to receive a Velodrome report has already been postponed twice, and Toronto 2015, the Pan Am Games host corporation, has already extended the deadline for a City Velodrome submission from July 28 to August 30.

That August 30 deadline is why Mayor Bratina is so determined to hold both the GIC and the Council meeting on Monday, August 29.

While no Velodrome report has been made public with the agenda for Monday's meeting, the City has been in negotiations with Mohawk College to locate the Velodrome at the Mohawk Fennel Campus.

Emails

Following is Councillor Ferguson's email:

I want to express in the strongest possible terms my objections to this meeting. This is a special GIC called at the last minute in the summer break on a very important issue and I can not be in attendance.

Why are we jamming this issue trough when staff had months to prepare and canceled the meeting on the Veldrome twice at regularly scheduled meetings of GIC. I have no idea what is being proposed as the report according to the agenda will be distributed later! I have sent two e-mails to the Mayor and asked that this not happen and never even got the courtesy of a reply!

I would ask other Council members to not support his meeting or waving the rules. It should be done at a regularly scheduled Council meeting. That is why we have these rules.

Following is Councillor Clark's email:

What is the need for the special council meeting?

On an issue so significant as the PanAm velodrome, we should not be rushing a council decision to 30 mins after a GIC mtg. We have an excellent process that is meant to provide councillors and the public time to make informed decisions. Short cutting the process on such items will only breed further cynism and contempt with our citizens.

Further, I am told that the report will be a verbal report. I am sincerely hoping that this expectation is misplaced. I would hope and expect to see a full written report on any item placed into the public record at a City Council meeting. The public and councillors have a right to see all reports 48 hours before the council meeting.

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 CC Reader (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 13:53:23

Q: "Must our assignment desk e-mail be subjected to this?"

A: "Yes if you are in the news business."

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By FuzzyLogic (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 14:39:46

It looks like City Hall has a serious fear of transparency! It's almost as if they are afraid of the citizens they are suppose to serve.

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By Laughing out loud (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 21:47:49 in reply to Comment 68441

Ha, the only way I can imagine being "served" by our crop of council critters is if they were the ones giving me my burger at McDonald's after the next election. Oh, wait... that's a real job requiring hard workI'm sure they would think it was beneath them!

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2011 at 15:03:21

Thanks to Councillors Ferguson and Clark for pushing back. Their concerns are well-placed.

This entire Pan Am project is out of control. Poor management of the file is now the established norm. I hope other Councillors, including my own Councillor (are your reading Mr. Farr?), will not allow themselves to be "managed" by Chris Murray and Bob Bratina.

While I'm on the topic of Pan Am, do we all realize that the now 2-year old Gore Master Plan WILL NOT be implemented before we invite the western hemisphere to visit Hamilton in 2015? If only for our own civic pride, we should be pushing for the implementation of the plan immediately. Instead, we have no plans underway for the Games other than rebuilding half a stadium and forcing a quick decision on placement and funding of the velodrome.

It's at times such as this when I'm fond of quoting Jan Carlson, past President of Scandinavian Airlines. "People judge the quality of our engine repair and maintenance by the coffee stains on the pull down tray tables." In other words, if you can't get the simple stuff under control, why should I believe you can manage the difficult stuff?

Why indeed.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 15:38:19 in reply to Comment 68442

when I heard that bit of news re: Gore Master Plan I was really annoyed. We should be pushing to have that done before Pan Am, not after. And the Gore Master plan looks to me as though it could be done in 6-12 months. Why are we waiting 5 years??!! Supposedly the Connaught will be done by 2015. What will visitors think when they stay at a hotel and see an empty, boarded-up stretch surrounding our town piazza? NOW is the time to push the Gore Master plan.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2011 at 15:19:44

The report is expected to be delivered to the Clerk's office today.

Once delivered to the Clerks, it will be sent to Council.

Only after it is delivered to Council does the clock start on the blackout period prior to release to the public.

Under the procedural bylaw, the City Clerk is not to release the public report (a public document) to the public for at least 24 hours.

http://www.joeycoleman.ca/2011/08/velodr...

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By Mr. Meister (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 15:27:42

I do not see a big problem with the Council meeting. It is not like the councilors work too many days. Just because there is a council meeting does not mean that a decision must be made. I would like my city council to meet and get the report.

Is the Aug. 30 deadline for Toronto 2015 cast in stone? Can we get another extension? If it is cast in stone then when can the council possibly meet to deal with this issue? If this deadline is cast in stone why has council and the mayor not been after the city clerk and committee to get this done sooner? Why must it be left to the last possible moment.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 17:28:32 in reply to Comment 68444

This is known as creating a crisis. It's good that some councilors are raising the issue of the rushed timeline, but they all knew about the deadline months ago, and pushed it back more recently. All of them are responsible for the city's half-assed management. Hell, half of council must be on the pan-am committee.

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By CC Reader (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 16:13:44

"Dear Mayor & Members of Council,

We have just confirmed with Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto 2015, that in order to meet the PAN AM RFP deadline, Council's decision on the Velodrome would need to be made by September 15, 2011.

Accordingly, there is no longer a need to hold a Special Council meeting on August 29 to confirm the decision (if any) of the GIC meeting held that day.

So please be advised that the Special Council meeting original proposed for August 29 has been cancelled.

Thank you

Mary Gallagher, Deputy Clerk."

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By SpaceMonkee (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 22:57:37 in reply to Comment 68446

So now what happens? On September 12th, they announce an emergency meeting and councilors complain of the late notice?

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2011 at 16:29:45

They couldn't even confirm the deadline until after Councillors complained? I rest my case.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 16:51:44

Here is the link to the city staff report on the Pan Am velodrome to be considered at the Hamilton Special GIC meeting on August 29th: http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/1492...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-26 16:52:06

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By Ray Fullerton (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 17:33:46

FINANCIAL RISK!! It will be an interesting debate at GIC on August 29, 2010.

In order for the project to proceed, Council would have to increase its funding commitment by a minimum $5 million (bringing the total to $10 million) and accept the risks associated with funding the remaining shortfall of about $8 million to $12.5 million should these monies not materialize in full and/or if project capital costs gravitate to the higher end of current estimates.
Finally, there is a projected operating deficit of $343,000 to $724,000 per year before any assistance is received from the Pan Am Legacy Fund. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the Velodrome receive at least $500,000 in annual payments from the Legacy Fund.

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By Nutin (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 17:58:31

It's all gun-to-head decision-making. Have these guys learned nothing?

As an aside, is there any public input into the stadium planning process? I haven't heard a thing since they secured our money from the future fund. I would like to think that there would be some consultation given that it is one of the biggest investments by the city in probably the last few decades (not including the red hill expressway).

Does the public have a say in what the stadium district will look like? What happens with Brian Timmis field? Can the former Scott Park school be used for something, or is there going to be something put in its place?

It just seems when City Hall circles the wagons and shuts the public out, we end up with bad decisions and even less money in our city's bank account and a few lucky individuals get rich.

City Hall has become a liability to Hamilton's progress.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 08:31:06 in reply to Comment 68451

Nutin, the Stadium committee has held two meetings that I know of. Check the 'Stadium District' of the saveivorwynnestadium.com site for all questions. Scott Park owned privately. Stadium committee mandate says citizens will be engaged in planning process, and teachers just put a proposal together to discuss a new system school at Parkview which I find fascinating. See Save Parkview High School on FB for my link to report and comments.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2011 at 20:43:57 in reply to Comment 68451

It just seems when City Hall circles the wagons and shuts the public out, we end up with bad decisions and even less money in our city's bank account and a few lucky individuals get rich.

A pretty succinct...if cynical...observation.

Which is why I continue to yammer on:

http://www.thehamiltonian.net/2011/08/to...

City Hall has become a liability to Hamilton's progress.

I guess it all depends on how you define 'progress'. And to be fair, I think that there's been elements of what's unfolding for a very long time; this isn't anything new.

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By JoeyColeman (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2011 at 18:10:10

Speaking of the stadium, Council recieved a report from Chris Murray's office today.

We're getting an entirely new stadium, they are now demolishing the north stands.

Posting the para and link to the source doc on my site:

http://www.joeycoleman.ca/2011/08/its-a-...

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By Nuts (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 09:39:26 in reply to Comment 68452

A whole new stadium!?! This is ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. What the hell is the City doing? They are going OUT OF THEIR WAY to screw up the pan am opportunity. We are going to pay more and more for the stadium and velodrome and not get the redevelopment benefits that were the WHOLE POINT of this exercise in the first place.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:14:32 in reply to Comment 68478

I don`t think it`s the city. I think it`s Infrastructure Ontario`s conclusion upon reviewing the specs for the existing north stands.<

From the SPEC articel:

``...the city learned in the spring that the north stands at Ivor Wynne, which were slated to be renovated, would not accommodate seats with backs because of the grade. After a meeting earlier this summer, officials agreed to build new stands. The project is still expected to meet its $155-million budget.``

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By WH (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:25:47 in reply to Comment 68481

Shouldn't they have done their due diligence when they presented the renovate option way back when? They only site that was ever thoroughly examined for cost was the west harbour which was the one that was voted for SEVEN times. Everything else was done on the fly, on the back of a napkin. Also, how is it possible that the price will stay the same if they have to build new? That statement undermines the credibility of this whole IWS2 process and at the very least, makes a new stadium on the West Harbour in the same ballpark of costs. Which begs the question: At this point, given that construction will not start for another until Fall 2012, why not revisit the west harbour site?

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 23:49:23 in reply to Comment 68452

Bob Young told us that back in mid July when he wrote,

"We (the City, the Province, and the Feds, and the Ticats) are not "upgrading" anything. The commitment is to build a brand new stadium on the site of the old Ivor Wynne."

http://forums.ticats.ca/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=67215&p=1154489#p1154489

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By Ray Fullerton (anonymous) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 18:16:05

THANKS Joey. At what additional cost?

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 18:31:59

Great. A new stadium in the wrong location. These guys never cease to amaze.....

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By TnT (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 19:40:09

Is that for real about the Gore master plan? That might have been the 2nd most important decision to do for Hamilton.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 21:02:51 in reply to Comment 68455

yes, it was buried in one of the Connaught articles last week. Seems the new administration has decided that every project needed to push us into the 21st Century will be cancelled. Apparently this is what the glory years of the 40's were all about.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 06:25:56 in reply to Comment 68457

Apparently this is what the glory years of the 40's were all about.

Please explain.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 26, 2011 at 23:27:06

This article posted on thespec.com tonight summarizes the Pan Am velodrome situation heading into the Hamilton GIC meeting this Monday:

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/articl...

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-26 23:27:19

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By BobInnes (registered) - website | Posted August 26, 2011 at 23:56:46

As Pan Am goes, so will go the LRT, and Aerotropolis, and .....ad nauseum. The looting is moving into high gear per Ray Fullerton's comment above. The sheeple slumber still. Only in Hamilton Canada? Look around bagholders.

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By mike_sak (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 00:13:04

there goes the lrt funding

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By New stadium? (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 00:47:44

Ok so the justification for IWS renewal was north stand renewal. Now if it is a new stadium it MUST go to west harbour. There is no way the fixate can justify this stupid ovation decision now

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 06:29:40 in reply to Comment 68465

There is no way the fixate can justify this stupid ovation decision now

I have to ask: What is a 'fixate'?

And is it pronounced 'fixatee'?

Is that like a 'caliphate'? Or more like the 'illuminati'?

(While I'm at it, what is a 'stupid ovation decision'?)

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By Oops (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 07:23:05

Sorry, iPhone spell check.

I meant to write

Now that it is a complete rebuild (new stadium) it must go to West Harbour. There is no way the Ticats can justify this stupid location now.

hamiltonians and council were led to believe that we could not get a full stadium For available money so west harbour was no longer an option with the Ticats fake threat they would leave.

What I'd like to know is why has this news about north stands been hidden from taxpayers for so long?

Answer: to not reopen the debate.

Taxpayers have been duped.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 07:45:32 in reply to Comment 68470

What I'd like to know is why has this news about north stands been hidden from taxpayers for so long?

Answer: to not reopen the debate.

Taxpayers have been duped.

And so 'what is going to happen now?' in terms of these questions being answered by Council members, in terms of comments issues by the public, in terms of reversing the sense that 'we're being duped'?

Seriously. A message board will address all this? Emails to Councillors? A Bill Kelly session?

This is precisely why we need a forum for information, for dialogue, for protest, actually. In fact, it's as if the stars have aligned to show us that we need this forum: the Federal Building, the BOE situation, the Connaught, 245 Catherine Street North...the Pan Am Games Stadium, the Velodrome...

And this is why I'm continuing to endeavour to get us what we probably need more than anything else:

http://townhallshamilton.blogspot.com/20...

Ryan and Raise the Hammer were one of the core partners I had on my Wish List for getting these town hall meetings organized, initiated, promoted and executed.

I've said it before: RTH is a noble-intentioned-but-static online 'town hall meeting'. It has a ceiling on what can be accomplished before it turns into a mobius strip.

Commenting on a message board is admirable. But let's go to the next step: http://mystoneycreek.blogspot.com/2011/0...

Comment edited by mystoneycreek on 2011-08-27 07:45:58

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By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 08:55:59 in reply to Comment 68471

Seriously. A message board will address all this? Emails to Councillors? A Bill Kelly session?

Duh? How about suggesting a gathering at City Hall Monday evening around 6. Take about an hour getting to know names and faces and then divide yourselves into two groups. Think elementary, pretend there is a kick-ball game and you have to choose teams. First as a group select two captains and then proceed to having captains choose their players until there is no one left.

One team will attend council in the gallery and take notes. The other team will attend the Hamilton Civic League meeting at Volunteer Hamilton, 267 King Street East from 7-9pm taking notes. Afterwords, both teams will meet at Barbarossa's Cafe, 312 King Street East to compare notes.

Promote the event over the weekend and perhaps make IT more interesting by making a game out of IT. Ask that everyone bring a ball to the gathering which denotes their favourite sport.

Personally however, I know that'll never happen. People who do those kinds of things would be labeled rebels. So I'm gonna forget all that town hall junk and just become a virtual rebel punk. I'm just gonna head over to Rebel's Rock, 537 King Street East tonight for some Steve Sinnicks and get down with his dirty town funk and sip Guinness.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 07:54:33

So the net result of the pan am games for hamilton? a pro (for profit ) team gets a new stadium. Amateur sports sees a stadium removed(Brian Timmins). The Ivor Wynne area gets paved over. Th West Harbor gets demolished and left to rot for another 20 years. Cycling (for which hamilton could be a national (and perhaps continental centre )) maybe gets a velodrome on the mountain. (While the west harbor rots ). The taxpayers of Hamilton get run over a the corner of King & Steven.

The English built a velodrome for the commonwealth games in Manchester. They (wiped the floor) winning virtually every gold at Bejing. Now there is a velodrome themed slot track for sale (my birthday is next week)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Velodrome http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/r... http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20110204/...

More so than any stadium a velodrome would be a unique attraction, and would pull users and spectators from a far wider area due to that. The right building would bring the UCI back for a world championships in a heart beat.

The part I'll never really understand is what Bob Young has gained at the end of the day. Ivor Wynne seems to have all of the same problems that the West Harbor has. How has he won by making playing amatuer urban planner ?

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 12:17:55 in reply to Comment 68472

I know one thing he's gained - a lifelong Cats fan (me) chuckling and actually enjoying how they blew last nights game. Hopefully I'll love the team again in the future, but it feels weird to enjoy watching them lose.

You've nailed everything with this post. The worst part is, our previous administration was prepared to call their bluff and do the right thing for Hamilton. Now we're back to the 'glory years' of backroom deals and zero vision.

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By KarmaRepair (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 13:48:15 in reply to Comment 68487

I'm with you Jason - I used to care that they lost. Now I think it's just the bad karma Young and Mitchell have acquired coming back to bite them.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 08:42:12 in reply to Comment 68472

rednic, you've pretty much illustrated what happens when a direction is chosen and energies are marshalled in that direction and there's no real opportunity to get solid answers to solid questions.

In addition, I don't think that 'the general public' really understand certain issues...and Councillors surely to God don't take the time to get out there to make sure that understanding happens. Even more than a stadium (this situation should never have been about the Ti-Cats, Ivor Wynne or anything concomitant to that pairing; professional franchises should not be 'allowed' to hijack a scenario such as this, and if BY & Co need a new stadium...then they should either pay for it themselves, or we need to look at this separately.), a velodrome could have helped usher in a new era in Hamilton. Unfortunately, it's gotten lost in the shuffle...

...and at the end of the day, most people in Hamilton just...don't...care.

Why should they, when Hamilton...despite its recent designation of being 'Bicycle Friendly'...isn't a bike-aligned municipality, so there's no authentic attachment to cycling.

sigh

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 08:39:56 in reply to Comment 68472

What he always wanted. A bigger parking lot.

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By Art Brut (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 08:35:06

For newly converted transplants and ebullient young Hamiltonians, these may seem like shocking developments, but to anyone who has lived here with open eyes and studied their history, they will know that this was both predictable and, in truth, preventable.

Hamilton has highly proprietary and incestuous DNA in every institution and every sector, whether it's politics, business, arts and culture, or education. Almost invariably you'll find a relatively small subset of individuals directing the dialogue and protecting their self-interests. Maybe it's the unwritten flipside of the city's famous "big fish, small pond" dynamic. Big fish atrophies, small fish get eaten. Transformative change typically waits on corporeal disintegration.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 09:40:47

Issue #1:

The city staff report on the velodrome gives council two options:

Option A- Build a permanent velodrome (deemed to be a “considerable risk”);

Option B- Withdraw from building a velodrome

What happened to the original plan to build a temporary velodrome for which the city has already budgeted $5 Million from the Future Fund? Why is the temporary velodrome not included as an “Option C” in the city staff report?

Issue #2:

If there is no Option C and council chooses Option B instead of Option A, will the $5 Million earmarked for the temporary velodrome be reallocated toward the construction of the new stadium?

Issue #3:

The city staff report does not mention any actual private contributions at this time but recommends a fund raising campaign. Have any actual private contributions or funding commitments been made for the building of a permanent velodrome at Mohawk College? Will these private funding commitments be announced to the public at the Hamilton Special GIC meeting?

Issue #4:

Now that the public has been informed by city staff that a new stadium will be constructed rather than a half rebuild/half renovation, what, if any, would be the estimated construction cost savings in building the stadium and velodrome (permanent or temporary) at a single construction site (i.e. the west harbour)?

Would the estimated construction cost savings for a stadium and permanent velodrome at one construction site be greater or less than the $2 Million Mohawk College has offered to contribute to build the permanent velodrome on its property plus any current private funding commitments to build it there? Would Mohawk College contribute any monies toward the construction of a temporary velodrome on its property?

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-27 10:26:21

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By Really (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:33:24 in reply to Comment 68479

If the city is really interested in "fast tracking" all day GO service to Hamilton, the best thing they could do is move the Pan Am facilities back to the West Harbour. We would have a James North Go Station by 2015 for sure and would also rejuvenate the whole momentum for LRT at the same time. Heck, you would get more bang for your buck in terms of staff time as well.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 12:19:03 in reply to Comment 68483

geez, it's too bad nobody at city hall thought of that, say, 8 years ago.

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By Points (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:03:31 in reply to Comment 68479

Good points. I would also include the cost savings of not having to pay for a ticat season somewhere else during construction as well as the loss of revenue to the local businesses during that season.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 10:57:40 in reply to Comment 68480

Excellent observation, Points.

The website of Joey Coleman has posted an Information Report dated August 29, 2011 by city manager Chris Murray with a Capital Funding Analysis attached to it:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...

The item "Tiger-Cat Transition Costs- 1 Year" is not estimated and it instead notes "Tiger-Cats to address".

There is also the itemized $2.4 Million cost of replacing Brian Timmis Field that would be saved by building the stadium and velodrome at a single construction site such as the west harbour.

There will be much for city staff and council to discuss and digest at Monday's GIC meeting.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-27 11:19:03

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By CaptainKirk4 (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 12:50:41 in reply to Comment 68484

Furthermore, building at WH could generate an additional $5m-$7m form the sale of IWS lands, and the future tax revenues from that land.

With all the recent downtown synergy, hopefuly there can be some private interest in WH, enough to 'incentivize' the Tiger-Cats acceptance.

What about the LIVE NATION rumours? It would be great if they were as interested as KATZ/AEG supposedly were/are.

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By James (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 11:03:55

Yet another instance of Bob Bratina and Bob Young being in cahoots. I wonder who's going to be profiting from the surface parking lots that will doubtless litter the area around Bob's new stadium - Darko Vranich? Those three are becoming the Unholy Trinity in this city.

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 14:20:17

Here is the Spec article

So they just figured out now that that grade is a problem for the seating backs? Does anyone here really believe this was just discovered?

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 14:23:32

I used to spend about $1000 a year at IWS on tickets, beer, food and trinkets. I will never go back there as long as Bob Young owns that team.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 11:55:03 in reply to Comment 68492

Not me.

I love my Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and have no problem keeping the team, and what it represents, separate from the contentious business issues.

I firmly believe that hurting the Tiger-Cats, hurts the city. The two are inextricably connected.

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By Duped (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 16:12:53

@mrjanitor
No I don't believe it was.

Taxpayers and council were duped. I still think this has Braley's hands all over it.

I real shame that we lost that amateur sport legacy.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 16:33:11

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By Anonn (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 16:42:44 in reply to Comment 68494

You can like the team, but hate the owner. Bob Young bought a business, but he doesn't own the legacy of the ticats in Hamilton.

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By drb (registered) - website | Posted August 27, 2011 at 19:04:14 in reply to Comment 68495

Unfortunately ownership is always tied to legacy. That's why when people talk about sports in southern Ontario the Ballard years are always mentioned, ruefully.

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 18:24:29

I'm with mrjanitor.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 18:50:42

Page 2 of the latest city staff report on the velodrome, noted below, breaks down the funding proposal if the velodrome is constructed at Mohawk College. The words in bold italics are not contained in the report but have been added by me to illustrate possible additional funding options if the stadium and velodrome are constructed in one location (i.e. the west harbour site):

iii) Fund 44% of construction costs and 100% of land acquisition costs and site development costs financed as follows:

1) $5 Million funded from Future Fund grant

2) $5 Million funded from debenture financing

3) $2 Million funded from Mohawk College

$2.4 Million in monies saved in not having to replace Brian Timmis Field if the
stadium and velodrome are constructed at the west harbour

With the balance (currently estimated at about $8 Million to $12.5 Million) to be financed by fund raising, naming rights, other levels of government, etc. plus

a) a 44% share of the monies saved through construction efficiencies (i.e. planning, logistics, supervision, cranes, equipment, workers) by building the stadium and velodrome at one location (i.e. the west harbour site) instead of building them 6.7 kilometres apart at Ivor Wynne Stadium and Mohawk College;

b) monies saved in not having to reimburse the Tiger-Cats for relocation/transition costs during stadium construction if the stadium is constructed at the west harbour site;

c) monies from the sale and redevelopment of the Ivor Wynne Stadium lands (estimated in the range of $4.5 Million to $7.5 Million by Deloitte in its ”City of Hamilton Pan Am Stadium Business Plan” submitted to council in February, 2010).

Unless there are several million dollars of current private funding commitments for the proposed Mohawk College velodrome announced at the GIC meeting on August 29, 2011, Hamilton city council needs to examine whether the west harbour is now a more feasible location than the Ivor Wynne Stadium/Mohawk College locations to build a completely new stadium and velodrome.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-27 20:02:18

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By Points (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 09:08:25 in reply to Comment 68497

Send this to Council and the City Manager!

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 22:44:26 in reply to Comment 68497

Wow. that's a LOT of money that can be saved by putting it all in the original location we had planned for the past decade.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 09:28:32 in reply to Comment 68501

Succinctly put, Jason.

Hamilton has also lost a lot of money and economic opportunities by relinquishing the athletics component of the originally planned Pan Am main athletics/multi-use stadium in July, 2010 to appease the Tiger-Cat Football Club ultimatum for removal of the track after the Pan Am Games and a change of stadium location:

-the chance to host 47 Pan Am medal events in athletics instead of part of 2 medal events in soccer

-the chance to host thousands of athletes instead of a few hundred athletes

-three hours of television advertising showcasing Bayfront Park, the Harbourfront Trail, Royal Botanical Gardens, etc. to 42 countries during the marathon

-the chance to host the ParaPan Am Games two weeks after the Pan Am Games

-the loss of all or part of the Pan Am legacy funding for the stadium (the only three Pan Am facilities that currently qualify for Pan Am legacy funding are the York University Pan Am athletic stadium, the aquatics centre, and the velodrome)

-the loss of a long-term relationship with Athletics Canada as well as any future major and minor athletics competitions

It is a tragedy that Hamilton has already lost its chance to maximize all of the Pan Am opportunities it received in 2009 after almost a decade of effort. Returning to the original stadium location now might help the city salvage the velodrome opportunity by reducing the capital shortfall identified in the recent city staff report.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-28 09:43:23

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 09:35:29 in reply to Comment 68509

b-b-b-but, Bob Young won't play at the West Harbour, remember? Scott Mitchell said so...and his Dad will beat up your Dad if you try to change his mind... He will ONLY play at a highway side locale with acres of parking.... http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=Ivor+Wynne+...

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By rednic (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 11:45:51 in reply to Comment 68511

Yeah i love crossing that five lane highway known as ...Balsam !

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted August 27, 2011 at 20:20:26

Kevin, you might be with mj, fair enough, but mj hasn't answered my question and you can do so sir if you so desire. You might not like how your tax dollars are being spent here but apart from rhetoric on this site or whatever site, what are you REALLY going to do about it that will have an effect besides not supporting the "bad owner" of the "evil" Tiger-Cats?

I'm all ears...

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By Woody10 (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 01:19:17

Are you seriously trying to say that they only JUST found out that the north stands are no good, lol, ha ha ha ha, thats funny. It's been a sham from the start.

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 07:48:50 in reply to Comment 68502

On his website, Joey Coleman has posted part of a report that was e-mailed by city manager Chris Murray to council members on Friday, August 26, 2011, informing them that a entirely new stadium will be built at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

http://www.joeycoleman.ca/

City staff, Infrastructure Ontario, Toronto 2015, and the Tiger-Cats have apparently known about the completely new stadium at Ivor Wynne since June, 2011. Who made the decision on behalf of the city in June, 2011 to build an entirely new stadium at the Ivor Wynne site? If it turns out to be true that August 26, 2011 is the first communication by city staff to council about this, why did city staff delay the disclosure of this important fact to council until the end of August, 2011? How long has Mayor Bratina known about the entirely new stadium at the Ivor Wynne site? Why were the June and July, 2011 GIC meetings on the velodrome cancelled? The citizens of Hamilton and city council deserve some honest answers.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-28 07:53:52

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 01:32:59

I'm just really frustrated and I'm not sure how else to express myself.

They're all a bunch of fucking assholes who can't plan anything beyond their next weekend! I hope that next time they're all in city hall together for a meeting that noble building decides it's had enough of their bullshit and just collapses on top of them.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:26:17 in reply to Comment 68503

insult spam deleted

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2011 at 07:00:04 in reply to Comment 68503

I hope that next time they're all in city hall together for a meeting that noble building decides it's had enough of their bullshit and just collapses on top of them.

LMAO

Nice expression of frustration. Were I an animator, I'd adapt it as a mini-movie.

But really, even if this happened...or if we're just talking about an election version of 'getting rid of them' and replacing them wholesale...how much would this change? (Don't forget, we returned almost all of our incumbents in the last election.)

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By Ajax (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:52:52 in reply to Comment 68505

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-29 12:00:15

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:34:11 in reply to Comment 68505

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-29 10:42:00

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By Yowzer (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 09:27:30

Time to pull the plug on Pan Am. We are investing in the wrong infrastructure in the wrong places. The velodrome committee uses an analysis process that is not identified in the report and Mohawk comes up first. Mohawk is putting money in - good for them. But this certainly doesn't pass the test of transparency and open decision making. Look at the cc's on the Mohawk letter - Terry Cooke (is the Hamilton Foundation investing in this) and Mark Chamberlain (is this a Jobs Prosperity investment?). Wow - politics politics politics. What is even more appalling is the City walking away from west harbor. They (we) own half the houses that have been stripped down and boarded up. What happens to that area? There is nothing in the report on what the City plans to do? Are north Enders supposed to tough it out like Beasley residents are with 245 Catherine n? The City is neighborhood busting with the mess they have now created in the north end. I would much rather see our$ in fixing the basics - addressing flooding, deal with the north end mess the city created, demolish 245 Catherine. Time to pull the plug on pan am.

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By Timeline? (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 10:09:12

What's the timeline on this? Is the meeting day to decide all of this (full, new stadium and Mohawk velodrome) September 15th?

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 10:37:42 in reply to Comment 68513

According to an e-mail report by the city manager posted on Joey Coleman's website, the entirely new stadium was decided by the City, the Tiger-Cats, Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto 2015 in June, 2011.

The Mohawk velodrome approval or withdrawal will be decided at the GIC meeting tomorrow and needs to be ratified by city council before September 15th.

On September 15th, Infrastructure Ontario and Toronto 2015 will issue the Request for Proposals to the three teams bidding to design and construct the Hamilton soccer/football stadium and velodrome and the York University athletics stadium. The deadline has already been postponed twice (July 28th and August 30th) awaiting Hamilton's decision on the velodrome.

Comment edited by RenaissanceWatcher on 2011-08-28 10:41:38

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By Timeline (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 10:49:53 in reply to Comment 68514

So wait...Was there an actual vote by City Council to build a entirely new stadium back in June?

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By RenaissanceWatcher (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 11:55:15 in reply to Comment 68515

The council meeting agendas and minutes from June, July and August, 2011 show no council discussion or vote or ratififcation relating to the decision made by "the city" in June, 2011 to build an entirely new stadium at the Ivor Wynne site.

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By Yowzer (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 11:41:29

No, no vote by Council to build a new stadium back in June. This is so closed door - our Council is out of the loop, it is happening outside of the public eye, and we get the bill. No thanks.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 12:00:40

I fear there my be some overreaction and we should wait until all the facts are known.

My first reaction is that if it is to be built at the current IWS site, we're much better off tearing down the north stands and eliminating that design/build constraint.

Let's let the other details emerge.

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By Brandon (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 13:01:54 in reply to Comment 68521

I fear there my be some overreaction and we should wait until all the facts are known.

This approach has some positives, in the sense that you can make a truly informed decision about it. The downside is that the rumours may be true and that without any sort of outcry, by the time the facts are presented we may simply be handed a fait accompli and be unable to do anything about it.

Since everything about this goes against everything that Bob Young claimed was critical to the success of the 'Cats, he's demonstrated that his professed problems with the WH location were strawmen.

Perhaps now Bob Bratina can actually put the city's needs first? Not going to hold my breath though.

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By theOther (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 17:59:59 in reply to Comment 68522

I don't believe Young's objections were mere straw men, he just overestimated his influence and got stuck with Ivor Wynne, the site his employee Mr. Mitchell said was unviable from the very start of this abysmal process (and I mean well before PanAm). And I will be shocked if Young still owns the football club by 2015; IW is part of his exit plan to pass it along to the next sucker (who may well be the above-cited D. Braley [again]). Finally, regarding those who decline to support the Tiger-Cats at the gate - as I have resolved to do after a lifetime of monetary and emotional support: it's called 'Voting with your feet', which is the only sort of communication some people understand. If it happens to conflict with the misguided acts of Hamilton Council, that's not our fault.

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By propertytax (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 17:41:05

Can we go on property tax payment strike? This is getting absurd

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By Points (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 18:42:21

Looks like some councillors are concerned about the cost of this thing too -

http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/585529--councillors-concerned-over-mounting-costs-for-velodrome-stadium

I hope someone asks about RenaissanceWatcher's idea of cost savings for co-locating the facilities.

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By Enough (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 18:44:08 in reply to Comment 68527

Just transfer the facilities back to West Harbour and put this issue to bed already!

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By BuildIT (anonymous) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 18:58:17

It’s not too late to reinstate the original location at WH and do this thing right. The plans are in place, the costs are already spent on land assembly and construction is not going to start until AFTER the 2012 football season. In fact, if they went back to WH, they could start construction sooner and not worry about the cost inflation due to building the stadium within one football season (a concern Ferguson raised).

Given that we are now clearly talking about a new stadium either way, the central question is what is the best location that justifies all this money from citizens. That is what this has been about all along and just because it has taken one hell of a lot of time to come to this point, doesn’t mean City Council shouldn’t do the right thing.

The ONLY reason IWS was a compromise was cost. Once the Ticats said that IWS would be fine, the ball was back in the City’s court to figure out the best location for money. Now that cost and location are not issues, WH is the only choice that will rebuild some of the shattered confidence and enthusiasm citizens have for taking most of our Future Fund and building a sports stadium.

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2011 at 20:24:50

We have been played.

Can't build in the West Harbour because we don't have enough money to build an entire stadium. Now we have enough money, but it will be wasted at IW where there is no economic upside. It's all fake.

We spent nearly $9,000,000 acquiring land in the West Harbour. Remediation costs for residential make it unviable as a site. I am told they are looking at putting in retail (read strip plazas) along Stuart. Nice. For this Future Fund money was spent?

The Bobs wanted to hug each other when they announced the IWS "compromise".

I'd like the Bob we elected to give us a big hug and tell us he's sorry for screwing up this deal. Fred did have it right. the West Harbour for both velodrome and stadium is the place we should be investing our money. Taking a bet on naming rights for a velodrome, when we couldn't even get one person to offer up money for a CFL stadium? Please. Welcome to the Hamilton Casino where all bets are bad ones.

Call and write your Councillor. They all look foolish at the moment. Why is this news breaking now and why did Chris Murray (and/or Bob Bratina) try to get Council to meet 30 minutes after he dropped this bombshell? Thanks to Ferguson and Clark for going public with their concerns.

I want a Councillor to ask who knew what when and why it wasn't shared with Council and with citizens months ago. I hope one of the 15 of them will ask these questions tomorrow at the GIC meeting.

I

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By Ajax (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:56:57 in reply to Comment 68530

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-29 12:00:24

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By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 22:05:53 in reply to Comment 68530

At this point I'd rather see IWS buldozed and Bobs shown the door. Council needs to grow a pair.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 21:28:44 in reply to Comment 68530

Is it only Bob .. that has tilted this council towards the tie cats ... I would suggest mister Farr has been pretty instrumental in this whole thing as ward 2 councillor. He was after all an employee of the tie cats before being elected ...

Strip Malls coming to west harbor (or more likely i think a super center ) simply takes us back to the earlier comment regarding Braely and fingers in the pie.

Some thing is rotten in the state of Denmark.

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By bigguy1231 (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 21:07:47 in reply to Comment 68530

I think it's going to be a very heated discussion tomorrow.

When you get Councillor Duvall this riled you know there is a problem. He's usually pretty laid back.

Comment edited by bigguy1231 on 2011-08-28 21:39:24

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 22:24:49

Mark my words, NO supercentre or strip malls will come to the West Harbour. Local neighbourhood associations will ensure that. Could you imagine how stupid we would look if we built a bunch of retail malls next to the CN Yard with no buildings high enough to capture the view?? lol. I'm sure we would be told that "this is how we did it back in the glory days of the 40's".
It'll never happen. Local citizens know more about city-building than those we elect. We'll make sure it doesn't get squandered on something so stupid.

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By mystoneycreek (registered) - website | Posted August 29, 2011 at 07:07:10 in reply to Comment 68534

I'm sure we would be told that "this is how we did it back in the glory days of the 40's".

Still not quite understanding this thrust. (Especially considering that anyone offering this as a first-hand comment would have to be, I don't know; over 100 by now...)

Why do you insist on slamming the past (and choosing the wrong era to lambast. LOL), seemingly judging it retroactively, by an entirely different set of standards than was present at the time? What's the point?

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 09:07:10 in reply to Comment 68538

Stoneycreek, Bratina promised to bring us back to 'the glory days of the 40's' in his campaign. Jason is using it sarcastically.

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By WestHarbour (registered) - website | Posted August 28, 2011 at 22:50:31

Council has totally been played on this file. Salvage your self respect councillors and take control of the process. It’s OUR money that is being spent by the millions with no accountability or transparency. It’s not too late to turn this around and insist that if we are going to build an entirely new stadium, that it be at the location of OUR choosing, a location that was voted on time after time, that the public and all the major institutions/groups came out in DROVES to endorse.

Opportunity doesn’t come at a time of our choosing, but make no mistake, this is an opportunity. Make this decision a turning-point where the city takes its future back in our own hands and out of the pockets of those who have not only abused the process, but done so with an astonishing lack of respect for those who they are suppose to represent. Otherwise, why else are you there Council? You are not a rubber-stamp committee for the whims of the Mayor and City Manager. You gave them the benefit of the doubt for far too long and what has it got you? How to you explain to Hamiltonians why we must settle for a second-rate, equally expensive solution that was not well thought out?

You had it right the first time, so many months ago. You got backed into a corner and were forced to make a bad decision with incomplete information. Now with more facts on the table, don’t hold your nose and continue along this path. Don’t just ask questions to make a show of being critical, but in the end be complicit with a process that had made a mockery of our city. Show leadership and you will have literally thousands of citizens supporting you.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 28, 2011 at 22:58:25 in reply to Comment 68535

Please send this to all of council! perfectly said.

http://raisethehammer.org/council

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By mrjanitor (registered) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 08:44:49

From another Spec Article

“I want to know: How did this happen? Why did it happen? And who's in charge of this thing? Does the city get use out of this? What about the parking facilities?” Duvall said. “There are so many questions to ask.”

Even our Councillors are now completely lost in the maze of lies, mistakes and misdirection... but what about those parking facilities?

Comment edited by mrjanitor on 2011-08-29 08:45:55

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By H+H (registered) - website | Posted August 29, 2011 at 09:02:07

Bob Bratina on Bill Kelly in 5 minutes.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 09:44:17 in reply to Comment 68541

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By sylvester (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 09:51:21 in reply to Comment 68546

LMAO! Only, you'd never catch Bill and BoBra deciding to beat up Cats.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:55:11 in reply to Comment 68549

Substitute 'bloggers' for cats and the metaphor is complete.

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By Grom (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 10:37:25

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-29 10:42:13

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By Ajax (anonymous) | Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:59:42

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2011-08-29 12:00:43

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted September 29, 2011 at 09:30:39

Just to inform people here that David Braley was awared the honour of membership in the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction so I would think that Mr. Braley's actions, whatever they are, are in the overall best interests of Hamilton.

www.myhamilton.ca/people/david-braley

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